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  #51  
Old 09-28-2014, 02:30 PM
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My opinion, as uninformed as it is, is that of course a warrant should compel a person to disclose his password (as well as to surrender the phone that uses it). If not, the warrant is a powerless tool and I will presume that would be unacceptable to legislators and the courts.
I now realize that the only thing that counts is whether it's unacceptable to the Constitution.
  #52  
Old 09-28-2014, 02:50 PM
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...
If I'm not doing anything illegal, then the government has no reason to care what I'm doing in the first place, and they won't bother with me. If I'm doing something illegal, then I have no right to hide it from the government, and I deserve to be captured and punished for it...
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  #53  
Old 09-28-2014, 02:51 PM
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This isn't about mass surveillance, it's about the police not being able to execute a legitimate warrant. Questions about whether a private individual can put a camera in your bedroom - or even whether the FBI can without a warrant - are irrelevant.

The question that matters is, should technology be sold that, by default, acts in a manner that is solely designed to hide things from searches even when those searches are legitimate? It has nothing to do with spying or cybercrime, as no-one is suggesting banning encryption, only ensuring that manufacturer-provided encryption can be broken by the manufacturer should they receive a warrant.

It's not a privacy issue, as you don't have a right to privacy in the face of a search warrant.
  #54  
Old 09-28-2014, 02:54 PM
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Er, he isn't exactly helping his case with an implicit admission that, ah, sometimes they happen to have a valid search warrant, sometimes not, eh, whatevs.
Also note his use of the word "easily." Which suggests they could maybe still get the data- it would just be harder.
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This isn't about mass surveillance, it's about the police not being able to execute a legitimate warrant.[...] It's not a privacy issue, as you don't have a right to privacy in the face of a search warrant.
Recent events have taught most of us that we can expect the government to go through our data even without a warrant.
  #55  
Old 09-28-2014, 02:55 PM
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This isn't about mass surveillance, it's about the police not being able to execute a legitimate warrant. Questions about whether a private individual can put a camera in your bedroom - or even whether the FBI can without a warrant - are irrelevant.

The question that matters is, should technology be sold that, by default, acts in a manner that is solely designed to hide things from searches even when those searches are legitimate? It has nothing to do with spying or cybercrime, as no-one is suggesting banning encryption, only ensuring that manufacturer-provided encryption can be broken by the manufacturer should they receive a warrant.

It's not a privacy issue, as you don't have a right to privacy in the face of a search warrant.
It is a privacy issue and it is not "solely designed to hide things from searches." It is designed to protect customers from illegal searches. If the government wants to search a phone, they can present a warrant to the phone's owner/user just like they present a warrant to the owner or occupant of a house rather than the builder of the house.

Do you feel the same way about computers? There has been nary a peep of complaint that full disk encryption has become easy and available for laptops for years. Most businesses use full disk encryption for both privacy and to protect trade secrets, including on phones. If there is a back door for the government, it can also be leveraged by adversaries.
  #56  
Old 09-28-2014, 02:58 PM
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Then what are you worried about?
That the cops would prevent me from buying a piece of software or downloading an app that would allow me to secure my stuff from unsavory types, just so they can get at somebody else's unsavory stuff.
  #57  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:02 PM
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This isn't just about protection from overweening government agents. A bunch of famous people have just had some of their private pictures leaked all over the Internet. If The Company (whichever company it is) has a "backdoor" to my data, that is not only something that can be used by the government (either legitimately, acting upon a warrant issued upon probable cause and particularly describing the object of the search...or maybe not so legitimately), it is also potentially something that some busy little hacker could find out about and exploit.

If there's been a rash of home invasion robberies in my neighborhood, I have a right to install stronger doors and put burglar bars on my windows. That this might also inconvenience some hypothetical SWAT team is just too darned bad.
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  #58  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:06 PM
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You mock the question, but you don't answer it. If you're not breaking the law, why do you care if the government knows what you're up to?
Because there's a fundamental human right to privacy which needs to be respected and is an inherent part of the natural value of human beings?

