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Comment Re:Refuse the search? (Score 4, Interesting) 923

What happens when these people refuse to answer questions or allow a search of their home?

Those people will turn out to be <adjective>-wing domestic terrorists, who were also <group which is politically acceptible to revile>. When the police arrived for a routine investigation the terrorists shot their own dogs and then comitted suicide by shooting themselves in the back on their heads. Twice.

At least, that's what will happen as far as you'll be told.

Comment Re:Personal encryption tools need a UX overhaul ba (Score 1) 393

Someone else here said that encrypted data can put you on TLA watchlists. We're just trying to be safer and protect our friends, but doing all this within the USA is counterproductive even if they can't decrypt our random stuff --metadata is bad enough.

Due to the nature of bueracracies I expect the set of people who are not on a watchlist to rapidly shrink until it's empty.

Comment Re:Personal encryption tools need a UX overhaul ba (Score 1) 393

You're never going to bring masses to a new platform in order to get privacy. You've got to bring the privacy to them. Making it possible and easy for users to encrypt their messages does not protect metadata, but it's a significant improvement over the status quo. It will have a larger positive effect than asking users to abandon email for an entirely new platform - the network effect ensures that.

Comment Re:Personal encryption tools need a UX overhaul ba (Score 1) 393

I didn't watch your tutorial, but I found installing PGP virtually trivial. It was a matter of running it, and pressing "return" a few times to accept the default key sizes and such. That was it. If, as a population, we've reached the point where doing that is considered "hard", then I weep for our species.

Please tell me you're not a software developer.

If you think the problem to be solved is as simple as making it easy for users to install PGP and create a keypair, you're like a contractor who pours a foundation and then declares he's just completed a skyscraper.

Comment Personal encryption tools need a UX overhaul badly (Score 5, Informative) 393

I made a tutorial designed to help non tech-savvy people set up usable email encryption and even with the best narrator and script it's still terrible.

There are way too many steps involved, and in spite of how radically the usability has improved over the last decade or so it's still not at all user friendly. Default values are set poorly; things that should be completely automated and happen transparently in the background, like keyserver operations, require manual intervention.

It's almost enough to make me suspect a consipracy to keep these tools out of the reach of the average user, but realistically I suspect (unproductive) laziness combine with a lack of empathy for non-experts is the real culprit.

Comment Re:Wait, what? (Score 4, Interesting) 133

I'm pretty tired of people like the GP apoligizing for mafia shakedown tactics.

That's all these protected industries are - state-created monolopies that get to use the force of law to enforce their turf and enrich a few taxi drivers, city employees, and politicians at everyone else's expense.

If people are able to use technology to outmaneuver and bypass indefensible laws then good for them.

Comment Re:Don't Do The Dig ... (Score 1) 601

The government does not grant favors or rights, but protects the rights people already have.

That's just a story people tell, no more connected to reality than the legend of Santa Claus.

The governments is a collection of people who tell everybody else what to do and not to do, employ other people to enforce their decisions using violence if necessary, and get away with it.

There is no difference in legitimacy between a government and a mafia; governments just give their employees nicer costumes and invented culture so they could distract everyone from their essential nature using mythology and pageantry.

Comment Re:Don't Do The Dig ... (Score 2) 601

the bureocrats are required to apply them and are often reluctant to do that

The problem with this statement is that it's not falsifiable.

Anyone can talk about their motives and say they are reluctant to do something, but people frequently do lie about this to themselves and others. The only objective evidence an outsider has to evaulate motivations is behavior.

Since it's not true that any bureaucrats have been conscripted into government service then it must be true that any objection a bureaucrat may have towards any single aspect of their job is less important to them than avoiding the inconvenience of finding a new job. Anything one is willing to continue accepting a paycheck for isn't something one can credibly claim to oppose. That's why I'm more inclined to accept Edward Snowden's expressed motives at face value than I'm willing to accept yours.

Comment Re:Don't Do The Dig ... (Score 5, Insightful) 601

Actually, I have.

The intent of a law from the perspective of a legislator is to grant favors to people who will grant favors to them in return. The public is told, or is convieniently allowed to assume, a more benign and enlightened intent than what is actually true.

The intent of a law from the perspective of a bueracrat is to justifiy that bueracrat's continued salary and eventual pension.

This is the only explaination that is consistent with the evidence of how legislators and bueracrats behave. (as opposed to what they say).

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