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UK High Court Gives OK To Investigation of Data Siezed From David Miranda

timothy posted about a year ago | from the moving-the-goalposts-and-boiling-the-frog dept.

Censorship 165

cold fjord writes with this snippet from The Guardian: "The high court has granted the Metropolitan police extended powers to investigate whether crimes related to terrorism and breaches of the Official Secrets Act have been committed following the seizure of data at Heathrow from David Miranda... At a hearing ... lawyers for Miranda said they had agreed to the terms of wider police powers to investigate a hard drive and memory sticks containing encrypted material that were seized on 18 August. Previously the inspection had been conducted on the narrower grounds of national security. Following the court ruling, the police will now be allowed to examine the material to investigate whether a crime of 'communication of material to an enemy' has been committed as well as possible crimes of communication of material about members of the military and intelligence services that could be useful to terrorists." Related: Reader hazeii writes "The BBC are reporting that the files seized from David Miranda (as a potential terrorist — see the earlier Slashdot story) 'endanger agents' lives.' Given that Miranda (and other Guardian journalists) seem to have been exceedingly careful not to release anything that could actually damage national security, and that the source of this information is a 'senior cabinet adviser,' one wonders what exactly the point of this 'news' is."

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It is almost as if... (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#44722081)

It is almost as if they want to see just how far they can push. But that push back is going to be a bitch...

Re:It is almost as if... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44722133)

It's not a 'push'. It's a dance, a Capoeira

Re:It is almost as if... (4, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#44722539)

How much does the frog in the warming pot push back?

Re:It is almost as if... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722661)

Apparently, quite a bit:

"As the temperature of the water is gradually increased, the frog will eventually become more and more active in attempts to escape the heated water. "

http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/frogboil.asp [snopes.com]

Re:It is almost as if... (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44722859)

Presumably the insurance files recently released contain all that data and more. If they decide to brand Miranda a terrorist or start attacking journalists as a matter of course the password will be released. If they were acting in the interests of national security they would be negotiating and trying to reconcile their actions with the public, while effecting some real change and transparency.

Re:It is almost as if... (2)

tburkhol (121842) | about a year ago | (#44723163)

Presumably the insurance files recently released contain all that data and more. If they decide to brand Miranda a terrorist or start attacking journalists as a matter of course the password will be released.

From the government bureaucrat perspective, that sounds like extortion, and the government will not negotiate with terrorists or extortionists. The standard government response to this situation would be a completely disproportionate attack on the perpetrator and anyone who has had a conversation with the perpetrator. Potentially out to 2 degrees of separation, to make very certain that no one is willing to touch the next "whistle-blower" data set.

The public don't care. Half of them believe Miranda is a terrorist just because he was stopped under a terrorism law, and the police mean well. Even if the public do care, then trumping up some charges allows the government bureaucrats to defend themselves with a "tough on crime" stance. If there's even one classified document one Miranda's devices, even some part of the Bradley Manning dataset, then they can legitimately pursue state secrets or 'communication of material to the enemy' charges and expect the letter, if not the intent, of those laws to have been soundly violated.

Re:It is almost as if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44723379)

The general public seems to expect their governments to protect them from all the inconvenient little realities...except reality TV...*shudder*
Maybe the spy agencies should run reality TV shows where they go around accusing people of being terrorists...possibly imprisoning pop stars for treason and beating up kids? Maybe that would get some outrage going?
Then again, it's more likely to just create good viewing for the sheeple...

Just kidding by the way...
*non-subversive, good, happy, citizen smiles @u*
Nothing to see here!

Captcha: fortify
uhoh...don't think I have enough beer!

Re:It is almost as if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44723465)

limbo dance... How low can you get?

Re:It is almost as if... (1)

Holi (250190) | about a year ago | (#44722203)

When?

Re:It is almost as if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722439)

Depends on how you setup the bomb's timer.

Re:It is almost as if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722849)

It's time for the people to shove back and revolt. Time to take the enemy of the People out of office.
They are the enemy , not us. They are compromising and stealing our freedoms and breakign the law.
Time to drag them to court and have them trialed for high treason and crimes against the People.
Enough is enough . They push , we shove , they shove , we crush, That's the only language they understand.
Anonymous for obvious reasons.

You can't (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year ago | (#44722915)

You can't push back a turd. They'll have to accept that the truth eventually tends to come out and it will make them look rather bad and undemocratic.

Re:It is almost as if... (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#44722919)

Miranda was carrying information that included the names of dozens of UK agents in the field. He's broken UK law. The High Court is quite correct on this.

Re:It is almost as if... (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | about a year ago | (#44722977)

Summary says the information was encrypted. How do you know what he was carrying?

Re:It is almost as if... (2)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#44722991)

The gigantic idiot was carrying the encryption key, written down, on his person.

miranda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722087)

was he read his rights?

kyukyukyuk..

captcha: soviet.. how fitting

Re:miranda? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44722405)

Maybe, but not his Miranda rights, since Miranda wasn't in America and while the UK does have sort of "rights" to be read upon arrest, they are not "Miranda Rights". :)

Re: miranda? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722481)

You ruined everything.

Re:miranda? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#44722773)

Yes.

He was informed that he was REQUIRED to disclose whatever his captors wanted, and if he did not satisfy them, he would imprisoned for failing to please them.

When asked if "pleasing them" including requiring him to give the officers blow-jobs, the officers responded with "no comment".

This is possible because he was NOT in the UK, but in an international zone [as he was just transferring between flights].

This will be the new push for stifling dissent and troublemakers. If they fly anywhere internationally, they basically give up all their rights to anything, because once you "leave" a country, you haven't entered another one, so you are between states, so no law applies to you, other than the law that the guy pointing the gun at you tells you.

Who is really endangering agents' lives? (5, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | about a year ago | (#44722107)

Frustratingly, it is actually possible for released information to endanger agents' lives. By using this as a pretext for searches when there's no real basis for thinking an agent's life is being endangered, it is they who endanger agents' lives, not the people whose data they search on that basis.

What are we to believe when, likely soon, they claim that some piece of data they "found" in Miranda's possession actually endangers someone's life? That the data actually endangers anyone? That it was actually on one of Miranda's drives? How would we know? This is a farce.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722257)

Frustratingly, it is actually possible for released information to endanger agents' lives

Yes, that's why they're secret agents, otherwise they would be overt.

By using this as a pretext for searches when there's no real basis for thinking an agent's life is being endangered, it is they who endanger agents' lives

How? Seriously, tell us how it would "endanger agents' lives" to stop spies from giving the agents' personal information to hostile countries / the highest bidder / whoever they feel like. Explain the logic behind that claim.

What are we to believe when, likely soon, they claim that some piece of data they "found" in Miranda's possession actually endangers someone's life?

1) They've already said that, that's why we're having this discussion, 2) we're supposed to believe it, 3) it probably does

That the data actually endangers anyone?

