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Proposed Law Would Limit US Search Warrants For Data Stored Abroad

NicBenjamin Re:Citizens affected but not Companies?! (51 comments)

You're reading it wrong.

Currently the US Government can get a warrant for anyone's data, and US-Based companies must comply or the Courts will seriously fuck them over. The NSA actually has warrants issued by the FISA Court covering all non-US Citizens (yes, I know lots of people thing the warrant is BS, but the simple fact is the Courts disagree with you, and in the US being right when the Courts are wrong doesn't get you jack-squat. Just ask Dredd Scott). Which means that if you're a German, and you're concerned about the NSA, you probably ain't gonna use Yahoo for jack-shit.

This rule would make it impossible for the Courts to order Yahoo to turn over data on that German, as long as the data is stored on Yahoo servers outside the US.

I'm kind of curious as to how this is supposed to work legally. The Fourth Amendment is controlling in the granting of warrants, and it only includes roles for the Executive (asking for a warrant) and the Judicial (granting the warrant). If Obama has probable cause that Yahoo used timd977 is shipping Heroin in from Russia, then the Courts are gonna grant the warrant. Then when Yahoo says "Fuck you, we've got this statute," it's totally irrelevant. The Warrant is valid under the Fourth Amendment,which means Yahoo is by definition in contempt of Court if it refuses to hand the government the data.

I'm not a lawyer, or a specialist in criminal law, so it's possible the Courts have to look at statutes governing probable cause before granting warrants, or can't hold people in contempt unless a statute specifically gives them permission, or something like that. But it just seems to me that if the US Constitution's Separation of Powers mean anything it's that a) Congress can't just pass a law saying the Executive Branch has fewer powers then it is granted by the Constitution, and b) no statute can stop the Courts from penalizing people who disobey them.

1 hour ago
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On Independence for Scotland:

NicBenjamin Re:So influence is the most important? (190 comments)

You're damn close.

Moldova is what, 100 km wide? And half it's entire western border is run by the separatists of Transdniester who a) have more then 1,000 Russian troops protecting them, and b) have announced the intend to be the join Mother Russia as soon as possible.

Then there's the fact that a lot of maps of Novarossiya floating around Moscow include Odessa Oblast, which does share a border with Romania, because parts of the oblast used to be the Romanian bit of Bessarabia.

You guys probably have less to fear then the Poles or the Latvians, but that isn't really saying much.

11 hours ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

NicBenjamin Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (534 comments)

It's factually true in the sense that the US wasn't able to make the Cubans pay for doing it, it's clearly not true in the sense that Cuba actually had the right to do it.

As for what the US government decided to do, let me respond this way:
enter as a tourist while (not so) secretly being an american agent [Status as an American Agent is determined by the American government, and is therefore something "the US decided to do"] acting on plans to overthrow/destabilize the government [the plans were made by the US Government, which means they were also things the US decided to do].

If your conclusion that Cuba clearly had jurisdiction for every charge you mention was in any way valid, don't you think you could come up with a single example of a non-citizen being sent to prison for years for being a foreign agent?

2 days ago
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On Independence for Scotland:

NicBenjamin Re:So influence is the most important? (190 comments)

Joining the EU again will not be as easy as many may think. The EU still has to welcome them in, and not every EU power may be that eager to reward an independence movement like Scotland's. Spain in particular won't want to encourage Catalonia to do the same.

Yeah, they'd need full negotiations of course, but being denied EU membership is, to me, unthinkable. It's a western country with laws already aligned with EU, and economy tightly tied with that of EU. Just because for example Spain might not be happy about it, vetoing them from joining would be a step towards breaking the whole EU.

And to my grandmother, who was raised in Arbroath, breaking up the Union would have been unthinkable. Have you ever heard of Norway? It's not in the EU.

That said, the problem with EU membership is likely going to be that the English have to agree everything's finalized before the EU will accept Scotland as a member. Which means Salmond has to deal with the new Tory majority in London.

