Author Topic: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System  (Read 82594 times)

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #600 on: December 30, 2014, 08:05:41 pm »
You know, I've never actually read the statues on murder, so I can't really know that stabbing someone in the face 27 times is, technically, not legal.

Ah, but ignorance of the law is no excuse, legally.

The lesson here seems to be the same as always, avoid interaction with the Law as far as is reasonably practicable.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse unless, apparently, you're supposed to be the one enforcing it, in which case it totally is.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #601 on: December 30, 2014, 09:07:03 pm »

Ah, but ignorance of the law is no excuse, legally.



You're SO 20th Century.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #602 on: December 30, 2014, 10:56:24 pm »

Ah, but ignorance of the law is no excuse, legally.



You're SO 20th Century.

Can't help it really, spent a lot of time listening to people using that line to justify horrible shit and just seemed apt.
You know, I've never actually read the statues on murder, so I can't really know that stabbing someone in the face 27 times is, technically, not legal.

Ah, but ignorance of the law is no excuse, legally.

The lesson here seems to be the same as always, avoid interaction with the Law as far as is reasonably practicable.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse unless, apparently, you're supposed to be the one enforcing it, in which case it totally is.

Look, stop trying to imply that police should be held to the same standards as everyone else. It's a difficult job and needs the perks like, say, ignorance, graft, grift and the ability to murder with impunity.

For those unfamiliar with the working difference between graft and grift, and how it can work for YOU I'm running a small seminar that's got a few places left. Reasonably priced. 
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #603 on: December 31, 2014, 10:10:36 pm »
I've been fuming to myself about this ruling for a while. Thanks for posting.
I think the outcome of this one is a further degradation in the public trust.
I've been convincing myself this wasn't done on purpose.
I know that I no longer trust Justice Roberts to act appropriately in the position he was placed in (this last one was just the final straw), which severely cripples oh, 1/3 of our government. Checks and what now?
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #604 on: January 12, 2015, 05:49:04 pm »
Quote
Britain’s spying agencies need more powers to read the contents of communications in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, David Cameron has said.

The prime minister’s comments suggest a Conservative government would bring in new intercept legislation in 2016 to make sure there is no form of communication that cannot be requested with a warrant signed by the home secretary.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/12/uk-spy-agencies-need-more-powers-says-cameron-paris-attacks

Well, at least they waited almost a week.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #605 on: January 12, 2015, 06:07:37 pm »
You have to give them this, they're consistent.

One day, when every kind of communication is under real-time surveillance with warrants issued by policemen and intelligence agents themselves, we will finally be able to stop terrorism.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #606 on: January 15, 2015, 09:49:54 am »
Amusingly, Cameron's proposal will also turn the UK into a cybercrime/cyberterrorism free for all which will cause every business with even an ounce of sense to flee this country, alongside most of its citizenry.

Charles Stross explains:

Quote
If the government can decrypt an end-to-end encrypted session, then a third party can in principle use the same mechanism to decrypt it. (The third party could be a rogue government employee, or a crypto hacker.) This is not a hypothetical: it's intrinsic to how cryptography works. It's either secure against all third-party snoopers, or it isn't secure and will be cracked in time inversely proportional to the value of the data conveyed. Also, merely knowing that an encryption protocol has a weakness makes it easier to attack.

Quote
But email is only the tip of the iceberg. How about the encrypted web session you use to check your bank account? Or to pay your income tax? If you're a small business, the VATMOSS system is obviously a target—and a high value one, where an attacker could steal large amounts of money. Mandatory back doors in encryption imply weakening the security around the government's own tax-raising system. (Talk about sawing off the branch you're sitting on.)

Quote
Let's start with SCADA systems that control blast furnaces, nuclear reactors, water treatment plants, and factories. Then we can add other online systems: the in-cab signalling system used to deliver signals to drivers of trains on railway lines cleared for high-speed running, traffic signal boards on motorways, and in the not too distant future systems used by air traffic control for filing flight plans and transferring security-related passenger information.

We should then add online finance systems, from Paypal to the APACS credit card settlement system, the BACS payment system through which about 80% of the pay cheques in the UK are sent straight to the recipients' bank accounts, to inter-bank settlement and reconciliation, the share dealing system used by the London Stock Exchange, and every supermarket and wholesale warehouse inventory management and stock control/ordering system in the country.

Basically, Cameron doesn't understand the internets, and is going to screw us all over with this.

Fortunately, the idea is so spectacularly awful, even Nick Clegg is refusing to support it.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #607 on: January 15, 2015, 10:52:06 am »
I've been saying for years, the people making the decisions have no idea how the technology works that they're making decisions about. I can see this because IT is my field but now I'm wondering if this disparity is across the board. Would certainly explain a hell of a lot  :horrormirth:
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #608 on: January 21, 2015, 10:22:15 am »
This has been in the news again. I'm fairly sure we covered it at the time, but:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29743857

Quote
The 14 hours of labour that delivered Jacqui's first child was the most intimate moment of her life. In her words, she shared it with a ghost.