Yes, its knowledge in the wrong hands will endanger people. Giving the data to the whole world puts it in the wrong hands. Giving the data to other people risks them putting it in the wrong hands. Crossing state borders with the data risks it falling into the wrong hands. This is why there are rules.

That it was actually on one of Miranda's drives?

Yes.

How would we know?

They found it on one of Miranda's drives.

This is a farce.

Yes, your comment is a farce.

And to get back to the point, the issue is not one of endangering the lives of secret agents. That is only one of the negative effects of releasing secret data which was secret for a good reason, which again is why there are rules.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722285)

They aren't showing the public what "endangered" or whose lives were actually endangered. We are suppose to just believe them. The government lost the data. They can't ever get it back. It's a mute point to say that this data on his drive endangers peoples lives. It's already lost. It isn't going to be undone. If they are going to fix this they would pull there agents out of whatever situations they are in. The government was the one who endangered these peoples lives and those who took it upon themselves to work for the government in the ways in which they do.

If it does endanger lives. Well- good. Maybe it'll teach people working for the government is dangerous and stupid. Putting your life in danger for money is not a bright move. It's one thing when your fighting for a cause. But that isn't what these agents are doing.

The only people I'd have respect for are those who are doing something to stop this shit. David Miranda, Julian Assage, Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, rebels, terrorists, and others. I might not agree with each and every one's cause but at least they have one which is more than I can say for anyone working for a major power in the world.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722605)

It's a mute point to say that this data on his drive endangers peoples lives.

MOOT point. Not mute poot. Moot point. Learn English.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44723077)

Why? You got the point he was trying to make, didn't you? The ability to string together sentences with perfect grammar doesn't make you special, you fucking imbecile.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722633)

They aren't showing the public what "endangered" or whose lives were actually endangered.

Imaging hearing and seeing this plastered all over the BBC: "This information proves that David Smith is an undercover agent working for the CIA, and the information includes this photo of David Smith in his super sekrit spy disguise!"

Because that would make a lot of sense - we can't judge whether or not it should remain secret until everybody knows the information and can judge it themselves!

How you got modded insightful for this incomprehensible drivel is beyond me.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44723313)

No evidence, then, government cheerleader? Thought so.

Furthermore, making the government's crimes known is far more important than a few secret agents' lives.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (1)

hughbar (579555) | about a year ago | (#44722921)

And also, the MI5 [internal security service for the UK, as opposed to MI6 or the secret service] do a pretty good job of losing data themselves: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2000/03/28/second_spy_loses_laptop/ [theregister.co.uk] Sometimes, one feels, it's questionable whether they need help from journalists, simply for the act of 'losing' anyway.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722307)

oh fuck you, I bet the nazis would have loved you seeing how you accept everything at face value.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722357)

Your erudite comment does you great credit. You appear to accept at face value the claim that Snowden's material harms no one. So you are just as guilty.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722627)

Go polish your master's boots, scum sucker.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | about a year ago | (#44722987)

I go by the policy of innocent until proven guilty. Until it's demonstrated that this material will actually endanger someone's life, it's just hollow words from a bunch of biased people who have already demonstrated a willingness to break the law.

So, basically, what possible reason could we have to believe the government on this, when they have done everything they possibly could to destroy any trust we have in them?

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (2)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#44722355)

By definition, one of the perks of being an "agent" is the danger. So, i ask, are we to jail the agent's boss for endangering his life?

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44722469)

And the data will be classified, of course, so we'll just have to take the prosecution's word that it is really as dangerous as they claim.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722871)

Frustratingly, it is actually possible for released information to endanger agents' lives. By using this as a pretext for searches when there's no real basis for thinking an agent's life is being endangered, it is they who endanger agents' lives, not the people whose data they search on that basis.

It's more than that. I am quite tired of the rhetoric "but, but someone's going to be killed!!", it's like blaming workers who go on strike against abusive employers.

It is deemed an acceptable argument against all kinds of release of classified information, but it fails to make accountable those who do the greater evil. If the revelation of illegal, immoral and unethical activities will make someone killed, then perhaps those stuff should not have been done in the first place

It is difficult for us to know whether a piece of information is legitimately classified. However, if the government can get away with public scrutiny using this rhetoric under all circumstances, it can cross all sorts of boundaries as long as it sends their men, also citizens, to the most dangerous places. It essentially allows the government to hold the people as hostage. We must not allow this to happen.

The best way to solve it is the painful way. In some cases we just shouldn't give in. The government is not supposed to give in to terrorist requests in hostage situations; they flirt with the enemey, try to buy time etc., but they would not give what the terrorists want, especially when the mission is to protect something very important. So you see people beheaded by Al Qaeda. Then why should we let the government hold us hostage to do evil?

Indeed there are things that are indeed legitimately secret, and I do not wish to endanger any of my fellow citizens by a decision I make. But for every legal argument made on these grounds - that is to condemn whistleblowing that may lead to the killing of agents, there needs to be much more check and balances and legal hurdles behind, and a rubber stamp like FISA just doesn't cut it.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44723047)

This is something I continuously wonder about.
Once they have physical access to your system, what is to stop them from adding or creating whatever evidence they damn well please?
I'd at least be tempted if I had bosses breathing down my neck mentioning things about "my career" and demanding to know where the evidence that is evidently not there is, lest they look like fools or more likely raging assholes for trying to screw a whistleblower or the like.

Where's the evidence, Tom?
Nowhere, the files and exchanges here make it obvious this guy didn't
SO WHERE is the EVIDENCE, Tom?
There is none.
You have two kids, a wife, still some payments on your house right Tom? FIND the EVIDENCE that PROVES he's GUILTY, Tom, or I'll find someone else who will.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44723291)

Frustratingly, it is actually possible for released information to endanger agents' lives.

A redacted quote from the materials confiscated: "Wenn CENSORED das CENSORED git und Slotermeyer?" Beyond that, the officials stated that releasing any further information would put many people's lives into danger.

Re:Who is really endangering agents' lives? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#44723321)

Ja! CENSORED das Oder die CENSORED gersput!

Privacy is obsolete. Transparency is the battle. (5, Insightful)

h00manist (800926) | about a year ago | (#44722109)

Like it or not, privacy is unenforceable. We can fiddle with our settings so they leak less data, but there is still lots of data given out, and leaking, just by having a cellphone, credit card, car, job, name and ID.

The battle now, is to end the privacy/secrecy for THEM. In other words, get gov't transparency, corporate transparency.

They won't give it up easy, their one-way information flow.

Re:Privacy is obsolete. Transparency is the battle (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44722273)

It certainly appears you are correct, speaking in a legal context. Privacy laws may exist, but those to whom it should apply obviously care fuck-all about them because the consequences for violating them are equally fuck-all.

