Author Topic: Privacy and anonymity  (Read 12357 times)

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Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #105 on: March 12, 2014, 01:40:53 PM »
Indeed.

The only good thing about our government is that it's stupid.  Let's say you ran the NSA, CIA, or whatever.  You know that you can bullshit Congress into doing what you want by saying it's to protect American.  The one thing you absolutely can't do is actually spy on Congress, because then they might get pissed enough to actually pass reforms.

So what does the real CIA do?  Spy on Congress.  Whatever.  Maybe they'll actually do something now.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #106 on: May 01, 2014, 12:21:13 PM »
One good thing about living in a nation run by wannabe fascists is that if they're American wannabes, they'll always be light years behind the curve. They're fixing to start implementing logging controls on Bitcoin, because, well, terror and all that. In the meantime DarkWallet will be rolling out pretty soon and then fuck any control whatsoever. Seems an obvious move when the US is naturally trying to control something it has no control over. Same with Silk Road. I have no problem with them busting people who use the marketplace for illegal activities, although since it's all drugs I'd obviously call it a waste of resources. Going after the marketplace itself is the typical heavy-handed nonsense we've come to expect of the US. Something might be used for naughty business so it's best to just shut the whole thing down. Now we'll get Dark Market. Another obvious response to heavy handed judicial action. These are both great developments, as far as I'm concerned. This takes us right back to my OP about how the US will react when we become able to do whatever we want on the internet with anonymity, which by their very actions they're driving us to. I'm starting to think that as much as I've been railing about the NSA, I should probably just wait for them to drive us all to an era of complete internet anarchy.

Speaking of driving people into places they don't like, there's Operation Choke Point, which I hadn't heard of until today. Don't like a business? Harass the banks to drop their accounts. In the news lately because pornstars are getting letters in the mail saying their accounts have been closed. Of course everybody like porn, especially the people who are outraged and offended by it, so they're getting the coverage. Also applies to plenty of other perfectly legal industries. A typical tactic of the DOJ is that if an enterprise you don't like is operating legally so you can't stop them, just find a way to bully and harass them into submission. I had thought that once Ashcroft was gone the war on porn would be over. Of course we're now finding out that he was probably the best of the last three AG's, albeit damned creepy and disturbing.

That's really the strangest part of this whole thing. After 12+ years of Gonzalez and Holder's lame ass, I actually miss the mentally disturbed but principled thuggery of Ashcroft.
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Offline Fiery Winds

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #107 on: May 19, 2014, 05:12:48 PM »
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/05/19/data-pirates-caribbean-nsa-recording-every-cell-phone-call-bahamas/

This is essentially a DVR-style surveillance which allows real-time to 30 days retroactive access to both metadata and actual content of mobile/wireless communications.  Is this just normal foreign intelligence, or is this a foreshadowing of things to come?
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #108 on: May 19, 2014, 05:59:54 PM »
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/05/19/data-pirates-caribbean-nsa-recording-every-cell-phone-call-bahamas/

This is essentially a DVR-style surveillance which allows real-time to 30 days retroactive access to both metadata and actual content of mobile/wireless communications.  Is this just normal foreign intelligence, or is this a foreshadowing of things to come?
I wonder what miniscule fraction of a percentage point the Bahamian calls take up in that big-ass data storage facility they just built.
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Offline Fiery Winds

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #109 on: May 19, 2014, 06:55:07 PM »
Probably not much, though when you have that large of a haystack, having the ability to quickly and easily sort through that data to find actionable intelligence at the drop of a hat is extremely attractive. It's pretty clear that this type of program would be eagerly implemented across the globe:



