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Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

flatrock Re:Full pardon, and here is why. (822 comments)

I think you are misunderstanding the "fruit of the poison tree". Any evidence gained from an unconstitutional search is inadmissible. That doesn't however, prevent the authorities from trying to gain that information through an alternate path, thus parallel construction. Intelligence can't be used to get a warrant or used in court without allowing the defense to challenge it.

However it can be treated like any other tip, and as long as the authorities use legal and constitutional means to investigate that tip and to gain any evidence they use to get a warrant, they use evidence the gain as a result of following up on that tip.

Furthermore, evidence is only excluded if constitutional rights were violated, or the legislation that makes gathering it illegal includes an exclusionary rule.

For example the Pen Register Act doen't include an exclusionary rule. Police can use an illegal pen register to gather metadata about a phone call and it is still admissible. The police could be prosecuted for doing so, but the evidence is still admissible. It's the result of the Supreme Court ruling Smith v Maryland which is at the root of much of the recent controversy lately.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

flatrock Re:It might be an unpopular opinion... (822 comments)

He deserves a pardon for all the data he released that could reasonably be determined to detail illegal or unconstitutional government programs or actions.

But he leaked a massive amount of documents, and most of them don't show illegal or unconstitutional activity. They do compromise legitimate intelligence operations.

Snowden had a legal obligation to make a reasonable effort to filter out things that didn't show the government breaking the law or the constitution. He also had a moral obligation to do so since he swore an oath the keep classified data secret when he was granted his security clearance.

This is something that should have been very clear to him after Manning's leak and prosecution. Public and legal pressure may cause the government to pardon or refuse to prosecute cases where the leaked information is overwhelmingly in the public interest, and in both cases it can be argued that some of the leaked information was the valid act of a whistle-blower, but that only justifies the leaking of that particular data.

Snowden tried to make it sound like he couldn't be protected by whistle-blower legislation because he was a contractor. That's misdirection at best. No whistle-blower legislation is going to excuse the breadth of his leaks.

about 9 months ago
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DEA Presentation Shows How Agency Hides Investigative Methods From Trial Review

flatrock Re:Fruit of the poison tree (266 comments)

Evidence that results from a constitutional violation can't be used in court. Evidence obtained in a manner that breaks legal but not constitutional protections in many cases can be used in court.

For example, the Supreme Court ruled that you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding pen register data such as what phone numbers you call and how long you spoke (Smith v Maryland), and the Pen Register Act does not contain an exclusionary rule. So even if the officers gained a pen register for a phone under false pretenses and violate the law in the process, the information is still admissible. The officers could be prosecuted for breaking the law, but the evidence isn't excluded.

I also believe that the fruit of the poisoned tree is regarding search warrants. It the evidence submitted to the court in order to acquire a search warrant is obtained improperly, then any evidence gathered through that search warrant is excluded. However, I don't believe that the defendant is allowed to challenge every aspect of the investigation regardless of if the information was used in court.

As for parallel construction, the stated reason for using it is to protect sources where the source might be compromised if the data is used. That doesn't mean the source is illegal, just that the source could be put in danger or is in danger of not being useful in the future if exposed.

So the source is treated like a tip rather than evidence itself. The authorities use that tip to seek our solid evidence that can be used in court. Authorities get lots of tips that aren't enough to get a warrant by themselves but tell them where to look to gain evidence. As long as the evidence isn't used to get a warrant or used in court, I don't believe the defendant has a right to challenge that data.

about 9 months ago
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EU Committee Issues Report On NSA Surveillance; Snowden To Testify

flatrock Re:Where? (177 comments)

It is highly unlikely that the EU will kick out the US military. Having the US military there strengthens their own defenses, but that's not the main reason. The main reason is economic. Having a US base there dumps a huge amount of money into the local economy. Kicking out the US military would be economically devastating the the areas surrounding the bases.

