They're deliberately taking an extreme position in an attempt to force a fake compromise (which will ultimately wind up being just as catastrophic to the US software industry). This is a classic tactic, and it works.
Senate Committee on Candy: "Gum is a problem. Okay, life sentences for anyone caught chewing that evil stuff in public."
The Public: "WTF?"
SCC: "Okay, you're right, that's a little harsh. Let's meet in the middle and make it only a $100,000 per stick fine."
The Public: "Whew!"
... and I'm guessing that any "compromise" would take the form of clauses along the lines of the FISA courts being able to rubberstamp people into compliance. In secrecy. In bulk.
I cannot help but wonder if one of the requirements for being on the Senate Intelligence Committee is that the spooks have dramatically compromising blackmail material on you. This would explain a lot. (On the other hand, I believe that Feinstein is a genuinely bad person, and we would be better off without her).
As a Californian, I am constantly ashamed at calling her "my" senator. Why the fuck can't someone reasonable run against her? I guess for the same reason that Bernie is having so much trouble: the Democratic Party is sorta like the Communist Party in USSR; you have to be an insider to get anywhere.
Bring about instant runoff voting or a similar system and you strip parties of their power and we rid ourselves of self-serving incumbents quickly.
There's a June election and the top two vote winners go on to November, even if from the same party. That's why California has a chance to prevent a second Feinstein in Kamala Harris. It will be two Democrats in November: drug prosecutor Harris and grassroots liberal Loretta Sanchez.
Agreed. I believe score voting is the best option. It's remarkable easy to understand (just rate each candidate, like you rate movies or whatever), minimizes voter regret, avoids spoilers/splits, and avoids the two-party rule we suffer with our current plurality voting model.
I prefer score voting to ranked voting for one simple reason: the voter is free to vote any way he or she chooses. It is not necessary to rank the candidates. If you are equally in favor of two or more candidates you can express that with score voting (give them the same score). Ranked voting requires that you rank candidates.
Thanks for the pointer to score-voting – I think I probably agree with your take on its superiority.
It's great because it has good shiny examples and serves as a practical and superior alternative to sites like Survey Monkey for those common office elections such as "Where should we go for team lunch?".
I've always thought every ballot should have the option of:
[ ] None of the above, choose new candidates.
* 1824: John Quincy Adams won over
* 1876: Rutherford B. Hayes
* 1888: Benjamin Harrison
* 2000: George W. Bush
All these presidents won without the votes. Hayes was chosen by The House.
The article you presented on approval and score voting is interesting and I like the idea. I have believed for some time that we need to do away with the party system and let each candidate stand or fall on their own merit.
I don't really fit into any party as I am an independently conservative liberal libertarian with social and anti social leanings.
She's negotiating between a regulatory body and her constituents and coming down firmly on the side of the regulatory body.
There will be an eventual compromise, but not before her constituency gets the clear signal they should be upping their campaign contributions.
Considering how long she's been selling her constituents out, the clear signal seems to be that they should be upping their campaign contributions to anyone running against her.
The basic concept of strong encryption is not something that most people understand. People are projecting their ideas of physical locks and warrants onto digital systems because that's what they understand. It's flawed, but it's hardly the first or even biggest/most important issue where poor understanding by the public leads to bad legislation.
Every now and then I have to drive through bumfuck Oregon, and the only radio stations are AM talk radio. It would be "educational" to spend some time listening to that every now and then. There are real people on the other sides of these issues that seem blindingly one sided to us. I think a lot of Congress probably just thinks that passing this kind of legislation (on encryption) will make most of their voters happy. Just like shutting down the EPA, or ...
I downvoted you because of this. When you're on this soapbox, please bear in mind that some of the people listening are actually residents of bumfuck Oregon. Also, not everyone in bumfuck Oregon is on the political tack that you associate with bumfuck Oregon. Also, they have FM. (Mostly country, I'll grant you that, but still.)
And I don't really consider it derogatory. It's really an accurate description. I was referring to the literal middle of nowhere, where no one lives, not even small towns. The places you drive to get to the small towns.
edit: I think maybe the confusion here is that I was not intending to make an association between the people of Oregon and the AM radio callers I was referring to. (The shows you get are nationally syndicated, aren't they?) I only said that because that's the only time I listen to talk radio, and unless you drive through places where it's hard to find any radio station, you probably won't have listened to it before. It's very different from e.g. Fox News, where you hear professional pundits talking about these issues. You'll hear real people stating opinions that others in this thread are assuming can only be the result of blackmail. That was the whole point of the post.