More pragmatically, because I do not trust my government unconditionally? Because it is not some vast, monolithic entity with the sole purpose of doing good (this is almost exactly the same spiel I give conservatives who blame "big government" for everything wrong with the world) but rather is made up of people. And people can be vindictive, shitty, and all-around unpleasant. The fact that I very much enjoy Twixie shipping involving particularly violent and vindictive sex is entirely legal. But would I want the cop who has pulled me over to know that I'm into that shit? Do you think it would increase his odds of being unfair to me if he saw those pictures on my phone? Or hell, just a simpler example - a closeted gay teacher in the south.

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You already voluntarily divulge that information to for-profit corporations day in and day out. Why do you care if the government knows, and why do you think the government cares?

This is all circular; the argument boils down to "I don't want the government in my business because the government shouldn't be in my business, and they shouldn't be in my business because I don't want them in my business."
It's not circular, it's axiomatic. "They shouldn't be in my business because the right to privacy is a fundamental human right".

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Say, were you that guy yelling "They're in the attic!" at that performance of The Diary of Anne Frank?
  #59  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:14 PM
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If there is a back door for the government, it can also be leveraged by adversaries.
Well, yes. There's a necessary trade off between total privacy or security and allowing the police to do their job. It seems to me that a reasonable compromise is allowing someone to make an active choice to encrypt, but not having it done by default. Along with making it a serious crime not to decrypt a drive when faced with a warrant, with no allowance for not remembering the password. That would reduce the need for back doors.
  #60  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:22 PM
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How about something like the following.

Company has decrypt key. Government has a different one. Heck, maybe make a third party who's only job is to have yet another key and keep it safe until needed. All two/three needed to get the job done.

Allows warrants to be executed, but nefarious hacking attempts would be a bitch to pull off.
  #61  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:24 PM
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You already voluntarily divulge that information to for-profit corporations day in and day out.
No I don't. There's plenty of information that only myself and my family, or only ourselves plus a few select individuals in whom we trust, know, and no "for profit corporations" are aware of.

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Why do you care if the government knows, and why do you think the government cares?
Because it's none of their business.

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This is all circular; the argument boils down to "I don't want the government in my business because the government shouldn't be in my business, and they shouldn't be in my business because I don't want them in my business."
That's a pretty good argument when it's private information like health, hygiene, etc.
  #62  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:24 PM
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Because there's a fundamental human right to privacy which needs to be respected and is an inherent part of the natural value of human beings?
Says who? What makes it so "fundamental" that the government has no right to abrogate it?

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More pragmatically, because I do not trust my government unconditionally?
Well, none of us are perfect.

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Because it is not some vast, monolithic entity with the sole purpose of doing good (this is almost exactly the same spiel I give conservatives who blame "big government" for everything wrong with the world) but rather is made up of people. And people can be vindictive, shitty, and all-around unpleasant.
Then let's not punish the government for the sins of the people.

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The fact that I very much enjoy Twixie shipping involving particularly violent and vindictive sex is entirely legal. But would I want the cop who has pulled me over to know that I'm into that shit?
Why do you assume he would care?

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Do you think it would increase his odds of being unfair to me if he saw those pictures on my phone?
Under what circumstances do you imagine a routine traffic stop turning into the officer perusing your photo gallery?

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Or hell, just a simpler example - a closeted gay teacher in the south.
What of a closeted gay teacher in the south?

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It's not circular, it's axiomatic. "They shouldn't be in my business because the right to privacy is a fundamental human right".
There is no such thing as a "fundamental" human right. There is no supernatural being nor force of nature proclaiming that humans have certain rights. Humans have rights because we made them up and created governments to safeguard them. In the end, government is the only thing that defines, grants, or guarantees you rights - and in the end, it can take any of them away.

Last edited by Smapti; 09-28-2014 at 03:27 PM.
  #63  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:26 PM
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No I don't. There's plenty of information that only myself and my family, or only ourselves plus a few select individuals in whom we trust, know, and no "for profit corporations" are aware of.
Sure there is.