But there are still steps we can take to enforce our own privacy. Encrypt your storage mediums, setup your own communication services like XMPP, install HTTPS Everywhere...

What we really need is a way to obfuscate communications metadata. Something that floods the lines with a continual stream, making random hops and terminating points. We need to make the haystack to massive to dig through. In other words, everyone should be using Tor, all the time. It might actually become usable if that were the case

Re:Privacy is obsolete. Transparency is the battle (2)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#44723115)

Like it or not, privacy is unenforceable.

Like it or not, protection of your life is unenforceable. We can fiddle with our protection mechanisms, so they allow less danger, but there are still lots of dangers around.

Yes, protection of privacy is hard stuff, but that doesn't mean we should give up. Yes, we leak data, but that doesn't allow everyone else to collect those data and analyze it. Yes, we are vulnerable, but that doesn't allow everyone else to stick a knife into our body.

Without restraint (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44722117)

There is ample evidence, historically, and in every country that has ever existed for any length of time, that the government's expansion of police powers will continue until the people fight back. When the cost of consolidating power exceeds the cost of political activism, that is where the balance lays.

In today's "internet culture", with instant gratification and a certain detachment from one's peers, there is no real political activism occurring in industrialized countries that are economically stable. This has meant a rapid expansion of police powers in virtually every one of the top 20 countries by GDP.

Bluntly, the internet may give us access to the knowledge of what's going on anywhere on Earth, our collective knowledge, and does it all nearly instantaniously, but all of this information has blunted our resolve. It has given rise to the idea that technical solutions to social problems are not only viable, but preferred. It has substituted direct social interaction for abstract social interaction.

It could be argued that the internet itself is the proximate cause of the current state of affairs; It has made people complacent and politically impotent.

No political activism? (4, Informative)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about a year ago | (#44722197)

In today's "internet culture", with instant gratification and a certain detachment from one's peers, there is no real political activism occurring in industrialized countries that are economically stable.

You mean Occupy Wall Street and similar movements didn't happen? Are not political activism? Countries where these movements were active, are not economically stable? And I don't think OWS is the only recent political activism, it comes in many shapes & forms. Am I missing something here?

Re:No political activism? (1)

Beardydog (716221) | about a year ago | (#44722275)

Occupy Wall Street was the Brownian Ratchet of political movements.

Re:No political activism? (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44722313)

What did OWS achieve? Is or was that achievement compatible to the achievements of the 60's and 70's in the US?

  I know there were other political activism periods in other countries but I'm not intently familiar with them. So let's see, in the 1960's, we saw the activism pass civil rights legislation (regardless of if you agree with it, was pretty significant) and in the 1970's, we saw protests that changed how parties selected presidential candidates, we saw the ending of the Vietnam war largely because of political activism, we saw some bad changes too like free speech zones being created to contain the Vietnam war protesters on college campuses that were instituted at political conventions in the 1980's by the democratic nations convention (DNC).

I must be missing something here because I do not see the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests achieving anything other then turning some parks into a camp ground for a while and irritating the locals to the point they sent the police in to remove them. Even if we look at other recent political activism, we find them largely ineffective for the most part. Abortion activist, whether pro choice or pro life seem to irritate people more then anything. Laws regarding abortions are passed by the same people who supported them for years. Gun rights and gun bashers in modern times are about the same, the largely liberal states seem perfectly fine with taking your gun rights while the more conservative states seem to be perfectly fine with encouraging you to carry loaded weapons (concealed carry laws). About the only political movement that has been largely successful is the gay marriage and they fought their battles in the schools training little kids to be tolerant and accepting of them and in the courts instead of political activism on the streets (I guess they notices the "We're here and queer and in your face" approach was hurting them more then helping). Perhaps the old activism isn't people setting out complaining but in finding compassionate judges willing to construe the constitution in your favor and politicians willing to ignore the will of the people who pass laws by referendum and refuse to defend them in courts.

Re:No political activism? (4, Interesting)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#44722465)

What did OWS achieve?

It brought popular recognition to the idea that we don't have a democracy because the richest 1% are running the country.

We can thank the Canadian left for coming down here and showing us how to do it.

Now it's up to us. If you don't like the idea of owing $50,000 or $100,000 in non-dischargeable college loans, or paying twice as much for health care as they do anywhere else in the world and still going bankrupt, or having the Republicans attack your Social Security retirement benefits, or shutting down government services with sequesters, or spending trillions in wars like the one in Iraq, or losing your constitutional rights to free speech and freedom from arbitrary searches, or working in minimum-wage, non-union jobs that don't pay enough to live on, then you have to do something about it.

It took the conservatives 30 years to destroy the country (starting from Ronald Reagan's presidency). It's going to take a long time to bring it back. Maybe we never will. It's not easy fighting billionaires. But maybe we will.

Re:No political activism? (1, Troll)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44722851)

And nothing will ever change. You want to know why? I'll tell you anyways. It is because you haven't the slightest clue about what you are talking about. I will demonstrate this a bit for you.

It brought popular recognition to the idea that we don't have a democracy

Most educated people were never under the disillusion that we were a democracy. We are a republic that uses democracy as part of the process to select the people who "represent" all of us. That 1% is included and our representative's jobs are to help ensure we can make money and earn a living. That also includes the 1% who seem to be able to do it more and better then the rest of us. Anyways, what you see as the 1% running the country is smoke and mirrors exaggerated due to your inabilities. I have those same inabilities but I'm not under any illusion that something is owed to me that is being possessed by the 1%.

If you don't like the idea of owing $50,000 or $100,000 in non-dischargeable college loans, or paying twice as much for health care as they do anywhere else in the world and still going bankrupt

And both- that's right, both of these problems are exactly caused by government involvement. Medical costs started rising for the general population when the government created the HMOs and attempted to get out of paying for medicare coverage. College costs rise on a curve directly associated with the availability of loans, grants, and money to go to college. The problem in both cases is that the government half assed a solution that was just as bad as the disease given enough time.

or having the Republicans attack your Social Security retirement benefits

Well, the only thing here is the chained CPI for Cost Of Living Adjustments and wanting to privatize the social security. Of course Obama supported the Chained CPI for COLA because there is sound ideology behind it even if you do not agree with it. While it might be a cut in technical terms, it does help address a problem that will eventually become a crisis if nothing is done. It is also one of the least intrusive or damaging remedies on the table.