NATO membership will be highly difficult. Every NATO member depends on three country's nuclear weapons to protect it from the Russians, and Salmond has a public position that all nuclear weapons are evil. If you;re Romania, and you basically share a land border with the Russians, you ain't going to appreciate that. You're going to think Salmond's an airy-fairy intellectual who prefers following his own logic to it;'s conclusion to preventing Romanians from being vaporized by Putin. You also know he likes to rock the boat when he thinks it's in Scotland's interest. Most importantly you know part of his platform is reduced military spending, to levels below those specified in the NATO treaty, at a time when you're jacking up spending to satisfy treaty requirements.

Note that this can turn into a problem for their EU membership. Poland, the Balts, and Romania can block EU membership for any reason they want. They could claim that the shade of blue in Scotland's flag clashes with the French Tricolor. Putin just ate their neighbor, and a guy who wants to fire a significant fraction of his military is asking a favor? They're poor, not stupid.

2 days ago
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On Independence for Scotland:

NicBenjamin Re:So influence is the most important? (190 comments)

That's one possibility.

The other possibility is that the Torys declare themselves the majority government (because Scotland is, after all, an independent country and they don;t care about the 50-odd MPs from north of the Tweed anymore), and then insist on lengthy negotiations with significant Scots concessions before they make it official in the UN.

If that happens they can't enter the EU, or NATO, or really do anything until the Tories are appeased.

2 days ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

NicBenjamin Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (534 comments)

Has it ever occurred to you that it's possible Cuban Law is simply wrong on this point?

Has it ever occurred to you that the Cubans have the right to defend themselves? Because that's the right you are denying them. When the US interest are attacked, you don't ask for justification to invade your attacker. Yet when Cuba is, you claim that Cuban law is "wrong" for wanting to defend themselves.

Terrible straw-man. I mentioned some pretty drastic steps they could have taken to defend themselves that would not have convinced me they want the embargo to go away.

My argument has always been that their method of defending themselves was so extreme that they had to know it would guarantee the embargo continued until Obama left office.

In a world with nuclear weapons proportionality has to be a very important part of determining whether one state was overly-aggressive in defending itself. Otherwise the Russians get to nuke Kiev over Crimea.

Since you're talking about practice the actual letter of the law is irrelevant. What matters is convictions. Name one whose been convicted.
Seriously. Name a single person convicted of being an unregistered foreign agent who was not a citizen of the US.

The Cuban Five. Notice how I ignore the "not a citizen of the US part". Being a citizen of the US had nothing to do with the convictions: they were convicted for failing to register as agents, for "conspiracy to commit espionage" (even though the prosecution couldn't prove that any secret document was leaked) and "conspiracy to commit murder" (even though they had no way of knowing the outcome).

You set up arbitrary rules that effectively stop Cuba from defending themselves (like being free to enter the US without registering and being citizens). You asked earlier, that's what I meant by arbitrary. The Cubans don't play by those rules, because those "rules", besides made up, imply "just sit there and do nothing while we invade you." You cannot unilaterally make up a rule that benefits you and then claim foul when the other party unilaterally decides to ignore it.

It's so convenient for you to ignore essence of my argument. At least you admit this one is a straw man.

For the record, when they accepted US Citizenship the Cuban Five swore to obey our laws, and give up all foreign allegiances.

You realize you;re talking about thought crimes. He didn't have to do anything, but those thought he thought while he was in Washington DC were anti-Cuban, so he can be charged with thinking them while he was in Havana.

Sigh. Again. He acted in Cuba. And it's rich that you speak about thought crimes, given that the "conspiracy" charges are essentially thought crimes too, and you don't seem to have any problem with those, as long as they are not directed against your agents. But again, irrelevant, he wasn't convicted for sitting in DC thinking about what he was going to do. He was convicted for going to Cuba and doing his part in the conspiracy.

You do realize I've already conceded that the things he actually did in Cuba were crimes under Cuban jurisdiction? So your argument so far consists of straw men and repeating a point I'd already agreed with.

Your problem is most of the things you charge him with happened outside of Cuba. He didn't plan to overthrow the Cuban government from his hotel. The plan was already in place. He didn't go to Havana and then volunteer to be a spy.

In international relations when something pisses you off you don't bitch about in press releases for 25 flights, and then go straight for the jugular.

