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Comment Re:Well.... (Score 2) 618

Actually, what we've seen is - as a function of how many times the police interact with other people every day all across the country - a very, very small number of such incidents. Vanishingly small fractions of one percent. Which doesn't make such things OK. But it hardly adds up to "the police are killing everybody!" ... which is what one would conclude if one took some of these deliberately hyperbolic idiot activists at their words.

Comment Re:Well.... (Score 1) 618

The police need to choose if they only want to interact with violent people or they want to assume people are innocent and peaceful.

What? That doesn't even make sense. The police deal peacefully with peaceful people untold thousands of times every day. I know that doesn't fit the narrative of the BLM types, but of course it's the lion's share of their daily interactions with the public. Alas, a lot of them that are killed on the job are killed while assuming that the person they're approaching isn't going to be violent.

Comment Re:Well.... (Score 2, Insightful) 618

So you treat a cop like you treat a poisonous snake or a wild animal.

No, you treat them like people who, every week, are killed for doing things like pulling people over in stolen cars or because they just drunkenly ran a red light. You treat them like people who are routinely assaulted with weapons as they try to do things like stop some guy from killing his wife. You treat them like someone who has just spent their entire week dealing with idiots, violent asshats, people who try to run them down with cars, people who abuse kids, people who actually say out loud that they want to kill them and encourage others do so so and march in the street shouting about how they should be killed. You know, treat them like they are people who aren't paid very much to do a thankless job that gets many of them hurt and killed every year ... and ask yourself if you're helping matters by reaching into your coat suddenly in a poorly lit situation after having forced a cop to chase you down for doing some stupid crap.

Comment Re:Did they realize they were in a National Park? (Score 3, Insightful) 57

Apparently not. All RC aircraft, of any kind, are completely banned from use in any area managed by the parks department. That includes thousands of miles of coastline and riverfronts, huge swaths of unoccupied forest, large areas of unoccupied desert, and so on. We certainly can't have some photographer using a 4-pound plastic quad copter to take pictures from 50' feet in the air out in the middle of a huge forest. But we can allow your visit to a national monument to be disrupted by a pack of screaming children, or someone wearing toxic levels of perfume, or people jousting with selfie sticks in front of Abraham Lincoln, because that's different.

Comment Re:give it a rest (Score 1) 764

So I haven't earned your respect by pointing out the obvious about most people's behavior. That's fine. I don't want the respect of someone whose standards about what's respectable are based on fundamental dishonesty about the world around them. You obviously don't respect me. Fine! Did you respect me before you'd ever heard me say anything? If not, then you're just like me. If yes, then you were proven wrong, and your strategy is incorrect.

Comment Re:give it a rest (Score 1) 764

No, respect should be a default that you can lose by acting like an asshole.

No. Practical experience shows that the vast majority of people are fools, assholes, hypocrites, just plain dim, or otherwise unlikable if not outright reprehensible. The default position certainly should be to expect a demonstration of why respect is worth dispensing. Such displays are far less common than the ample, recurring evidence that most people neither deserve nor understand what respect actually is.

Comment Re:Wow. Talk about misreading, and missing the poi (Score 0) 108

Yeah, and guess what?

Smith v Maryland (1979) says that phone call records, as "business records" provided to a third party, do not have an expectation of privacy, and are not covered by the Fourth Amendment. And the only data within that haystack that we care about are the foreign intelligence needles. I know that's difficult to comprehend, but it's the law of the land, unless and until SCOTUS reverses that ruling. And they very well may.

Until that happens, "We're pretty aggressive within the law. As a professional, Iâ(TM)m troubled if I'm not using the full authority allowed by law." -- General Michael Hayden

Comment Re:Correct. Including the US government. (Score -1, Troll) 108

Here's your mistake, and the mistake of everyone who thinks the way you do:

You cherry-pick examples of abuse -- and that's exactly what it is, illegal abuse -- and extrapolate it, in your mind, to being a systemic problem. You imagine it's happening all the time, and that people just sit around at their desks looking up their friends, girlfriends, neighbors, and ex-spouses for fun.

You then cherry-pick completely unrelated, long-ago-condemned examples of things that happened decades ago under the Hoover FBI, which is about 180 degrees opposite from what NSA does for foreign intelligence, and before there was any semblance of anything that could remotely be called intel oversight, and pretend it's exactly the same.

Your mistake is that you think isolated examples of abuse are not isolated, without proof; then you believe that any such examples indicate what, to you, is obviously a systemic, widespread problem. Abuse will ALWAYS happen, and it will never stop. This is true at all levels of government, and anywhere a human being exists. The answer to that is oversight (something you also think doesn't exist, but is actually so overbearing and restrictive that if you could actually witness it, you wouldn't believe it), not removing any authority that "could" be abused, because then we would necessarily have to remove them all.

Yes, intentional abuse, unintentional abuse, simple mistakes, human or machine error, and all manner of things happen in intelligence work. And those errors are such a vanishingly small proportion of what NSA does that it is nearly zero -- and they are still taken seriously. In fact, this is one of the single most important things drilled into anyone doing foreign SIGINT, military or civilian, every single day. It's not some kind of a joke.

I hate to break it to you, but how things actually work might disappoint you if you think there is rampant abuse everywhere.

