I hope people will recognize that some laws need to change. Surveillance makes sense in some cases but it should be hard and expensive to do.
You are rendered economically exploitable and politically neutered. There is a reason the state and intelligencies, from the Pinkertons to the FBI, have had a historical obsession with extensive spying on political movements and economic assembly. Both have real potential to change society.
Would the civil or labor rights movements be possible under these conditions? Both threatened the bottom lines of powerful people. The FBI tried to persuade MLK to commit suicide by digging up dirt from his love life. He was considered a national security threat.
Take the ongoing incident with Hillary Clinton's email server, for example. Clinton was quick to support scrapping 4th amendment rights (Patriot Act) in the name of security, but when it came to state secrets, she played it fast and loose (at best). It took 15 years and a scandal before the Secretary of State's emails were finally secured. We started a mass surveillance program practically the day after 9/11.
We are starting to forget we are supposed to have things like civil liberties, and that the exceptions made for wartime only work if war is not permanent. The war on terror has no end. Before terror, it was drugs and communism. The government will never stop coming up with reasons it needs more power.
Of course, people can and do make mistakes. The fact that someone chooses to use a word to describe something does not mean that it's necessarily an accurate description. They may be lying, or they may simply have judged the situation incorrectly. How many startups say "we are the next Google"?
Not everyone who disagrees with you is merely ignorant of the superior wisdom and knowledge you have attained.
Communism is horrendously corrupt and inflicts great control on all its "lesser equal" citizens. Read this report about how Chinese communists have told microblogging sites to hire “self-discipline commissioners” .
I've seen forums shut down because admins got a visit from the FBI and decided that running a site that garners that much attention from the state isn't a risk they want to take. One was a comedy forum that leaned a little more left of center near the 2012 election. Memes and words might endanger national security.
> The communists (Stasi and KGB) would have made it compulsory to not broadcast it but to unicast/multicast it to servers owned by the Party politburo.
Today, we see our government pushing for something similar: unencrypted communication over networks they have captured to servers they can access unimpeded (Google, FB, Skype etc).
Governments are horrendously corrupt and seek increased control over all its citizens. The ideology doesn't much matter after the initial revolutionary sentiment settles down.
Well, not everything. Plant a GPS tracker on a police car or a bug in the restroom at FBI headquarters and you'll soon discover some troubling asymmetries in the modern post-privacy paradigm.
A RaspberryPi(or similar) with a $12 TV tuner software defined radio, and a small database of the various frequencies and bands particular flavours of your local LEO and/or federal TLA use.
I know our local highway patrol, for example, use at least: P25, police issued cell phones, iPads with cellular data, HF radio (at least on rural/country cars), and whatever they use for the data connection for their in-car computers.
Most/all of that would be encrypted, but hey - metadata's a free-for-all according to them, right? I bet if you knew what to look for, you could quite reasonable detect the presence of a highway patrol car when you saw some digital P25, a cellular connection on the bands used by the contracted cellular provider, and I'd bet good money that patterns of encrypted data that things like ALPR systems send would be quite distinctive...
That's all staying pretty solidly at the whitehat end of the wide grey space of "what's allowed". If you were much closer to the blackhat end of that spectrum, I'd also bet pretty good money that sophisticated criminals are already exploiting GSM and 3/4G weaknesses to individually identify cellular radios by cracking the encryption to see the IMSI data. And that'd all be passive and undetectable, if you were firmly in the blackhat camp, active attacks against their P25 radios can (as pointed out) be done for effectively zero dollars.
Broadcastify requires self-censorship, their ToS prohibits broadcasting tactical, command, vice, narcotics, and other interesting channels.
Also, metadata and retroactive analysis is much different than listening to a live audio stream.
I can't figure out how this could possibly be legal. It seems to me the rule for recording conversations is 1 party consent.  There is no way the FBI is participating in those conversations it's recording. I have no problem with law enforcement having special powers, but, isn't that special power a warrant?
But really, It's easy. Put the audio online. Make it all public. Obviously, there should be some time constraint, can't expose an ongoing investigation. Maybe a year after charges are filed? Perhaps a year after trial, to avoid messing with jury pools.
I think this is a pretty great general policy. Police record whatever they want. If the police overstep and record stuff that turns out was private, the people are free to sue. Seems like a nice self balancing amount of surveillance.
Secretly stepping on peoples privacy rights is pretty much consequence free. Publicly stepping on peoples privacy makes the line very bright, and easy to avoid crossing. It also plays neatly into the "honest man has nothing to fear" trope.