Read some history. They didn't "bitch about it in press releases for 25 flights", they denounced it, repeatedly, to the US authorities, only to be ignored until they took action.

You realize the scenario you're describing is literally legally impossible?

To denounce anything to US authorities they'd have to act through a) their Ambassador to DC or b) our Ambassador to Havana. Since neither of those people have existed for decades, the only way they could tell our authorities the flights pissed them off was press releases.

So now your argument consists of straw men, repeating a fairly trivial point I'd already granted, and an attempt to counter another point by rephrasing it in language more sympathetic to the Cubans.

If you're Cuba, and you want the thaw to continue, your job is let them get away with most of it and demonstrate you aren't trying to piss the US off in the rare occasions you do respond.

What else can I say. Read that document. That's just one decade. They have suffered through 6. They have gone through diplomatic channels repeatedly. And whenever they respond, some of you claim that they shouldn't have. Of course they wanted the Cubans to react, the thing is, the outcome would have been the same if they had reacted to any of the previous or future incidents.

So?

The Northern Irish of both sides suffered the atrocities of each-other for years. That didn't mean that it would have been smart of either side to respond to the Omagh Bombing by saying "Fuck this, I have the right to 100% of what I wanted, therefore I will freeze our relationship with the other side back where it was when all this started."

And both sides of that particular issue had a hell of a lot better grievances then the Cubans have.

Don't be ridiculous. Might has nothing to do with it.

Of course it has. You claim that the US has every right to keep provoking them, and that they don't have any right whatsoever to respond, under the threat of further violence or continuing embargo. And even if they don't do anything, the US still claims the right to harden the embargo (Torricelli act, 1992).

Right is an incredibly tricky word under international law. Cuba's rights, are (by definition) only restricted by the presence of the rights of other nation-states. Which is why I say with 100% confidence Cuba has no right to try a non-Cuban as a foreign agent planning to overthrow the Cuban government. They can try him for importing communications equipment, but nothing else.

And, while this is a fascinating point, it's irrelevant to the main point. When you're in a conflict with somebody else, and you want to reduce tensions, the thing you have to do is reduce tensions. That means responding as passively as you can to provocations. This is not a moral matter, or a legal principle. It's simply how conflict resolution among big-brained-but-still-incredibly-fucking-stupid primates works.

Note that both the exiles in the planes, and the Congressmen who insisted Gross be sent on his mission; wanted Cuba to over-react. It was their plan.
Either the Cubans are too stupid to see that, or Cuba's plan is to continue the embargo indefinitely.

You are being purposedly dense. It is unreasonable to expect the attacked to just "take it" for 50 years, and then blame them when, after giving ample warning, they defend themselves. Of course it was part of the plan. It has always been part of the plan for the last 50 years: don't you dare to defend yourself in any of those incidents, or else.

Here's your problem:
The Cubans only choose to defend themselves when doing so fucks up a President's chance of getting rid of the embargo.

Since Republicans really need the vote of the older Cuban-Americans to win Florida, they never try to end the embargo, and therefore the Cubans simply ignore the Dubya version of Gross. They ignore said older Cuban-Americans single-minded obsession with screwing with Castro. Don;t get me wrong. They protest everything all the time, but it never goes beyond protests with Republicans.

Then a Democrat appears, and seems like he'll make some progress, and they decide to go from "protest mode" to "arrest an agent and give him an unprecedented prison sentence" mode in a matter of months.

My argument has nothing to do with the justness of the embargo, the US Cuba policy, etc. It's based entirely on how a rational actor would behave if the US was embargoing him and he wanted us to stop.

Arresting Gross would always have resulted in drama. That's a given. You don't get a press release saying "we got a spy," followed by a week of secret negotiations, and a secret deal.

I just said that Cuba couldn't make the first move (or rather, that making a public first move would have ensured that no negotiation was possible). To think otherwise is to ignore 55 years of controversy.

No.

You proved there would have been a lot of BS thrown in the air during the fight, and that Obama's admitting Gross was a US agent would be seen as a defeat for Obama.

Here's the thing: Obama doesn't have to admit he's an agent for this to work.Obama didn't admit any of the guys we got back from Russia were agents.

