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Comment: Re:Good job, India! (Score 0) 81

by mi (#48176675) Attached to: India Successfully Launches Region-Specific Navigation Satellite

It is not Islam-specific. The equivocal attitude the US displayed during the Kargil conflict — when India was clearly the injured party — is not entirely unlike the attitude displayed this year towards Ukraine (where what few Muslims reside, all strongly resent the invader).

Though Obama (as Clinton back in 1999) talks the talk of supporting the invaded victim, the US would only help with "non-lethal" supplies — and only after a significant delay.

+ - Cops Need a Warrant to Grab Your Cell Tower Data, Florida Court Rules->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "BY KIM ZETTER 10.17.14 | 3:31 PM |

Americans may have a Florida drug dealer to thank for expanding our right to privacy.

Police departments around the country have been collecting phone metadata from telecoms and using a sophisticated spy tool to track people through their mobile phones—often without obtaining a warrant. But a new ruling out of Florida has curbed the activity in that state, on constitutional grounds. It raises hope among civil liberties advocates that other jurisdictions around the country may follow suit.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that obtaining cell phone location data to track a person’s location or movement in real time constitutes a Fourth Amendment search and therefore requires a court-ordered warrant.

The case specifically involves cell tower data for a convicted drug dealer that police obtained from a telecom without a warrant. But the way the ruling is written (.pdf), it would also cover the use of so-called “stingrays”—sophisticated technology law enforcement agencies use to locate and track people in the field without assistance from telecoms. Agencies around the country, including in Florida, have been using the technology to track suspects—sometimes without obtaining a court order, other times deliberately deceiving judges and defendants about their use of the devices to track suspects, telling judges the information came from “confidential” sources rather than disclose their use of stingrays. The new ruling would require them to obtain a warrant or stop using the devices.

The American Civil Liberties Union calls the Florida ruling “a resounding defense” of the public’s right to privacy."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:And he is, probably, right (Score 1) 280

by mi (#48172437) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

I don't think Apple or Google making phone encryption suck so criminals can find and abuse the law enforcement backdoor would improve public safety.

If it were to suck so badly, yes. But it does not have to...

That said, the paranoid cynic in me suspects, it is — and will be — recoverable already. And the government simply wants us to believe otherwise...

Comment: Re:And he is, probably, right (Score 1) 280

by mi (#48164579) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

You should be careful about uncritically accepting the way a culture likes to present itself

That's the point. We like to present ourselves as Individuals — and that's why concerns for personal privacy ought to trump those of collective safety, however valid the latter might be.

That we don't always act the way — a significant part of the population thinks, they can force others to be as (and even more) charitable as they are, for example — but that's of no account. Not in this conversation...

Comment: Re:those who would trade freedom for security... (Score 1) 280

by mi (#48164521) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

In the full quote — in all its different permutations — the given up freedom (liberty) must be essential and the security gained — temporary. With such qualifiers, it becomes a little less obvious, does not it? For example, if the security gained is permanent (as long as device-makers cooperate with authorities), is it worth an essential liberty? Franklin didn't leave any guidance for such case...

I'll take my chance and live life, rather than cower in some hole.

Fortunately, no one — certainly not the FBI — are forcing you into "some hole". Excluded middle much?

That said, I like your spirit, because I too prefer the Individual over Collective...

Comment: Uber, AirBnB are in the same boat (Score 1) 291

by mi (#48163563) Attached to: Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

it is just car dealer lobbyist having a stronger voice (and bigger overall wallet) than Tesla

A variety of new businesses offer a new way of doing things — to the chagrin of the incumbents already profiting from the old way.

Nice to see Tesla having full support of /., which Uber and other taxi-replacements, for some reason, do not get...

Comment: And he is, probably, right (Score 4, Insightful) 280

by mi (#48163161) Attached to: FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

His blitz continues today with a speech that says encryption will hurt public safety.

I suspect, he is right — it will hurt public safety.

But it will improve individual privacy and America has always valued the cantankerous Individual above the glorious Collective, that other cultures prefer...

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 246

by mi (#48151635) Attached to: Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

As an added bonus, they can start having babies when they're 45!

The effects on the babies (and mothers) be damned...

Seriously, this is a half-measure. If we really want to help women stay in the workforce, we ought to develop incubators. Facebook and Apple may have the monies to fund the necessary research and pilot programs.

+ - Russian hackers exploit Windows to spy on West->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Russian hackers have taken advantage of a bug in Microsoft Windows to spy on the Ukrainian government and a scholar living in the United States.
That's according to iSight Partners, a cybersecurity intelligence firm that contracts with governments. In a report Tuesday, the firm said it discovered the never-before-seen attack, which has been used by hackers in recent months.

The bug the hackers used exists in all modern versions of the Windows operating system: Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1. It's also present in 2008 and 2012 versions of Windows used by company servers. That means the vast majority of the world's computers — nearly 68%, according to NetMarketShare — are vulnerable to this unique type of attack."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Competition urgently needed (Score 3, Informative) 149

by mi (#48143703) Attached to: ISPs Violating Net Neutrality To Block Encryption

The rest of us believe that telecom is, was, and (for the foreseeable future) always will be a *natural* monopoly

Natural monopoly is a myth. A myth very convenient for and thus perpetuated by the government officials of various levels as it gives them undue power, but a myth nonetheless.

You can't have meaningful competition for building roads and sewers and power grids

Yes, you can. Tokyo has competing subway lines — why can't New York City? Your GPS is likely to show you several options for any route of appreciable lengths — why can't those different roads be privately-owned and compete?

For example, to leave New York you have many options (most of them requiring payment on top of the taxes) — why can't those bridges and tunnels be privately owned and compete with each other? Maybe, their new owners will consider high traffic a profit opportunity, rather than a burdensome nuisance — and seek to attract more drivers by innovation of both toll-collection and road-maintenance... I dunno, it works for supermarkets... Heck, some private (and disgustingly profit-driven) concern may even undertake building a new tunnel (or a bridge)...

it will always be vastly more efficient for a single entity to install and manage that physical data network, at least at the local level

Really? Why not? In the 20ie we had competing telephone companies — each running its own wires to buildings. Today Google is laying down its own fiber — to much rejoicing on this very site — and AT&T is planning its own alternative, despite your claims of it being "inefficient". Various markets have competing coax-cable providers already. The actual cable-laying is just a (small) part of providing Internet service... Though in theory a monopoly ought to be easier — and thus cheaper — to operate (in any market), in practice any benefit is quickly consumed by the inevitable arrogance of such providers and the concomitant drop of quality and rising end-user prices (any wins in the monopoly provider's costs are compensated for by their fattening up the profit-margins).

We should have made this transition decades ago, but for a variety of reasons didn't

Oh, it is not a "variety" of reasons — but a single one: our government followed that myth of "natural monopolies" and granted cable-TV providers monopoly rights in their respective markets. That law was rescinded in the mid-1990ies, but the damage was done...

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern