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Comment Re:I'm confused (Score 1) 333

A soldier committing a crime is still a criminal

A soldier committing a war crime is, sure. A soldier killing another soldier (authorized by his country) is most certainly not. There are treaties that recognize that face.


t goes against basic decency

I live in the real world where governments are endowed with the ability to do a lot of things we don't allow individuals to do. Use deadly force without facing eminent harm, for instance. Intelligence services tend to save more lives than they cost. When you look at a real war, they are important as troops. But they cannot be deployed as easily. They already have to be in place (to a large degree).

Also, I'm not sure what the common decency argument is supposed to mean. I tend to think it violates common decency to take pictures with someone else in the background an upload them to Facebook, yet people do it all the time. Why is this crowdsourced panopticon okay, but a concentrated one not?

Comment Re:I'm confused (Score 1) 333

The letters of marque clearly contradict it. They are not criminals. They are soldiers.

The fact that de jure it was illegal to wiretap is pretty meaningless, because unenforced laws may as well not exist.

Lastly, usually the people doing so are embassy staff, but then we get into PNG and diplomatic immunity.

Comment Re:"My upgrade is better!" "No, mine is!" (Score 1) 146

Oh, is that all you're talking about. Bundled peripheral? That was blatant and obvious? On a device where "the same configuration everywhere in the world" is the primary selling point?

I mean, I grant it may not have been a good move. But compared to removing the OtherOS functionality after they sold the PS3?

Comment Re:Don't be afraid of this! (Score 1) 522

Western companies will run the internet. Google, Apple, Microsoft, dare I say PornHub. They only thrive in an open internet

The US government has a history of not censoring the web. Those sites have a history (with the possible exception of PornHub) of doing underhanded/shady things to close down the competition. Do you really think that its int their interest to let the next huge startups thrive. Or will a set of "neutral" rules slowly accumulate that favorite incumbent companies.

Comment Re:Does anyone care what Trump thinks? (Score 1) 522

Fact is not opinion. Liars may have interesting opinions. More importantly, as the Republican nominee he already wields political power. His stated opinions aren't just "opinions" like you or I have. They're also clear signals to Republican representatives.

Comment Re:The U.S. ain't perfect, but... (Score 2) 522

So, you have no fucking clue what you're talking about. Good to know.

I mean, the US has the least regulated airwaves in the western world, Britain has far stricter libel laws, the US doesn't actually have "no hate speech laws" (neonazis are allowed to march in the US, the name is illegal in Germany), "fighting words"/incitement means you're not allowed to encourage people to commit crimes.

And the anti-obscenity laws not struck down basically say you cannot use the 7 dirty words repetitively and frequently in front of a minor.

Comment Re:I'm confused (Score 1) 333

A letter of marque (not marquee [thanks for noticing the typo!]) concerns the jurisdiction of the issuer. It does not and cannot make the receiver immune to laws in other jurisdictions.

Factually wrong. An agent with a letter of marque would be committing an act of war, not a crime. This protects the individual as a prisoner of war. This may very well have worse consequences (hence disavowing agents as a trope).

Can you name a few cases where a defendant was aquitted[hey, I'll spot your missing 'c' like my extra 'e'] of a crime because he was employed by a foreign government?

The officers and crew of the Savannah in the Civil War. The whole legal case turned on whether the Confederacy counted as a country for letters of marque. The reason it was ruled to be a country, because they threatened reprisals against Union POWs if harm befell the captured crew, explains why countries have this arrangement.

But, while letters of marque make one immune, spies are not immune to those laws. They are however often dealt with extrajudiciously, by being repatriated to their country. a few examples that came up first in google.. This is because all countries do and expect this behavior.

Or, why do we have a military? After all, it's illegal to invade any country by that country's laws. Also, illegal to launch a nuke at any country, by the target's laws. Which comes back to "leaking the launch codes," as I presumed that would cause the rockets to get locked down and become unable to launch.

Comment Re:I'm confused (Score 1) 333

See, we disagree on whether we should be wiretapping foreign leaders, et al. But they weren't news when Snowden released them. It's like leaking the nuclear launch codes and then saying "what, you like nuclear war?"

It didn't add new information, it pushed your agenda.

Although spying on a country violates that country's laws, it's irrelevant. It's not violating US laws. And that's why the US government set up the NSA in the first place.

I don't even see what's immoral about a nationstate using its power to further its interests. Its realpolitik, and stupid and naive to expect not to be taken advantage of by other countries if you adopt that attitude. It's not the citizenery of that nation, which support it and it has a contract with. It's the rest of the world.

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