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Because it's none of their business.
Why not?

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That's a pretty good argument when it's private information like health, hygiene, etc.
Your health stopped being "private information" when you discussed it with your doctor.
  #64  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:37 PM
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In the end, government is the only thing that defines, grants, or guarantees you rights - and in the end, it can take any of them away.
In the end, governments only have the power we give them. This power, which you seem to assume they already have, I do not wish them to have.
  #65  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:42 PM
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In the end, governments only have the power we give them. This power, which you seem to assume they already have, I do not wish them to have.
Then take it from them if you think you can.
  #66  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:44 PM
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Says who? What makes it so "fundamental" that the government has no right to abrogate it?
Good question! The answer: we do. Just like we consider the right to life, the right to bodily autonomy, and the right to free speech fundamental. The government has no right to abrogate it because we as a society deem it vital to the human condition, and because the result when there is no such right to privacy is often totalitarian and almost always negative.

What follows is a handful of the most woefully misguided statements I've seen in a long time. They completely miss the point to an almost insane degree. Seriously, dude, what the hell? None of this warrants a refutation. It's inane.

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Well, none of us are perfect.



Then let's not punish the government for the sins of the people.



Why do you assume he would care?



Under what circumstances do you imagine a routine traffic stop turning into the officer perusing your photo gallery?



What of a closeted gay teacher in the south?
Christ, you cannot seriously be this naive. Yes, why would it matter to a closeted gay teacher in the south whether or not he had the right to privacy? Whether a local sheriff knew whether or not he was gay? After all, it's not like something like that could end his career (hell, that's not even a gay teacher. That's just an atheist).

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There is no such thing as a "fundamental" human right. There is no supernatural being nor force of nature proclaiming that humans have certain rights. Humans have rights because we made them up and created governments to safeguard them. In the end, government is the only thing that defines, grants, or guarantees you rights - and in the end, it can take any of them away.

When your argument just as easily dismisses the right to free speech or the right to life, the problem is not the right you are arguing against, it is a flaw with your argument.
  #67  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:48 PM
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Then take it from them if you think you can.
That's what our courts are for.
  #68  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
Good question! The answer: we do.
Well, now we're making progress.

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The government has no right to abrogate it because we as a society deem it vital to the human condition
Well, of course the government has a right to abrogate it, because the government is the people and therefore cannot act contrary to their will.

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Christ, you cannot seriously be this naive. Yes, why would it matter to a closeted gay teacher in the south whether or not he had the right to privacy? Whether a local sheriff knew whether or not he was gay? After all, it's not like something like that could end his career (hell, that's not even a gay teacher. That's just an atheist).
I wouldn't choose to continue living in a place where my career was predicated on my religious belief - and if I had no choice but to do so, then I would either change my beliefs or change my career.

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When your argument just as easily dismisses the right to free speech or the right to life, the problem is not the right you are arguing against, it is a flaw with your argument.
And now you've gone back to assuming that "the right to free speech or the right to life" is some objective, cosmically-defined decree, instead of being something that people made up, and demanding that logic itself bend to your personal preferences as to how the world should be.
  #69  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:53 PM
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When your argument just as easily dismisses the right to free speech or the right to life, the problem is not the right you are arguing against, it is a flaw with your argument.
What I I find very disturbing is actually wanting to argue against that right-arguing for complete capitulation to the state when it comes to fundamental freedoms fought for.
  #70  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:56 PM
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What I I find very disturbing is actually wanting to argue against that right-arguing for complete capitulation to the state when it comes to fundamental freedoms fought for.
The only reason you have any rights whatsoever is because the state exists to provide and protect them.

To fight against the state is to fight against the notion of rights.
  #71  
Old 09-28-2014, 03:57 PM
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This isn't about mass surveillance, it's about the police not being able to execute a legitimate warrant.
Police can execute legitimate warrants just fine -- to the owner of the phone. The idea that they should serve them to Apple or Google instead is as silly as the idea of serving a warrant for stolen money in a mattress to Sealy Posturpedic.

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It has nothing to do with spying or cybercrime, as no-one is suggesting banning encryption, only ensuring that manufacturer-provided encryption can be broken by the manufacturer should they receive a warrant.
Either you protect against cybercrime, or you insert a backdoor and facilitate cybercrime. If the FBI actually wanted to reduce crime, it would applaud this development.

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It seems to me that a reasonable compromise is allowing someone to make an active choice to encrypt, but not having it done by default.
That's ridiculous on its face. Such a policy is specially tailored to withhold protection only from people who aren't actively asserting a right to privacy, while protecting secrets both licit and illicit.
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Last edited by Steve MB; 09-28-2014 at 03:58 PM.
  #72  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:00 PM
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Then take it from them if you think you can.
Isn't that exactly what's happening in this situation?
  #73  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:02 PM
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Police can execute legitimate warrants just fine -- to the owner of the phone. The idea that they should serve them to Apple or Google instead is as silly as the idea of serving a warrant for stolen money in a mattress to Sealy Posturpedic.
Except that in this case, Sealy Posturpedic has produced a mattress which cannot be opened or X-rayed unless the guy who sleeps on it says "Mother May I", and you have provided him the legal right to pretend to be a deaf-mute, and required the police to blindfold themselves while in the same room as the mattress unless he suddenly regains the power of speech.

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Either you protect against cybercrime, or you insert a backdoor and facilitate cybercrime. If the FBI actually wanted to reduce crime, it would applaud this development.
Either you protect against terrorism and child molestation, or you develop and sell for profit a piece of software that makes it impossible for the police to find out about the kids you're raping and the journalists you're beheading. If Apple and Google wanted to reduce crime, they'd work with the government, not against it.
  #74  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:02 PM
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Then take it from them if you think you can.
Mission Accomplished. Apple, Google, take your bows....
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  #75  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:03 PM
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Mission Accomplished. Apple, Google, take your bows....
...and stand against the board, here's a blindfold and a cigarette.

Never thought I'd see the day when people who claimed to call themselves liberals were cheering for the triumph of multinational conglomerates over the government.

Last edited by Smapti; 09-28-2014 at 04:04 PM.
  #76  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:05 PM
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You mock the question, but you don't answer it. If you're not breaking the law, why do you care if the government knows what you're up to?
You have got to be kidding me.

1) The government can change the law. Some aspect of my perfectly legal activities right now could be deemed subversive if the congress passes a law tomorrow. And since they are monitoring me they will know right where to go.

Of course, you will argue that I should be a good citizen and should track the text of every bill that goes through congress just to make sure that all these materials I store, be they Islamic newspaper clippings, clerical fatwas, nudie pics. Whatever.

This is no joke, did you know that many of the state Republican platforms currently call for all pornography to be illegal. What percentage of American men have some kind of pornography stored somewhere on their computer or phone?

2) Even legal information can cause damage. Take for instance the case of Martin Luther King Jr. As far as I know, he did nothing illegal but the FBI considered him (and wrote in a memo) that he was the "most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country." Even though he was not a criminal the government surveilled him in an attempt to prove he was a communist, something they were never able to prove even though they installed wiretaps on his phones, in his home and in many of hotel rooms. They used the information they did find, on his personal, legal relationships to threaten him, to attempt to blackmail him, and in attempts to discredit him.

How many erstwhile political leaders have been brought down through allegations of sexual but legal misconduct? Is this an acceptable use of government power?

3) The chilling of political speech: Let's say I know that my cellphone, texts, emails, etc... are being monitored. Rhetorical question: is there a possibility a reasonable person would censor themselves knowing this in a perfectly legal criticism of the current administration or legislature? Don't you think that these kinds of fears could subvert our democracy? Any possibility? Should we not guard against this danger?

