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Comment: Re:How can foreigners be charged under US law? (Score 1) 108

by IamTheRealMike (#49390185) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers

it's established that Commanders-in-Chief can freeze the bank accounts of enemies of the US. This did require a statute, the PATRIOT Act, because it would not have been in the toolbox of an 18th-century monarch or George Washington. But now that it's established, and it's widely considered to have been a useful military tool against Al Qaeda, the administration can use it against anyone it thinks is a military opponent.

The case for financial sanctions against Al Qaeda is not as clear cut as you might think. The cost of 9/11 was in the low tens of thousands of dollars.

Regardless, the US sanctions list include many non-military targets, and the definition of "terrorist" is so flexible that it can be used to justify punitive non-judicial action against literally anyone. The US constitution specifically forbids laws of attainder, which are laws that specifically enumerate lists of victims. The PATRIOT Act doesn't include an actual list (though the Magnitsky act does), but a law that refers to a list maintained by a bureaucracy under direct command of the President is hardly different given the bans intent.

Unless you intend any form of punishment at all to be OK against any "military target" i.e. anyone, then no, this sort of thing is not OK.

Comment: Re:How can foreigners be charged under US law? (Score 1) 108

by IamTheRealMike (#49390155) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers

For those that are wondering how foreigners can be charged with US law, look up "extradition treaty". For those with whom we haven't signed such a treaty, look up "financial sanctions" or "asset forfeiture".

Neither of those things involve charges. That's why they're effective - if they had to be backed by actual charges that went through an actual judicial system, the targets could win cases and get the sanctions dismissed. An arbitrary blacklist is a lot better from the viewpoint of the POTUS and his minions because what are you going to do about it? File an appeal?

This isn't about citizens in other countries simply minding their own business

Pretty staggeringly stupid position. Lots of countries have extradition treaties with the USA, including Germany. If you are OK with the head of the NSA being extradited, charged, found guilty of espionage and imprisoned in Europe or China then go right ahead and say such things ...

Comment: Re:So, should I just read reddit? (Score 1) 119

by sjames (#49389911) Attached to: Thousand-Year-Old Eye Salve Kills MRSA

At the same time, good luck getting a doctor to suggest a $5 jar of salve over a $200 tube of prescription salve, even if it's the very same stuff.

That's a real problem. Many doctors default to the new name brand X rather than the tried and true generic Y even when just the co-pay for X will cost more than Y. Often, X will be no better than Y for the majority of patients. As a result, some people pay WAY too much and some end up not getting X or Y. A tiny handful avoid mild itching that could have been fixed by switching them to X if they cared to.

Comment: Re:NSA can recruit Patriots! (Score 1) 234

by HiThere (#49387861) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

Heraclitus might agree with you, but I do not.

The US Constitution has some of it's roots in Greek philosophy, but many of them are more directly derived from British Common Law and "The Rights of Englishmen". If you want to understand the purpose behind the Constitution, read Locke. (The Federalist Papers are too focused on the politics of the time to give you a good perspective.)

OTOH, there were disagreements among the "founding fathers", and I think the branch lead by Alexander Hamilton would agree with you. I have scant sympathy for that view however, preferring the branch lead by Thomas Jefferson (in his polemics, if not always in his actions).

Comment: Re:NSA can recruit Patriots! (Score 1) 234

by HiThere (#49387839) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

Traitor is defined explicitly in the constitution. They betrayed their oath of office, they violated the law, they ignored the constitution. All that is true, and it doesn't constitute treason as defined by the constitution.

Mind you, I feel that they should all be given a decade of extreme solitary confinement. (I.e. *NOBODY* gets in to see them or talk to them except once a month a doctor & their lawyer in a combined visit (the doctor leaves first). And nobody includes guards. I'm thinking of a steel box with a garden lit be grow-lights and food delivered by bellamy tube. If the toilet breaks down they're in trouble...the doctor can order them moved to another cube on his next visit.)

Comment: Re:Don't worry actors (Score 2) 307

by jedidiah (#49387377) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

In general Ewan seemed much more appropriate for the role of teenage Anakin than Hayden. Hayden was just cardboard. And no I have not been impressed by him in any other roles either. Whereas some of Ewan's earlier work are spot on for the kind of character Anakin needed to be in the prequels.

Bad acting due to bad direction and horrible writing aggravated by casting that was also bad.

The prequel had too much George in it.

Comment: Re:So, should I just read reddit? (Score 1) 119

by sjames (#49387023) Attached to: Thousand-Year-Old Eye Salve Kills MRSA

Actually, since this is a salve to be used externally, internal use isn't a consideration for this formulation. People regularly get that amount of copper on their skin from jewelry (including copper bracelets) Some get a minor rash from it or a green skin discoloration, both much better than MRSA.

What people need is medications they can actually afford. The cost of drugs in the U.S. is shameful.

It should be marketed as a cologne of lotion. That way the rules flip-flop and pretty much if the user's skin doesn't actually come off while applying it, it's A-OK with regulators.

I'm not saying the research shouldn't be done, an internal use form would be good. A concentrated form would be good. But none of that should stand in the way of the known effective salve.

Comment: Re:Boo hoo (Score 4, Insightful) 234

by IamTheRealMike (#49386095) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

If it is so easy to do this, why haven't the Russian internet criminals rolled anything out on this scale? It seems to me that a platform like this would be all kinds of ideal for criminal purposes.

They have. That is exactly what I just said - Zeus is also a modular, plugin based malware platform that is developed by Russian/east European fraud gangs. It bears a lot of similarities to the NSA/GCHQ malware platforms in terms of how it gets onto people's systems, general design, etc.

because of the work they do and the requirements that work puts on their infrastructure they were probably into the whole "big data" mindset several years before mainstream commercial, civilian IT companies got there

It's not the case. For instance the NSA scalable data store (Accumulo) is basically a reimplementation of Google's BigTable, and they don't try to hide it. They adopted tech from the civilian space for their own requirements but it wasn't invented there.

With respect to your other points, I never said they don't know what they're doing, only that what they're doing is not particularly interesting and I don't think it will keep the best people interested for more than a few years before they find it becomes humdrum routine. And by "product" you knew perfectly well what I meant - not some crappy in house web app used by a few hundred people who have no other choice, I mean a product that's available in the marketplace which competes for end users, probably consumers or professionals. Something where quality matters.

Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and then give it back to them.