As for privatizing social security, you will earn a larger return on monies paid into social security if it was invested in relatively safe investments in the market. Some of these supposedly safe investments aren't actually safe any more seeing how large cities like Detroit are filing bankruptcy and will likely get out of needing to repay bond holders (which could still be retirement investments). But the reality is that until that happened, even with the stock market crash, no money would have been lost to retirees due to the types of investments the privatized social security would be eligible for. The major sticking point is that the US federal government is currently required to purchase US bonds with the excess funds collected and that creates a large slush fund for congress to spend without any concept of paying it back. For some, this disappearing is hailed as a good thing, for others, it is disaster because they would need to find other ways to waste money in congress. The Social Security trust fund currently owns better then 16% of US government debt in the form of bonds issues by the federal government. That is something like 2.7 trillion if IRCC. Of course US treasury notes or bonds would be a qualified investment under the privatization plans that had been discussed over the past decade or so. It Wouldn't change as much as people fear. The biggest problem would be that when people die, the money doesn't stay in the trust. But seeing how you mentioned benefits, you are likely only talking about the chained CPI which Obama supported too.

or shutting down government services with sequesters

I hate to break this to you, but closing of services rests on the white house. the sequester which was agreed to by the democrats only dictated a reduction in spending, on what and how is entirely up to the executive. Any government services closing is because the administration either felt some services were more important then others or it was a political ploy to make people like you complain about it. Certainly some of the closings were specifically political ploys designed to piss the country off.

or spending trillions in wars like the one in Iraq

An interesting note, with the wars gone, we will still spend that same amount of money. Why you might ask? Because Bush funded them off budget and Obama put them on budget. When they were off budget, emergency spending bills needed to be passed every 6 months or so to allocate funding. This meant that when the funding couldn't be justified, the money spent on the wars would be reduced and we would stop spending it. If the wars ended, we would stop spending that money altogether. With it on budget now, the government is free to reallocate that money any way it see fit. In fact, they have already done so. We are technically out of Iraq insomuch as the Iraq war is over. All the spending for the war has gone to spending elsewhere and is still being spend.

I don't think you understand how that works else you wouldn't have limited the spending comment to wars. Make no mistake, all the money spent on the war is still being spent elsewhere when the wars do not need the funding any more. There are even pockets of conspiracy theorist who think the entire Syria debacle started by the president making uninformed remarks and showboating but then when he started to get called out on it, in a Rahm Emanuel "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." 'esq way is thinking he can force congress to increase spending again by putting another war on budget and then backing out of it to have the funding available for other wishes.

or losing your constitutional rights to free speech and freedom from arbitrary searches

I'm not sure where you think you lost free speech from. I'm guessing it is the free speech zones originally implemented by college universities with the Vietnam war protests but entering the political realm with the DNC convention in atlanta circa 1988. If I'm wrong, please correct me. But no free speech was lost, just the ability to interrupt other's free speech and their right to peacefully assemble was lost. As for the searches, you seem to imply all this is a conservative thing but the reality is that the liberal in government are participating just as much if not more. Look at the embrace and extend capabilities of the Obama administration that even had politicians who specifically said in debate X wouldn't happen with the programs and how shocked they are to find out they have been happening for quite a while now. Getting mad at conservatives will not in any way fix this problem. Almost all of the democrats voted for the patriot act, almost all of them voted to allow the increase surveillance of the people. The Mayor of New York who thinks it is perfectly fine to stop all black people in the city and contrive a reason to search them is a prominent liberal democrat (Mike Bloomberg).

or working in minimum-wage, non-union jobs that don't pay enough to live on, then you have to do something about it.

I have never worked a minimum wage job since I was fresh out of school. I'm not alone in this either. the jobs that pay minimum wage are not supposed to be carears, they are supposed to be stepping stones to better jobs. They are supposed to be jobs in which you show you have work ethics, desire, discipline and devotion by spending a few years while in school or right out of school so you look attractive to employers willing to spend good money on employees. Not all job need to be union either. The worst job I ever had was a union job. It completely sucked- not because the work sucked, but because the attitude of everyone sucked and if you didn't follow all the rules to the T, you got wrote up because it's so hard to fire someone at these jobs who deserve getting fired. You are hounded and watched worse then a prison detail cleaning up the road side just so the employer can create a just in case file if they ever decide you need to go. Then there are the trade unions where if you don't have 20 years experience, you only work 4 months a year because everyone with seniority gets first pick of the jobs. I suffered this one year. I was so happy I was getting paid $22 an hour but when I realize that was only 14k a year because I was low man on the pole (there were some lower then me)
I realized I was averaging a little over $7 an hour for a full years worth of work (can't take non union jobs and remain eligible for union jobs when they arrive).

Now the real problem is that we have regulated and forced all or most of our production jobs out of the country. This leaves us with mostly service related jobs and all that does is add costs to products instead of creating wealth. Production jobs create wealth, they add value that is tangible verses to increasing value due to increasing costs. This makes some markets extremely difficult to find good paying jobs in. It is something that needs to be addressed but is a product of government (liberal and conservative) half assing things and not fully thinking shit through.

It took the conservatives 30 years to destroy the country (starting from Ronald Reagan's presidency). It's going to take a long time to bring it back. Maybe we never will. It's not easy fighting billionaires. But maybe we will.

Clinton negotiated and signed NAFTA, I would hardly call him a conservative. You are somehow blinded into thinking this is all about party politcs when it is about competence. It is just as much liberal democrats to blame as it is conservatives. Third party is not an option either. What you need to do is take the damned blinders off and look at the person running for office. Vote for the best man regardless of the party. If you want third party, pay attention to the problems you think need fixed and actually put some research and thought into it instead of spewing bullshit like it's all the conservatives fault. The problems you are talking about started under Carter and managed to continue under both democrats and republican governments.

It's not a conservative problem, it's a government problem.

Re:No political activism? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44723207)

Most educated people were never under the disillusion that we were a democracy.

Bullshit. Most people, when you tell them that we are not in a democracy, will argue with you. And most educated people will argue that a republic is a "representative democracy", which is a bunch of self-contradictory bullshit. But they cling to it because of Cognitive Dissonance. Their self-image is wrapped up in our national image, and they want to believe our nation is the good guys and not the Evil Empire (still looking for those droids...) so they tell themselves that we have what we claim to be bringing to other countries: Democracy.

Medical costs started rising for the general population when the government created the HMOs and attempted to get out of paying for medicare coverage. College costs rise on a curve directly associated with the availability of loans, grants, and money to go to college. The problem in both cases is that the government half assed a solution that was just as bad as the disease given enough time.

I hope that means you're arguing for full free education...

I'm not sure where you think you lost free speech from. I'm guessing it is the free speech zones originally implemented by college universities with the Vietnam war protests but entering the political realm with the DNC convention in atlanta circa 1988. If I'm wrong, please correct me. But no free speech was lost, just the ability to interrupt other's free speech

That's a gross misrepresentation both of what free speech zones are, and how they are used. They are not used that way, and they were always intended to be abused.

and their right to peacefully assemble was lost.

Yes, both those rights have been infringed. How about people being put on the no-fly list for their speech? It has happened in the past, and that infringes both their right of free speech and their right of travel.