For our protection, of course.  ::)
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #110 on: May 19, 2014, 07:39:30 PM »
The good news is the more they thumb their nose at all of us laypersons, the more we'll all adopt encryption to spite them. Imagine if 1/4 of that haystack were encrypted. They might be able to decode it after the fact, but they'll never be able to analyze all of it to look for the interesting stuff. It'll still be worth it to them for evidence collection to aid in prosecution (which I figure is what all of this is about anyway) but it won't be of much use to their sham cause of protecting us from Achmed.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #111 on: May 21, 2014, 08:53:03 AM »
So just in from the "no shit!" department, after days of being badgered by the Whitehouse the House has cranked out their heavily amended version of the fraudulently named USAFreedom Act, and it's absolutely worthless. House insiders have been bitching for days that the DoJ is forcing them to water it down to the point of uselessness. Naturally everybody's yanking their support. Despite Obama's public insistence that he's all for transparency and reform, he's really doing his damnedest to prevent it. In the mean time he'll sign off on the NDAA renewal, yet again, which authorizes precisely what he publicly claims to be against.

Here's what I don't get. The full bill had support in both houses. Who gives a damn if Obama's weak ass wants it watered down? Does anybody really think he has the stones to veto it? The man is far too limp-dicked to veto a good bill supported by both parties.
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Offline Lucien

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #112 on: May 21, 2014, 02:41:42 PM »
Actual support by both sides of Congress, but Obama doesn't want it the way it came? Looks like we get to blame Obama and his administration for everything again.  :lol

Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #113 on: June 25, 2014, 10:08:26 AM »
So the SCOTUS ruled that cops need a warrant to search cellphones, even pursuant to an arrest. This is great news, and I'm honestly a bit surprised. However, what really does it for me is the rationale behind the decision, which is that the content of one's cellphone doesn't pose a threat to the officers. This is much more than just ruling based on the evidentiary aspect, in that they're declining to expand searches incident to arrest beyond anything that might represent a risk to safety. That part's quite surprising and frankly damned refreshing when all of the power seems to be shifting towards LEA in this country. 
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #114 on: June 25, 2014, 11:22:07 AM »
:clap:

Hef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.

Offline Chino

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #115 on: June 27, 2014, 07:55:15 AM »
So the SCOTUS ruled that cops need a warrant to search cellphones, even pursuant to an arrest. This is great news, and I'm honestly a bit surprised. However, what really does it for me is the rationale behind the decision, which is that the content of one's cellphone doesn't pose a threat to the officers. This is much more than just ruling based on the evidentiary aspect, in that they're declining to expand searches incident to arrest beyond anything that might represent a risk to safety. That part's quite surprising and frankly damned refreshing when all of the power seems to be shifting towards LEA in this country.

Great post.

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Offline Stadler

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #117 on: July 13, 2014, 10:35:12 AM »
Aaand it's gone: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/11/the-ultimate-goal-of-the-nsa-is-total-population-control

Well, generally, the anti-NSA uproar is a tempest in a teapot, in my view, and I love how everything with Binney is "About 80%".   Does that extend to him being "about 80%" right?   :)

I think the one thing that bothers me is a pragmatic view.   If this was effective, if it was an efficient use of resoures, if it was a step in a process to become better at what we do, I give a big, metaphorical "STFU" to those criticizing the NSA for what it does.   But pragmatically, why are we continuing to throw good money after bad?   Any statitician worth their salt would tell you that if you don't get a discernable, actionable pattern after 80%, you aren't likely to get one with the remaining 20% (which is also a statistical impossibility, because there will be SOME data loss).   In other words, if the NSA is as good as they think they are, and as they want us to believe, dontcha think they can do better than just "brute force"?   

Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #118 on: July 13, 2014, 11:37:46 AM »
I suppose it depends on what you believe their motives to be.
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Offline slycordinator

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #119 on: July 13, 2014, 04:49:06 PM »
If this was effective, if it was an efficient use of resoures, if it was a step in a process to become better at what we do, I give a big, metaphorical "STFU" to those criticizing the NSA for what it does.   But pragmatically, why are we continuing to throw good money after bad?
So if something is fundamentally the wrong thing to do and goes against the very founding principles of our country, I should STFU because the thing works?

