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Comment Re:Why is it even called "Blackhat"? (Score 2) 41

Then understand that that they do not arrest people for the same rason they do not sign US treaties or sign bills into law. It's not their job to arrest people, even if they cooperate with and provide intelligence for the people who do and are in some ways responsible for such arrests or for what treaties get signed or what laws get passed informing the people who'd do such tasks.

I was careful to answer the question from aNonnyMouseCowered, not to say the NSA is innocent of wrongdoing or of providing leads for the FBI or or the US State department and US Customs to harass attendees at BlackHat or to block the visas of international attendees. It's vital to answer the people that people actually asked.

Comment Re:Why is it even called "Blackhat"? (Score 4, Informative) 41

The NSA is not a law enforcement agency. They're an intelligence agency: they have little jurisdiction to charge US citizens for domestic crimes, or authority to arrest foreign nationsals for crimes overseas. That would be the task of the FBI for various federal crimes, the Secret Service for certain types of fiscal crimes including wire fraud, or local police for state or local crimes. And I'm afraid the NSA doesn't like to share responsibility for such arrests, because monitoring US communications is actually against their charter. They do it anyway with various very poor excuses, but they'd hardly pursue arrests on that basis.

Also, a lot of the activity is below any reasonable threshold of when a prosecutor would be bothered to file charges.

Comment Re:How often does law enforcement do this? (Score 2) 187

Not often, I'd think. Failed SWAT raids are quite expensive, and embarrassing. The SWAT members involved would not take wasting their time lightly.

Misreporting crimes to get them dealt with by another bureaucracy or other department, though, is an interesting way to work around frightened police or bystanders. Remember how assault, especially rape, victims are sometimes encouraged to scream "fire" insead of merely "help I'm being raped"? I've actually run to a fire alarm when my cell phone was out of charge in an emergency. (I saw someone else using their cell phone and didn't have to use the alarm.)

Comment Re:What's the hubbub? (Score 1) 124

I was also unclear at the time. The nominal reason was cutbacks: the private talks with my superiors helped expose the "cover" reasons that I mentioned. The real reason was the pressure from the embezzling VP trying to cover their criminal trail. The new manager tried their best to clean up the situation and make it up to people who'd been hurt in that process, and i bear the rest of the company or their newer ill-will.

But it's an excellent example of how the reason you are "fired" or asked to resign may not be for the reasons stated.

Comment Re:Here's the reason... (Score 1) 327

The Vietnam and Korean wars were partly to contain Communist Chinese political expansion in Asia. Both led to rampant human rights violations abuses and civilian casualties on both sides, sponsored by US and Chinese governments and their allies, and left terrible memories of racial and jingoistic hatred in the minds of people who are now senior business and political leaders.

Comment Re:What's the hubbub? (Score 1) 124

You've brought back memories. I was once selected for cutbacks for what I thought were very good reasons. I was already quite senior and had trained the junior members, and had documented my work, and family medical issues had cut my oncall availability. This was back when telephone modems were how you telecommuted, which were not as effective as modern roving laptops.

2 months later, i found out why I was _really_ let go just then. Another employee and I were closing in on the inventory of unused hardware to return it to service or get it off the books. The other employee was doing maps and lists of the hardware in the racks, very useful for finding and allocating space. I was surveying the monitoring systems and collecting MAC addresses and serial numbers remotely, with an eye towards reporting failures of similar types of hardware and planning scheduled replacements of obsolete hardware.

The manager who took the old VP's role contacted us both and made absolutely sure we were both in good new roles, and they're still a good reference many years later. I've since worked with them on several projects, and feel that company profited not only in getting rid of a dishonest employee but in getting an excellent leader out of it.

Comment Re:And this is a good thing how? (Score 1) 169

> What time is wasted having that discussion?

The time that could be spent digging into the already existing problems, such as the already present censorship and monitoring done without notification by security agencies, businesses monitoring and censoring their own employees' private lives, and the encroachment of "big data" into personal lives. Spending excess time on ideas that have already been demonstrated as impractical, expensive, and certain to be abused for other purposes lends them credence.

Comment Re:Windows (Score 1) 278

The reverse often works better for games and Windows specific software auch as Outlook or a great deal of CAD software. If your software needs the bare metal performance of vendor supported access to the graphics, such as many games require now, then I've found virtualizing the Linux to be far more efficient.

Comment Re:And this is a good thing how? (Score 4, Insightful) 169

I'm afraid that all ideas do _not_ deserve equal review or attention, when the issues are so clear. Such censorship is expensive, ineffective for its most vaunted goals, and immediately prone to _enormous_ abuse to track or censor political and social speech. Wasting time in the middle debating subtleties lends legitimacy to very dangerous practices, such as deep packet inspection used to monitor speech and writing wholesale and aggregating the data into very dangerous histories on individuals and groups.

Comment Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (Score 1) 154

And all that's fine. But don't be upset when a third party vendor is selling front you the support with the latest patches, and it turns out they're just selling ou copies of _their_ licensed support from Sun, or Oracle. I've had vendors pull that, and get caught, and had to explain to my purchasing department to cancel the check.

Comment Re:Oracle claims the defendants are distrib new ve (Score 1) 154

Testing drivers, and maintaining testable builds, of 8 year old hardware is quite expensive. I've certainly done so and helped partners do so, but charging real money for supporting such outdated software and hardware is both common and quite reasonable. They're high fees because you have to maintain a full tool suite: hardware, media, backups, patches, and expertise.

Comment Re:so.... (Score 2) 135

I'm afraid that Aaron did "hack". MIT apparently started requiring logins for JSTOR access when the amount of downloaded material started interfering with JSTOR's servers, and Aaron snuck past the logins and the MAC address logging that was attempted to throttle the traffic. It's not deeply sophisticated hacking, but it's certainly applying computer insights to allow access that has been denied and to evade detection.

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