Re:No political activism? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44723455)

Bullshit. Most people, when you tell them that we are not in a democracy, will argue with you. And most educated people will argue that a republic is a "representative democracy", which is a bunch of self-contradictory bullshit. But they cling to it because of Cognitive Dissonance. Their self-image is wrapped up in our national image, and they want to believe our nation is the good guys and not the Evil Empire (still looking for those droids...) so they tell themselves that we have what we claim to be bringing to other countries: Democracy.

First, I did not say most people, I said "Most educated people". Second, what I described was exactly a representative democracy. Third, the founding documents require that states only have a republic form of government. Our federal government is divided into 3 parts each representing different aspects of the country. The senate represents the states, the house of representatives represent the people in the states, and the president represents the country as a whole. It is done this way so it can limit the tyranny of the masses (majority). It specifically allows the government to ignore the will of the people or some of the people in order to protect the freedoms, rights, and liberties of the people and to ensure the continued success of the country. James Madison argues this specifically in the federalist paper number 10 a little more clearly than Alexander Hamilton's attempt in Federalist number 9. There is nothing evil about it and it has always been the intent as shown by the US constitution and the federalist papers that made the case for it's adoption.

I hope that means you're arguing for full free education.

Why Free? People used to be able to work their way through college and actually pay for it. Those that can pay for it should be paying for it. Those that cannot should be looking how they can pay for it. The point wasn't that something should be given to someone, it is that the government is responsible for the costs and inability for most people to pay for their own education due to their half baked but good hearted attempts to extend education opportunities to people. If I had to purpose something, it would be that the government create's their own universities and fund parts of it so tuition could be affordable for every American. You know, kind of like it once was as little as 20 or so years ago. Have part of that funding be scholarships for under privileged and extremely low income people. Sort of like the state universities were originally set up. The idea would be to control the inflation of costs and make it accessible without making unlimited funding available and resulting in sky high tuition rates. What is the advantage of loans when you lose any earning advantage college would create by paying an extremely large loan back for most of your professional life? The only reason college is so expensive is because they can charge that amount due to the flood of money given by guaranteed loans.

That's a gross misrepresentation both of what free speech zones are, and how they are used. They are not used that way, and they were always intended to be abused.

Not at all. From the inception, free speech zones and protest zones or their equivilent was all about stopping protesters from interfering with other people's liberties. Colleges created them to stop war protesters from disrupting classes and blocking other students from participating in their education. The DNC used them to hide abortion protesters and stop them from disrupting their convention. They are still used to this day specifically to control access to activities the people being protested have the right to participate in.

Yes, both those rights have been infringed. How about people being put on the no-fly list for their speech? It has happened in the past, and that infringes both their right of free speech and their right of travel.

No speech rights were infringed in you can make the speech. Free speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences of that speech or that you can attempt to limit other's speech by blocking access to conventions and so one or making it impossible to participate in the scheduled activities because your shouting over the speakers. However, I do believe the no fly lists do violate our rights to travel freely.

I'm sorry you are feeling disturbed with what I say. I am only taking the facts and logic and presenting them as truthful and honestly as they can be presented. If you somehow became deluded into thinking something else was true, I urge you to do some research and look it up. You will find what I say to be truthful and accurate.

Re:No political activism? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44723213)

Most educated people were never under the disillusion that we were a democracy. We are a republic that uses democracy as part of the process to select the people who "represent" all of us. That 1% is included and our representative's jobs are to help ensure we can make money and earn a living. That also includes the 1% who seem to be able to do it more and better then the rest of us. Anyways, what you see as the 1% running the country is smoke and mirrors exaggerated due to your inabilities. I have those same inabilities but I'm not under any illusion that something is owed to me that is being possessed by the 1%.

I hate to break it to you, but social mobility in the US is lower than anywhere else in the developed world. This means that, with very few exceptions, the reason you are a member of the 1% is because you were born into that class. Born into that class, so your parents could send you to private school, to after-school tutoring, or at least one of the few good public school systems. Born into that class, so your parents could pay most of your college costs, allowing you to start life free of crushing debt. Born into that class, so the people you know and the language you use let you fit into the culture at the top of business and corporate structures.

We'll hold up and laud the dozen or so people who do manage to pull themselves out of the gutter, but the opportunities available to the 99% pale in comparison with the smorgasbord of options presented to the 1% or the 0.1%

Re:No political activism? (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44723309)

I hate to break it to you, but social mobility in the US is lower than anywhere else in the developed world. This means that, with very few exceptions, the reason you are a member of the 1% is because you were born into that class. Born into that class, so your parents could send you to private school, to after-school tutoring, or at least one of the few good public school systems. Born into that class, so your parents could pay most of your college costs, allowing you to start life free of crushing debt. Born into that class, so the people you know and the language you use let you fit into the culture at the top of business and corporate structures.

We'll hold up and laud the dozen or so people who do manage to pull themselves out of the gutter, but the opportunities available to the 99% pale in comparison with the smorgasbord of options presented to the 1% or the 0.1%

I'm not sure what your point is or how it is connected to mine. I didn't say study hard or something and you will be in that 1%, I said the government represents them too and whatever the government does to enable us with the ability to prosper will benefit them also- except that they will likely see more benefit from it because the 1% is capable of capitalizing on it better then most of us are.

Do you think that because the 1% is somehow born into the 1% or they were given something you weren't somehow makes them less worthy of being represented by the same government we are or that they do not deserve to enjoy the same possibilities to prosper that we do?

Re:No political activism? (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44722483)

I must be missing something here because I do not see the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests achieving anything other then turning some parks into a camp ground for a while and irritating the locals to the point they sent the police in to remove them.

It wasn't the locals. It was a nation-wide crack-down coordinated by the FBI and DHS all with the banks at the lead.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/29/fbi-coordinated-crackdown-occupy [theguardian.com]

Maybe the reason Occupy didn't really cause any immediate change is because they were the first social movement in the US to face wide-scale, modern techniques of repression backed by essentially unlimited funding.

Re:No political activism? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722667)

And I bet you cheered when Janet Reno identified "ex-military" and "tea party member" as belonging to the category of "possible domestic terror threats," too. Because it's funny when the government picks on a group you disagree with. But when OWS gets picked on, "ERMAHGERD, MUH CIVULL RITES!"

Liberals love using the power of the state to force other people to comply with their vision of an ideal society... yet they freak right the fuck out when the machinery of repression turns in their hand and cuts them, too. When will you learn that the solution to "government exceeding and overstepping its authority" is NOT "granting the government MORE power to infringe on the rights of its citizenry in the hopes that somehow they'll magically stop abusing their now-expanded powers?"

You don't kill off weeds in your field by feeding them more fertilizer. Believe it or not, liberals, the libertarians are fundamentally right. Wal Mart can't hold you at the point of a gun, but the government can - and if the government is an attractive takeover target for Walmart, then Walmart can simply purchase the government's guns and direct the government agencies to point them at you.