Courts have held that the California law does not apply to wiretaps by federal agents authorized by a valid federal warrant. For example, federal agents may go to federal court and obtain a warrant to place a wiretap in California, even though state officials may be barred by state law from obtaining a wiretap under similar circumstances.
In general I suspect they cannot be prevented by local state laws from doing their jobs.
The other interesting aspect is this is looked what Federal agents can do, not "How can we protect the privacy of our citizens? Let's see what we can do for them. Maybe they are entitled to more privacy because they live in California". This mirrors the attitude of the "expert" in the story, they just see the Constitution as an inconveniance you need to bypass in order to get your job done.
In many states, every aspect of public employee compensation is publicly available. As it should be. Public safety folks are usually exempt.
Its closely related to the issue of gov mandated backdoors, in which the gov erroneously claims only they can do it, but in reality a backdoor is a backdoor for anyone.
Now, as for me, where did I put my camera detector/focused emp burst gun?
This became obvious since the proof delivered by Snowden. And we don't need more proof.
What we need now is a way to roll the surveillance state back.
This is driven by technology, and legislation can't do much to change it. It's possible other technology can, but until then, assume you are monitored.
Every person will have a (or multiple) device that can capture and broadcast multiple audio, video, and other sensor data streams to the entire world.
Facial recognition can be beat by a hat + sunglasses (which is the hugest plot hole in Person of Interest, the characters never even attempt to disguise themselves).
They definitely have access to most people's photos - driver's licenses, passports.
I personally don't care if they know where I go in public. They can just tail me if they really want to know.
I nearly always walk around with a 3-d accelerometer which can indeed "phone" home.
Here's the ML extraction mechanism as explained by a Samsung engineer - http://www.slideshare.net/satnam74/the-fifth-elephant-2013-t...
A car provides you with an ability to inflict a lot of damage AND with an ability to escape from the scene quickly. Think hit and runs, road rage, dangerous driving, drunk driving, driving without license, etc.
I'll definitely take lack of anonymity when driving over having to deal with the millions of unaccountable assholes.
I'd love to see some data, but my back-of-the-envelope analysis reckons this wouldn't even budge the needle on my insurance costs.
> Rather, Ford cars have several on-board services such as "Sync Services Directions" (a navigation device that works with drivers' phones) and 911 Assist, which users have to switch on and opt into. And employers can use a service called "Crew Chief" to monitor their corporate car fleet.
I don't want to get into the situation where regular citizens are not allowed to take pictures of people in public places. Still, I can see their lawyer's argument for expectation of privacy. What about the homeless? Do they have no expectation of privacy? Unless they are in their tent? (If they even have a tent).
That is an interesting interpretation, because the same article left me with the impression that they recorded everybody within earshot of the bugs for 10 months.
What I find terrifying is corporations like Google that have all of this data working hand in hand with the government. This creates two problems, a) the government now has tons more data they shouldn't have giving them more authoritarian abilities and b) that company now has immense lobbying power and can stifle competition for its mere deep relationship with the government. Basically, fascism.
With the current state of things it actually doesn't really bother me (other than it's monopolistic market distorting effects, but whatever), but you brought up the possibility of them falling part! A very interesting scenario. Google is playing nice and placating people while they make boatloads of cash. When Firefox and IE natively implement adblock or some technounicorn clobbers them they'll get a lot less nice! And we checked enough End User Agreements to let them
With the government we have some recourse
Ever heard of the East India Company? Pinkerton National Detective Agency?
Of the list of people responsible for those atrocities, none of them were CEOs. Mao alone killed 45 Million people, that's still less than half of the list.
So again, let me know when corporations have even 1/10th of that number, even 1/20th. Governments have a much worse track record win killing people. Just as I was typing this it's very likely that a government murdered someone, statistically speaking. Perhaps even the U.S. government. I didn't say corporations were blameless...just that governments have a much much worse track record.
Yeah go government.
"your life will be made a living hell until you are rendered neutral"
sorry, but that just doesn't match up with reality. Maybe your fantasy of the future?
Bush-era antiwar groups, Occupy Wall Street, leftist political groups, security researchers, environmental activists, whistleblowers, lawyers representing "sensitive" clients, and MLK himself... all have faced some kind of illegal surveillance or intimidation tactics. (There are many known targets that I didn't list here, and likely many that we don't hear about, simply because the oppressed often lack access to media channels.)
I would much rather be manipulated into buying more Coke than targeted for harassment, intimidation, no-fly lists, and smear campaigns because of my political beliefs. Not that marketers are angels, but they don't hold a candle to the type of abuse that the government can dish out when someone is "marked" as inconvenient.