Offline Stadler

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #120 on: July 14, 2014, 01:15:54 PM »
If this was effective, if it was an efficient use of resoures, if it was a step in a process to become better at what we do, I give a big, metaphorical "STFU" to those criticizing the NSA for what it does.   But pragmatically, why are we continuing to throw good money after bad?
So if something is fundamentally the wrong thing to do and goes against the very founding principles of our country, I should STFU because the thing works?

Well, it isn't that easy, and you are assuming that everything they are doing rises to the level of "fundamentally wrong" and "against the very founding principles of our country", but in certain circumstances, yes. 

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #121 on: July 14, 2014, 01:20:58 PM »
If this was effective, if it was an efficient use of resoures, if it was a step in a process to become better at what we do, I give a big, metaphorical "STFU" to those criticizing the NSA for what it does.   But pragmatically, why are we continuing to throw good money after bad?
So if something is fundamentally the wrong thing to do and goes against the very founding principles of our country, I should STFU because the thing works?

Well, it isn't that easy, and you are assuming that everything they are doing rises to the level of "fundamentally wrong" and "against the very founding principles of our country", but in certain circumstances, yes.

Would your definition of effective evaluate how well the program isn't used improperly?

Offline Stadler

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #122 on: July 14, 2014, 01:44:10 PM »
If this was effective, if it was an efficient use of resoures, if it was a step in a process to become better at what we do, I give a big, metaphorical "STFU" to those criticizing the NSA for what it does.   But pragmatically, why are we continuing to throw good money after bad?
So if something is fundamentally the wrong thing to do and goes against the very founding principles of our country, I should STFU because the thing works?

Well, it isn't that easy, and you are assuming that everything they are doing rises to the level of "fundamentally wrong" and "against the very founding principles of our country", but in certain circumstances, yes.

Would your definition of effective evaluate how well the program isn't used improperly?

Not sure I follow the question (my bad, not yours) but if I understand you correctly, yes, the evaluation of "effective" would (or at least could) take into consideration the appropriateness of the program, since the evaluation would presumably account for the "cost" of an inappropriate use of the program.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #123 on: July 14, 2014, 02:17:42 PM »
Not sure I follow the question (my bad, not yours) but if I understand you correctly, yes, the evaluation of "effective" would (or at least could) take into consideration the appropriateness of the program, since the evaluation would presumably account for the "cost" of an inappropriate use of the program.
I totally get where you're standing here, but again, much of it depends on what you see the purpose of their efforts to be. To what end is an effective program to spy on US citizens appropriate? And how will the inevitable mission-creep (this is a bureaucracy we're talking about) factor in?
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Offline slycordinator

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #124 on: July 14, 2014, 10:48:57 PM »
If this was effective, if it was an efficient use of resoures, if it was a step in a process to become better at what we do, I give a big, metaphorical "STFU" to those criticizing the NSA for what it does.   But pragmatically, why are we continuing to throw good money after bad?
So if something is fundamentally the wrong thing to do and goes against the very founding principles of our country, I should STFU because the thing works?

Well, it isn't that easy, and you are assuming that everything they are doing rises to the level of "fundamentally wrong" and "against the very founding principles of our country", but in certain circumstances, yes.
The only one making assumptions about the current system is you. You suggested that if the system were effective, you'd tell anyone with complaints to STFU, meaning that you either think that they're doing nothing wrong or that anything they do that is wrong is negated by the thing being effective.

So I suggested that this means that if something is used in a manner that is fundamentally wrong, you'd tell me to STFU because the thing was effective. That's not assuming that it is being used in ways that are wrong. It's making a situation in which your argument falls apart.

And incidentally, I think that warrantless wiretapping is fundamentally wrong.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #125 on: July 15, 2014, 10:10:51 AM »
The only one making assumptions about the current system is you. You suggested that if the system were effective, you'd tell anyone with complaints to STFU, meaning that you either think that they're doing nothing wrong or that anything they do that is wrong is negated by the thing being effective.