Stop giving that power to the government, and suddenly Wal Mart loses interest in lobbying the government which has very little power to enact preferential treatment for Walmart into law.

Re:No political activism? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44722777)

And I bet you cheered when Janet Reno identified "ex-military" and "tea party member" as belonging to the category of "possible domestic terror threats," too.

Yeah, that's exactly what I did! Wow you are so smart.

Your ideas are intriguing and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:No political activism? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44723199)

And I bet you cheered when Janet Reno identified "ex-military" and "tea party member" as belonging to the category of "possible domestic terror threats," too.

The thing is, those groups ARE both vastly more credible possible terror threats than Occupy ever was. Ex-military is prone to crime of various sorts and is trained to engage in hostile action. The Tea Partiers are explicitly named after a destructive act! Not that I disagree with it having happened, or with the current state of affairs, but under the current definition another Boston Tea Party would be an act of terrorism!

Believe it or not, liberals, the libertarians are fundamentally right.

We should have a race to the bottom that leads directly back to feudalism and slavery? Not sure what's right about that.

FBI docs revealing crackdown plan are online (3, Informative)

hazeii (5702) | about a year ago | (#44722789)

The actual FBI docs revealing this are available online [justiceonline.org] .

Re:No political activism? (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#44723063)

Maybe it's because they were dangerous radicals with no plan for what they were going to do after they overthrew the government? Look how well that worked out in Egypt, where the revolution did indeed overthrow the government. Now the country is starving and things are worse than ever. Maybe it's actually part of the FBI's job to investigate those who want to overthrow the US government? You don't need "techniques of repression" when just talking to a member of the movement is quite enough to make ordinary people reject their nutbag ideas.

Re:No political activism? (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about a year ago | (#44722675)

Peaceful American protesters in the 1960s *normally* didn't have to worry about heavily-armed forces showing up expressly to force them to leave, spraying them (even if they were sitting still) in the face with pepper spray, instigating fights, or seizing the cameras/phones of anyone (including journalists) they saw recording the incidents. The media also was still making an attempt back then to give accurate reports to the American public, and not using propaganda tactics to turn the public against the protesters by painting a wildly-inaccurate picture of who was protesting or what they believed in.

Don't get me wrong, I have immense respect for what my parents' generation managed, and even chose my college in part because of it. But the police back then knew that the media wasn't under government's thumb yet, so any brutal behavior would be accurately reported to the public and turn it in favor of the protesters much, much faster than happened.

The real differences in how the American public reacted in the 60s compared to now are ones like this:
-- In the 60s, there was a strong, thriving middle class that believed in caring for fellow citizens. In the 00s/10s, economic problems have resulted in a small middle class of people a few steps from ruin, living in an "every man/woman for themselves" economic survival mode.

-- In the 60s, media/television had little-to-no violence, so seeing or hearing about it shocked and horrified citizens. In the 00s/10s, violence is so common in the media that people simply don't react to it, or have a reaction based on Hollywood-movie logic where people are only punished if they deserve it.

--In the 60s, most citizens rightly felt that their actions could make a difference. In the 00s/10s, there's a profound, earned sense of helplessness and despair, no real belief that even a large group of people can make a difference; even the largest protests in the country's history won't have an impact on the government's choices now.

Re:No political activism? (3, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44722875)

Peaceful American protesters in the 1960s *normally* didn't have to worry about heavily-armed forces showing up expressly to force them to leave, spraying them (even if they were sitting still) in the face with pepper spray, instigating fights, or seizing the cameras/phones of anyone (including journalists) they saw recording the incidents. The media also was still making an attempt back then to give accurate reports to the American public, and not using propaganda tactics to turn the public against the protesters by painting a wildly-inaccurate picture of who was protesting or what they believed in.

You should revisit this a bit. The national guard was routinely called out to break up protests. the police routinely unleashed attack dogs on them, they used high pressure fire hoses and instead of spraying pepper spray, they lobbed military grade tear gas into crowds. Ever hear the song "4 dead in Ohio"? It's about the result of one of these attempts to break a protest up where the national guard shit and killed 4 students at Kent state University. Cameras were routinely broken and taken from journalists, about the only thing in this comment that is literally true would be the taking of the phones and the reporting.

Don't get me wrong, I have immense respect for what my parents' generation managed, and even chose my college in part because of it. But the police back then knew that the media wasn't under government's thumb yet, so any brutal behavior would be accurately reported to the public and turn it in favor of the protesters much, much faster than happened.

Not really, the government just called the protesters hippies and commies, draft doggers, and drug crazed lunatics and the public generally accepted the abuse of them on those grounds. When they would go to arrest a protester, they would walk up to them and start beating them with a baton and force them to the ground while handcuffing them. This often happened after tear gas was used unsuccessfully to disperse crowds. People were maimed, injured and even killed in these protests and the public largely saw it as "they had it coming" for not following the cops directions. That is a difference between then and now. Another difference is they had a cohesive message. This message was to end a war, to treat people of color and women the same as white men. Ask a dozen OWS what their grievances was and you got a dozen different answers with most of them appearing ridiculous.

Re:No political activism? (1)

tburkhol (121842) | about a year ago | (#44723235)

Don't get me wrong, I have immense respect for what my parents' generation managed, and even chose my college in part because of it. But the police back then knew that the media wasn't under government's thumb yet, so any brutal behavior would be accurately reported to the public and turn it in favor of the protesters much, much faster than happened.

You went to Kent State [wikipedia.org] ?

Occupy: The FBI co-ordinated the violent crackdown (1)

hazeii (5702) | about a year ago | (#44722783)

It's a case in point; the Occupy movement was smashed by the FBI and Homeland security, by infiltration and (almost certainly) involving illegal interception of communication. See How the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy [theguardian.com] for example.

Re:Without restraint (4, Informative)

ian_billyboy_morris (219947) | about a year ago | (#44722441)

In the UK this week our Prime Minister lost the vote to bomb Syria because MPs from all sides (even his own party ) rebelled due to the strength of public opinion. The last time a PM lost a vote to go to war was the US war of independence. Democracy can work in the age of the Internet.

Re: Without restraint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722493)

Parliamentary democracy can work. Not so sure about the presidential type.

Re:Without restraint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44723039)

I think a lot of the MP's have one eye on the election in less than two years rather than a volte face damascene conversion to adhering to the will of the people for its own and democracy's sake.

Re:Without restraint (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722487)

People were complacent in the 80's and 90's too, before the internet. So your scapegoating of the internet is merely a strawman. You should have expanded your scope.
I think it has been a systematic desensitizing through all media.
Mainstream media sensationalizes everything so that we aren't capable of fighting for one specific thing. OWS kind of proved that.

