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Comment Re:signal source code does not matter (Score 1) 171

You can also compile it from source yourself and verify the checksums. While you can't prove that nothing was changed from the given source code, you can prove that that same source code can produce an identical binary, and induce that nothing has been altered.

It's still good enough to eliminate the possibility of tampering, assuming someone is watching.

This was done, for example, with TrueCrypt.

Submission + - Obama Admits The Government Monitors Your Browsing History ( 3

schwit1 writes: However, as AllOutdoor notes, if you listen carefully to Obama's full response, there is a comment Obama gives about knowing browser history that should sent everyone into a blind rage.

"I just came from a meeting, today, in the situation room, in which I’ve got people who we know have been on ISIL websites living here in the United States — US citizens. And we’re allowed to put them on the no fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association I cannot prohibit those people from buying guns!"

Based on browser history — pardon? What the president just confirmed is that someone from the government is noting everyone's browsing history, determining which websites are not to be visited, and furthermore, if someone does visit the website for whatever reason they get put on a no fly list.

The Anonymous Conservative goes on an epic rant about this revelation.

Now, how are they finding out who is visiting those websites? How big is the unit watching that? What websites are considered verboten by the Fedguv? Who determines the status of a website? Do they have a warrant to surveil what websites people are visiting? Is there any oversight, by any elected body? Nobody knows, because that section of the government is completely hidden from everyone’s view, and the media will never dare ask, for some unimaginable reason.

Imagine how powerful the machine is, that it is actually aware of who is looking at what online. Imagine how powerful the machine is, that an airline executive picks up the phone to hear a disembodied voice say, “You aren’t going to sell this guy a plane ticket today.” No airline asks questions, and nobody asks for a court order or government document. Imagine the power, that the American media dare not mention anything about it. Everyone just jumps to do what they are told. What does the government have on the airline people, the media, the politicians, that everyone will be so blindly obedient, and never even act as if the beast stalking them could possibly exist?

* * *

This isn't necessarily shocking, but it should get people to understand that the government does in fact know much more than they let on. After all, this NSA data center in Utah wasn't built for nothing

Comment Re:Slow news? (Score 1) 32

Not exactly. This is Wired covering the story - the same story that The Guardian covered two weeks ago showed up here on the 18th of this month.

It's the same story essentially. If you follow the research back far enough you'll find the same sources. But Wired does, IMHO, a far better job of covering it.

(Too bad they jumped on the anti-adblock bandwagon. Their reporting has always been top notch.)

Comment Re:So long as it is PUBLIC posts... meh... (Score 1) 215

The problem is that they are children. They do not yet understand the full legal and social ramifications of posting online in a public forum under their real name, and also have not fully developed higher-order reasoning skills. They may not understand that they are being watched like this. Couple this with the fact that the record of any investigation will remain in a police database for the rest of their lives, and these children are essentially facing consequences for actions which they do not fully understand, nor could be expected to. We allow children safe places to learn, mature, and experiment (we give them sandboxes, and then bicycles before cars), and online media should be no different.

Although, I do admit the practice of flagging content and only involving police at the behest of local schools is commendable - it at least requires some human judgement before the fact.

Still though, I cannot agree with the wholesale monitoring of the public discussions of schoolchildren.

Is this any different to kids saying stuff out loud in the real world, being overheard, and someone reporting it to the authorities?

Yes. That requires a real person to overhear the conversation, and is naturally limited by the human earpower available, and by distance. What we are talking about here is the wholesale monitoring of everything said in a particular place, recording it, and then analyzing it with algorithms which permit a far greater scale of surveillance than cops posing as SJWs in a protest march. It would be better comparable to police placing microphones on all the lampposts in a city, recording and analyzing everything said, and keeping it forever. But it's all said in a public place, right?

There is a natural expectation of some privacy, even in public places.

Comment Re:Wait, wait (Score 5, Insightful) 491

First, you need to give up your freedom. Be denied all contact with all other humans, and be cut off from the world. You'd need to accept spending the rest of your natural life like that. Never again see a sunrise, or a rolling ocean. Never again join a motorcycle club. Never again say "Gee, it's nice out, I think I'll go for a walk!" Never again become excited with the arrival of spring. Never again feel the wind in your hair or the sun on your face. And accept that there is no hope, none, not ever, that that will ever change.

If you're willing to give up all that in exchange for a few video games, a treadmill, and three square a day, well sir, kudos to you. I wouldn't.

Submission + - Has the 'impossible' EM drive being tested by NASA finally been explained? ( 1

MarkWhittington writes: The EM drive, the so-called “impossible” space drive that uses no propellant, has roiled the aerospace world for the past several years, ever since it was proposed by British aerospace engineer Robert Shawyer. In essence, the claim advanced by Shawyer and others is that if you bounced microwaves in a truncated cone, thrust would be produced out the open end. Most scientists have snorted at the idea, noting correctly that such a thing would violate physical laws. However, organizations as prestigious as NASA have replicated the same results, that prototypes of the EM drive produces thrust. How does one reconcile the experimental results with the apparent scientific impossibility? MIT Technology Review suggested a reason why.

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