Most definitely NOT. Even discounting things like the PATRIOT act, which wasn't even hidden, the government only gets backlash when it's actually CAUGHT, and then only when it's particularly provable.
Its also no secret that the people who control the government have interests in retaining power and accumulating wealth. Politicians don't even deny that they can be bought, money is free speech after all (http://www.amendmentgazette.com/how-spending-money-became-a-...). Congressmen spend more than half of their time fundraising for a reason.
The policies and actions of the government are not intended to protect you, even though sometimes your interests are aligned.
Digression: my mom loves Hillary Clinton. She's an immigrant, consumes very little American media, but she is a staunch Clinton supporter. Clinton recites all the buzzwords she likes: children, education, security. She views politically radical ideas with deep suspicion and views nonconformity as a character flaw. I look at the government we have, and can't help but think it's exactly what she would do if she were in charge: lots of benefits for retirees, enormous spending on education, vigorous enforcement of drug laws, long punishments for criminals. What exactly would we do differently if my mom were in charge instead of the shadowy cabal of rich people and purchased politicians? Very little.
And the fact is, she is in charge. She's who votes, without fail, in every election. The government doesn't need to keep her in line. The government is what she uses to keep everyone else in line.
I see the same thing when it comes to TSA threads. I know people who actually want the TSA around, and when stories of TSA ineffectiveness come out, their reaction is not "security theatre!", it's "fund them more!"
The point is, the government is literally doing what most of the populace wants it to do. The opinions on HN are in the minority.
But its not true - the government is not to be trusted. It has a monopoly on military / police force, which it abuses incessantly. Moreover, it is effectively controlled by a private duopoly (Democrats + Republicans), with the same motives as any corporate coalition. What's more, corporations effectively control the duopoly. Just look at what happened with TTIP (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/04/secrets...).
And it is not doing what most of the populace wants, if that's not clear from the current election, look at the Congress approval ratings (http://www.gallup.com/poll/1600/congress-public.aspx). It's barely gone above 20% in the last 6 years. And has only once briefly gone above 50% in the past 30 years.
America needs a down round, perhaps... or how does one kick VCs off the board? Dissolve the company and start another one?
Governments have killed way more people than corporations and statistics prove it, thus the average person has a lot more to fear from government.
With that said I agree that we're unlikely to see a world war started by a corporation. I think we're far more likely to see an interplanetary conflict started by a corporation however.
It will be quite an easy thing for an asteroid mining venture to turn into an arms manufacturer the likes of which we have never seen.
Furthermore, just because you can use an institution to do some things for you (if you can call that "being your instrument") doesn't mean you have nothing to fear from it. It does not follow, especially not in the case of the government. More or less every person who's been oppressed by a government could nevertheless say it was providing police and other services to them. If the government were the average person's instrument, as in, a piece of machinery that didn't do anything unless an average person picked it up and used it, and in that case performed exactly the actions the person wanted, then your conclusion would follow [barring accidental misuse and such]. I'm tempted to imagine that you're deliberately giving HN readers an exercise in how to recognize the misleading use of language in a debate.
While I'm on the subject, I'll volunteer that the social contract is a nice-looking facade made up after the fact; it's more like, the government does things to everyone, and afterward maybe a few people decide it was worth it and approve, while others may be displeased but usually lack any effective means of changing the situation, and shrug and put up with it. Further, I'll quote Nock:
"The positive testimony of history is that the State invariably had its origin in conquest and confiscation. No primitive State known to history originated in any other manner. ... Moreover, the sole invariable characteristic of the State is the economic exploitation of one class by another. In this sense, every State known to history is a class-State. Oppenheimer defines the State, in respect of its origin, as an institution "forced on a defeated group by a conquering group, with a view only to systematizing the domination of the conquered by the conquerors, and safeguarding itself against insurrection from within and attack from without. This domination had no other final purpose than the economic exploitation of the conquered group by the victorious group.""
The article contains no evidence of a government-operated network of listening microphones in the Bay area. It deals with one incident using a specific piece of surveillance gear.
What we actually know is this:
An FBI agent was attempting to bust two individuals suspected of a bid-fixing scheme.
This FBI agent then placed two recording devices in a light fixture and another at the bus stop nearest the courthouse.
After the surveillance recorded enough incriminating evidence, the FBI/DOJ sought to introduce the recordings at trial.
All else was rank speculation by a former FBI employee named Jeff Harp.
He also stated, "If you’re going to conduct criminal activity, do it in the privacy of your own home... that was the original intention of the Fourth Amendment," which makes me question his grasp of the constitution, and thus his reliability as an expert.