Moreover you're missing a key fact about Obama: he doesn't give a shit how he's perceived in the short term as long as he gets what he wants in the long-term. If Cuba offered a deal that he thought would be better for him in a year-and-a-half then letting Gross rot in jail he'd take it.

If they wanted to avoid drama they actually should have let him through.

And there you have it, again. The only acceptable answer is to let the US do whatever they want. Everything else is unnacceptable.

Again a strawman.

I've given you plenty of alternatives. They could have detained him and negotiated. They could have not detained him and spied on him, which was apparently good enough for his first couple visits. You'll note that neither one of these actions is what the US wants, because the US wants Gross to accomplish his mission; but they are significantly less likely to really piss off Obama.

Offtopics

or sentence one of your guys to 15 years hard labor, or whatever.

Same "your" as the "you" in the preceding sentence: the US. Gross is the guy sentenced to 15 years.

Sorry, I'm even more confused now. I missed something about Gross being "my"/"our" guy. If you think this was an important part of the argument, please rewrite it (or ignore it if it isn't important). In any case, Gross was not sentenced to hard labor (??), there is no such thing in Cuba. He has spent his sentence in a hospital---the Cubans really don't want anything bad to happen to him.

"Hard labor" was hyperbole.

In the ways that are most important to my argument it's not hyperbole at all. Congress is the only player that can actually lift the embargo of Cuba, and a good 2/3 of that will never believe that Castro's prisons are any better then Dachau. They could have developed a holodeck, locked Gross up in it with his wildest dreams, and it would still have totally fucked their chance of ending the embargo.

If the charges are bogus then jurisdiction doesn;t really matter.

Except that they claimed jurisdiction (and dismissed the lack-of-jurisdiction claim) before testing if the claims were bogus. The US, or at least that prosecutor and judge, claimed jurisdiction over the russians. So, the US does what you claim is wrong for the Cubans to do (claim jurisdiction over actions ocurring abroad), even though the Cubans didn't do it and the US do it continously.

So Cuba, by charging this guy, claimed jurisdiction over what foreign governments could decide to do; and and it's not continuous because they only brought one case (which they won); but the US passes a law that does the same damn thing and loses it's one case and it is continuous? I kinda thought "never won a conviction" was less continuous then "convicted one guy."

Regardless, as I said before the US isn't known for it's respect for international law. I brought us up specifically because if even we don;t think we can get away with a piece of legal BS, it must be an incredible load of BS.

2 days ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

NicBenjamin Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (534 comments)

I think the core of our disagreement rests on your conception that it is legal for countries to ban hostile agents. This is not the case.

And there you go again, denying Cuba's sovereignty. You may not like it, but it is Cuba's law. If you are a foreign agent acting in Cuba with the purpose of overthrowing the government, you can be convicted in Cuba. Even if the US, and even if no other country, has a law prohibiting crimes against the state (which I doubt!), Cuba can still have that law. It is not "my conception". Cuba has that law. You don't like it? You deal with Cuba, rather than just cover your ears and shout "lalala I can't hear you you have no such law".

Has it ever occurred to you that it's possible Cuban Law is simply wrong on this point? It's not like the Cubans have earned a reputation as a country that religiously complies with international norms. We actually do a lot better then Cuba on that point (in part because we wrote the norms back in '48) and I can name one example of US Law being blatantly (and needlessly) wrong in terms of international law.

To an extent they have the right to be wrong, because they are sovereign, but that doesn't mean the rest of us can;t call them on it. It just means that (again, lacking a Starfleet) we can't do much more then call them on it.

We require foreign agents of all powers, even Canada, to register with the authorities, so they can be charged for not registering

So, in practice, your law bans covert agents like Gross. You convict them for failing to register, the Cubans convict them for being covert agents.

Since you're talking about practice the actual letter of the law is irrelevant. What matters is convictions. Name one whose been convicted.

Seriously. Name a single person convicted of being an unregistered foreign agent who was not a citizen of the US.

But if we banned agents of a "hostile power" we'd be de facto banning other countries from being hostile powers, which even we acknowledge can't be done.

That is nonsensical. Banning hostile agents in your territory has no influence whatsoever over anyone who is not in your territory. And, as you said earlier, you already outlaw being a covert agent of a foreign country.