4) Petty officials abusing their powers: If you want I could link to a dozen stories of government officials abusing their power. Do you need me to? Allowing government to monitor the activities of common citizens just gives more access for this kind of abuse. Think about what police departments could do with the current civil forfeiture laws if it had a good handle on everybody's finances and social support structures.

Do you need more reasons why it is important to limit government power in this regard? Can you address the problems I have laid out here?

Last edited by Happy Fun Ball; 09-28-2014 at 04:09 PM.
  #77  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:05 PM
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Either you protect against terrorism and child molestation, or you
...act as a pathetic enabler when the people hired to do those jobs whine and moan "It's too haaaaarrrrrd to do it within the rules made by We The People".
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Last edited by Steve MB; 09-28-2014 at 04:05 PM.
  #78  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:11 PM
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The point is that time and again we have seen that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Total information awareness is in many way synonymous to absolute power.
  #79  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:13 PM
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...and stand against the board, here's a blindfold and a cigarette.
Yes, the terrorists will surely kill us all now that our phones are slightly better encrypted. You'll be sorry!
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Never thought I'd see the day when people who claimed to call themselves liberals were cheering for the triumph of multinational conglomerates over the government.
The government has been breaking the law left and right. Did you expect liberals to cheer for that?
  #80  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:14 PM
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The only reason you have any rights whatsoever is because the state exists to provide and protect them.

To fight against the state is to fight against the notion of rights.
Exsqueeze me? If this is a government of, by and for the people, then I(being a people) have every right in the world to put my two cents in when it comes to what my government does for/to me, and when enough people put their two cents into the pot it soon becomes apparent where the buck is going to stop eventually.
  #81  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:22 PM
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To fight against the state is to fight against the notion of rights.
To admit only the rights "given" by the state is to admit none.
  #82  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:23 PM
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Sure there is.
Yep.

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Why not?
I get to decide whose business my health information, and other private information, is. You get to decide whose business your private information is.

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Your health stopped being "private information" when you discussed it with your doctor.
No it didn't. Private doesn't mean it can't be shared, it just means that I get to decide who it's shared with.
  #83  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:23 PM
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1) The government can change the law. Some aspect of my perfectly legal activities right now could be deemed subversive if the congress passes a law tomorrow. And since they are monitoring me they will know right where to go.
This is true. Lucky for you, the Constitution prohibits ex post facto laws.

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This is no joke, did you know that many of the state Republican platforms currently call for all pornography to be illegal. What percentage of American men have some kind of pornography stored somewhere on their computer or phone?
Irrelevant.

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2) Even legal information can cause damage. Take for instance the case of Martin Luther King Jr. As far as I know, he did nothing illegal but the FBI considered him (and wrote in a memo) that he was the "most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country."
Which, to be fair, he was.

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Even though he was not a criminal the government surveilled him in an attempt to prove he was a communist, something they were never able to prove even though they installed wiretaps on his phones, in his home and in many of hotel rooms. They used the information they did find, on his personal, legal relationships to threaten him, to attempt to blackmail him, and in attempts to discredit him.
And they failed, because the power of his message was greater than the power of their countermessage.

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How many erstwhile political leaders have been brought down through allegations of sexual but legal misconduct?
None who would have made effective leaders anyway.

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Is this an acceptable use of government power?
Yes.

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3) The chilling of political speech: Let's say I know that my cellphone, texts, emails, etc... are being monitored. Rhetorical question: is there a possibility a reasonable person would censor themselves knowing this in a perfectly legal criticism of the current administration or legislature?
No.

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Don't you think that these kinds of fears could subvert our democracy? Any possibility?
No.

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Should we not guard against this danger?
What danger?

Quote:
4) Petty officials abusing their powers: If you want I could link to a dozen stories of government officials abusing their power. Do you need me to?
This is indeed a real concern.

Which is why I favor the death penalty for those convicted of bribery, corruption, public malfeasance, or other acts of petty abuse.