The EU and US are allies and competitors at the same time. EU government agencies rarely pass up a chance to tweak the US government. People on both sides talk about removing the bases from time to time, but it never happens because having those bases there benefits both the US and EU.

People from Germany, France, and other talk about how they would never put up with their governments spying. They don't trust their own governments, yet they expect the US government to trust their government? Blind trust of governments, your own or a foreign one is extremely foolish. People know that but they don't think through what that means.

As for the bulk data collection. I suspect that the administration will scrap the program and go back to requesting the data on individual cell phone numbers from the cell companies. However since our Supreme Court ruled decades ago that we don't have a reasonable expectation to privacy regarding such metadata held by third parties, it will have very little real effect. A warrant will still not be required to get the data from the cell companies. The pen register act requires a court order, but the standards for getting such an order are so low that the court is basically required to rubber stamp any request. It will take them more time to gather metadata and the process will be less efficient, but there will be no real increase in our privacy protections.

about 9 months ago
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Apple CEO Tim Cook Apologizes For Maps App, Recommends Alternatives

flatrock Re:Somewhere, Google is Smiling (451 comments)

I understand dumping Google maps. However, Google is hardly the only company out there that Apple could partner with to provide a mapping solution for iOS. An in house solution would have been great if it were ready, but it wasn't. You can't tell me that there weren't other mapping companies with quality products that would have offered Apple reasonable term to replace Google maps in iOS.

Dumping Google maps may have been the right decision. Replacing it with their own solution that wasn't ready was an awful solution.

about 2 years ago
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Apple CEO Tim Cook Apologizes For Maps App, Recommends Alternatives

flatrock Re:Bye Apple (451 comments)

They didn't start from scratch, but their replacement simply isn't of the kind of quality Apple customers have come to expect. Apple has always demanded a bit of a premium price for a premium product. Maps are a critical app on a smartphone. I can understand that continuing to lack turn by turn navigation wasn't a viable choice for Apple. It's something they really should have had before now. However substituting their own solution that simply wasn't ready yet was a foolish choice. They should have either been investing more on a better solution of their own, or provided an alternative from another company until theirs was ready.

about 2 years ago
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Windows 7 Overtakes XP, OSX Struggles To Beat Vista

flatrock Re:Thunderbolt not at all useless (540 comments)

You can get a USB 3.0 dock or eSATA cable that will give you the same access speeds for about 15% of the cost unless you are connecting a lot of disks in a RAID. Thunderbolt isn't useless, but since there are very few devices that rally utilize it, and those that do are needed by few people, I'd say that "currently fairly useless" describes it pretty well for the vast majority of users.

more than 2 years ago
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Security Industry Faces Attacks It Can't Stop

flatrock Re:So why not change it? (305 comments)

Operating systems already do try to block access to OS files. However, administrators still have to be able to modify such files, and some services have to be able to modify such files.

So hackers find bugs in software that allow them to run code with administrator privlidges.

Once they find one, their actions appear ligitimate because the process has the appropriate privledges.

The kind of testing you have to do to write software that is nearly bug free, such as how control software for airplanes is developed is incredibly time and cost prohibitive. You end up spending on the order of $1000 per line of code by the time you are done with the entire development and testing process in such systems. Obviously that isn't practical for consumer operating systems and applications, and even then you only have such security and stability by stripping out any non-essential functionality.

If you want flexibility, extensibility, and variety, you are going to have to accept that you are going to have bugs and vulnerabilities. Good design and development practices can help a lot, but the tradeoff still has to be made.

more than 4 years ago
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Security Industry Faces Attacks It Can't Stop

flatrock Re:I'll give you a clue... (305 comments)

There are lots of examples of Linux servers getting hacked, but for the purpose of a botnet they want to infect massive numbers of systems. In reality, that means Windows. Mac OS X isn't particularly secure, there's just no good reason to aim at a niche market instead of the market leader.

Linux is more secure, but being relatively more secure is far different from being unexploitable.