Alongside her as she prepared to bring a child into the world was the man she loved, Bob Robinson. She thought he loved her, too. "Well done Jac," he wrote to her in a note after their boy was born.

That was 1985. Two years later he disappeared into the ether, leaving Jacqui tormented and a toddler without a dad.

Three decades on, Jacqui, former animal rights activist turned suburban middle class woman, knows there was more to Bob than his easy charm, love and a shared desire to change the world for the better.

Bob Robinson was not Bob Robinson, but Bob Lambert - an undercover police officer sent by the Met's then Special Demonstration Squad to infiltrate what commanders suspected were the dangerous fringes of London's animal rights scene.

Quote
Throughout his undercover work, the officer had four relationships with women in groups he was tasked to target, two of them long term. When he formed a relationship with Jacqui, he would spend part of the week with her before disappearing off to join his wife and two children elsewhere.

Why has this been in the news again? Because the man is now employed once more as a part-time lecturer at the London Metropolitan University.

So to sum up: the police will infiltrate your 'dangerous groups' (hunt protesters well known for their bombing campaigns) and literally fuck you over.

For bonus points, the fact this woman managed to get £400,000 payout for her ordeal usually results in comments along the lines that the matter has been settled and all is well. I think they HAVE changed the guidance, but I'd be unsurprised if the undercover cops continue to ignore it. The response from the police was largely 'well, what do you expect? We have to keep up the cover'. Because obviously, she would have gotten suspicious if he'd broken it off or just... used protection.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #609 on: January 21, 2015, 11:53:58 am »
Funny story - he's also one of my professors for my current course.

More interesting are the allegations made in Parliament that he once took part in a bombing as an undercover officer.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #610 on: January 21, 2015, 11:57:34 am »
... I'd love to hear the justification for that, if true.

That is, surely, exactly the kind of thing you put undercover officers in there to stop. There's got to be some impressive mental gymnastics going on there.  :?
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #611 on: January 21, 2015, 11:59:47 am »
I don't know the specifics, unfortunately.  There are a lot of things I'd like to ask him, but obviously it would be unprofessional for me to do so with my current status.

I can definitely see why he was chosen for undercover work though - he's almost supernaturally easy to get along with, and his congenial nature masks an extremely sharp mind.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #612 on: January 22, 2015, 06:43:19 pm »
Remember ages ago when I linked to an article describing how Republicans used the House Rules Committee to effectively do whatever they wanted?

Well, Paul Ryan apparently came to similar conclusions as the masterminds behind that legislative chicanery.

Quote
Most politicians who can gin up presidential speculation do (see Gingrich, Newt). It means more reporters covering their speeches, more money for their PAC, more invitations to the Sunday shows. But Rep. Paul Ryan took himself out of the race early.

"After giving it a lot of thought, I've decided not to run for president," he said. "Our work at the House Ways and Means Committee over the next few years will be crucial to moving America forward, and my job as chairman deserves undivided attention."

In doing, Ryan showed he understands something most ambitious politicians don't. The real power in American politics resides in Congress, not in the presidency.

People say the president has the power to set the agenda, and it's true. But presidents only set agendas they think Congress might pass, or at least consider. The president leads — but only where he thinks Congress will follow.

Quote
But now Ryan's chair of the vastly more powerful House Ways and Means Committee (it's roughly the counterpart to the Senate Finance Committee, which Baucus ran). Now he has control over the process that will produce the key bills, as well. Combining the role Ryan has built in the party as Ideologist-in-Chief with the power of the House Ways and Means Committee almost instantly makes Ryan the most powerful Republican in the country when it comes to party's policy direction, particularly on economic and domestic policy.

Given that, it makes sense that Ryan pulled himself out of the race early. If Ryan was running for president in 2016 — or if Republicans even thought he might run for president in 2016 — they would assume his work at Ways and Means was really preparatory work on behalf of Ryan 2016. Worse, his fellow potential candidates would have to distance themselves from Ryan's ideas, as he would be a threat to them. But now Ryan can work to shape all their agendas simultaneously, and they will have to compete for his favor — they'll want both his endorsement and, if they win, his help.

Ryan has been better at understanding how much power ideas can have in American politics than pretty much any member of Congress in recent years. This shows that he's got a clear-eyed view of how much power congressional process holds, too. If he was running for president in such a crowded field, odds are that he probably wouldn't win — and, thus, neither would his ideas. But now that he's forsworn any interest in the presidency while making clear he's going to really use the power of the House Ways and Means Committee, no Republican will be able to win and govern without adopting Ryan's ideas.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #613 on: January 22, 2015, 07:00:36 pm »
Oh, crap.  A real politician has shown up.  We're screwed.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #614 on: January 22, 2015, 07:07:56 pm »
Oh, crap.  A real politician has shown up.  We're screwed.

Gingrich was way more dangerous than this guy, and we survived him.  Marginally.
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