The Motion to Suppress is practically a lay-up, and definitely worth a quick read. If you're familiar with the fact pattern, you can skip down to the Summary of Argument (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/media/pdf/motiontosuppress.pdf .) The prosecution really had no choice but to withdraw the recordings.
However, I can't help but wonder if there was more to it than that. This pattern is becoming a more frequent occurrence: the FBI provides the DOJ with evidence obtained through an improper method. If the Constitutionality or legality of that method is strongly questioned, the DOJ either withdraws the evidence or drops the charges.
Since the issue is dropped, the techniques used by law enforcement are never subject to judicial scrutiny. The reason reason for dropping key pieces of evidence and even whole cases would have to be significant. The clear reasons are first, to preserve the ability of agents to continue using these techniques, and second, to prevent direct precedent saying they can't use them.
My grandfather, a former FBI agent, used to half-jokingly reply to my complaints about the erosion of the Fourth Amendment, and after briefly laughing jovially would say, "You don't need a warrant if you don't use it in court!"
So this method has been around since J. Edgar ran the Bureau.
Seems like it would cost a heck of a lot. I mean, you would need trained people sitting around listening to all those recordings.
Audio\Speech mining they call it, but it has a ways to go. Even with just one speaker in a noise less environment, there are all kinds of issues with transcription accuracy. I can imagine it being much worse in the kind of conditions the FBI needs it to work in. Ofcourse high end equipment can make things better but it all adds to the cost.
The crime? Supposedly, guys were buying up foreclosed properties. Yea, they were just doing what every get rich in realeste book/seminar suggests. They were buying up forclosed houses/apartments by the thousands. They were paying off competitors to Not bid on certain properties. They were rigging the system. They were in violation of The Sherman Anti-trust Act.
Again, I think it's wrong, but have no sympathy for shinagigans concerning public auctions, and rich guys breaking laws.
(These forclosed properties usually only get a blurb in back of some newspaper. If I had money, I would be bidding on them. I went to one years ago in my county, and I was suprised how few people were there.)
Follow a federal agent home from work and film them and their house. Film their children going to school and post pictures locations and times online, also taking photos of other relatives, friends etc and where they live and their phone numbers and post it all online.
Have your friends join in and keep posting every detail and picture you can get of federal agents and their families etc and compile it into a website.
Then let me know how that works out.
Edit: Does anyone know of any USA law that stands against such activity?
See, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_principles
> the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
From your link:
> The Home Office has explained this approach as "the power of the police coming from the common consent of the public, as opposed to the power of the state. It does not mean the consent of an individual. No individual can choose to withdraw his or her consent from the police, or from a law."
That's the difference between the police and private citizens. Interactions between private citizens must be consensual. Policing, at some level, must necessarily be coercive.
It turns out to be a really good thing to give The People In Charge a monopoly on violence and punishment. For optimal stability, The Punishers must also be accountable to the people that they serve. Lamentably, we're doing poorly on the whole accountability part, but the alternative to a State monopoly on violence is -historically- far, far, far worse than the situation that we have today.
Further, your quoted line, that conflates aggregate consent with individual consent, while trying to distinguish them, making the utterly self-contradictory claim that "no individual can chose to withdraw his or her consent" , which comes from a 2012 commentary opinion by the Home Office, not the classic Peelian principles. (And it is likely a confusion of wording, not their actual understanding of the law or principles.)
And there is nothing contradictory about the Home Office quote. The government is the instrument through which the people, acting collectively, coerce individuals to behave. The collective needs to consent, but the individual doesn't need to. That's the point of government.
> They cannot [withdraw their consent] in interactions with the police.
> The collective needs to consent, but the individual doesn't need to
Do you see how you contradicted yourself?
The police can act without an individual's consent. That doesn't mean they have the individual's consent.
A radical statist perspective would be, e.g. suggesting the state has powers that the founding document of that state says it does not have (or doesn't grant that or a superseding power).
Also as far as being relative it was posed frome the idea that just because something may be legal, it doesn't mean it's a good idea.
Reading this thread, it seems some people think the problem is that it is legal to record stuff in the open. IMHO, that is the wrong take on it.
Let's take license-plates. I don't mind that a police officer is able to see it and note where I am at a given time. But it becomes something quite different when we have surveillance-systems recording where every car is all the time. I do mind that.
It is the systems that are scary and ripe for abuse, not individuals.
I also share your thought on "license-plates".
My post was more aimed at a discussion on how easily openly available information can be misused, to which I appreciate the responses. I always enjoy the level of discussion to be had on this site.
I wonder this now. What if a person lived across from federal employee and all you did was have a security camera covering a view of their house and live streamed it. Lets also assume in the camera view other houses are viewable so you are not directly targeting them, I wonder if Feds would stop by and make you take it down.