Of course since there are so many distributions, with so many different configurations, the number of systems exploitable with a particular flaw are even more limited.

Don't delude yourself to think that because you are running Linux you are safe. You might be more safe, but the biggest factor is you are simply a less likely target.

more than 4 years ago
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NewEgg Confirms Shipping Fake Core i7s

flatrock Re:D&H Distributing (314 comments)

I'm still waiting for their appology to Newegg. They insisted that the original statement about demo processors was some kind of coverup. Apparently HardOCP shouldn't be held accountable for passing on incorrect information from their sources, but it's just fine for HardOCP to bash the hell out of Newegg for doing the same, and to not even appologize to them for it.
The way things stand now, Kyle deserves to get sued for libel. Either he needs to admit he accused Newegg without good cause, or he needs to accept fault for not doing a better job of verifying that D&H was at fault. He can't have it both ways.

I was unreasonably harsh in my previous post. Kyle doesn't deserve to get sued. He's been around a long time and has built up a lot of well deserved credibility over they years. It's a shame to see that credibility tarnished by him not holding himself to the same standard he held Newegg. He owes them an appology.

more than 4 years ago
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NewEgg Confirms Shipping Fake Core i7s

flatrock Re:D&H Distributing (314 comments)

I'm still waiting for their appology to Newegg. They insisted that the original statement about demo processors was some kind of coverup. Apparently HardOCP shouldn't be held accountable for passing on incorrect information from their sources, but it's just fine for HardOCP to bash the hell out of Newegg for doing the same, and to not even appologize to them for it.
The way things stand now, Kyle deserves to get sued for libel. Either he needs to admit he accused Newegg without good cause, or he needs to accept fault for not doing a better job of verifying that D&H was at fault. He can't have it both ways.

more than 4 years ago
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NewEgg Confirms Shipping Fake Core i7s

flatrock Re:Glad (314 comments)

Yes they vetted the suplier, and from everything I know they haven't had significant problems with them in the many years they have been doing business with them.

However, sometimes good suppliers go bad.

It is their responsibility to make good on what they promised to sell customers, and from all indications they are doing so. They should then go after the supplier to recoup their costs in taking care of their customers.

Now if customers expect unreasonable compensation for the inconveience of not getting what they ordered, that's part of the entitlement mindset. Overnight shipping of the replacement and return shipping costs for the fake is reasonable. Expecting a refund and the replacement or something along those lines isn't reasonable.

Good customer service is good business, but mistakes happen, and passing these chips on from their distributor is a mistake. If companies have to bear a high burden for mistakes and problems that aren't really forseeable, it become cumbersome and unreasonably expensive to do business. Newegg has low prices because they have low profit margins. To keep prices low they have to keep costs down.

A well run company has lower costs in general, but if you have unreasonable expectations, you should expect to pay for them. If you want good prices, accept reasonable solutions to mistakes.

more than 4 years ago
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NewEgg Confirms Shipping Fake Core i7s

flatrock Re:New Egg (314 comments)

Actually the cease and desists were sent by a different distributer who was incorrectly named as the culprit and was justifiably upset. The cease and desist letters by D&H were appropriate, and their claims that they were being falsely accused were accurate.

I think Kyle at HardOCP was honestly misinformed, but he didn't exactly handle if well. He accused Newegg of being dishonest and trying to cover things up. He appologizes to D&H but defends himself by saying "We would NEVER "speculate" on something of this nature, as there is NOTHING for us to gain by misinforming our readers." However, he never gave Newegg the same benefit of the doubt he claims he deserves. He adamantly accused Newegg of a cover-up when they originally relayed IPEX's story about demo processors. Newegg had no more to gain by lying than HardOCP did.

Kyle has been around a long time and should know better. He owes Newegg one hell of a public appology, and hopefully after a little more thought he will man up and make that appology.

more than 4 years ago
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Cryptome in Hot Water Again

flatrock Re:Down already (241 comments)

I'm not aware of any fair use rulings that have ever allowed for the broad publication of a complete copyrighted work.

