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Submission + - Transport employees were secretly paid by the DEA to search travelers bags (economist.com)

schwit1 writes: THERE are many reasons why you might have been stopped at an American transport hub and your bag searched by officials. You might have be chosen at random. Perhaps you matched a profile. Or you could have been flagged by an airline, railroad or security employee who was being secretly paid by the government as a confidential informant to uncover evidence of drug smuggling.

A committee of Congress heard remarkable testimony last week about a long-running programme by the Drug Enforcement Administration. For years, officials from the Department of Justice testified, the DEA has paid millions of dollars to a variety of confidential sources to provide tips on travellers who may be transporting drugs or large sums of money. Those sources include staff at airlines, Amtrak, parcel services and even the Transportation Safety Administration.

The testimony follows a report by the Justice Department that uncovered the DEA programme and detailed its many potential violations. According to that report, airline employees and other informers had an incentive to search more travellers' bags, since they received payment whenever their actions resulted in DEA seizures of cash or contraband. The best-compensated of these appears to have been a parcel company employee who received more than $1m from the DEA over five years. One airline worker, meanwhile, received $617,676 from 2012 to 2015 for tips that led to confiscations. But the DEA itself profited much more from the programme. That well-paid informant got only about 12% of the amount the agency seized as a result of the his tips.

Comment Re:Jon Stewart as full of shit as PopeRatzo (Score 1) 736

Whoever he is, the facts he cited are incontrovertible — the only evidence ever offered of the supposed "epidemic" is a survey, in which 19% of women reported having been "sexually assaulted" while in college.

No comparison has been offered with non-college women of the same age, and these "assaults" ranged from attempts at unwelcome touching to actual rapes. There is no other evidence to back the bombastic claim that "every fifth woman is raped by the time she graduates college" and therefore the story, which Jon Stewart and others have peddled, is a fake.

Even Politifact finds it dubious — gotta tell you something, uhm?

Submission + - Orwell's toys

Presto Vivace writes: These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

According to a coalition of consumer-interest organizations, the makers of two “smart” kids toys — the My Friend Cayla doll and the i-Que Intelligent Robot — are allegedly violating laws in the U.S. and overseas by collecting this sort of voice data without obtaining consent. ... ... In a complaint [PDF] filed this morning with the Federal Trade Commission, the coalition — made up of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), and our colleagues at Consumers Union — argue that Genesis Toys, a company that manufactures interactive and robotic toys, and Nuance Communications, which supplies the voice-parsing services for these toys, are running afoul of rules that protect children’s privacy and prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices.

Comment Re:Inside every "Liberal" is an "Authoritarian" (Score 1) 361

you're a terrible advocate for free speech because your agruments depend on absurdities or things demonstrably not true.

Your argument boils down to "Free speech allowed Hitler" and therefor some nations should not have free speech.

I'm actually in favour of free speech

Yeah, as along as it is yours.

Comment Party-approved fake news (Score 5, Informative) 111

The following Party-approved Fake News stories need not be flagged — indeed, tagging them as anything other than deeply concerning may cause your account to be suspended:

Comment Jon Stewart as full of shit as PopeRatzo (Score 2, Insightful) 736

If you have an example of one of Jon Stewart's segments being based on a fake story, I invite you to share it with us here.

How about the — completely bogusmeta-story of the "campus rape epidemic"? Which Jon Stewart and others have covered.

You go rape yourself now...

Comment Re:Inside every "Liberal" is an "Authoritarian" (Score 1) 361

No, of course not.

Then your argument is invalid — by your own admission and on its own merit.

Your method has already been tried and it resulted in a massive disaster

Non sequitur. If freedom of speech is what gave us Hitler's genocide, you may as well blame mothers giving birth — Hitler was born, was not he?

I'm actually a strong proponent of free speech.

Yeah, except in Europe, right? Let's go back to the question I asked earlier: if Germany not having true freedom of speech is justified by Hitler, what other freedoms and liberties would you excuse other countries not offering their citizens and visitors by something, that happened to them in the past? Is it Ok for Thailand or Venezuela to prosecute people for "insulting" the head of State, while you continue denouncing Trump (and I don't expect you to stop, when he actually takes office)?

Comment Re:Maybe, I should sue KDE? (Score 1) 121

Did KDE popup an update warning that went ahead and updated to a drastically new version when you clicked the close button?

I already acknowledged, that no such trickery took place.

But I also stated, that it is of little comfort — the users of old version were left with unsupported software. Their bug-reports summarily closed, what security-holes there were — staying open. They were all told to upgrade to KDE4, except KDE4 was not, according to KDE's very authors, an "upgrade" — it was a "new software". At least, Windows 10 tries to adhere to the older settings — even if it is not always successful.

KDE4 completely ignored them — even the name of the configuration-directory was deliberately changed to "start new" — and screw the existing users. That was a major fook-oop, which, hopefully, will not be repeated in KDE5.

Comment Re:Inside every "Liberal" is an "Authoritarian" (Score 1) 361

he got to that level of power using speech when opposing speech wasn't banned.

That's an argument for abolition of the First Amendment in the US — and the equivalents in all other countries, where similar guarantees currently exist.

Do you really think it desirable? Could you, please, unambiguously state so for the record? Thank you!

Comment Inside every "Liberal" is an "Authoritarian" (Score 1, Insightful) 361

I can't imagine why. I mean it's not like there's ever been a problem with it before in Eurpope...

Yes, various Authoritarians — from Franco in the West to Stalin in the East — made elimination of the freedom of speech their top priorities:

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.

Joseph Stalin

The proper reaction to "bad" speech is good speech.

But if you are willing to justify other nations' not having an equivalent of the First Amendment by their history, what other freedoms and liberties would you excuse them not having, uhm? Maybe, Iran is justified in its persecution of gays by some terrible homosexuality-related episode of the past — I'm sure, one or two can be named by an expert on the country's history? Or, perhaps, it is Ok for the sunny and cheerful people of Mexico to continue banning abortions — because of some exquisite evils taking place in Chichen-Itza centuries ago?

Comment Re:Maybe, I should sue KDE? (Score 1) 121

Yes, we should be forced to support code and use-cases we were concerned with 10 years ago for the rest of our lives.

No, not the rest of your lives — merely until you get to implementing an upgrade process, that would reliably transfer/translate the earlier version's settings into the new. That's how real software is written and maintained — including decent Open Source projects.

Comment Maybe, I should sue KDE? (Score 1, Troll) 121

A FreeBSD-user since early 90-ies, I can only chuckle at the problems in the Microsoft world... But this:

"Worley built a Windows 7 machine for his grandfather, who has Alzheimer's Disease, [customized] to look like Windows XP, an operating system his grandfather still remembered well..." writes Digital Trends. "But thanks to Microsoft's persistent Windows 10 upgrade program, Worley's grandfather unknowingly initiated the Win 10 upgrade by clicking the 'X' to close an upgrade window."

got me thinking about the KDE-project, which blew away the existing KDE3-users, when introducing KDE4. Leaving us without an ugprade-path and forced to redo all of the customizations.

No, we weren't tricked into upgrading the way some MS-users were. But that's a rather thin defense for any software-maker, which simply discontinues older versions — forcing users to upgrade or remain open to security and other bugs.

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