So I suggested that this means that if something is used in a manner that is fundamentally wrong, you'd tell me to STFU because the thing was effective. That's not assuming that it is being used in ways that are wrong. It's making a situation in which your argument falls apart.

And incidentally, I think that warrantless wiretapping is fundamentally wrong.

Well, perhaps you're giving me too much credit (and for that I am thankful).  Honestly I don't think it is that cut and dry, and part of my premise did assume we had already asked and answered the question of whether we had crossed into "fundamentally wrong" areas.  So for that ambiguity, I apologize. 

I think part of the issue is scope.   I think that if there is one person (or a group, but individually identifiable) then you are correct, there needs to be sufficient protections on due process, including but not limited to a specific warrant with probably cause (though I do support the so-called "secret courts".   But I'm far more ambivalent to the notion of "screening" massive, impersonal stores of data for key words etc.   Which is why I posted what I did:  once you are collecting 80% of the data, you are, in my view, dangerously close to the point where you should be forced back into the stringent due process requirements, because essentially you ARE targeting a specific group (everyone).  At least down at 20% you can argue you aren't targeting any one person or group, just using statistical analysis in your favor.  (And don't hold me to the numbers; we can debate the "80%" or "20%" all day that isnt' really the important part of this). 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #126 on: July 15, 2014, 11:09:47 AM »
I see two rather big problems there. For one thing, do you actually trust the now enormous government spy network to police themselves and be responsible? That would be out of character for you. And, I think once you expand the numbers up to large groups, bit becomes easier to justify the same surveillance of of smaller and smaller groups. The bigger issue is with the secret courts, though. I completely understand why they have a place and I don't argue against their existence with regards to surveillance and issuing warrants. Where I have a huge problem is with them issuing judgements that become law the law they're bound to. A big reason to speak up against the expanding surveillance state is because it's effectively operating in a vacuum of secret law, making it even less reasonable to trust the government to protect the rights of the citizens. This also has the effect of severely undermining due process. It's impossible to know if you're being afforded any protections at all if you're not allowed to know anything at all about the government's behavior during the investigation. This is spooky. 
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Offline Lucien

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #127 on: July 15, 2014, 12:53:53 PM »
I believe they keep most of this stuff secret, not because other countries could use it to their advantage, but because if we knew about it, the entire population of the country would murder the government. I feel like they're more covering up their own crimes instead of trying to keep us safe. Nothing should really be secret on their part.

Offline slycordinator

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #128 on: July 15, 2014, 05:10:46 PM »
I think part of the issue is scope.   I think that if there is one person (or a group, but individually identifiable) then you are correct, there needs to be sufficient protections on due process, including but not limited to a specific warrant with probably cause (though I do support the so-called "secret courts".
So you are actually saying that if they look at your records only, they need permission but if they take everyone's at the same time there's no issue? That's like saying that if I rape you, I should go to prison but if I send goons to rape the entire population I should serve no time.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #129 on: July 16, 2014, 08:02:55 AM »
I see two rather big problems there. For one thing, do you actually trust the now enormous government spy network to police themselves and be responsible? That would be out of character for you. And, I think once you expand the numbers up to large groups, bit becomes easier to justify the same surveillance of of smaller and smaller groups. The bigger issue is with the secret courts, though. I completely understand why they have a place and I don't argue against their existence with regards to surveillance and issuing warrants. Where I have a huge problem is with them issuing judgements that become law the law they're bound to. A big reason to speak up against the expanding surveillance state is because it's effectively operating in a vacuum of secret law, making it even less reasonable to trust the government to protect the rights of the citizens. This also has the effect of severely undermining due process. It's impossible to know if you're being afforded any protections at all if you're not allowed to know anything at all about the government's behavior during the investigation. This is spooky.

I do not trust them to police themselves, but I do trust the notion of "secret courts", primarily because they aren't nearly as sinister in real life as they sound.   I'm okay with there not being a printed record for all of eternity in a West Law book.   I think the reality is somewhere in the middle ground:  they keep the facts of the investigation "secret", but the law itself isn't "secret" per se. 

