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Comment Re:Not exactly a right to remain silent... (Score 2) 452

The fifth amendment doesn't even apply here. It's a first amendment issue. As a member of the press, his right to report on anything, including secret classified documents, cannot be curtailed. Forcing him to reveal his source falls under that protection because it limits his ability and the ability of other reporters going forward to receive similar offers of assistance from sources. It would be murkier if he had signed any sort of agreement to gain clearance to the documents, but he didn't.

If the situation were different and Risen had been found to have classified documents during a legal search, then he could be compelled to reveal where he got those documents so long as he wasn't incriminating himself. But it's not, he's an member of the press and the first amendment protects the press's right to keep their sources secret.

Comment Re:Of course not. (Score 1) 227

the next step is to go to the person responsible for that part of the business.

And what if the offender is the CEO? Ah, see, there's the big problem you're failing to account for. Sometimes it's the big muckety muck head-hancho who just doesn't seem to care, and you have no one to appeal to. Or even if it's not the CEO, do you really want to try going over the head of some executive to a higher-level executive?

The thing is, I think your example shows that *you* don't understand business. Lots of this stuff is about politics more than it is about technology or security. If you want to succeed (or at least avoid getting fired), you'd better learn to pick your battles.

Government

NSA Can Spy On Data From Smart Phones, Including Blackberry 298

An anonymous reader writes with a report from Spiegel Online that the U.S. government "has the capability of tapping user data from the iPhone, [and] devices using Android as well as BlackBerry, a system previously believed to be highly secure. The United States' National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all leading manufacturers. ... The documents state that it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been." As a bonus, the same reader points out a Washington Post report according to which "The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency's use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans' communications in its massive databases ... In addition, the court extended the length of time that the NSA is allowed to retain intercepted U.S. communications from five years to six years — and more under special circumstances, according to the documents, which include a recently released 2011 opinion by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, then chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court."
Democrats

New Jersey Congressman Seeks To Bar NSA Backdoors In Encryption 200

Frosty P writes "Congressman Rush D. Holt, a New Jersey Democrat, has proposed legislation (summary, full text) that would prohibit the agency from installing 'back doors' into encryption, the electronic scrambling that protects e-mail, online transactions and other communications. Representative Holt, a physicist, said Friday that he believed the NSA was overreaching and could hurt American interests, including the reputations of American companies whose products the agency may have altered or influenced. 'We pay them to spy,' Mr. Holt said. 'But if in the process they degrade the security of the encryption we all use, it's a net national disservice.'"

Comment Of course not. (Score 5, Insightful) 227

As someone who has been working in IT for almost two decades, I'm not the least bit surprised. There are all kinds of things that we've given up on trying to communicate. People don't want to hear it. They don't understand what you're saying, they don't want to figure it out, and if you can get them to understand, they still don't care.

In the case of security, it falls into this classification of 'technical things nobody even wants to understand' and also into the classification of 'preventative measures that people will not recognize the importance of, until after it bites them in the ass.' You tell people that it's a bad idea to use "password" as your password, and they'll blow you off. The more you stress the point, the more annoyed the'll become-- all the way up until someone malicious gains access to their accounts. Once they've been hacked, they'll come back angry, demanding, "Why didn't anyone tell me it was a bad idea."

Until there's an actual security breach, people think you're chicken little. They'll tell you, "I've been using 'password' for my password for 10 years and I've never had a problem."

Face that kind of attitude for a several years, and you get awfully tired of warning people.

Submission + - New Musopen Campaign Wants To "Set Chopin Free"

Eloquence writes: Three years ago, Musopen raised nearly $70,000 to create public domain recordings of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, and others. Now they're running a new campaign with a simple but ambitious objective: 'To preserve indefinitely and without question everything Chopin created. To release his music for free, both in 1080p video and 24 bit 192kHz audio. This is roughly 245 pieces.' Will this funding approach work to incrementally free up humanity's cultural heritage?

Comment Re:Version 2?? (Score 2) 294

No, no, it makes sense. If Microsoft can just get to version 4, then they'll start to have a halfway decent product. Of course, somewhere around version 6, it'll become a bloated piece of crap. Then around version 8, they'll force 'features' down your throat that you don't want.

That's how it always works.

Comment Re:Diminishing returns (Score 1) 478

It's not as simple as diminishing returns, because sometimes the elimination of risks carries with it different hidden risks. There are indications that raising kids in nearly sterile environments may actually cause health problems later in life. You might buy a gun to protect yourself from burglars, but now you've brought a dangerous weapon into your home. If we sacrifice our political power and privacy to the Federal government so that they can protect us from terrorists, we increase our risk of being oppressed by a tyrannical government.

You aren't just seeing a diminishing return. We're seeing that you're really trading one risk for another, and we should be asking whether it's a good trade.

Comment Re:like different users? (Score 1) 156

Sounds more specifically like Role Based Access Control (RBAC). You can define RBAC with a Subject (identity-based access control with roles) or without a subject. In the latter case authentication is tied to authorising a role, rather than authenticating a subject who has (or can authorise) a role.

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