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Encryption

FBI Director Says Prolific Default Encryption Hurting Government Spying Efforts (go.com) 367

SonicSpike quotes a report from ABC News: FBI Director James Comey warned again Tuesday about the bureau's inability to access digital devices because of encryption and said investigators were collecting information about the challenge in preparation for an "adult conversation" next year. Widespread encryption built into smartphones is "making more and more of the room that we are charged to investigate dark," Comey said in a cybersecurity symposium. The remarks reiterated points that Comey has made repeatedly in the last two years, before Congress and in other settings, about the growing collision between electronic privacy and national security. "The conversation we've been trying to have about this has dipped below public consciousness now, and that's fine," Comey said at a symposium organized by Symantec, a technology company. "Because what we want to do is collect information this year so that next year we can have an adult conversation in this country." The American people, he said, have a reasonable expectation of privacy in private spaces -- including houses, cars and electronic devices. But that right is not absolute when law enforcement has probable cause to believe that there's evidence of a crime in one of those places, including a laptop or smartphone. "With good reason, the people of the United States -- through judges and law enforcement -- can invade our private spaces," Comey said, adding that that "bargain" has been at the center of the country since its inception. He said it's not the role of the FBI or tech companies to tell the American people how to live and govern themselves. "We need to understand in the FBI how is this exactly affecting our work, and then share that with folks," Comey said, conceding the American people might ultimately decide that its privacy was more important than "that portion of the room being dark." Comey made his remarks to the 2016 Symantec Government Symposium. The Daily Dot has another take on Comey's remarks, which you can read here.

Comment Re:Doing Trump's work for him (Score 2) 461

You mean like who I'm allowed to have sex with?

Where are you getting this from? Or are you so restrictive and controlling that you think that people should only be allowed to have sex if they are married?

14 states had anti-sodomy laws on the books until SCOTUS put an end to that shit in Lawrence v Texas 13 years ago. 13 years ago, that's it. That's not too long ago, and you can be sure that most of those states wouldn't have changed the law unless forced to do so by the courts.

And while it may now be legal to have sex with whoever you want, in many states you can be fired or evicted because your bigoted boss or landlord is upset that you're having said sex. What good is that freedom if you can lose your job and your home for exercising it?

Comment Re:Ya know... (Score 2) 354

[SPOILERS FOR BSG]

I haven't seen Caprica, but BSG is not a good example of how to portray queer characters.

  • Cain and her Six: A sadly perfect example of the "bury your gays" trope. They even took it one step further because both of them were *already dead* when you found out they were queer. That ruins any credit they would have earned for showing the Pegasus crew being accepting of their relationship. Also, you find out in Razor, and that wasn't even technically part of the series.
  • Cain's Six And Baltar: After Razor, you have to retroactively consider that Cain's Six was bi. Or just PTSD'd to all hell from repeated gang rapes, enough to sleep for Baltar for... solace? And, of course, she dies immediately afterwards.
  • Baltar, Caprica Six, and D'Anna: This is overwhelmingly portrayed as the heterosexual male fantasy of doing two chicks at the same time. There's a token line from D'Anna about loving them both, but it's mostly portrayed as a love triangle of two women fighting over Baltar.
  • Gaeta and Hoshi: If you're thinking, "Huh, Gaeta and Hoshi are gay?", that's exactly the point. The only indication of either of them being queer is a webisode that takes place during season 4. It isn't touched on either before or after the webisode in the main series. Admittedly, they do a good job of showing their relationship (and Gaeta's bisexuality) as no big deal.

To recap, that's two dead lesbians, a few poorly portrayed examples of bisexual women, and the only queer men confined to a webisode that barely anyone has seen. Contrast this with how BSG subverts tropes and portrays strong women. From the moment Chief casually addresses Boomer as "Sir" in the miniseries, you know something is different. Women can be the President of the Colonies, Admiral of the fleet, or the most badass Viper jock around. That's what makes it so disappointing that BSG couldn't find the time to display a single healthy queer character or relationship in the televised series.

Comment Re:"No reasonable prosecutor" (Score 1) 1010

Crap, hit submit instead of preview. What I meant to say was:

You left out the initial part of that statement in a way that makes it very misleading. Yes, Aaron Swartz downloaded a lot of documents, but it had nothing to do with classified information. He may have committed a civil tort by downloading all those documents (which, btw, JSTOR agreed not to pursue), but it's ludicrous that his actions were threatened with decades in jail for criminal charges while Clinton's felonious actions don't even warrant an indictment.