Offline Stadler

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #130 on: July 16, 2014, 08:08:13 AM »
I think part of the issue is scope.   I think that if there is one person (or a group, but individually identifiable) then you are correct, there needs to be sufficient protections on due process, including but not limited to a specific warrant with probably cause (though I do support the so-called "secret courts".
So you are actually saying that if they look at your records only, they need permission but if they take everyone's at the same time there's no issue? That's like saying that if I rape you, I should go to prison but if I send goons to rape the entire population I should serve no time.

That's not exactly what I'm saying.   In fact, I am saying the opposite.   I'm saying:

- if they take my records only, they need permission.
- if they take some random subset of records, anonymously, and without specific target, they do not need permission.  So if they say "we'll collect every fifth text", or "every fourth phone call" and screen them, I am okay with that.
- if they take some subset of records, but based on a specific "filter" criteria (i.e., "all NRA members", or "all people with the name Hussein"), they do need permission.  They should have to justify the filter.

and where I got confusing:
- if they take ALL records, or substantially ALL records, it is, in my opinion, tantamount to the first line, and so they would need permission.  To me, "80%" is "substantially ALL", because the "80%" is merely the best they can do at this point.  They WOULD be taking all if it was technically possible (or practical).

Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #131 on: July 16, 2014, 08:28:33 AM »
I see two rather big problems there. For one thing, do you actually trust the now enormous government spy network to police themselves and be responsible? That would be out of character for you. And, I think once you expand the numbers up to large groups, bit becomes easier to justify the same surveillance of of smaller and smaller groups. The bigger issue is with the secret courts, though. I completely understand why they have a place and I don't argue against their existence with regards to surveillance and issuing warrants. Where I have a huge problem is with them issuing judgements that become law the law they're bound to. A big reason to speak up against the expanding surveillance state is because it's effectively operating in a vacuum of secret law, making it even less reasonable to trust the government to protect the rights of the citizens. This also has the effect of severely undermining due process. It's impossible to know if you're being afforded any protections at all if you're not allowed to know anything at all about the government's behavior during the investigation. This is spooky.

I do not trust them to police themselves, but I do trust the notion of "secret courts", primarily because they aren't nearly as sinister in real life as they sound.   I'm okay with there not being a printed record for all of eternity in a West Law book.   I think the reality is somewhere in the middle ground:  they keep the facts of the investigation "secret", but the law itself isn't "secret" per se.
Well the problem is that neither of these things are winding out to be valid in practice. As information slow trickles down to us we're seeing that the FISC is at this point a rubberstamp. If it were just for warrants then it wouldn't trouble me much, I gather that warrants are almost always approved in any court. The problem is that they've become the friendly court where the government can raise issues that might not go over so well with public courts. Moreover, when they invariably sign off on whatever they're asked for, that ruling isn't something that is part of the public record. You say that the law isn't secret per se, but that doesn't appear to be the case. In this example, even if the "law" is made known to both parties, if the ruling that determined what the law is remains hidden, then that's not really any better. Reeks of "because we said so!" to me.

I posted this a few months ago in the al-Awlaki thread:

Quote
From her judgement:
Quote from: Colleen McMahon
I can only conclude, that the government has not violated FOIA by refusing to turn over the documents sought in the FOIA requests, and so cannot be compelled by this court of law to explain in detail the reasons why its actions do not violate the Constitution and laws of the United States. The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me; but after careful and extensive consideration, I find myself stuck in a paradoxical situation in which I cannot solve a problem because of contradictory constraints and rules—a veritable Catch-22. I can find no way around the thicket of laws and procedures that effectively allow the Executive Branch of our Government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reasons for their conclusions a secret."
I know you're a law and order kind of guy, and seem pretty staunch on national security, but this should really scare the hell out of you.

