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Comment Re:Guilty much? (Score 1) 685

Agreed, its interesting how they are disqualifying upfront all the students who are politically aware and curious about canvassing alternate viewpoints and sources and ultimately who develop their own opinions and make their own informed decisions based on a far broader and less USA-centric pool of data. People that would be valuable in roles that need critical thinking and analysis.

Whereas the wilfully ignorant, insular and stupid people are welcomed with open arms because they are the only viable candidates for the state dept positions on offer.

How will this benefit the state department or the country in a wider sense - to staff critical agencies with idiots and only idiots? Damning signs that things can only get worse.

Comment Re:I don't care what anyone says (Score 1) 309

Your view sounds like an extremist view to me. Essentially all other niches of society takes a stance that agrees with Richard Stallman, that openness and honestly and transparency are paramount for freedoms and safety. It isnt just done for no reason either, its done because the posistion you advocate has been used and is being used to inflict harm.

Take Food labelling laws and regulations for example. How happy would you be to eat or feed to your family "Brand X mysterious substance, now in convienient snack size packs!". Do you think the public good is served by concealing what people are ingesting, or that any effort to hide this information from consumers is probably not intended to help them or their health? There have been lobbying efforts recently trying to prevent companies from testing and labelling their food as GM free, or mad cow disease-free. Do you think this is good?

Look at legislation, in particular bills that are kept secret and have to be rushed through the confirmation process without reading or debate - there have been many of these recently done in the name of security or counter-terrorism. How healthy do you think this is to democractic government and what motive do you think is attitributable to trying to keep details like this secret? It only takes a stealthy one liner inserted somewhere into a 400 page bill that noone notices to re-introduce gas chambers or to crush the rights of citizens or to carry out some other harmful act.

Or finance and banking regulation. How much harm has been caused by the secretive credit default swap 'financial innovation' products that leverage against the realestate markets in Europe and the US? When credit rating agencies lie and claim A+++ ratings on securities that at their base level, after navigating through the layers of intentional concealment and obfuscation.. are based on cash-strapped heavily indebted people who are missing mortgage payments routinely, charging everything up on their credit cards, and in a suffering jobs market where sudden unemployment is both likely and catastrophic. Do you think it would be as much of a problem if the multi-trillions of dollars in junk assets were accurately labelled as junk before all those investors were scammed out of their cash?

The stance of secrecy and obfucation and attacks against transparency and openness is almost always bad, and almost always motivated by desire to do harm or commit crime. What is really in corexit, and could it possibly be a problem that thousands of litres of the stuff are being pumped into a ecologically and commerically important area off the US gulf coast? 'Trust us!' say BP, just like Tony Blair said before invading Iraq, and didnt that turn out to be wonderful for all involved.

In software terms, wouldnt you like to know whats happening to your systems and your data every time you use a particular program? That it isnt secretly scanning your RAM and swap space looking for website passwords and pin numbers for the online banks you use? Software companies have been caught doing this incidentally, and harvesting and uploading all this data to 3rd party sites without the permissions of users. Its naive to the point of carelessness and incompetance to blindly trust random programs and hope some faceless CEO in some office somewhere doesnt decide to screw you for profit on any given day.

Not so with Free Software thank you very much.

Comment Re:That is the modus operandi (Score 1) 373

As a first step to fixing the mess of criminal scams and fraud and mutual bribes and lobbying that the legal system is devolving into, I'd be happy for actual _property_ to be treated as property again! This business of selling people stuff like DVD players then calling them criminals for modifying it is insane.. where have the rights of property owners gone?

If Intel doesnt want me to have ownership of things, with all that implies - in being able to exert all the control and authority I damn well want in modifying or reselling or destroying or using it in any way I want, then they shouldnt have sold it to me in the first place.

Hundreds of years of established property law and now somehow we have serfdom and have to beg and grovel for permission to use stuff thats ours with threat of jail if the powers that be are displeased.. this is disgraceful.

Comment Re:Is this....legal? (Score 1) 595

Its fairly chilling how casually you mention that government agencies are already employed and engaged in systematic, premeditated organized crimes against citizens.. and that this law papers over this inconvenient fact with a facade of lawfulness. As thought this was simply nothing out of the ordinary.

Maybe I'm just being old-fashioned with my do-the-crime/do-the-time attitude, but surely these 'security services' people ought all be in jail along with the police chiefs or ministers or MPs or lords or whoever it is that funds this sort of thing.

I mean, can a rapist stick a big 'Security Services' badge on and go about attacking women at night in a legally protected way? Why spend money on laws and services designed to identify criminals when there is a entire criminal subclass already identified and busy breaking the law in plain sight? Lock the bastards up already!


Submission + - Delete 'em all and let god sort it out (arstechnica.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: Exetel, an Australian ISP, has a novel approach to the possibility that copyright material might be hosted on its servers.

It just runs a cron job every night to silently delete all media files.

Yes, you read that right, all .avi, .mp3, .wmv, and .mov files, plus files on another sekrit list of extensions which you're not allowed to know about. "All formats are fair game", warn their admins.

And users don't even get notified it's happened. You wake up in the morning, the files are gone. Then I guess you have to find your way to "Why do my media files keep getting deleted from my free web space?" in their FAQ and take it from there.

Talk about a chilling effect. You can be exempted from their Kafaesque cron job if you sign a kind of Loyalty Oath swearing you own the copyright or have the permission of the owner. So, no fair use then?

They say they're doing it to avoid legal problems, quoting universal v cooper where an Aussie ISP was found liable for encouraging piracy. Only thing is, that case involved a commercial website called mp3s4free which did nothing but offer copyrighted material, and the hosting indisputably company knew all about it, choosing to fight the case on the basis that they didn't host the files, just linked to them.

Copyright law and the internet is a complex subject, but hell, this is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.


Submission + - ISP Deletes Your Audio & Video Files Nightly (exetel.com.au)

Mike writes: "Australian ISP Exetel automatically deletes ALL of your hosted audio and video files every single night in a ham-handed attempt to fight piracy. All mp3, mpg, mpeg, avi, wma and "any other multi media file type" is deleted by their robot scanner script. To prevent this you have to email them and "request to be excluded from the scan script". The presumption is that you're guilty by default if, for example, you dare to upload an AVI of your child's first steps. Is this insane, or what? How long will Exetel stay in business treating their paying customers this way?"

Submission + - Operation Falcon and the Encroaching Police State

Deltronica writes: According to Information Clearinghouse, the police state feared by many is being carried out right under our noses. From TFA: "The Bush administration has carried out three massive sweeps in the last two years, rolling up more than 30,000 minor crooks and criminals, without as much as a whimper of protest from the public. Operation Falcon is the clearest indication yet that the Bush administration is fine-tuning its shock-troops so it can roll up tens of thousands of people at a moment's notice and toss them into the newly-built Halliburton detention centers. This should be a red flag for anyone who cares at all about human rights, civil liberties, or simply saving his own skin. " The full article can be found here.

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