(Bug report #0000001: "I charged my iPhone up by carefully holding it within 8 inches of my uBean transducer all night then when I went to make a call in the morning with my uBeam Privacy Sunglasses(tm) on, the other party couldn't hear anything I said." Response: "Closed WONTFIX. You're holding it wrong.")
> That was the original intention of the 4th amendment.
The intention of the 4th amendment was to enable criminal activity, but confine it to private property?
Not to protect citizens' privacy from government snooping without probable cause?
The intent was to prevent the executive branch from indiscriminately "searching" (and hidden microphones are a form of search) innocent people without any cross-check from the judicial branch. The fact that you can "conduct criminal activity in the privacy of your own home" is a side effect, not a design goal, of the principle that a free society is worth the risk of letting a few criminals slip through the cracks.
> The fact that you can "conduct criminal activity in the privacy of your own home" is a side effect, not a design goal, of the principle that a free society is worth the risk of letting a few criminals slip through the cracks.
You can't really separate the two ideas. If you look hard enough, every single person is a criminal. That's why we can't have total surveillance. We would end up with either total prosecution or, more likely, selective prosecution by those in power silencing the dissidents.
So, actually, grandparent post has it "more" correct. The goal is to let everyone be a criminal (since we all are in some way other) and the means to that goal is preventing "government snooping without probable cause".
When the best unpaid legal advice you can find says "Don't talk to police" already* - think how much worse that situation is going to get if the FBI gets away with saying "recording every conversation you ever have in a public place just in case we want to take it out of context and use it as evidence against you is entirely legal, moral, and ethical, and no warrant or any form of external oversight is required for us to do it".
When "every single person is a criminal", there's a deeply disturbing imbalance in power between law enforcement and the populace. It won't just be the dissidents, it'll be everybody that stands in the way of career-climbing LEO or profit seeking civil-asset-forfiture-funded LEO organisations (in fact in my worst dystopian imaginings, not prosecuting selected dissidents will be how the LEO community controls the political class...)
That is tyranny ^
So basically in case your superiors are planning to put criminal charges on you, you should ask if you are at liberty to not talk without an attorney present.
So remember when you hear the "don't talk to the police" line that even police officers don't talk to the police.
Kyllo v. US ruled that heat-cameras mounted on helicopters were considered a "search" and could not be committed without a warrant because most people do not have heat-cameras and helicopters.
But everyone has ears (and microphones obstensibly work as well as ears in public spaces). The government has the right to investigate on the same level as normal citizens, in a way. Binoculars are also fair game, because a lot of people have binoculars.
The "expectation of privacy" is usually evaluated as "if somebody could try to spy on me, would they be able to do so relatively easily?"
In a way, this 4th ammendment interpretation is what protects us from NSA mass-surveillance. Because only very few people have the resources necessary to set up such a network, you can end up with an expectation of privacy.
And while you don't have an expectation of privacy with regards to tor nodes (anybody running a node could be trying to watch you), IIRC expectation of privacy comes in if , as in the recent case, the gov't runs a very large amounts of nodes and cross-references the data to "find" people.
edit: If you downvote, I'd appreciate you telling me why what I said is incorrect, instead of possibly reflexively reacting to the fact that Scalia is being mentioned in a positive way and Clinton in a negative way.
The legality has nothing to do with it, as it has been demonstrated over and over that law enforcement will employ methods that can charitably be described as "legally questionable" and then attempt to hide it (see stingray). What is stopping them is limitations imposed by the physical world - both in number of windows and the fact that laser mics don't work the way they're portrayed on television. This is the reason why digital key escrow is infinitely more dangerous than physical key escrow (like fire department lockboxes).
Second, as soon as Trump and Clinton are locked in (after the conventions), the Republicans will cave on Merrick Garland, rather than have Clinton nominate someone. The next Supreme Court justice is Merrick Garland, an Obama nominee.
This is a case where the more liberal justices tended towards an anti-fourth argument as long as the surveillance was done in a public place, and neither Obama nor Clinton have shown themselves to have a problem with universal surveillance that I'm aware of, in any case, ever.
I was going to say this is the devil they know, but in this case, it's actually the devil they've wanted.
Before the election, sure there is. The optimal course would be to wait until the elections happen (or at least until polling shows a clear advantage one way or another), then either approve Garland or refuse until Trump is inaugurated.
I'd disagree. The complete and absolute infatuation with surveillance by both the Bush's and the Clinton's is the same.