Nope. There's a faction in the natsec establishment that wants this and so they're getting it. Most people don't care or know enough about encryption to apply that kind of pressure on their congressmen.
If you think it's bumfuck Oregon say so. I've come to the conclusion after travelling that whenever people form groups they become idiots. You can have a reasonable conversation with any single person almost anywhere, however, the more people involved in the conversation the dumber everyone becomes. Eventually culminating in elections and/or the UN.
And if they fail this time they have a bill ready the next time 'an attack' takes place. See The Shock Doctrine  which centers on the exploitation of national crises to push through controversial policies while citizens are too emotionally and physically affected by disasters or upheavals to mount an effective resistance.
Their bill's text is actually pretty straight-forward when read in light of the level of ignorance on display in their interviews and the WSJ op-ed piece. In fact, the bill matches up really well with how they think encryption actually works: encryption is bad, so just make it effectively disappear.
Unfortunately, the people who can best explain to them why they're wrong are the same people they've already written off as just another competing advocacy group instead of subject-matter experts.
To be fair, that's pretty common in Washington. But the jadedness it creates is hugely problematic when they mischaracterize things. So instead of recognizing the community's pretty obvious credibility, they see the exact opposite.
The Public: "Well, the law's the law. If criminals don't want to wind up in prison getting raped then they should have thought of that before they chewed a bunch of gum. This is fine. Everything is fine."
Don't even think of choosing a grassroots Democrat like Loretta Sanchez instead. The Washington establishment wouldn't like it.
Harris first started barely supporting medical marijuana after constituencies forced her to recently. She's been giving support to federal prosecutions that target dispensaries for years as DA and AG.
She's been saying that she'll tone down drug prosecutions in campaigns and then pushing harder for more vicious enforcement than ever once she gains power in every election she's ever run.
And she still doesn't support marijuana legalization. Still! In California in 2016.
She's smooth and a good communicator, but Harris is all Feinstein inside.
* Apple has $38 Billion in liquid assets . Facebook has $18 Billion . Amazon has $20 Billion . Alphabet (fka Google) has $73 Billion . Microsoft has $102 Billion . In the last quarter of 2015, the largest companies by market capitalization were Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft .
And this database would suggest some tech companies fall into the 5th highest spending industry: https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?showYear=2015&inde...
So, a the question is, why, despite these efforts are we still seeing this sort of thing? A few reasons, I'd guess...
1) Lobbying efforts by other industries and groups (law enforcement has a vested interest here, for example)
2) A tendency to wanting to look tough on crime and terrorism, especially going into an election year. Moderation and wise restraint are always a tough sell in politics.
3) The Unbearable Asymmetry of Bullshit - politics edition. See http://quillette.com/2016/02/15/the-unbearable-asymmetry-of-... and
4) A propensity on the part of many in government to want to hold more power (closely related to point 2, but more self-serving).
I'm getting too old to think anyone else has my best interests at heart. Any one but me, that is.
Twenty years is "too recent"? The "encryption controversy" started in the 90s.
> they honestly did not think this issue would get out of hand so fast
Again, this has been building for decades. The problem with the big tech firms is that some of them are collaborators. They don't want real encryption, because that would undermine their spyware-based business models.
Most senators are afraid of looking weak on national security, and this usually outweighs whatever financial clout you can bring to bear. Your average voter does not understand encryption, but understands "this will let us crack into terrorist's phones."
What, specifically, is being contradicted? Because your suggestion that tech companies can't influence one policy issue doesn't seem to contradict the belief that money influences politics.
There are two questions to ask. 1) Is this a serious effort intended to pass or something else? and 2) If it is something else, how would Feinstein benefit from doing this?
You'd have to be brain dead to think she believes this will pass. So obviously the answer to #1 is "It's not a serious effort"
#2 gets much more interesting. If she's doing this as a stalking horse, why? My money says it's to hold on to blue collar workers come the next election. She'll be first in line talking about how she did all she could to make computers "safer". But that's just my intuition. Politicians have a tendency to propose things their sponsors don't like, that they know will not pass, in order to have both their cake and eat it too. The system has been working like that for decades in both the House and Senate.
I think they can, and did.
I think the entire apple/iphone/fbi storyline was a ruse. The government went to apple and told them which way things were going to go and Apple pushed back and insisted that they needed some kind of plausible deniability and PR cushion for the eventual state of affairs.