His justification appears to be that although Microsoft is required to comply with the law, they should publish exactly how they comply so that people are more capably of avoiding the governmental eavesdropping.

Basically he's arguing that while complying on the surface, Microsoft should be helping subvert the law at the same time, which would likely land Microsoft in some pretty serious legal trouble.

The public has a right to know what the law allows the government to do. It doesn't have a right to know the specific implementation.

Such back doors do often result in some security risks, however, believe it or not you don't have a right to do penetration testing on someone else's system, even if you use that system.

more than 4 years ago
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Is Internet Explorer 6/7 Support Required Now?

flatrock Re:I'm posting this from IE6. HELP! (512 comments)

Even though the software upgrade is free, it requires time from support personel and some loss of productivity to upgrade. In this economy, money for anything that is not essential is tight.

If it becomes difficult for you and your coworkers to do your job with IE6, then you have a good argument that might bear some weight. If there isn't a compelling business reason, they are likely to continue to put it off until cash flow improves.

more than 4 years ago
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If Everyone Had To Pass A Particular 101 Course, It Should Be About...

flatrock Re:Statistics! (1142 comments)

Logic breeds skepticism of those that fail to make use of it.

Logic allows you to differentiate fact from conjecture and falshood.

Skepticism of what is logical however just allows people to be easily swayed by conspiracy theories and the like because without logic all you can really manage is either paranoia, or hope you luckily manage to be skeptical of the right things and trust in the right people.

Logic gives you the tools to make sound choices.

Skepticism by itself gives you nothing but doubt and indecision.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Says Windows 7 Not Killing Batteries

flatrock Re:We need more honestly dumb software. (272 comments)

You're assuming that Windows gets such information from the BIOS. How does Windows even know what the original capacity is? It appears the BIOS is indicating that the battery is no longer working within specifications. Windows doesn't even know what those specifications are unless that's something it can read from the hardware.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft Says Windows 7 Not Killing Batteries

flatrock Re:similar story with Fedora and hard drives (272 comments)

It's nothing new. Windows has long gotten the blame for the consequences of buggy software and device drivers developed by others. They have come a long way toward reducing what mistakes made by others can crash the OS, but any kernel mode device driver can crash Windows, or any other operating system for that matter.

I've unfortunately released some drivers with bugs myself that I've had to fix at the insistance of justifiably irate customers.

What's different about this is they are getting blameed for messages they are passing on that come from the hardware.

more than 4 years ago
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Gaining Root Access On Linux-Based Femtocells

flatrock Re:Jedi Mind Trick, actually (102 comments)

Say the carrier provides 95% coverage. Getting that last 5% is prohibitively expensive, and only a small portion of possible customers will benefit. It just doesn't make sense carrier to saturate every place with cell towers to the point where they have 100% coverage.

If you are a consumer living in a dead spot, you can rant and rave, but if the amount they can earn from you and others that want coverage there you doesn't cover the cost of an additional tower, it makes little sense for them to build one.

So if you live in a dead spot you can ask yourself if whatever additional amount the femtocell costs you is worth it to you. If it is, pay for it, if not then I guess you can continue to complain.

Femtocells provide some people an option they wouldn't otherwise have. They can decide if the cost is worth it to them.

more than 4 years ago
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Antitrust Case Against RIAA Reinstated

flatrock Re:What about my stress level (163 comments)

Wether you are 5 or 25 sharing things that are yours is nice, sharing things that belong to others is not.

If another kid lets you play with his toy in kindergarden you don't give that toy to a third kid and say they can do whatever they want with it.

When you "buy" music you are buying a license to use that music in a limited fashion. The person who owns the rights to the music is the real owner, you more or less have it on loan under specific circumstances.

That's the nature of copyright.

more than 4 years ago

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