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Comment Re:Yeah but (Score 2) 196

Most of these places will look you up by phone number if you tell them you don't have the card with you.

The local area code plus "867-5309" has worked at any place I've ever been. (From the "Jenny" song, from those of us who wouldn't remember it.) And I'm apparently not the only one who knows this. According to my store receipt, Jenny spent over $30,000 at my local grocery store last year.

Comment Re:"Amazon be ashamed pay their workers so little" (Score 3, Insightful) 433

If that would happen, sure.

But it wouldn't matter for two reasons. Your average employee might reach management, but the days of there being a career path from the factory floor to the CEO's office are long gone. (It wasn't very often the case to start with anyway.) We're talking about executives, not your average floor manager position that an employee might have a chance of reaching.

Secondly, the reason I say to cut it in half is because these people make tons of money. Are you telling me you'd take the position for $3 million a year, but $1.5 million just wouldn't cut it? Because I suspect most of these lower level employees would be overjoyed to take it at the $1.5 million level.

There is no excuse for the people at the top making that much while paying employees starvation wages.

Comment Re:Since this wasn't a line item in the budget ... (Score 1) 165

They still could have declared it as "payment for services rendered", or even "earnings from work as a law enforcement informant". The IRS doesn't care where the money you earned came from. If you declare it and pay your taxes on it, they're satisfied.

Comment Re:Public information? (Score 1) 104

It doesn't matter if I'm alright with it or not. They're allowed to do that. That in fact happens with many celebrities, they're called paparazzi. As long as they only film and photo in public, it's perfectly legal for them to be doing it.

If I ever got that famous, I suppose that'd be a good problem to have. If the person acts threatening or harasses you in any way, they could be prosecuted under harassment or stalking laws. But if they just want to waste their time taping me, hey, have fun being bored to death.

Comment Re:Public information? (Score 1) 104

No, I'll still be the first to assert that private communication has a genuine expectation of privacy, and law enforcement has no right to monitor that without probable cause and a warrant. As I said above.

But what you say in public is public. If someone wants to scrape it all and analyze it, well, you made it all public. You said it to the general public, and the general public has the right to do what they will with it. Including analysis.

You don't get to on one hand shout out something to the public and on the other hand expect it to be private. You can have one or the other. Not both.

Comment Re:Public information? (Score 1) 104

No, it differs from Stingray in that fundamental respect.

Cell phone conversations are presumed to be private. If you make a cell phone call from a private place, to someone else who is also in a private place, you most certainly have a reasonable expectation of privacy for that call. But Stingray could be intercepting that.

On the other hand, when I post this on Slashdot, I can't reasonably expect that to be private. I'm posting it for anyone who wants to read it.

That's the fundamental difference. It's the difference between someone using a long zoom to take photos through your bedroom window, and you happening to appear on a security tape when you go to the grocery store. You have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your bedroom. You don't in the grocery store.

Comment Re:Public information? (Score 1) 104

Well, just like it's Twitter's service, it's their API. They can restrict access to it in any way and for any reason they see fit.

If you're in public and attracting attention, it's foolish to presume you're not being recorded. With everyone having an audio and video recorder in their pocket, as well as the massive number of stationary recording devices, chances are good you probably are being recorded at any given time, especially if you're attracting attention. The stenographer would be largely redundant. You can consider that good, bad, or mixed, but such is the world we live in.

Comment Re:Public information? (Score 1) 104

It's certainly my hope that Twitter's API doesn't allow access to private or "whitelist only" communication. If it does, that's a problem that goes well beyond this one instance. I can't say I'm terribly familiar with it myself, but I imagine if it had massive security flaws in it like that, we'd have heard about it by now. And if it does and we haven't, we certainly should.

As far as allowing access by non-blocked or logged in only users, that's such a low bar that you're still speaking publicly. For the blocked users, it would be equivalent to that speaker on the soapbox having a restraining order against someone. That one person (or even more than one person) can't come to hear them speak, but everyone else in the world still can. That is, for all intents and purposes, still speaking to the general public.

Comment Re:Enforcing rights (Score 1) 104

I could see that to a degree. But that's a different question.

Right now, the First Amendment only covers government action. The Fourth does too. Now, when the government was seeking records, that absolutely should implicate the Fourth Amendment. That should similarly happen with the First if it's the government asking for certain types of speech to be disallowed somewhere.

But the Fourteenth and Nineteenth don't create those employment and public accommodation laws. They, too, only restrict the government. It's laws, like the Civil Rights Act, that put into place the actual protections against discrimination by private actors.

I'm not sure how the constitutionality of requiring Twitter, or Slashdot, or any other platform to let anyone use its services without restriction would come out. I suspect they could readily argue that it violates freedom of association; that they have the right not to be associated with those people, and to kick them off their property. But there might be some success in making "political persuasion" a protected class. Of course, the lawsuits over what exactly falls under that would be nothing if not endless.

But realistically, I think the whole thing is overblown. I saw tons and tons of pro-Trump stuff on social media. Trump himself was certainly never barred from using Twitter, and does so to this day. If Facebook won't even stop flat out lies masquerading as news from being posted, I think they're being pretty permissive.

Comment Public information? (Score 4, Insightful) 104

I don't have any sympathy for secret spy schemes or the mass warrantless interception of private data or communications. The people behind those belong in jail.

But Twitter isn't a private communication. It's public. When you stand up on a soapbox on the street corner and start shouting, yes, that's your free speech right. But a cop can stand there and listen to what you say, even record it if they want. It's a public place.

If you want to communicate privately, use a private medium. The police should certainly be disallowed from monitoring that without probable cause and a proper warrant. But you can't on one hand put something out there to the general public, and on the other expect it to stay private. People need to stop having the illusion that what they post publicly on the Internet has any reasonable expectation of privacy.

The actual problem is this:

The proposal’s terms and conditions stipulate that agencies using the platform must avoid disclosure of the Media Sonar brand or methodology, instead of (sic) encouraging clients to refer to the software as a “proprietary search engine” or “internet tools” in court. The company goes on to state that “general widespread media attention to the platform could result in a significant decrease in efficacy and the overall business model.”

No, no, and no. If you want to use evidence in court, you must tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, including the specifics of how you gathered it. All of that should be available for the opposing party to challenge; that's part of their due process rights. If you don't want to reveal the method of gathering it, you don't get to use the evidence. If you want to defend it as legitimate when challenged, you must reveal the details to show that it in fact is. You don't just get to say "No, it's fine, we promise."

Comment And yet once again, they'll learn. (Score 4, Insightful) 137

You can't put a back door in something, and only have certain people able to walk through it. If there's a vulnerability in the encryption that can be used to crack it by the service provider, someone else can do the same.

If this were implemented in the UK, it would totally kill Web commerce there. Who's going to put financial details across the Internet when it's as good as sent unencrypted? And if actual encryption is permitted for that purpose, well, then it can be used for any other purpose too.

I don't know why it's so difficult to understand. If you deliberately make something insecure, then it is, by definition, insecure. If it's designed to be secure, then even the designer can't break in, because if they can, someone else could do the same.

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