All I'm saying is 1) that the next person to appoint a Supreme Court justice, and the last person to appoint a Supreme Court justice, are both New Democrats who seem hostile to Fourth Amendment defences against surveillance, and 2) that the author of the opinion that protects us from total audio surveillance, and the fiercest defender of the Fourth in the Court is the one currently being replaced.
Take it as you will; I'm not hopeful at all, but there's nothing I can do about it anyway. I honestly believe that any justice that Emperor Trump would put on the court would be more likely to preserve that view than not, and the opposite would be true for any Clinton appointment.
On the other, I totally agree -- they both want to legislate morality.
On the gripping hand, I'm forced to wonder if there was a situation where conservatives started burning their garbage in their home, would liberals be OK with it? Or is the "gay sex in the home" thing only relevant because it happens to be the Republicans big fear?
assuming it were known but not spread, e.g. people proudly announced burn pits, but captured and buried their exhaust. That's the only way to torture this analogy into shape.
That is the false choice, also commonly found in the form "the lesser of two evils" or "the most electable".
> That's the only way to torture this analogy into shape.
I can think of a better one, better because it actually happened. An anarchist starts making a bunch of noise about how 3d printers enable individuals to produce extremely low quality guns in the privacy of their own homes. Liberals are outraged, propose legislation to ban such activity - then float the lead balloon of 3d printer technology regulation. Like the burning garbage analogy, externalities are used as justification for liberty curtailment, but unlike burning garbage - such externalities are not a certainty (in fact home firearm production has been legal for a very long time). The liberal's real beef is with the threat to the state's authority, the more often the state's regulations are sidestepped - the weaker it appears.
So the short answer is this: liberals, like conservatives, are fine with private activities that don't threaten their world views. Unfortunately liberals have a very detailed idea of the way the world should work, whereas the conservative imagination doesn't go much further than approved penis destinations.
Liberals are okay with private activities that don't hurt anyone, so they are okay with sexual activities. They think people own their own bodies, so they are okay with taking drugs like pot that don't hurt anyone; harder to say where the line goes with harder drugs. Burning trash in your backyard hurts the environment, and hurts people who live around you, so they are generally not okay with that.
Conservatives want to give you freedom to do what you want, and they say they want to be free to make choices. But of course they want things to be like they were in the past, so they don't like freedom to be gay or whatever. They hate the concept of global warming exists, I think because it leads to their actions might hurt others (like buying a gas guzzler). The problem really becomes apparent when conservatives deny science, in the earth is 8000 years old crowd, or the truly childish fantasy that 99% of scientists are only in it to make money and are happy to lie, that's why there's collusion about global warming.
Conservatives want to have a gun in their house if they want it. The liberals next door might say you are statistically more likely to accidentally shoot someone else or even your own family, so get rid of that to make us all safer - but this is more of a middle ground.
It's not about threatening my world views, I'm a liberal and that's all wrong. Liberals or progressive people want to learn and advance, they want to base their actions off of facts. Conservatives generally make their decisions based on ideology. I have changed my opinions on many things during my life, based on facts and my own experience. When I was a kid I didn't know any gay people, I wasn't sure what to think of them. As an adult, I'm sad to think of how they quietly suffered their whole lives. If cons were really operating based on facts, they'd not be so afraid of trans or gay people, because facts show there is nothing to be afraid of. Facts tell us about the conspiracy in the catholic church to hide predators - there's no international conspiracy to help trans people.
That can go without saying - did you really think that I was trying to comprehensively describe such complexity in less than a dozen sentences?
I think your characterization certainly adds more color, but you go wrong with "they want to base their actions off of facts". It would be more accurate, and succinct, to say "they are utilitarian". The goal is a world in which the maximum number of people enjoy the maximum number of "rights" (libs have a very different list of rights than the enumerated ones cons stick to). The utility to achieve that goal is the state. So it isn't fact based, it is much more "the end justifies the means". Your characterization of conservative thought as an "ideology" isn't inaccurate; with the exception of the logical defects introduced by religion - the ideology is a precept based bottom up approach, starting at individual rights. Whereas the liberal approach starts with the end goal and works backwards, which makes it much more likely to run roughshod over individuals - because the needs of the many...
Hopefully that helps you see my prior post as less "inaccurate" and more "I don't agree because feelings".
As I approach my mid-30s, I realize that both liberals and conservatives are so incredibly biased in their first-principles that the ideologies will never reconcile. I just wish both sides realize their differences arise from differing assumptions, not differing conclusions. (The conclusions of what is "right" are just opinions derived from assumptions.)
Whether your body is your property or not is for another philosophy debate.