You realize you;re talking about thought crimes. He didn't have to do anything, but those thought he thought while he was in Washington DC were anti-Cuban, so he can be charged with thinking them while he was in Havana.

The logical extension of this is you can't convict foreign agents to multi-year jail terms simply for being part of a plan to oppose your government.

Again, it was not only for planning. It was for acting on those plans. If he had taken violent action (say, murder or bombings), would you agree with the attacked's sovereignty to convict him? If so, what's so different with a non-violent, but also illegal action, with respect to the attacked's sovereignty?

What are you actually saying in this paragraph?

Under my argument, if he'd killed somebody Cuba could charge him with murder.

If he was merely planning to kill somebody the Cubans could arrest him, and then detain him while they negotiated with the US.

The remedy for such plans in international law isn't that the agent gets nabbed, it's that the attacked country gets lots of sympathy for it's retaliation against the attacker's government.

Cuba retaliating against the US. That's rich. The closest thing Cuba can do in retaliation to the US is... arrest the agent.

Nobody said the international system was fair. It's specifically designed to be unfair to anyone who wasn't in the Big Five in '48. It's not America's fault that the other 190-odd nations seem to prefer being minnows in a five-power-sea to giving up their autonomy to a new nation that includes those assholes next door.

That said, even Cuba would have plenty of avenues. You get the Russians and Chinese on-side it's gonna inconvenience Obama in the Security Council. The OAS is a thing that Obama has to pay attention to. You start throwing around the phrase "war crimes" and multiple Spanish and Italian jurists will start criminal proceedings against American officials.

Then they blow a plane out of the sky

...during their 26th attempt to violate Cuba's airspace. I do not condone shooting down the plane in international waters, but you are again being disingenous. They didn't "shot down the plane because they like the embargo". They (over)reacted to a long string of provocations, crafted precisely to increase tensions. "The
group saw its defiance of Cuban law and Cuban airspace as an
example of civil disobedience for Cubans on the island. (...) Several times during the past year, including on Jan. 9
and again on Jan. 13, Hermanos flew over Havana dropping
leaflets (...) Many observes believe that Basulto and other hard-line
exiles, unhappy with the relatively light sanctions by
Washington, are determined to raise tensions between Havana
and the US even further to provoke more stringent reprisals
from the Clinton administration. (...)"

Did you read this? This is exactly the behavior I'm talking about.

In international relations when something pisses you off you don't bitch about in press releases for 25 flights, and then go straight for the jugular. You escalate gradually. Your Migs buzz the invaders. The next time you fire warning shots. Then you can claim that you were acting rationally. You do this to demonstrate that a) you really had no choice, and b) you really didn't want to kill those guys.

Heck, the first paragraph is a Cuban attempt to shift blame for destroying the thaw in their relationship with the US to the exiles. No fucking shit the exiles were trying to destroy the thaw, that's what they do. If you're Cuba, and you want the thaw to continue, your job is let them get away with most of it and demonstrate you aren't trying to piss the US off in the rare occasions you do respond.

or sentence one of your guys to 15 years hard labor, or whatever.

(Hard labor? "our" guys? I do not know what are you talking about. I don't know who "your" refers to.)

Same "your" as the "you" in the preceding sentence: the US. Gross is the guy sentenced to 15 years.

And he's much less likely to try because ending the embargo doesn't actually help the US, and the Cubans have a history of being very passive and easy to get along with until you ease up on the embargo.

This is obviously a "might makes right" situation. US provokes, provokes, provokes again, and when the Cubans finally react, you say that "the cubans are easy to get along with until you ease up on the embargo". The collorary is that, in your view, the Cubans should ignore all hostilities and just let themselves be invaded.

Don't be ridiculous. Might has nothing to do with it.

Ireland is much less powerful then the UK, yet when the Irish were trying to get a final peace deal in Northern Ireland several of their dissident groups increased attacks on Brits. Note that a) Ireland has 1/3 the population of London, b) Ireland is poorer per capita then the Brits, and c) a bombing that actually kills dozens of people is a hell of a lot more provocative then anything any American has done to Cuba for four decades. But the right thing for the UK to do was not retaliate. Retaliation was precisely what the bombers wanted.