I'll also point out with regards to The Man policing himself, that the FISC isn't even all that applicable now that they've allowed for a tremendous expansion in the use of national security letters. Always seemed odd to me that people make such a big deal out of the ease with which a warrant can be obtained, when the unfortunate truth is that warrants are almost never necessary anymore, and when they are can be easily bypassed.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #132 on: July 16, 2014, 08:36:58 AM »
Well the problem is that neither of these things are winding out to be valid in practice. As information slow trickles down to us we're seeing that the FISC is at this point a rubberstamp. If it were just for warrants then it wouldn't trouble me much, I gather that warrants are almost always approved in any court. The problem is that they've become the friendly court where the government can raise issues that might not go over so well with public courts. Moreover, when they invariably sign off on whatever they're asked for, that ruling isn't something that is part of the public record. You say that the law isn't secret per se, but that doesn't appear to be the case. In this example, even if the "law" is made known to both parties, if the ruling that determined what the law is remains hidden, then that's not really any better. Reeks of "because we said so!" to me.

Well, to the extent you are correct (and I'm not implying that you aren't, just that I'm not an expert on this, other than in a general sense), I would agree with you.   The "jurisprudence" needs to have the same rigor as any other court, and I'm not keen on the notion of any party (not just the government) forum-shopping that blatantly to get what they want.

Quote
I know you're a law and order kind of guy, and seem pretty staunch on national security, but this should really scare the hell out of you.

I'll also point out with regards to The Man policing himself, that the FISC isn't even all that applicable now that they've allowed for a tremendous expansion in the use of national security letters. Always seemed odd to me that people make such a big deal out of the ease with which a warrant can be obtained, when the unfortunate truth is that warrants are almost never necessary anymore, and when they are can be easily bypassed.

(I inadvertently cut the quote; that's what I'm responding to).   Well, it does scare the hell out of me, but perhaps for different reasons:  that opinion, and that cop out, is, in my view, utterly denying the very reason for the court to begin with!!!   What is our judicial system for if not to sort out the "paradoxes" and make sense of the morass of often-contradictory laws???  This is the same situation as the dichotomy between State and Federal pot laws, which will ultimately be resolved one of two ways:  the Feds comporting their laws with the general scheme of the States, or the courts drawing a brighter line between the two.  My guess is the latter, which is the courts role.   Yet that is exactly what that judge is explicitly refusing to do!  (Obviously I am mixing issues, to make the point). 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #133 on: July 16, 2014, 09:17:07 AM »
You don't think it's possible for a Gordian Knot of conflicting law to be created? One which no court has the authority to sort out? Seems to happen quite a bit now.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #134 on: July 16, 2014, 10:48:08 AM »
You don't think it's possible for a Gordian Knot of conflicting law to be created? One which no court has the authority to sort out? Seems to happen quite a bit now.

Of course it is possible; and I don't disagree that it is happening more and more.   I think it is a kind of failure, though, on the part of our court system, and you'll note that in many places the "knot" is only on issues on which the Supreme Court (or the Appellate Courts) haven't weighed in. 

That phenomenon is really more an indicator of how badly our legislatures are gridlocked than anything else. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #135 on: July 16, 2014, 12:24:55 PM »
You don't think it's possible for a Gordian Knot of conflicting law to be created? One which no court has the authority to sort out? Seems to happen quite a bit now.

Of course it is possible; and I don't disagree that it is happening more and more.   I think it is a kind of failure, though, on the part of our court system, and you'll note that in many places the "knot" is only on issues on which the Supreme Court (or the Appellate Courts) haven't weighed in. 

That phenomenon is really more an indicator of how badly our legislatures are gridlocked than anything else.
Definitely something I considered. However, from what I can gather, SCOTUS's power of review in these cases is almost always at the behest of the government. Since the FISC and FISCR tend to espouse the opinion that a person being spied upon has no right to know that he's being spied upon, that power of review is pretty one-sided (I don't see the federal government appealing a case that suits it's aims). I'd have to look it up, but I believe the SCOTUS has denied cert to people who can't prove they were actually harmed by FISC/R decisions. No harm, no standing.

