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Comment Re:Apollo Computer - Domain Operating System (Score 1) 192

I remember taking out a 21" apollo monitor with some friends for a night of shooting. (We wanted some fun stuff to blow up). That freaking monster took a 9mm at 15 yards... took several other smaller/slower calibers too. The 357 finally pierced the glass. I think they were so expensive because they were made of transparent aluminium. (Originally designed to hold large volumes of water in space ships)

Comment Re:Well that's new (Score 4, Interesting) 242

To give the best answer I think you might have to clarify exactly what you mean by "crimes by the government." Like you, INAL, but I do have some understanding of various aspects of the law for various reasons. To really be sure you would probably want to speak with a lawyer that practices in this particular area, especially since there are some unusual aspects to it compared to ordinary criminal law or the law of war. Having said that.....

The US government has what is known as sovereign immunity. It has to agree to face legal consequences for its actions in court for anyone or any organization to take legal action against it in US courts. There are many areas in which it has done so, and others where it hasn't. When you say "crimes by the government that cross national boundaries," I'm going to assume you are referring to intelligence gathering or surveillance. US Law and constitutional rights, as I understand them, are largely confined to American territory, or vessels, although American citizens retain their rights outside the country when dealing with the US government. A citizen of Syrian living in Luxembourg as a member of a terrorist cell plotting attacks against Canada has no rights under the US 4th Amendment that would require the NSA or CIA to get a warrant to spy on him. The same would apply to the Quds Force special forces of the government of Iran. The NSA or CIA wouldn't require a warrant to spy on them. The same would apply to other countries and their citizens. Inside the US, the rules change so there would need to be warrants at some point, unless they were in direct contact with terrorists outside the country. (And you can quibble about this point on various statutory or Constitutional grounds.) And American citizen would retain 4th Amendment rights both in and out of the country unless they were in direct contact with a terrorist group. (Same quibbling could again apply.) So if some US intelligence agency actually did have access to an email account of a foreign leader, it is very unlikely that there was a crime committed under US law for there to be an action against the Federal government in US court, even assuming that the US government waived sovereign immunity in that instance, which isn't likely as far as I know. (Check with a lawyer.) There might be a diplomatic problem, but that is a different question. If some foreign citizen felt that they had a legitimate grievance against the US government, the thing to do would be to contact a lawyer that practices in the area of US law in question and see about filing a suit US Federal court. It would start in the lower courts. If there was a significant Constitutional question, it might make it to higher courts, perhaps even the Supreme Court. I think the key for the vast, vast majority of people to avoid being a subject of surveillance by the US government, when someone is actually looking at your information instead of just having it in a computer, is to avoid involvement with violent extremists groups or foreign intelligence agencies. The resources that the US has, extensive as they may seem, are still limited and they aren't going to waste much time on someone unless necessary. Write letters of protest instead of picking up an AK.

Comment Re:Well that's new (Score 1) 242

Well here's the thing, the US did all those things as a democracy while fighting a war. It wasn't even close to the incredible oppression of the Soviet Union, or Germany. And when the war was over, most of the wartime impositions on liberty went away, some quickly, some more gradually. (The US had conscription though most of the Cold War, until about 1974, but I don't remember if it was continuous, of there was a break.) But I agree with you that every imposition on Liberty needs to be a measured one, and removed when it no longer serves a meaningful, useful, and agreed upon purpose. I think the more insidious threat comes from the nature of the modern bureaucratic state, the growing tentacles of regulation, and the continuing temptation of the legislators to "just do something" when something bad happens and create a thicket of stifling laws. Our views may not really be that far apart overall, we may disagree on some of the particulars. And that's fine. We both want Liberty to endure.

Comment Re:Well that's new (Score 1) 242

They are simultaneously arguing in lower courts that the lower courts have no jurisdiction because it's a matter for the SC, AND in the SC that the SC does not have jurisdiction, because it's a question for the lower courts.

That's pretty much what I'd expect (the government exempts itself from estoppel rules for a reason). But the Supreme Court justices weren't born yesterday, so it isn't likely to work. If both rulings go the government's way, the next step would be an appeal of the dismissal from the lower courts, which the Supreme Court would ultimately grant (unless they're intentionally trying to duck the issue, as they have before).

The last time the courts dismissed these claims, they said the petitioner had no standing because they couldn't demonstrate they'd been affected by the surveillance. That argument seems likely to be a non-starter this time, since it's now a matter of public record that the government demanded everything from a particular phone company during a particular period of time, so anyone who was a customer of that company in that period was affected.

Comment Re:Tin foil (Score 2) 195

You also don't publicize your drone in press conferences and written up in detail for advancement of your educational status.

The best way to stay off the radar (figuratively) is to keep quiet about it.
To keep off the radar (literally), stay out of controlled airspace.

I could (in theory) build a really kick ass drone. Trans-sonic jet powered, enough fuel to fly over 1,000 miles, HD cameras in every direction, and whatever else I wanted to put on board. If it didn't fly in controlled airspace, avoided metropolitan areas, and you didn't do anything dumb like arming it up with missiles and guns, no one would know or care about it.

Oh, and making it a pulsejet, and publicizing it online as a DIY cruise missile is a very very bad idea.

Comment Article asks a stupid question (Score 3, Insightful) 214

We're never socially ready for ANYTHING new. The process of building social norms around something can't start until after that thing is introduced. The implication, then (often made explicit by hand-wringers calling themselves "ethicists" or some such thing) that we should stop the thing until we ARE "socially ready" for is equivalent to pure conservativism -- stopping everything new.

Comment Re:Anything police can use should be restricted (Score 1) 195

As long as you are doing it for fun (and follow AMA safety rules), RC camera work is legal.

The AMA has nothing to do with it. Much as they'd like to be (and may perhaps achieve in the near future), they are not a regulatory organization yet, and have no power outside their own membership and flying fields owner or controlled by their member clubs. I fly with no AMA membership and without paying any attention to the AMA safety code, and it's all perfectly legal so far.

Comment Re:Well that's new (Score 1) 242

Wake me up when there is official censorship of both personal mail and the media (newspapers, magazines, radio, television), a massive draft and the military expands by something like 20x, rationing is in place for food, gasoline, and other "luxury" goods, Civil Defense organizations police the use of electric lights at night, propaganda posters are everywhere, and so forth, like in WW2, and WW1 for that matter. The war against al Qaida has had a rather light touch so far. If you think what is going on is a war on "US liberty", then I must conclude that liberty is winning.... just like it ultimately did in WW2. And that is before we get to the question of al Qaida failing in their demand that the US convert to Islam, and replace the Constitution with Sharia law. Don't get me wrong, there are reasons for concern, areas where there needs to be vigilance, but the US isn't exactly squirming under the heels of the boots of fascism.

Comment Re:Peope use what works (Score 1) 337

I've never used the ribbon, and have no opinion on it. However, it's my understanding that it takes a fair amount of time to learn how to use it properly. Now in business, time is money and unless you can show that the time spent learning how to use the ribbon is worth what it costs, most companies aren't going to change.

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