I don't think surveillance is good, but I'm strongly opposed to twisting the interpretation of the Constitution to fight in courts battles that should be fought in the political realm. We have a real problem with excessive surveillance and over-policing in the US (but also in the UK and other places, to be fair). But the people want safety and security. That's democracy.
A good intro to the US 4th amendment for anyone
needing background details is at:
The key element in the Oakland FBI story seems to be
the idea that a conversation whose participants
might reasonable believe is private in nature
that happens in a public place can be recorded
without a warrant.
Consider conversations in: a hotel room, an office room,
an office conference room, an empty office or hotel
elevator, a hotel lobby, an otherwise empty bus stop,
an elevator occupied by others, a city bus or subway car
with others nearby.
At what points on the ranges of private to public spaces, and numbers of others present & in eavesdropping range does an expectation of privacy fade away?
For a startup perspective, in which spaces/places could one speak candidly about financials or the latest funding round
and believe that one's speech is truly private?
(Now I'm wondering who's bugging every conference venue and nearby hotel elevators around Disrupt/TechWeek/SxSW/YC interview/etc venues? I wonder how often bug installers find competitors bugs, and whether they compete or collaborate with each other?)
America is not a democracy.
It is a Constitutional Democratic Republic.
Words have meaning, And I would highly suggest that anyone reading this, begin using that phrase when referencing our government.
A democracy is mob rule, and with a "mob" so ruled by propaganda and easily influenced by the oligarchy corrupted fourth estate, democracy without the Constition or Representative government is nothing but doom.
What America needs is to forget their petty hegellian dialect issues, unite around the enlightenment ideals that inspired our hard won revolution from the british Monarchy, and focus on the return to and enforcment of the principles of the Constitution.
I usually agree with a lot of the things you've stated on here in the past, but I'm really disappointed that you:
a) Conflate democracy with the current sham political system we have in the USA.
b) Don't think that the 4th amendment has much to say about surveillance.
The will of the few is not will of the people. That's the exact opposite when we think of democracy as the "tyranny of the majority".
If you think in terms of that, current attempts by the executive branch to spy on people without warrants is extremely alarming. You have to ask, why exactly do they have a problem with informing the Judicial branch what they are doing?
It is true if it is true for you. Let's pay attention who says it: "Jeff Harp, a KPIX 5 security analyst and former FBI special agent"
That is absolutely how FBI and large parts of the executive branch see the Constitution. This annoying piece of paper, that prevents them doing their job, and enables criminals to get away with crimes.
Soon they'll say "if you're going to do or say 'bad stuff', just do it in your own head". And then we'll have technologies that can read and "hear" what our brains think all around us.
The actual scandal here is not the potential danger to criminal enterprises but that we're all being made suspects beforehand 24/7.
Also, what's an easy way to locate them?
I like the review Chelsea Manning gave of Barry, "Creepy. This story is much more plausible than I expected or care to admit." Salutes all too you for keeping me educated. As we said in my old army unit; "heart-faith-skill, the only way to win in a battle advocacy" (we borrowed it from Sean Connery as Ramirez in The Highlander Movie) peace..j.
Defense Claims Courthouse Was Illegally Bugged (therecorder.com)
171 points by morninj 179 days ago | 100 comments
You just described the main antagonist ("Samaritan") in the show Person of Interest. It is a rogue AI that records everything, determines threat level, then "nudges" police and even private citizens to take action against what it sees as a threat (in this show, the protagonists trying to stop the evil organization using the neutral Samaritan for evil deeds). Samaritan itself isn't evil, but in the hands of tyrannical masters, it is a deadly weapon and nearly a god (omnipresent, omniscient and almost omnipotent).
This show has been riding the cutting edge of real life espionage and rogue government programs since it debuted.
Absolutely. The "creep" factor of this however is more tangible to the general public so I imagine they will come under significantly more (relative to population size) pressure to answer for this.
Microphones hidden under rocks are much easier to understand and perceive as an intrusion and threat, compared to the nature of Echelon
I actually think the tech world's outrage is the equivalent of survivalist doomsday paranoia. In their minds once the evil government people have our data it's just a slippery slope to fascism. (the survivalist at least have their guns! so they can go shoot cops that day)
Of course grounding yourself in reality you should realize that a 1984-dystopia-scifi government is effectively impossible in an advanced educated society. While people are mildly annoyed by databases (and that's why nothing gets done to stop them) - people have always been outraged when the government abuses those databases. Societies that are way further along in terms of mass surveillance (ex: Singapore) aren't on the verge of dystopia.
