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Comment Re:Police Ssurveillance (Score 1) 761

In theory, there's a "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine that makes the second set of evidence you mentioned prohibited as well; if the only reason they know about it is because they violated your rights in collecting the first set then it's all thrown out together. The tricky part for the defense is proving that the doctrine applies; that's what the discovery phase of the trial is supposed to be for, all investigation notes should be shared with the defense.

In practice, though, such notes probably "get lost" the same way that dashcam recordings go missing whenever they would incriminate an officer. In a just world that sort of shenanigan would get the case thrown out. In this one, pray that you got a really good lawyer.

Comment Re:That seems like a poor choice... (Score 1) 151

Some of us soldiers refuse to use the coffee or tea for religious reasons, so I'd welcome an alternative wakefulness aid in the MRE.

As far as caffeine goes, though, it's probably being used because it's trusted. I remember reading a while back that any new wakefulness drug needs to be comparable to a 600mg dose of caffeine in order to be acceptable. I couldn't find the reference on that, but I did find a military-published study on effectiveness of caffeine, which seemed to endorse its continued use.

And while I agree with you that the acceptance process for new drugs should be sped up, I'm glad they're not using servicemen as guinea pigs in the process - it's bad enough that amphetamines are still used as "Go pills" routinely. On the other hand, Viagra went unusually quickly from off-schedule to prescription for ED, perhaps we just need to find the right leverage on the FDA admins =)

Comment Re:Web Crawlers now Unconstitutional? (Score 1) 240

Actually, regardless of what's in that video, collection of intelligence against US Persons falls under the 4th amendment's "probable cause" umbrella. Unless a Federal judge has granted a warrant for collection of specific evidence of a crime, then this is one of the things that the Constitution tells the government that it specifically cannot do.

The fact that the DOJ wants to take a different interpretation based on the FICA and USAPATRIOT acts doesn't make it better, it makes it an intentionally perpetrated abomination.

Comment Re:timezones, schmzones (Score 1) 231

Crazy idea: slashdot is a worlwide-reaching site. Why don't you post date/hours in terms of GMT?

Because the only USians who can deduct 6 from times are those with degrees....

Be fair now, those of us involved in invading the rest of the world know how to change our watches for the jump as well. They even taught me to count to 24! Although I did complete my degree the year after I separated from the military, so maybe that time zone thing the Army taught me about really did do the trick =)

Comment Re:4th Amendment? (Score 1) 400

Your vehicle is in plain sight. It is being observed in a specific location, just as if a police car drove past it and the officer noted it.

And yet, when I was a federally authorized agent, if I were to post agents on every street corner and have them record when a specific car passed each corner it would require judicial oversight. It's a form of surveillance, and has long been considered an intrusion on the subject's 4th amendment rights. Doing it to everyone all the time doesn't make it better, it makes it an atrocity.

Comment secure = kill switch? (Score 1) 250

This press statement makes me really worried. Considering the recent news about Congress wanting a kill switch for the Internet, an NSA announcement that it will "secure" the internet sounds like spin.

Have you ever heard the joke about how different branches of the U.S. military "secure" a building? The NSA puchline would be "rig the building for demolition, then put the Big Red Button right next to the light switch.

Between my experience with STU-IIIs and being a Dune fan ("He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing") I'm really worried that the NSA has been tasked to create an internet kill switch, and that the "security" efforts they will soon recommend will be a pretext for the kill switch's creation. The NSA is the logical government agency to implement a kill switch, and designing the new security system would give them the access they'd need. Normally I hate conspiracy theories, but this is just creepy to me.

Footnotes:
For all you coders out there, I meant "=", not "=="; in my opinion the NSA getting involved assigns the value "kill switch" to "secure".

Joke punchline origin: every piece of NSA designed hardware I've handled has a kill switch built in, and one of my biggest headaches was people asking "what does (PRESS) this do?". Quote from the STU-III handbook:

The STU-III battery backup allows power to be removed, as in a power failure or unplugging the unit to move it, without losing the encryption data. The zeroization button bypasses this backup and erases the encryption data. After zeroization, the STU-III must be rekeyed and the CIKs must be remade. The STU-III is zeroized:

In an Emergency. - If the STU-III is ever in danger of falling into hostile hands, zeroize it to prevent the adversary from obtaining a functional unit. . .

By Accident. - The accident usually follows an employee's curiosity. The employee starts playing with the buttons and zeroizes the unit. Be sure to brief your employees on the importance of not pressing or playing with the zeroization button. Refill the STU-III using a new seed key [or operational key].

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