Whatcha think you doing, smarty pants?
it is much easier to prevent the removal of a back door when the code base is owned by a private organization with identifiable representatives
Linux (and BSD) committers are just as identifiable. Although the codebase is open to all, very few people go through it. If it follows the documented coding style, compiles, and "works", there is simply no reason to keep reviewing it — for most people. The Debian hole I cited earlier remained open from 2006 to 2013 — more years, than Turing spent working on Enigma.
In the Linux community, being international, such pressure would be more difficult to apply.
Maybe, but I would not count on it. Which country would you consider unlikely to cooperate with the US on such matter — without itself being an even greater threat to liberty (like China or Cuba)? The entire Western world's spooks cooperate with the US. As does Russia — to some extent, at least. Who would not help their American colleagues in exchange for Americans helping them — a little? Someone like Sweden? Well, they did hit Assange with rape charges, when he made himself an overly tiresome nuisance to the Americans...
Its interesting to note that Microsoft's anti trust settlement was negotiated and overseen by a member of the FISA court. The mandate to open APIs and source probably stopped short of revealing all the built-in back doors.
In other words, Microsoft, probably, was coerced into it. A similar coercion — or conviction, or fooling — can be applied to an open-source project's participant. Whether it is easier or harder to do, I would not know.
must be using operating systems whose code can be reviewed and modified without Microsoft or any other third party's blessing
Though I agree, that a corporation can be forced by an authoritarian government to put a backdoor into their product, I don't believe, open-source software is immune against backdoors either.
There are scores of people with commit-access to Linux kernel, for example. If the NSA — or its counterpart from any other rich country in the world — put their mind to it, they could use any one (or more) of them to weaken the security functionality in there.
It does not need to be obvious — making the
It could, in fact, have already been done years ago for all we know. Who knows, if this little problem was not deliberately introduced? And even if it was not — who knows, whether various security agencies exploited it from 2006 to 2013 the way Alan Turing et al exploited mistakes of the German radio-operators during WW2?
Is it easier to plant a backdoor into an open-source project than a closed-source one — and keep it there for a useful period of time? I'm not at all sure, what I'd bet on, to be perfectly honest. Both can done and, by all appearances, both have been done...
Progressives are under no illusion about the Democrats in general and Obama in particular being corporatist sell-outs.
Your use of the word "corporation" and its derivations as a dirty one reveals naiveté at best. There is nothing wrong with corporations — they are merely a way to organize large number of people into doing useful things. There is nothing inherently wrong with them — they certainly are more efficient than collective farms or kibbutzes, for example.
The complete lack of prosecutions of Wall Street by the Obama Administration says all that needs to be said to make that case.
Well, your "case" falls apart, once you learn facts: people, who've committed actual financial crimes (like insider trading or running a Ponzi-scheme) really do get prosecuted. Bush's Justice Department has done it (Bernard Madoff and Martha Stuart being the most publicized cases), and so did Obama's.
What you and yours may be lamenting is absence of prosecution for some vaguely-specified misdeeds, like "the massive Wall Street crime wave that devastated the economy". Huh? We are not a banana republic, where the Dear Leader would organize a show-trial every once in a while to channel popular anger away from his own incompetence. Not yet...
Winning our democracy, our economy, our society back from corporate control
There you go again with the "evil corporations". Corporations want nothing else but maximize shareholder value. This is best achieved in a healthy, well-run country — they are not your enemy. (Except for those corporations, who profit from government spending — which requires higher taxes. But, somehow, I'm afraid, lowering taxes is not on your list of priorities...)
Heard of google?
That's not, how it works, dear. You make a statement, you provide proof. Sending your opponent to do the research in support of your own point is a wrong way to conduct a discussion -- whatever I find and manage to debunk, you can always claim, you had something else in mind. No, the burden of proof is on you.
Or you could just take a 1st year course on macro-economics.
That most of the academics are erring on the side of the bigger government is a known fact — themselves being paid by the government (either directly or via college), most of them sincerely appreciate it. Fortunately, economic professors don't make most economists.
Remember when the ex-cable lobbyist Tom Wheeler was appointed to the FCC chair back in May of 2013?
No way, no how! Such a thing could only have happened during a RethugliKKKan Presidency. You must've gotten the date wrong.
I doubt any parent intends to kill their child by leaving them unattended in a hot car, but they do, and society has a need to punish them for their negligent actions.
It is possible, that negligence — causing bad things to happen without any intent — should be punished. But, in your example, the charges brought up against such parents currently are murder (or involuntary homicide, whatever the fine distinction), when it should be just that — negligence.
Switching to "my" system would raise the punishment for some things, while lowering it for some others. But none of it matters to the case in TFA: the man is not charged with anything but theft.
It is even worse than that. Not just flying and driving are considered a privilege, even the things explicitly enumerated in the Constitution as rights are being treated as privileges. Gun-ownership is the most obvious example — even in the "gun-friendly" locales (like Texas), keeping and bearing requires a license. And even if the Executive branch "shall issue" such licenses, it can also withdraw (or not renew) them — without bothering with the Judiciary.
Heck, even "performing in costume" requires a license in New York City...
Really? You never heard about TARP?
TARP was about government bailing out financial institutions. Whether ill-advised or not, there is nothing in there about the said institutions stealing billions of dollars.
Request for citation stands...
No, dear, that's not how it works. You make a statement, you provide evidence. And if you wish to refer to some unknown writer instead of supplying arguments yourself, you have to establish their credentials too.
Ah, so if the guy standing next to you in line shoots a gun at the ground, and the round ricochets and hits you in the femoral artery, you don't think he should be charged with a crime, since he didn't mean to kill you.
As a matter of fact, no, I do not think, he should be charged over my death. I know, he would be, but in my not-so-humble opinion, he should not be — only with the unlawful discharging of the firearm, because that was what he intended to do and the punishment should not depend on whether the bullet ricocheted into anyone or missed.
Likewise, there should be no difference between attempted and regular murder (or other crime) — the punishment for murderous intent should be the same regardless of the success. The victim dying (or surviving) later in the hospital should not affect the punishment of the perpetrator.
I firmly believe, it would be beneficial for the society, if the criminal system prosecuted the intents instead of results. It is most unfortunate, that we can not (with today's technology) reliably know the intent in all cases...
Or are you one of those
Come, come, let's not devolve into ad hominems this early in the conversation...
I agree with the arrest
Contrary to many people's (including pigs') misconception, arrest in itself is not (supposed to be) punishment. It is only justified, when the suspect may flee — and any time spent behind bars before the trial is deducted from the sentence handed down.
Given that this man is most unlikely to be sentenced to any jail-time for the alleged crime, arrest is particularly unfair in this case.
Thus, though you and I agree, that he should be punished for the transgression, there is no way to approve of the arrest.
Would you say a person that discharges a firearm in a crowded place should not be punished?
Only if he meant to hit someone — without a legal reason to do that.
Unless the school is having problems with people stealing electricity, and has a policy of arresting
A school can not arrest anyone — not for theft, not for jaywalking, not for rape nor murder.
Further, theft is a criminal offense and the desires of the (alleged) victim do not decide, whether or not the prosecution is commenced. Sure, the prosecution may take the victim's wishes under advisement and they would look silly in court if the supposed victim testifies for the accused, but the final decision rests with the police/prosecutor.
If you're a bank and you steal billions of dollars from taxpayers