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Journal Journal: Still can't believe the NSA is as deep as it is.

The width and breadth of our govt's spying abroad was never in doubt: our abilities are impressive, but not shocking. the shock comes from deciding to turn the lens inward. Exec order 12333 says CIA and NSA look "out" and not domestically at US persons.

It's a slippery slope to start down. Without 4th Amendment protections, we could all be fucked.

Comment Re: Who Are The FISA Judges? (Score 1) 187

Appeals are only brought by someone that objects. Appellate review doesn't happen on it's own. Someone has to bring the case.

If no one knows what they've done, who objects to their rulings?

No one.

Who reviews them? Not the Supreme Court, unless someone objects.

So, no. There is no one reviewing them.

And all of the appointments ore of federal judges, yes. Very conservative pro executive branch. Most likely to expand NSA and government power.

So there is much to fear.

Comment Who Are The FISA Judges? (Score 2) 187

They are all picked by one man - Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/chief-justice-john-roberts-appointed-every-judge-on-the-fisa-court-20130812

This was meant to be a body of jurists to check the validity of search warrants, but it developed its own body of case law. With no check on its power. None.

The NY Times notes "In making assignments to the court, Chief Justice Roberts, more than his predecessors, has chosen judges with conservative and executive branch backgrounds that critics say make the court more likely to defer to government arguments that domestic spying programs are necessary."
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/us/politics/robertss-picks-reshaping-secret-surveillance-court.html?ref=charliesavage&_r=0

So, yeah, I'd say the FISA judges don't want anyone looking over their shoulders.

Comment Re:What would be sweet... (Score 1) 222

It seems they have the key to all the locks as soon as the lock gets built.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html

I think nothing is safe. Unless you're in a Faraday cage with a computer plugged into a UPS running a virtualized OS and ...

Fuck it. The NSA can have my data. Jack booted pricks.

Comment Hardware Key to Encryption (Score 2) 222

You mean like the Yubikey?
http://www.yubico.com/products/yubikey-hardware/yubikey/

Don't forget: you can still encrypt with a keyfile you keep on a microSD card in your wallet. [copy to a USB stick in a lockbox, in case you lose it or get robbed.] Then, they can have your key, they still need the file.

Comment Brought it upon ourselves (Score 1) 31

The NSA encouraged weakening of number randomizers and randomization algorithms which weaken encryption. They don't report vulnerabilities in software.

We brought a world of less secure computer networks and electronic banking and commerce upon ourselves.

Hell we even gave hackers a damn fine model on how to attack.

From the article:"The Stuxnet worm, for instance, was supposed to quietly delete itself after doing its harm, but it was unintentionally released âoeinto the wild, where it is no doubt being tweaked, reverse-engineered, and readied for fresh exploits by others."

Comment Re: Abolish software patents (Score 1) 204

Thanks for the clarification, but I think for my point, the legal differences are immaterial.

The germane sections of the US code [ http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/102 ] in general state:

"(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. "

As I noted in an earlier post, specific code [called "an original work of authorship"] can be have protection under the statute, but not the processes executed.
"(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work."

Patents extend to things, processes, systems and the like.

So, as a lawyer, I think either could apply. And the last piece of software I wrote was a batch file no one would pay for.

Comment Re: Abolish software patents (Score 4, Informative) 204

Not in the same fashion:
U.S. Code Title 17 Chapter 1 102 "(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work."

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/102

So, where Congress extended copyright in 1980 to computer programs, that is different than the underlying method or process.

The Supreme Court held in this case that a payment system was too basic to merit patent protection and declined to hear the appeal.

Comment Re: Abolish software patents (Score 2) 204

Then you'll be happy with the SCt. here. In this instance, they stated that you can't patent something so basic and obvious.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-13/internet-patent-owner-loses-high-court-bid-to-revive-suit.html

"The U.S. Supreme Court rebuffed an electronic-commerce patent owner’s effort to revive a $2.5 million verdict against Internet retailer Newegg Inc., in a case with implications for dozens of other companies.
The justices refused to hear closely held Soverain Software LLC’s appeal of a lower court ruling that its technology was too obvious to qualify for patent protection."

The lawyers affecting real law. Sensible outcome. Yeah, America!

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