Comment Re:"No reasonable prosecutor" (Score 1) 1010

You left out the in

(emphasis mine)

In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

Firefox

Firefox Tops Microsoft Browser Market Share For First Time (arstechnica.com) 141

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Ars Technica: For the first time, Firefox has pulled ahead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Edge browsers. Mozilla's Firefox grabbed 15.6 percent of worldwide desktop browser usage in April, according to the latest numbers from Web analytics outfit StatCounter. Google Chrome continues to dominate two thirds of the market. StatCounter, which analyzed data from three million websites, found that Firefox's worldwide desktop browser usage last month was 0.1 percent ahead of the combined share of Internet Explorer and Edge at 15.5 percent. Firefox has reportedly been losing market share over the last three months, but Microsoft's Edge and Internet Explorer browsers appear to be declining faster. Last week, Mozilla launched Test Pilot, a program for trying out experimental Firefox features. They've also been fighting the FBI in court for details about a vulnerability in the Tor Browser hack, which may affect the company since the Tor browser is partially based on the Firefox browser code.

Comment Re:Why the hell is this on Slashdot?! (Score 2) 338

Science, tech, math, and computing are all greatly influenced by US government policies. (Okay, maybe math not as much.) If the manner of electing the most influential US politician is not stuff that matters, then what is?

Also, if you're implicitly playing the "how slashdot used to be" card, I love to break it to you: slashdot has always cared about and commented on US politics.

Comment Re:Nost != pirate (Score 1) 266

I'm not sure about the legality of white-rooming a reverse engineer of intellectual property, but Blizzard definitely owns the intellectual property rights of WoW, and they own your client as well. Check their ToS, it specfically says that you do not own the client software, and are paying for a license of it, to be used against their servers and ONLY their servers. So by running it against Nostalrius servers, you are violating the ToS.

I haven't read through the original ToS, and I agree it's totally possible that the ToS states that the client is only to be used with official Blizz servers. However, I feel that's something consumers should be shielded from by consumer protection laws. When I originally bought WoW, I paid money for the game itself and additionally paid for a monthly subscription to the server. I feel that makes it very clear that I owned a copy of the client. To say that the ToS changes those clear expectations is unfair, especially when I was only presented with the ToS *after* paying for the game.

Consumer protection laws exist because there's an imbalance of power between an individual consumer making a purchase and a well-financed corporation writing a ToS and enforcing it through expensive litigation. If Blizzard were to allow me to keep paying for a subscription to the game I purchased, they would have an argument, but they abandoned the client that I explicitly paid for.

Comment Re:Expected different (Score 2) 266

It has no control over what other people connect their clients to.

Interestingly, and perhaps tellingly, the 1.12 WoW client refers to an editable, plaintext file (realmlist.wtf) to decide what server to connect to. Blizzard gave users the ability to choose which server to connect to, and now they are mad that users exercised that ability to connect to reverse-engineered servers.

Comment Nost != pirate (Score 5, Informative) 266

Calling Nostalrius a pirate server is not accurate. Nostalrius is a reverse engineered server that works with the official Blizzard WoW 1.12 client. I've played on Nost for the past year, and the overwhelming majority of players I've played with paid for retail vanilla WoW subscriptions back in the day. Sure, I can't find my original discs and had to download a copy of the 1.12 client, but I still contend that I have both a legal and moral license to still use that client.

If Blizzard were to offer a vanilla subscription, I would gladly sign up. (Well, maybe before they C&D'd Nost.) However, since they don't offer such a subscription, running a private server should be allowed as an exemption to the DMCA. The EFF previously petitioned the Library of Congress to add an exemption to the DMCA to allow users to reverse engineer server-side controls once games have been abandoned. The Library of Congress granted the exemption for simple matters like server-side authentication methods, but it was limited to allowing local, single-player gaming to continue. It does not apply for MMORPGs that require server-side interaction. However, this ignores the possibility of using a paid-for client with a reverse-engineered server, something I feel should be legal.

Comment Re:Fuck the SFPD (Score 1) 464

You were in jail "on a lie", so it wasn't the officers fault, it was your accuser.

I screwed up and left that part out of the story. I was accused of felony battery against a police officer. The officer alleged that I bumped into him on a busy train platform. When he started questioning me and I wasn't sufficiently submissive to his ego, he arrested me.

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