Note that both the exiles in the planes, and the Congressmen who insisted Gross be sent on his mission; wanted Cuba to over-react. It was their plan.

Either the Cubans are too stupid to see that, or Cuba's plan is to continue the embargo indefinitely.

and then it's applied to US Citizens or to foreign agents who get freed as a deal before trial. You will note the latter is exactly what I was expecting Cuba to do for Gross.

(Sorry for changing the order. I wanted to address this the last, because any discussion on this is irrelevant if Gross is not actually guilty).
Let's be honest now. The moment Cuba proposed an exchange, it would have backed up Obama into a corner, as it would have appeared that they took an "innocent hostage" to extract some concession. As evidence of that, you are still claiming Gross' innocence. I do not know if or how Cuba reached out privately before the trial, but publicly demanding anything would have guaranteed condemnation. Unfortunately for everyone, Obama let himself get backed into a corner anyway. Rather than acknowledging that Gross was an agent (which would have allowed him to negotiate), he opted for "evil cubans taking innocent hostage, must release him unconditionally." By not demanding concessions up-front, the Cubans gave Obama the opportunity to negotiate without appearing to sacrifice his integrity, and he turned it down.

Arresting Gross would always have resulted in drama. That's a given. You don't get a press release saying "we got a spy," followed by a week of secret negotiations, and a secret deal.

If they wanted to avoid drama they actually should have let him through. A spy you know about is a minimal risk, and can actually be an asset, which is a major reason there are so few cases of spies being arrested.

Nearly offtopic:

As for our attempt to impose the DMCA on Russians, you will note it failed miserably. And we actually had a somewhat decent chance of success, given that some Americans were using the tool in a way that was arguably illegal. You'll also note that we got our asses handed to us in Court.

To my recollection (I don't real legalese, unfortunately), the american courts never recognized a lack of jurisdiction, just that the charges were bogus. If that's true, that means that the court did believe that they had the right to convict the programmer and his employer for actions done entirely outside the US.

If the charges are bogus then jurisdiction doesn;t really matter.

If Obama tried to ban Passover Seders, and then arrested some guy in a skull cap getting off the New York-Jerusalem flight the Courts probably would not bother with the question of jurisdiction.

3 days ago
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Navy Guilty of Illegally Broad Online Searches: Child Porn Conviction Overturned

NicBenjamin Re:When the cat's absent, the mice rejoice (286 comments)

I love lawyers. They are so busy looking at the trees that they can never find the fucking forest.

For example, as a civilian my locker at work is my space. Nobody can open it except me. If my manager thought somebody on-premises was smoking weed she couldn't just have the security guy snap all the locks off, and then detain whomever had weed in the break room until the cops came. A cop walking in and saying "hey these guys really look like potheads," couldn't get a warrant. !Either my boss of the cop could search a specific locker, but going through all 100 or so would be no. In the military your Sergeant can orders a full inspection of every locker at any time. He can then order you detained if you have weed.

To a lawyer the fact that he ordered you "detained," and then had to get paperwork to call it an "arrest," means your Constitutional rights were the same as a civilians. To any sane human being, who lives in the actual real world, the whole line of argument you're making is a distinction without a difference. Everybody got searched with no warrant, and then Bill got arrested, also with no warrant.

The JAG System, etc. has some relevance when talking about searches in service member's homes, or even their cars, but even there it's limited because it's all in the military. Let's say we're talking about an Air Base commanded by a guy named Colonel Kerpinski. Who commands the Security Force cops? Colonel Kerpinski. Who commands the JAGs? Kerpinski. The suspect? Kerpinski. There's a reason "Command Influence" is a really good defense at military trials.

4 days ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

NicBenjamin Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (534 comments)

I think the core of our disagreement rests on your conception that it is legal for countries to ban hostile agents. This is not the case. Even the US, which is notoriously arrogant in international criminal law; doesn't have a law on the books based on being an agent of a hostile power. We require foreign agents of all powers, even Canada, to register with the authorities, so they can be charged for not registering, but this law is only used very rarely, and then it's applied to US Citizens or to foreign agents who get freed as a deal before trial. You will note the latter is exactly what I was expecting Cuba to do for Gross. But if we banned agents of a "hostile power" we'd be de facto banning other countries from being hostile powers, which even we acknowledge can't be done.