So they worked together to concoct a (fake) dispute between Apple and FBI, which Apple "won", but which still allowed the FBI to get what they needed through a heretofore unknown third party.
I am not sure who I would consider having the upper hand in this relationship, but I know it's not you and I.
Donate to the EFF: https://supporters.eff.org/donate/button
Call your Reps: http://TryVoices.com (it takes 2 minutes)
Petition the President: https://savecrypto.org/
(so for instance, if there are 4 candidates that get lots of votes in the primary, 2 Democrats, a Republican and an Independent, you can end up with 2 Democrats on the election ballot, I think the Republican would still see that as having their election messed with)
Compared to middle that is conservative leaning.
That way instead of waiting for these half senile and all corrupt politicians to meet their maker, we introduce new blood into the system that hopefully understands the modern American people and modern technology.
Who votes at the 4-year mark? The senate, congress, or national election? If it's the latter, electoral or popular vote? If it's via popular vote I think it'd be next to impossible to eject anyone.
Apple has $38 Billion in liquid assets . Facebook has $18 Billion . Amazon has $20 Billion . Alphabet (fka Google) has $73 Billion . Microsoft has $102 Billion . In the last quarter of 2015, the largest companies by market capitalization were Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft .
Whatever money tech companies throw into the kitty, it pales in comparison to the wealth, patronage and influence that real estate has on politics. Real estate fuels political machinery -- generates lots of fees for lawyers and accountants, lots of bullshit jobs for dumb brothers in law, etc.
It's also a lucrative business -- her husbands firm stands to make $1B selling post office property alone via an exclusive contract.
Feinstein just refilled tens of millions of dollars with her husband's personal check. No sweat. Even Google money means nothing to her. She's like Donald Trump, ignorant and totally exempt from consequences, except instead of blundering she's deliberately evil.
If firms actually care about issues (and their international markets), they should be donating substantial sums to get rid of her.
Most people aren't interested in capitalist striving, they want to live an average life free from any real danger.
That's assuming that anyone still wants to do business with them. Most companies will just wither and die because consumers and especially the enterprise will move on to their competitors outside the US. I really can't think of a better way to destroy the US technology sector than bills like this.
As this law can't be applied to open source software, I'm curious if it will result in the accelerated adoption of OSS.
The standard response should be: "would you want us to do the same for foreign governments?"
Well ofcourse the wizards making magic... err software would have to ensure no other government ever will be able to access the data..
Only the Good Guys (American Government Agents) are the only that should possess the magic to unlock the wizard's text...
ANY sovereign government can pass a bill saying the same thing about any maker of any software, and they might even have long-arm statutes via agreements between them. It's not like Google doesn't have subsidiaries in China, and it's not like they're not restricted in China.
I don't think she would hold her position if other Democrats came to her and said she was hurting fundraising.
Some software is approved. Others, including open source is banned: dangerous.
(unrelated Feinstein http://youtube.com/watch?v=HVOuK_KB9ew )
I don't think the layman associates computer network traffic with speech. But if you make private networks associated with localities, I think they'll righly start to see federal regulation as overbearing.
(Aside: if you're in favor of federally mandated net neutrality, I think you owe it to yourself to think about what kind of effect it could have on that type of local network development.)
"I think the solution to all of this starts with creating alternative means to access encrypted networks. You should be able to key into the someone's computer without doing any crypto work for the privilege. Once crypto comes with back doors, and the keys our in our hands, freedom will blossom and terrorist protections will fade away."
Maybe if your solution were in any way practical or realistic, or if you -- the layman -- knew the difference between how to actually solve a problem and merely proposing fantastical solutions, we wouldn't need this discussion in the first place.
And that's not even mentioning telecom cooperatives and municipal ISPs that are popping up.
> Maybe if your solution were in any way practical or realistic
> fantastical solutions
The broader point was about the idea that the average American doesn't see computer networks as something that can be local, and how that might affect how they interpret computer communication in the context of the first amendment. And (I think, at least) that would be an interesting point in its own right.
But it doesn't have to be, because this is reality, and it's a recent development due to new software and hardware developments. And it's growing.
So fuck off.
If local communities have their own physical networks running internal services, and if average people start using them, I think they'll start seeing computer networks as able to be more than one homogenous cyberspace. Federal regulation doesn't seem so out-of-place when your connections are presumably going all over the world. But if you drop that assumption, I think smaller governments will want autonomy.
(I also want to apoligize for my tone above. Not necessary and not conducive to conversation.)