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Think about what police departments could do with the current civil forfeiture laws if it had a good handle on everybody's finances and social support structures.
...It could implement them more effectively?

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Do you need more reasons why it is important to limit government power in this regard?
At least one would be nice.

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Can you address the problems I have laid out here?
Apparently so.
  #84  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:24 PM
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...act as a pathetic enabler when the people hired to do those jobs whine and moan "It's too haaaaarrrrrd to do it within the rules made by We The People".
We the People made the rules that you are now whining about.
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:25 PM
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To admit only the rights "given" by the state is to admit none.
Who else do you think is giving you rights? Some imaginary wizard that will grant you superpowers when you die in exchange for obeying his arbitrary fiats?
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:26 PM
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Exsqueeze me? If this is a government of, by and for the people, then I(being a people) have every right in the world to put my two cents in when it comes to what my government does for/to me, and when enough people put their two cents into the pot it soon becomes apparent where the buck is going to stop eventually.
And yet the people have apparently decided that they approve of this security apparatus, which leaves you SOL.
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:28 PM
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The government has been breaking the law left and right.
Cite?

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Did you expect liberals to cheer for that?
I expect liberals to cheer for the entity that exists to protect and serve them over the entity that exists to exploit and profit from them.
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:30 PM
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I expect liberals to cheer for the entity that exists to protect and serve them over the entity that exists to exploit and profit from them.
Would my government like a cheer, or would the raising of just one hand do?
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:31 PM
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And they failed, because the power of his message was greater than the power of their countermessage.
And this somehow makes it justified.
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:31 PM
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Does anyone really believe they will produce an encryption that the government won't be able to bypass when needed? Given the resources the government has, it seems highly unlikely.
  #91  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:32 PM
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Would my government like a cheer, or would the raising of just one hand do?
You tell me - you're a part of it, after all.
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:34 PM
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And this somehow makes it justified.
The people who win get to write the history books about how they were objectively in the right all along, and promulgate the philosophical theories about how they were right and their enemies were evil, and write the body of law that retroactively declares their enemies to be criminals, and set up the school curriculae that teach the next generation of children the same propaganda.
  #93  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:35 PM
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You tell me - you're a part of it, after all.
I'm the part that's saying "No."
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:36 PM
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I'm the part that's saying "No."
And you've been outvoted.
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:42 PM
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And you've been outvoted.
So the matter has been settled, Supreme Justice Smapti?
  #96  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:44 PM
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So the matter has been settled, Supreme Justice Smapti?
Unless you're aware of some secret Supreme Court ruling that overturned FISA and the Patriot Act, then yes, it has been.
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Old 09-28-2014, 04:55 PM
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Unless you're aware of some secret Supreme Court ruling that overturned FISA and the Patriot Act, then yes, it has been.
You'd think that if the matter had already been settled, then there wouldn't be a public outcry and publicity campaign from the Fibbies because the phone companies would already have quietly capitulated. Apparently, somebody in government didn't get the word that they have already won the battle.
Maybe you'd like to drop them a note?
  #98  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:56 PM
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You'd think that if the matter had already been settled, then there wouldn't be a public outcry and publicity campaign from the Fibbies because the phone companies would already have quietly capitulated.
They did quietly capitulate, and that would have been that if not for the treason of a certain bespectacled Putinist.
  #99  
Old 09-28-2014, 04:59 PM
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And yet the people have apparently decided that they approve of this security apparatus
Well, then, nobody will buy the new phones, then.

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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
I expect liberals to cheer for the entity that exists to protect and serve them
i.e. Apple and Google.

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over the entity that exists to exploit and profit from them.
i.e. the three-letter snoop agencies.
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  #100  
Old 09-28-2014, 05:01 PM
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Does anyone really believe they will produce an encryption that the government won't be able to bypass when needed? Given the resources the government has, it seems highly unlikely.
That's precisely the point -- they'll have to start picking and choosing a small number of actual targets and present an opportunity for rebuttal in each individual case (i.e. obey the law).
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