Comment Wow. Talk about misreading, and missing the point. (Score 0, Troll) 108

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen ... you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.

No. That's not what I said, at all.

What I said was -- all arguments about crypto aside -- was precisely what I said:

If you're an American (or frankly, any innocent person) anywhere in the world who isn't an active member of a foreign terrorist organization or an agent of a foreign power, the Intelligence Community DOES NOT CARE ABOUT and actually DOES NOT WANT your data.

That is in no way, shape, or form akin to saying, "you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide." It is not making an argument that the government "should" have your data. It is saying that the Intelligence Community, in the form of the foreign intelligence agencies, does not want your data -- doesn't want to touch it, doesn't want to see it, doesn't want to read it, whether it's encrypted or not. And no, using crypto does not "make you a suspect". (And the FBI doesn't want the data of innocent people, either. What the FBI wishes for is a state of affairs where criminals for whom exist actual individualized warrants wouldn't be able to employ the digital equivalent of an impenetrable fortress, out of reach of the legitimate authority of enforcement mechanisms in a democratic society. But it may have to come to terms with that reality.)

If you believe you defend these things by undermining what they actually mean, then I'm afraid you don't deserve to have these things defended since you've already given up on them.

Talk about missing the point. You are basing your entire argument on a false premise, and false assumption of what you believe my argument to be; namely, that we should be giving up our rights in order to protect them. Not only am I not making that argument, I am making the precise opposite: that if you believe those rights are important, you need to understand that we can and do take steps to execute military and intelligence actions against our adversaries, whether they be terrorists or nation-states.

You crow about all these rights you think you and Americans, collectively, have "given up", when in reality, nothing substantive has actually changed (oh, I realize you think it's changed, and that you're living in a borderline police state). You believe your rights are being trampled, when you are, from a real and practical standpoint, more free while living in organized, civil society than any other people throughout history -- at least as free as is possible without living in a vacuum with no connection to humanity.

You hold out WWII codebreakers as heroes, practically idolizing them, and vilify the modern day equivalent, while ignoring the reality that US adversaries coexist in the same web of global digital communications as we do, utilizing the same devices, systems, services, networks, operating systems, encryption standards, and so on, and then act surprised when elements of the US government actually dare develop ways to exploit those systems, just because Americans also happen to use them -- totally misunderstanding the landscape.

This is exactly what I am talking about when I say people need to gain some perspective on history, or reality. Either would do.

Comment Correct. Including the US government. (Score 1, Troll) 108

And two former DIRNSAs agree.

So does ADM Rogers -- except that every interpretation of various US officials' arguments on encryption wildly conflate multiple issues (such as domestic law enforcement, which can and does sometimes have a foreign intelligence connection, and foreign signals intelligence purposes), or utterly misunderstand the purpose, function, and targets of foreign intelligence.

Yes, I know you (not OP, the "royal you") think you know it all, because you have taken things you think of as "proof" utterly out-of-context with zero understanding about things like foreign SIGINT actually works, and have seen 3-4 unrelated pieces of a 1000 piece puzzle, with some of those pieces actually parts of different puzzles, and believe you have the full picture.

People continually and willfully seem to want to forget or ignore that actual, no-shit foreign intelligence targets also -- gasp! -- use things like iPhones, Gmail, Hotmail, WhatsApp, and so on. And, when foreign intelligence targets use these modes of communication, amazingly, we actually want to target them.

If you're an American (or frankly, any innocent person) anywhere in the world who isn't an active member of a foreign terrorist organization or an agent of a foreign power, the Intelligence Community DOES NOT CARE ABOUT and actually DOES NOT WANT your data. Sounds crazy and bizarre for foreign intelligence agencies to care about things like foreign intelligence, I know, but it's true. Weird!

I guess it's easier to believe that functioning democracies* all are constantly looking for ways to illegally spy on their own citizens who have done nothing wrong, rather than to believe that intelligence work in the digital age where the only distinction is no longer the physical location or even the technology used, but simply the target -- the person at the other end, is actually extremely complicated, and not fun.

* If you don't think the Western liberal democracies of the world are worth a shit, or laugh at the term "functioning democracies" when used in reference to the US, warts and all, that simply means you have lost all perspective of reality, and are part of the problem. And it will be to our peril, because there actually are governments in the world who do spy on their own citizens, and wherein the people don't have anywhere NEAR the level of freedoms we have, no matter how terrible you think we are. And guess what? It's our national security and intelligence apparatus that we use to defend ourselves. If you're now so jaded that you don't actually believe the US and its allies, and their principles, are something worth defending and fighting for, then everything I have said here means nothing to you anyway. Just be advised that your perception of history and reality is fatally skewed.

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 1) 364

What would be nice is our representatives only being on committees where they could prove they were competant on the subject matter.

Prove to who, by what standards? Maybe a legislator should be good at understanding the constitution, the wheels of policy making, the nature of government finance, etc., and then do what committees do ... bring in experts to testify so they'll hear from experts who specialize in the subject matter. An elected representative is supposed to be an expert at being a legislator. Expecting them to be fully formed IT experts or doctorate level virologists or masters of manufacturing processes is completely missing the point.

Real computer scientists like having a computer on their desk, else how could they read their mail?