The logical extension of this is you can't convict foreign agents to multi-year jail terms simply for being part of a plan to oppose your government. The remedy for such plans in international law isn't that the agent gets nabbed, it's that the attacked country gets lots of sympathy for it's retaliation against the attacker's government.

As for our talk of ending the embargo, Obama was easing up on it. There was chatter about ending it. Given our form of government, which requires Congressional action for lifting an embargo, and the power of the Anti-Castro Lobby that's all you'll see in the first months of the administration of a President who actually ends the damn embargo. The only way to find out whether Obama is serious/Congress would let him get away with it/etc. is to let the process play out. And by sentencing Gross to years in prison they lost an opportunity to let the process play out. It's likely they won't get another one until the next President takes office. And he's much less likely to try because ending the embargo doesn't actually help the US, and the Cubans have a history of being very passive and easy to get along with until you ease up on the embargo. Then they blow a plane out of the sky or sentence one of your guys to 15 years hard labor, or whatever.

As for our attempt to impose the DMCA on Russians, you will note it failed miserably. And we actually had a somewhat decent chance of success, given that some Americans were using the tool in a way that was arguably illegal. You'll also note that we got our asses handed to us in Court.

4 days ago
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Navy Guilty of Illegally Broad Online Searches: Child Porn Conviction Overturned

NicBenjamin Re:When the cat's absent, the mice rejoice (286 comments)

Investigating his fellow Navy personnel he doesn't need warrants,....

You don't know what you are talking about. It is common for military investigators to need a warrant to search the property of service members. It isn't rare at all.

Spoken like a true lawyer. True on every factual point, but still completely misleading.

None of that comes from the Constitution proper. It comes from statutes. And the rights granted under the statute are much more limited. For example, an Officer commanding a base can both authorize investigations of his base's personnel AND sign the warrant. The same goes for an arrest.

The Check that keeps this power from being abused isn't that some third party with unique legal knowledge (ie: the Courts) safeguards the people's rights, it's that there's a paper trail and any officer who has a habit of arresting people for no damn good reason is gonna have to explain himself to his superiors.

But you should be clear there isn't a universal requirement for warrants to search civilians even for civilian police. There are a number of exceptions in fact.

This is true as well. If the police reasonably believe you are hiding something from them then the search they do on you is not "unreasonable," and they don't need a warrant because the Fourth only applies to "unreasonable searches." This particular fact is rife for abuse, because as far as the Courts are concerned it's very hard to be unsuspicious and black at the same time.

4 days ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

NicBenjamin Re:First world problems. (609 comments)

Google "hide itunes." The first result is instructions in getting U2's album to go away from your purchased screen. The only place it will remain is a list of shit you've hidden, accessible from your account screen.

You could also simply download it, and then delete it from your iTunes music list.

Note: this worked even before Apple implemented it's workaround. Apparently music geeks are capable of copious, and creative, bitching on the internet but totally incapable of figuring out the feature-set of a program they claim to love so much that the addition of one album destroyed their lives

4 days ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

NicBenjamin Re:First world problems. (609 comments)

Google "hide itunes."

Google "delete itunes."

Getting this album to a place where you can't see it is trivial. If you actually use iTunes enough to know what the feature set is.

4 days ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

NicBenjamin Re:First world problems. (609 comments)

Then don't download it.

If it downloads automatically because you specifically told iTunes to download things automatically, hit the "delete" key. This is on your keyboard.

If it didn't download automatically, and you don't like it in your purchases window hit the little 'x' button that appears when you hover your mouse over it to hide it.

But lets be honest here. If you actually used an Apple products you would have known about the delete button. You don't. You're basing your entire case on music geeks bitching about an album they don't like, and when music geeks bitch about albums they don't like they do it artistically. This is a fancy way of saying they exaggerate, ignore all the positives ("I don't care that he's got a great voice, she's not authentic, and no I can't define that word for you;" "Artist X's work is clearly a sensitive tribute to Artist Y, but Artist Z is derivative trash of Artist Y, and no I don't have a rigorous definition of any of those terms, including 'artist;'"), and basically turn bitching and moaning into an elaborate art performance.