As for Judge McMahon up there, I have a hard time blaming her for not untangling that knot if she's prohibited from even knowing how or why it was tied in the first place. As she puts it, it's the secrecy that keeps her from being able to reach a proper decision.

BTW, I'm not trying to argue with you about this. This is your field and I'm just some guy who sees this as a point of intellectual curiosity; my purpose in this discussion.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #136 on: July 16, 2014, 03:12:44 PM »
Definitely something I considered. However, from what I can gather, SCOTUS's power of review in these cases is almost always at the behest of the government. Since the FISC and FISCR tend to espouse the opinion that a person being spied upon has no right to know that he's being spied upon, that power of review is pretty one-sided (I don't see the federal government appealing a case that suits it's aims). I'd have to look it up, but I believe the SCOTUS has denied cert to people who can't prove they were actually harmed by FISC/R decisions. No harm, no standing.

This is totally a compliment to you, but I am surprised you don't know this: The SCOTUS power of review is up to SCOTUS and SCOTUS alone.    Cases have to elevate through the system (trial court, appellate court), they have to have a ripe issue (roughly speaking, the outcome of the case has to still be meaningful), and the losing party at the appellate level has to petition SCOTUS to hear the case.  This is officially called the "Petition for writ of certiorari".   The panel of SC justices reviews the writ and at least four of the justices ("the rule of four") have to grant the writ ("Cert granted").  If they don't, the writ is denied and the lower court decision stands as recorded (Cert denied").   Interestingly (at least to me), only about 1 percent of cases for which there is a writ filed actually get heard by SCOTUS.

Quote
BTW, I'm not trying to argue with you about this. This is your field and I'm just some guy who sees this as a point of intellectual curiosity; my purpose in this discussion.

You need not caveat it; we're good even if you were to argue with me.   I find it a point of intellectual curiosity too, and even if it is my field, I don't know everything. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #137 on: July 16, 2014, 03:35:32 PM »
Oh, I understand the cert process and SCOTUS's purview back to Marburry (mostly). My concern here is that with regards to FISC/R, the government has the ability to appeal any case it sees fit since it has full access to those courts. A citizen can only appeal a case if he A. has knowledge of, and B. has standing. The decisions made by the two FISA courts have severely limited both.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #138 on: September 25, 2014, 01:42:25 PM »
FBI Director James Comey 'Very Concerned' About New Apple, Google Privacy Features


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"The notion that someone would market a closet that could never be opened -- even if it involves a case involving a child kidnapper and a court order -- to me does not make any sense."

Comey said FBI officials have had conversations with both Apple and Google about the marketing of their devices.

"Google is marketing their Android the same way: Buy our phone and law-enforcement, even with legal process, can never get access to it," he said.

And this, kids, is why trust matters. I'm one of the few people here who are real hardasses about privacy matters, and even I think Comey makes a valid point here. I also think fuck'em. The reason why Google and Apple would market such technology is because our government has demonstrated thoroughly and completely that it can't be trusted to play straight, thus creating a market. Two things you can always count on is that once you give the government power it'll never give it back and it will continue to push the boundaries of how far that power reaches. Comey uses the obvious examples of terrorists and kiddy-fuckers to illustrate his point. Predictable but effective; fear sells. Now the rank and file have come to grips with the fact that "tools" to prevent those sorts of things are going to be used all the way down the line to even petty criminals. This is a product of the LEO's own creation and while it might have negative consequences they have no one to blame but themselves.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: Privacy and anonymity
« Reply #139 on: September 26, 2014, 09:45:24 AM »
I'm not entirely sure they have "no one but themselves to blame." They certainly have a lot of the blame, and they shouldn't have the ability to criticize the result, but the American public is also fairly damn culpable in this. A serious discussion about the internet, technology and privacy has never been done, and every time it comes up, the most vocal group wants a wild west style governance. I'm not saying that they don't sometimes bring up valid points, but the problem is that the only thing that gets heard are the two extremes, and it ends up in nothing getting done, and the side in power doing what it does and wants.