So those of us who would have been the most revolutionary are tugged in too many directions by their own resolve. Meanwhile those of us who would join a movement but never start one come to the conclusion that its too messed up to do anything about. The leftovers end up being people who like the current system, or at least think that it could work given the right circumstances.

It's OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722129)

He has Miranda rights.

Guilty! (4, Insightful)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | about a year ago | (#44722153)

... the police will now be allowed to examine the material to investigate whether a crime of 'communication of material to an enemy' has been committed

Miranda is clearly guilty, then, as he certainly communicated embarrassing information to dirty red commie journalists.

Sadly, many Western governments are unable to carry out some actions they want to if the general public knows about them, simply because most people consider them immoral and unacceptable. They are, then, presented with a dilemma. They can stop doing things their electorate would find objectionable, they can try to eliminate the ability of the electorate to influence government, or they can lie about what they are doing and try to keep it secret. The third is impossible if people like Snowden are allowed to tell people what their government is doing on their behalf.

Re:Guilty! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722839)

So you think you can influence the government?

UK Rabid Dog Bites (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722175)

The UK Federal Government is reacting now by "biting" anything in reach.

This action is to appease its wounded sexual perception amongst the UK public.

UK in the perception of the UK public is a Man with a 4 foot penis and waging war on the Infidels i.e. non Christians.

The 'Color' communities will feel the brutality of the UK Man in the 'cumming' hours across Britain. A sad night and morning awaits all young and old.

State Terrorism (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722177)

Gee, how short people's memories are these days.

This is how the Cheka started. Countering counterrevolutionary terrorism by becoming state terrorists.

Re:State Terrorism (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44723481)

This is how the Cheka started. Countering counterrevolutionary terrorism by becoming state terrorists.

The Cheka didn't counter "counterrevolutionary terrorism," it suppressed counterrevolution and resistance to the Communist program. It used state terror to do so.

Don't go stupid about terrorism and claim everything is terrorism unless it actually is. Not washing your hands after using the loo is unsanitary, not terrorism. Planting bombs on London busses is terrorism.

It is easy to make stupid mistakes in judgment if you are sloppy in your thinking about these matters.

Endangering or possibly endangering...? (3, Insightful)

divisionbyzero (300681) | about a year ago | (#44722191)

Big difference. Former requires probability and evidence. Latter is an invitation to a fishing expedition.

Double or quits (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722245)

They're playing double-or-quits, raising the threat to the Guardian in an effort to suppress further reporting. This law is under examination for MET's extreme over use of it, so MET pushes for even broader use of it.

That works on the Daily Mail, who are chicken shit scared. But the other non-Murdoch newspapers are expanding their reporting. So this isn't working. BBC was threatened with DA notices, and even they're reporting more about these leaks.

If you're not aware of it, MET is the police agency that gets GCHQ data feeds. It's the secret conduit by which GCHQ targets people for police prosecutions. Any evidence GCHQ provides is heard in court in secret, is not seen by the defendant, and cannot be challenged because it isn't revealed.

The argument for this is that is protects NSA intelligence gathering methods. Methods that are now public courtesy of Snowden and is clearly illegal mass surveillance. So they're covering up crimes of a foreign spying agency and their accomplices in GCHQ.

Mass surveillance is not legal, is does not matter whether it is GCHQ for NSA or STASI for KGC.

Re:Double or quits (1)

someone1234 (830754) | about a year ago | (#44722759)

You meant STASI for KGB, and i'm pretty sure it was "legal". Different laws, you know.

UK NEEDS DEATH PENALTY SOLUTION !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722345)

And it needs this now !! Find these terrorists - they walk amongst us - and set an example for those who dare to harm the Empire !!

Long Live the Queen !! and may Her Subjects Live Almost as Long !! Only without Her Billions !!

Should be prosecuted for negligence... (4, Insightful)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | about a year ago | (#44722395)

I don't agree with the misuse of anti-terrorism laws in this case, but this is ridiculous:

a piece of paper with the password to part of the encrypted files was discovered along with the hard drive

Why? Why would you do that? What possible rationalisation could there be for writing the password down and keeping it with the encrypted data?

It's a pity there is no law against negligent custodianship of encrypted data, it might teach people to be more sensible.

Re:Should be prosecuted for negligence... (1)

mr100percent (57156) | about a year ago | (#44722473)

To be fair, not every password is a simple word or phrase. If it's a randomly-generated password, you need to store it. I agree that having it on paper and not in some sort of encrypted keychain is an extremely bad idea, and I'm surprised that the Greenwald/Miranda/Poitras team made such a huge mistake.

Re:Should be prosecuted for negligence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722861)

Clearly you have never used a random password generator before. I created one as a simple mobile app, it uses a secret seed and user input to generate a nearly unbreakable 20-character long string of randomness. The actual passwords are not stored and the input phrase is known only to me. Even if you knew the input phrase, you'd still need the secret seed which I don't even know as it was generated at compile time.

I do agree that they made a fatal mistake by carrying the password with the encrypted contents. It should have been carried by someone else or sent securely to the destination in advance.

Re:Should be prosecuted for negligence... (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44722489)

It says 'part of.' Maybe that data is just a decoy.

It wouldn't matter though. In the UK, police have authority to demand a password - refusal is a criminal offense under the RIP act. So even if the password were not on a convenient piece of paper, the police would simply ask for it - then start jailing Guardian staff until they get it.

Re:Should be prosecuted for negligence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722525)

It makes a difference when the crime of refusing to reveal passwords carries a lesser punishment than the crime which cannot be prosecuted because the data remains encrypted. In these cases you'd think the people involved would take the time and effort to commit passwords to memory.

Re:Should be prosecuted for negligence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722561)

Not revealing a password is contempt of court and thus carries an infinite prison term until you reveal the password.

Re:Should be prosecuted for negligence... (1)

pjt33 (739471) | about a year ago | (#44723255)

Not true, although the term is still pretty serious. RIPA section 53 (as amended) [legislation.gov.uk] :

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding the appropriate maximum term or to a fine, or to both;

(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both.

(5A) In subsection (5) ‘the appropriate maximum term’ means—

(a) in a national security case or a child indecency case, five years; and

(b) in any other case, two years.

In this case they'd claim "national security", so the sentence is comparable with causing death by careless driving,

Re: Should be prosecuted for negligence... (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about a year ago | (#44723227)

Ah yes. They claim he had the password on him, which directly contradicts statements by Greenwald that Miranda didn't have any passwords. They also claim that out of tens of thousands of documents they so far recovered less than 100, which implies to me that there may have been many passwords and they don't know the important ones. Also, these people have a track record of lying, constantly, whereas the journalists don't. So we'll see. Regardless, the assumption that intelligence agencies have better security than the Guardian seems unwarranted. The files were down successfully without the owners noticing, and the journalists have been reading them on clean machines that were never connected to the internet. Sounds to me like they have better procedures than the spies do.