4 days ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

NicBenjamin Re:First world problems. (609 comments)

So you have a 500 MB data limit on your device, you're using a service that sells 500 MB+ files, and you've got auto-download over your cell phone network enabled? That's not a very smart choice. Your Mom could send a present. You could buy a movie yourself on your Mac or PC, which then auto-downloads to your phone because you're a moron who has auto-download turned on despite his data cap, etc.

It's very hard for me to seriously believe that anyone whose got his settings fucked up that badly is interested enough in technology to have a slashdot account.

It's even harder for me to believe, given the sheer amount of posts describing the album as crap/shit/etc. that the vast majority of complainers would be complaining if Apple had sent them a copy of a new album by their favorite band.

4 days ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

NicBenjamin Re:911 was down for us Friday night (609 comments)

Read the post I was responding to.

That guy is not claiming to be grandma with a computer her favoritist grandson set up for her. He's claiming to be the guy in charge of maintaining a network of Mac Minis. As in he's claiming someone pays him to support a specific computing platform: the Mac Mini, He's also claiming that his networked machines had so little free space that 109 MB made a difference in their stability. That is ridiculous BS.

Which means one of two things is true: his network's stability sucked ass, and he's just blaming U2 for it because his boss hates Bono, or he's making the whole thing up.

4 days ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

NicBenjamin Re:911 was down for us Friday night (609 comments)

Keep in mind that the OP isn't claiming to be a grandma with no clue, he's claiming that a) he has a network of Mac Minis, and b) it is his job to fix them when something goes wrong. Knowing you need more then 109 MB of swap space is something my everyone who uses Macs seriously for work finds out, because when OS X doesn't have GB after GB of swap space stability collapses.

4 days ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

NicBenjamin Re:911 was down for us Friday night (609 comments)

Dude,

This dumbass isn't claiming he's some end-user who is not familiar with how his computer works. He's claiming he's got a fucking network full of Mac Minis and fixing them is his job. If true, and if his Minis truly have so little swap space that 109.8 MB will fuck them up, they are already fucked up.

Seriously. I have had startup disks with 5-6 GB in free space, and it caused serious stability issues. That's how I found out you need lots of free space.

4 days ago
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Navy Guilty of Illegally Broad Online Searches: Child Porn Conviction Overturned

NicBenjamin Re:When the cat's absent, the mice rejoice (286 comments)

Not just statutory. Constitutional.

Investigating his fellow Navy personnel he doesn't need warrants, because the Military can detain it's members without a warrant ("I order you to sit right there"), and extensive powers to search without a warrant ("Show me the contents of your locker Private"). These are covered by the Commander-in-Chief clause, and therefore the Fourth Amendment is irrelevant, which is probably why a Navy cop apparently had no idea why he'd need a warrant.

But the Commander-in-Chief clause does not apply to civilians, so he damn well needed a warrant. If he'd had a somewhat less bullshitty explanation of why he was searching all of Washington state he probably would have been fine -- there's actually a legal doctrine that if the government agent thinks he's within his rights to search you, the evidence doesn't get thrown out just because the agent was wrong -- but "Of course I can do that, I;'m a Federal Agent" won't cut it.

5 days ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

NicBenjamin Re:First world problems. (609 comments)

Well, we're talking to you, so clearly we don't mind putting up with ridonkulous BS excreted by a jackass.

5 days ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

NicBenjamin Re:First world problems. (609 comments)

You poor baby, you'll have to scroll past an album you don't like. You no longer can tell your little music-obssessed-U2-hating-because-only-peons-like-U2 friends you have no U2 songs. You have to go into a long story about how Evil Apple put music-other-people-like-on-your-computer.

Let's be honest here. If you're this worked up about downloading a single album you don't like, then you're probably actually enjoying being this worked up about downloading an album you don't like. You and your little hobbyist buddies will get more pleasure from complaining about the Evil Apple/U2 conspiracy then you possibly could from anything as trivial as an actual album.

5 days ago

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