My guess is it's American individualism and it's unique inflated sense of self worth (not to knock it =] it's got its plus sides!) + fascination with the biblical apocalypse. I'm not as familiar as I should be with the faiths of the founders of the colonies, maybe it's something that traces back to then?
Given your stance, I suppose you would be OK with censorship too, assuming it was monitored by a soft paternalistic AI intended only to 'protect' people?
Unfortunately we don't have any AI like what you described, and history has proven time and again that governments abuse powers like this to their own advantage.
As others have pointed out, if I am in a public place and someone snaps a photo of me or a surveillance camera records my actions, I generally can't argue this was an unreasonable invasion.
I'm certain legal scholars are well-versed in the technicalities of expectations of privacy, but I do wonder if we will face new challenges in this area as the number of pervasively connected and recording devices increases.
What are CBSLocal's incentives? Can they push fearmongering without repercussions?
If this story is not true, where should we put the "flag" threshold? What are operational voting with money against stories like this ever, ever making HN frontpage again, and for the "news" industry to structurally reduce unfounded fearmongering?
I had a bit of a click around, I'm not sure how to find record of the evidence etc. I'm not familiar with the US courts websites.
 Transparent Society, by David Brin
His point is that souveillance is the solution. I disagree for the reasons expressed by Bruce Schneier (in his famous exchange with Brin) and Yonatan Zunger (in a comment included on my G+ profile page links). Surveillance amplifies power imbalances.
Power and People have different mixes of power and vulnerability. Each exploits its strengths and fears its weaknesses. Transparency doesn't of itself balance those differences though. If anything, it amplifies them.
That said, I'm for transparency punching up. Less so punching down absent clear justification -- much as the US founding fathers established in the Bill of Rights.
It's pretty much the same thing that happened here. They knew the discussions were happening, they knew where the discussions were happening, and since it was in a public space they didn't need a warrant. It's not like they are running around town putting microphones in all the bus stops hoping to catch anybody saying something. They were looking for a specific type of criminal activity and they placed the mics accordingly.
This _particular_ public spying was reported at least since 2012.
"In July 1956, the Pennsylvania Bar Association Endowment (PBAE) commissioned a comprehensive study of "wiretapping practices, laws, devices, and techniques" in the United States. [..] The man appointed to direct the study was Samuel Dash, a prominent Philadelphia prosecutor [..] The result of Dash's efforts was The Eavesdroppers, a 483-page report [..] The book uncovered a wide range of privacy infringements on the part of state authorities and private citizens [..]
While law enforcement agencies were tapping lines in flagrant violation of state and federal statutes, phone companies were deliberately underreporting wiretap statistics to maintain public confidence in their services. While American businesses were stockpiling equipment to spy on employees and gather competitive intelligence, private investigators were using frightening new tools to listen in on wayward lovers and loose-lipped politicians."
"The Washington Post recently published a feature length article on gunshot detectors, known as ShotSpotter, which detailed how in Washington DC there are now, “at least 300 acoustic sensors across 20 square miles of the city,” microphones wrapped in a weather-proof shell that can detect the location of a sound down to a few yards and analyze the audio using a computer program.
𝐖𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐬 “𝐠𝐮𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐭 𝐝𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬,” 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐘𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟐, 𝐬𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐚𝐫 𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐡𝐧𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐲 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝟕𝟎 𝐜𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬. "
This quote from the 1959 report sums up everything nicely:
"As Dash told members of Congress on the eve of the book's release, the American public's longstanding disregard for threats to communications privacy had only served to exacerbate these developments. [..]
'Each generation seems to forget the problems of the past and considers this their own unique problem.' - Samuel Dash"
(c) The term “confidential communication” includes any communication carried on in circumstances as may reasonably indicate that any party to the communication desires it to be confined to the parties thereto, but excludes a communication made in a public gathering or in any legislative, judicial, executive or administrative proceeding open to the public, or in any other circumstance in which the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.
the other disjunct: in any legislative, judicial, executive or administrative proceeding open to the public; led me to interpret 'public gathering' as bagley-keene(o) does
> 11122.5. (a) As used in this article, “meeting” includes any congregation of a majority of the
members of a state body at the same time and place to hear, discuss, or deliberate upon any item that
is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the state body to which it pertains.
stead of just anyone standing at a bus stop
i feel another commenter, em3rgent0rdr, may have indirectly answered my confusion by stating:
> Even if judges prohibit such evidence on the grounds of it being illegally obtained, you will still find that prosecutors will use that evidence to find other evidence and for constructing a case that doesn't use that illegally obtained evidence. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_construction (i)
.. completely offtopic, but how unfortunate is that lawfirm's domain?
This clearly applies to private citizens, but it is less clear that that precedent applies to the FBI.