Re: Should be prosecuted for negligence... (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#44723497)

Also, these people have a track record of lying, constantly, whereas the journalists don't

Are you serious? Really? I am literally at a loss for words.

Re:Should be prosecuted for negligence... (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#44722503)

Why? Why would you do that? What possible rationalisation could there be for writing the password down and keeping it with the encrypted data?

It's a pity there is no law against negligent custodianship of encrypted data, it might teach people to be more sensible.

You would not believe how common something like that is. In fact, most offices will have at least one if not more desks with most of the passwords to not only the computers but banking and other sites written down somewhere and placed within easy access to the user. Generally, they are taped to the side of one of the desk drawers (because sticky notes on the side of the monitor is so unsafe) or printed on a paper shoved under the desk mat.

The problem is that good passwords are hard to remember and unique passwords make it even more difficult when you use them once or twice in a blue moon. Another problem is that competence is not always a requirement for some jobs. At most sites I administrate, we have a master folder located in one of the CEO's offices in a locked file Cabinet or safe. We pick the top dog's offices because they are watched pretty well by other employees (to see if the boss is around) and usually locked then they are out of the office. I once found the master folder containing everyone's passwords to log into all the system, everyone's email, most of the password protected websites used for business (excluding the banking which is kept elsewhere for security reasons) and all the databases on location just sitting at the receptionist desk because the telephone guy needed information to log into the PBX. I guess whoever got the file out didn't think of just getting the information needed and copying it. Instead, they handed him the entire folder and when he left, he gave it to the receptionist on the way out who left it sitting one the desk for two or three days before asking someone what to do with it. That someone replied to ask me when she saw me next.

It doesn't matter if it is encrypted data, or whatever. If the person hasn't been trained to understand the concept of security or the purpose of keeping the information private/secrete/secure, they will likely do something extremely stupid with the passwords sooner or later.

Re:Should be prosecuted for negligence... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722697)

Good passwords are not hard to remember. Use the XKCD methods, but double the number of words. That gives you 88 bits of entropy, 8 more than what NIST recommends for documents categorised as top secret, and they are generally very easy to remember.

It's an old old tatic to play for time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722449)

keep moving the goal posts and eventual you may find something which is a nice little bonus but the real goal is to play for time until the next circus roles into town and distracts the plebs.

Re:It's an old old tatic to play for time (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44722823)

Very true, this keeps everybody who has a role well in the loop and online, waiting to see what will happen.
Overtime the GCHQ and NSA hope someone will get very sloppy and they can 'recover' more hardware in over parts of the world.
Law reform experts and the UK press will also be kept very busy trying to understand any new colour of law efforts that slide "Irish" era laws over their daily work.

Democracy doomed? (5, Interesting)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | about a year ago | (#44722515)

Democracy only works if those in power are committed to its preservation. Important policies and actions need to be discussed and public opinion allowed to influence final decisions. There is ample evidence that the U.S. and some other older democracies no longer really want their people involved in important decision making. They need to pay lip service to the concept. However, a combination of lies, secrecy and manipulation (partly by politicians themselves and partly by well funded PACs) ensure informed participation from the general population is next to impossible.

"Democracy" and "human rights" in these countries will no doubt remain for a long time as key justifications for very undemocratic foreign policies, but are well on the way to being dead in any meaningful sense.

Re:Democracy doomed? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44722863)

The UK has a lot of legal experts who will love a day in court over this or talk at length in to press as to why and how why where shut out.
The UK press has faced this style of cold war intrusion before and has the cash, legal skills and PR to mount a good defence on any more UK/US gov legal efforts.
Add in historians, publishers, bloggers - its a powerful mix to fight off per case in the web 2.0 age.
The ability of anyone in the UK to still seek news/truth on the topics 'outside' the UK makes any rulings a legal mess.
"Banned in the UK" "MI5 is watching this site" "Forbidden to many US/UK gov workers: non fiction content posted below" might become a nice joke on many a news site outside the UK.
Legally the UK is entering that ~1960-80 East European legal zone - the gov so needs more control but as you said so need to be seen as lawful and democratic.
In the end the UK press wins or the gov faces a very short internal legal victory. Years of reminders about its fancy new "laws" in the global press, computer games, plays, tv, radio, web 2.0, books...poems..puppets, lyrics.... people win contests, big international prizes ... UK law becomes a global joke.

Re:Democracy doomed? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44723211)

Democracy only works if those in power are committed to its preservation.

Yes. And The People are in power, if they only realized it. Too bad they 1) think they already have democracy and 2) believe working within the system is a solution.

We are at war with Eastasia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44722533)

We've always been at war with Eastasia.

Weather reports are useful to terrorists (1)

kawabago (551139) | about a year ago | (#44722899)

Stop these constant terror threats of broadcasting when the perfect weather for an attack will occur. It's insane!

Possibly endanger agents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44723025)

What does agent mean. Someone undercover in a foreign country or someone working 9-5 in a cushy desk job doing things the STASI would love to have done? My guess - the latter. The endangerment? The same way the STASI agents were endangered when the Berlin Wall came down.

Come on Mr President. Tear this wall down.

What enemy, you ask? (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44723079)

the police will now be allowed to examine the material to investigate whether a crime of 'communication of material to an enemy'

What enemy, you ask? Well, that would (generally) be the citizens and the alternative and independent media that hasn't been compromised or taken over.

The good? At least things are becoming clear; those who've had their heads buried in the sand for decades are starting to clue in that Fascism is, indeed, alive and well (and who its representatives might even be).

The bad? I'm afraid the only reason Evil is beginning to become confident enough to display its true colors (ahem, coloUrs) in such brazen fashion is due to the fact that it considers itself near its end game in its battle against you (yes, you) and the End (of anything remotely resembling life as you've known it) is Well Fucking Nigh(tm).

But go on and keep believing that this is nothing more than an incompetent and mindless beauracracy exhibiting a sense of self-preservation. "There's no agenda here, folks. Move on."

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Re:What enemy, you ask? (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44723417)

What enemy, you ask? Well, that would (generally) be the citizens and the alternative and independent media that hasn't been compromised or taken over.

It looks like you are guessing, and are way off the mark. Try again.... here is a hint.

At Least 4,000 Suspected of Terrorism-Related Activity in Britain, MI5 Director Says [washingtonpost.com]
London terror bomb plot: the four terrorists [telegraph.co.uk]
7 July Bombings [bbc.co.uk]

Re:What enemy, you ask? (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44723461)

You've been repeatedly outed as a government shill; leave, change your username and try again. Seriously.

Miranda? (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | about a year ago | (#44723237)

I hope they read him his rights. (Yeah I know that doesn't apply in the UK, but they have something similar).

Search and seize first -- warrant to follow? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44723523)

Is that the rule now in the UK? Do y'all have an impeachment process for high court judges?
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