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Submission + - Your Digital Life Can Be Legally Seized at the Border 3

Toe, The writes: Quincy Larson from freeCodeCamp relates some frightening stories from U.S. citizens entering their own country, and notes that you don't have fourth and fifth amendment rights at the border. People can and have been compelled to give their phone password (or be detained indefinitely) before entering the U.S and other countries. Given what we keep on our phones, he concludes that it is now both easy and legal for customs and border control to access your whole digital life. And he provides some nice insights on how easy it is to access and store the whole thing, how widespread access would be to that data, and how easy it would be for the wrong hands to get on it. His advice: before you travel internationally, wipe your phone or bring/rent/buy a clean one.

Comment Re:And there won't be any accountability (Score 1) 68

The alternative is to ban "cost plus" contracts. Screw up and overrun the costs specified in you bid? Tough cookies. Eat it on your P&L leader, and do a better job bidding next time.

Another, at least as good and maybe better, option is antitrust. Break up the globs back into Northrop, Hughes, General Dynamics, Lockheed, Marietta, Glenn Martin Co, Grumman, McDonnell Aircraft, Douglas Aircraft, Convair, North American, Republic, Boeing, Rockwell, and so on... so that there are a dozen manufacturers actually bidding competitively for contracts with incentives to keep costs under control, lest the contract goto a more reliable competitor.

After all, when there are only two choices, why *Should* Lockheed Martin (from their perspective) deliver a fully-functional air or space craft as promised, and on-time and on-budget. What's the government going to do after all, go to Northrop "2 billion dollar stealth bomber" Grumman?

You haven't thought out the consequences. If these are all bid a Firm Fixed Price (the alternative), every bidder is going to pad their costs to compensate for the possibility of things going wrong at some point during the development . Depending on the likelihood of that (cutting-edge technology, etc.) this will be anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of the original estimate. Would you rather pay 20% more overall, or take the chance of a 10% overrun?

Comment Re:Arrest him and throw him into Gitmo (Score 1) 626

A civil contract cannot ask you to do anything illegal and someone cannot ask you to break civil contract unless what you're doing is illegal. If the border agent had the legal power to ask and not following instructions would be deemed illegal, then Mr NASA is fine. If the border agent did not have the legal power, then Mr NASA could sue them for coercing him into breaking a civil contract, assuming he can show damages. The simplest way would be for NASA to show 'damages' and to sue for the full market value of whatever secret information was on the phone or to which the phone had access.

It's not a civil contract. NASA employees take the same Oath of Office as the President (changing only "to the office which I am appointed"). There are no conditions under which "not following instructions" in this case could be deemed illegal.

Comment Re:Same for retina checks (Score 1) 119

The same is true for retina print (eye print) checks. It does take a better camera (20M pixel), and it may require a brief *infrared* flash (so you will *not* notice it), but it will allow one to copy the retina prints from everyone looking in the camera's direction, and they are most often good enough to confuse retina scanners into accepting a false eye as valid.

Biometry may be useful as a 2FA/3FA, but it really isn't "safe" by itself.

Uh, that would be iris scans, right? If someone is reading your retina, it's not from more than a couple of centimeters in front of your eye.

Comment Everything I know about uranium-lead dating... (Score 3, Interesting) 140

...I learned from watching "Creature From the Black Lagoon." That movie has surprisingly accurate science for a Universal monster flick. Double-checking fossil age estimates against the surrounding rock. Whoa, I didn't catch that when I was eight! The leading-man "good guy" scientist is searching for additional information about the transition from water-breathers to air-breathers in the evolutionary record for tidbits that could prove useful in adapting the human body for deep-space exploration.

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