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Comment Offense vs. defense (Score 2) 57

If this is really a threat, the best practice would be to have a multinational effort to make sure software is secure, and that vital infrastructure is set up in a secure way. Encryption, air gaps, regular audits of commonly used software, all in the wide open. None of this "save this 0-day exploit for a good target" bullshit, just focus on getting things fixed.

Comment Re:lies, damn lies, and sworn testimony (Score 1) 86

There are two possibilities for the evidence:
1) it would have inevitably be found in roughly the same time frame through conventional policing
2) it would NOT have inevitably be found in roughly the same time frame through conventional policing
If we have case 1, the NSA's actions were pointless. If we have case 2, the evidence is fruit of the poison tree. This is by definition, because if it has any effect on the second search, it has affected it, and thus is 'fruit.'

The scenario you are concerned about is that just because the NSA gave the DEA info about George Jung being a drug dealer, that doesn't undermine evidence from local police that comes from a giant billboard that says "George Jung's Cocaine Emporium, Next Left."

Comment Re: Why does the FBI continue to engage in witchcr (Score 1) 262

I'm not lying, you are just not reading carefully, I said that you said that the FBI had special knowledge on their employee requirements, not that you had such knowledge. You said that "they have a better idea of what type of employees can do their work than you do," and you just reiterated it in your posts that they have insider information not available to us.

If they filter out some classes of security threat by other means is not so clear.

That is a claim that has ZERO evidence and zero reason to suspect anything other than tricking people into thinking it works. You might as well claim that polygraphs give you mental superpowers. There's just as much evidence to support it.

In regards to real world applications with some degree of actual evidence, the only thing that polygraphs could be useful for is tricking people into thinking they work. But you could substitute countless other techniques from different cultures and claim mystical powers. But if they literally used a voodoo ritual as part of getting a security clearance, people would obviously get upset because that's clearly stupid bullshit that would only let crazy jackasses in.

Just because there are experts who are idiots, doesn't mean that any experts is non-expert, or an idiot, or can't be trusted to manage their own damn employees. How would a non-expert such as yourself hope to impeach their judgement? You can't, of course. As you point out, their field is shrouded in secrecy; that means you don't know, it doesn't mean they don't know. It means you can't judge what they do effectively. Now, there are lots of legitimate policy opinion responses to that situation. But it doesn't leave you in a position to impeach their judgement about things where the facts are mostly secret.

Secrecy is not an advantage in regards to having scientific evidence. It means that they aren't subject to external peer review, and thus have little to no forces that act against their existing biases.

And they're not bumbling morons, regardless of your or my opinion of their polices.

According to spies themselves, they often are.

The whole organisation was riddled with nepotism - dim, dreary people of utter unmemorability; sub-men who were doubled up with other sub-men to create an illusion of strength and only doubled the weakness; others made memorable only by poisonous, corrupt malevolence or crass, mulish stupidity; the whole run by a chain of command remarkable for its feebleness. The entire service was decrepit and incompetent.

Comment Re: Why does the FBI continue to engage in witchcr (Score 1) 262

Working for these agencies or their contractors requires a security clearance, often down to the janitors, so these agencies, who you claim know more than we do about what qualifications their employees need, apparently think that it's very important to filter out potential employees that are a security threat. We know that, objectively, polygraphs don't do this, and would disproportionately select for those who can lie intuitively, as they aren't going to trigger a false positive.

Also, there are plenty of serious professional of above-average intelligence, with college degrees that have no clue what they are doing. We don't really have good metrics for evaluating their performance, especially since so much of what they do is shrouded in secrecy. That is, in fact, a very negative factor for the likelihood of their competence, because it shields them against evolutionary pressure.

Michigan Sues HP Over Decade Long, $49 Million Incomplete Project 203

itwbennett writes: On Friday, embattled HP was hit with a new lawsuit filed by the state of Michigan over a 10-year-old, $49 million project that called for HP to replace a legacy mainframe-based system built in the 1960s. Through the suit filed in Kent County Circuit Court, the state seeks $11 million in damages along with attorney's fees and the funds needed to rebid and re-procure the contract.

Comment Re: Why does the FBI continue to engage in witchcr (Score 2) 262

Religion shouldn't get in the way of the government doing their job, which it obviously does when it is part of the job application. In addition to being a violation of the first amendment, it isn't going to catch sociopaths and pathological liars who don't have emotional responses to lying, and it will filter out a lot of highly talented people who have atypical minds. For example, autistic people are often pathologically honest, but they will express a lot of the standard signs for identifying lying, like not making eye contact.

It's not just the FBI that uses polygraph, the CIA, NSA, and any other defense or intelligence agency use them as part of their vetting process. If these agencies are left unchecked, there is a real possibility that their incompetence could cause the death of millions, maybe even billions in a worst case scenario.

So, in summary, the reliance of polygraphs increases the chances of the most dangerous people making up more of the staff, while excluding many of the brightest applicants, on matters that could literally mean the end of the world as we know it. Using the first amendment to defend violating the first amendment is not a valid defense of such a risk.

Comment Re: Why does the FBI continue to engage in witchcr (Score 4, Insightful) 262

Doesn't it concern you that a lot of very powerful agencies have a policy that you can only be allowed in if you believe in a certain type of magick? It's one thing if a job has requirements that don't make them a good fit for you, but quite another that our government is run by a dangerous religious cult.

Comment Re:6 months in? (Score 1) 89

A Brita water filter lasts about 100 gallons, so this is a piece of paper with about a quarter of the lifespan of a traditional water filter. I'm guessing that the 'piece of paper' part of it is to make it cheaper and more easily transported, so as long as you have at four pages in a book, it's probably going to last longer.

How come everyone's going so slow if it's called rush hour?