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Comment Re: Someone triggered a /. dupe? (Score 2) 448

Well, that's kind of the thing, isn't it? It's *hard* to draw that boundary and the CFAA is really vague about what constitutes unauthorized. I mean, do we commit a felony if we link to perfectly accessible sites where the owner has written a ToS that purports to give them full control? How do we even know that we weren't authorized? Clearly we need to have some kind of notice. And the web is full of programs, it's not reasonable to expect everyone to read every ToS on the web, clearly we should have some expectation that if the site gives us access when we ask for it that we're allowed to actually view the page. But at the same time, we can't go too far in legitimizing those who hack the websites into giving access. At the same time, I'd hate to see felonies for people who put an anonymous email into anonymous FTP or who don't feed some website all their personal details when signing up.

That's why I think that access should be authorized as long as it is given and there's no important deception. Here 'important' simply means that if you hadn't deceived the site, it wouldn't have granted access. It also requires actual deception--something untrue. For example, pretending that you were the owner of some account and trying to reset the password, lying to the support staff to get access, or simply brute forcing an account that isn't yours. It'd be best to add in some minimum amount of damages that have to have been suffered, too, so that some technical violations that cause no actual harm don't get treated as federal crimes. Say, for example, if some kid claims to be 18 to access a porn site.

I find this to be a more balanced idea that focuses the criminal penalties on people who are actually up to no good, without giving websites carte blanche to dictate what is and is not a felony.

Comment I learned another lesson from the same history (Score 1) 606

I remember all the same history you do, back to Usenet. I also can tell you that decades of anti-spam laws haven't put a dent in the problem, only better technology has had a real effect. I can also tell you how much of the spam is sent via botnets nowadays, which are poorly secured machines that got compromised.

So inasmuch as we want to fix this, we need to focus on dealing with easily compromised devices. Like Google's, which has no meaningful user authentication built into it. Have we already forgotten the entire Full Disclosure era, which finally pushed vendors into making security a priority?

Sure, fine, BK were dicks to exploit it. Whatever. But focusing on them isn't going to solve anything and the very history you recite shows that legal and social approaches are almost completely ineffective compared to technological fixes.

Comment Re:"alternate vendors" (Score 1) 606

If they want to win decisively, they should add some kind of meaningful user authentication so that just any random person can't trigger it. Otherwise they'll be playing whack-a-mole and the last several decades of internet history should tell you that doesn't work worth a damn and it never has.

Comment Re:A lot to chuckle about (Score 1) 606

> The first attack they barely could get away with, the second attack is definitively prosecutable, the only defence, Google's laughable security with regards to securing that network between the user whose control of the device is being subverted and Google's servers which are being abused to steal commercial advertising space.

Please recite the elements of the CFAA (or whatever law you believe to have been broken) and explain how BK meets those?

I can't find anything in there about "stealing commercial advertising space" and I kind of feel that most ads I see are about as bad. Someone chose to watch the TV with the BK ads, so getting a second ad from Google seems like exactly what happens when I search for literally anything with Google.

I'd rather that something stupid and very public like a BK ad showed people what it means for the device to have no user authentication than something making malicious purchases or such. We should have learned decades ago that if you leave a bunch of devices around with no authentication, they will get taken over.

Comment Re:Sunk cost fallacy (Score 1) 202

I'm not even going down that old rabbit hole. Yes, it's their legal right. Nobody cares. But this is the part that gets me:

>> Twitter is not the only means of communication.
> That's... kind of entirely my point.

How does forcing them to use a different communication medium stop them from spreading ideas you disagree with? It seems to me that giving them the allure of being the 'stuff THEY don't want you to see' only helps promote it, instead.

Comment Sunk cost fallacy (Score 1) 202

> And actually, to deal with your question more directly, denying extremists a platform does help prevent the spread of that extremism.

So, you're saying that censorship works? Because for decades we've known that it doesn't change anyone's mind. And that it only makes people curious about these ideas you don't want anyone to see. I think more than a few people here have looked at things precisely because the powers that be told them not to look, whether that be an old MIT lock picking guide, 'zine or pornography, so it's odd to hear people suddenly decide it's worth a try.

Twitter is not the only means of communication. The internet still interprets censorship as damage and routes around it. If anything, having the opportunity to engage with them gives everyone the chance to convince them that this is wrong and maybe they shouldn't wander off into the desert to die a violent death.

But maybe you're right. Maybe this time censorship will stop people from thinking bad thoughts. Just because it failed every other time, that's no reason to think it can't work this time... right?

Comment Why put MSCs in your eyes to begin with? (Score 4, Insightful) 108

We already know what happened here. Some people in Florida injected mesenchymal stem cells into the eyes of three people. Mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent, but we already know that they do not form eye tissue. There was a different Japanese study that used induced pluripotent stem cells, which actually showed some promise. Those stem cells actually can become any type of tissue and are much more difficult and expensive to obtain.

So, I don't know about you, but I have a lot of questions about how injecting cells that might turn into bone, cartilage, fat or muscle into someone's eyes is supposed to help prevent blindness. And I would expect a lot of good answers and prior studies before having them do that to people.

Comment Re:He weas acquited of all charges (Score 1) 397

> You must have missed the consensual part.

No, we just know that the non-consensual parts happened to other women, not Lewinsky. But you guys bring up the BJ every time and forget the times he non-consensually propositioned other women while naked. Those don't matter when you can talk about the BJ or the cigar, right?

Comment He lost the jury trials (Score 1) 397

Your 'acquittal' was a political act by the Congress, he lost the jury trials and was disbarred. Oh yes, he did cut a deal to do that 'voluntarily' in return for not appealing it, but that was a plea deal after he had already lost repeatedly in court.

Let's not forget that the sexual harassment included non-consensual acts, including things like greeting an underling at the hotel room door and propositioning her while naked.

Comment Re:Where is the Federal Criminal Probe on the CIA? (Score 2) 236

> If Clapper had answered the questions posed to him in a PUBLIC hearing he would have been violating US law.

But he did answer, and said 'no', instead of saying "I can't answer that." Lying to Congress is also a violation of US law, though it's one that only gets punished on political terms, so...

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