Twitter is clearly okay with the discussion of these emails - no hashtags or keywords are being suppressed: it was a link to a single story that was blocked since it violated stated policy.
Incidentally, the NYT reports that the US intelligence community heard chatter of the GRU using hacked Burisma emails as an October surprise before the NY Post story broke (a trick so nice, they had to do it twice). I guess no one cares for facts anymore, as long as they see patterns that fit their preconceptions
(edited for clarification)
Which is still a huge moral difference. I would have hoped that HN would be one community that would understand the difference between a whistleblower leaking data to journalists to expose a crime versus an outsider committing a crime in order to acquire data to leak for their own political gain. But I guess I shouldn't expect that considering many people here think Snowden, Manning, and Assange are all of equal moral standing.
No one condoned Russia's intelligence hacking and leaking the DNC/Podesta/Clinton emails, of course, but once they became public knowledge, it'd be ridiculous for a social media company to censor all links to the emails.
Similarly, no one condones repair shop owners snooping on customers' laptops for political dirt, but once it's public, the information itself stands alone.
Twitter would be right to ban the repair shop owner's account, if he had one, but I don't think they're right to censor any references to the leaked information. It's law enforcement's job to determine if a crime was committed and to prosecute the individual if so.
This is the way it works these days, but I'm not sure it actually makes sense. In a trial a judge will often tell the jury to disregard information that has been improperly brought forth. It's difficult to enforce, but what wouldn't it make sense to have something similar in the court of public opinion?
Also, it's a slippery slope argument, but I'll point out that "once it's been said, it's true" is a social anti pattern. If I lie, and someone else quotes me, does that make it information that is "out there" or is it just noise?
FWIW, the more we learn about this story, the more similar it sounds to my extreme example.
No, I don't think it'd make any sense. Courts of law are very specific, rigorous systems. Since people's lives are on the line, it's necessary to abide by a very precise spec. I don't think Twitter and criminal trial courts can be considered analogous at all, and I very much hope they stay as separate as possible until the end of time.
>Also, it's a slippery slope argument, but I'll point out that "once it's been said, it's true" is a social anti pattern. If I lie, and someone else quotes me, does that make it information that is "out there" or is it just noise?
It is a social anti-pattern, but it's the role of respondents to discuss and assess if something is true or not. If something has significant indications of possibly being a hoax, Twitter may be in the right to add a label saying it may be a hoax, but I don't think they have the right to just remove it. If it's a truly unsubstantiated and damaging and/or absurd conspiracy theory (Seth Rich, Pizzagate, Q, etc.), they can put it behind a warning wall with links to resources showing it's false, but even then I still don't think they have a right to just remove it.
In a case like this, where as far as I can tell there isn't currently any strong evidence it's a hoax (just information that happened to be obtained unscrupulously and possibly illegally), it'd be especially egregious to remove it or even put a warning near it. I don't think tech executives should hold the power to judge what is and isn't a social anti-pattern and to ban them, beyond what's already banned in their terms of service (abuse/harassment/etc.).
Also, to turn the slippery slope around, do you think Twitter should have banned all references to Snowden's NSA leaks, due to the information being released illegally? Or the Pentagon Papers, if Twitter existed then? What about the Shadow Brokers compromise/leak (which possibly was a result of Russian intelligence hacking NSA or noticing some tools they mistakenly left on a system, though the attribution is still unconfirmed)?
When is Twitter supposed to judge that disclosure of illegally-obtained information is okay or not okay to censor? Obviously there are some cases where they should censor the material, like someone's explicit photos being leaked as a result of an iCloud account compromise, but especially when it comes to high-profile political leaks or hacks, censorship seems like a terrible idea.
I'm definitely on the anti-Trump, left-leaning side, but even with the current US polarization I'm kind of surprised how many people seem to have a massive bias and blindspot here. If this were Donald Trump Jr.'s emails plucked by a repair shop owner, discussing arrangement of some large payment from Lukoil, I don't think any of the people making these arguments would be at all consistent (beyond maybe agreeing the acquisition was unethical).
The way to address the exposure is to actually look at the contents of the emails and determine what it may imply about Joe Biden and his son, if anything; not to just try to get them removed from the internet Streisand-style. If there is actual misconduct or malfeasance here that implicates Joe Biden, that'd be especially unethical and irrational to call for. So far I'm kind of skeptical that that is the implication here, but it still needs to be assessed impartially.
I realize arguing against free speech is deeply unpopular, particularly on this forum. And I also realize it's inherently hypocritical. And, generally, I agree that the cure for "wrong" speech is more speech. Free speech is sacred to me as well.
But, I've also learned that, when shit hits the fan, you gotta slaughter some sacred cows, including those you never thought you could. The counterexamples you bring up are terrific. Is there a way, one that isn't just individual whim, to judge and moderate speech, in a way that is socially productive? I would bet there is, one that we haven't discovered yet.
After all, peer reviewed science hasn't always existed. I think the parallels there are rich. Modern scientists do operate as high priests of truth and knowledge. Who performs that function for speech? The woke left? The conservative right? FANG tech? None of those sound reasonable to me, but that doesn't mean a reasonable plan doesn't exist.
God forbid anyone mention the contents...
It is exceptionally difficult to tell someone something; it's often counterproductive. If someone is curious, they will look themselves, and ask a question that belies they have read the material.
If you cant spare the time to read hot mic words or listen to someone who was a NSA technical director, why would you want to hear what _I_ think about it?
Similarly, I think that it was in the interest of the public to report when it was discovered that Trump only paid $750 in taxes (despite not committing a technical crime!) or that Hillary Clinton received some debate questions in advance (again, not a crime!).
This standard that Twitter is applying appears to have no clear line of enforcement, nor does the principle you've put forth.
Also, not actually true!
There were claims that she received debate questions weeks in advance, which are a complete and total fabrication by a probably-not-innocent prank website.
There were separate claims that she received debate questions shortly before the town hall debate. And there was an effort to do so from someone outside of her campaign - but the questions that were provided were not the ones asked, so.... It's false to say she received some debate questions in advance.
Oh come on, the 2016 election is in the past, you don't have to spin it. The questions asked were similar enough and it can't be denied that Clinton got the questions in advance, but not Sanders.
> An email later obtained by POLITICO showed that the text of the question Brazile sent to the Clinton campaign was identical to a proposed question Martin had offered CNN. (A similar, though not identical question, was ultimately posed to Clinton at the town hall).
> In the newest email, sent one day before the March 6 Democratic primary debate in Flint, Michigan, Brazile tells senior campaign staff that “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash. Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”
> The next night, a woman named Lee-Anne Walters asked both candidates a very similar question.
Honestly I'm confused why people are so hot and bothered about the questions asked. Are any of you seriously surprised by the questions asked? Of course the candidates prepared to answer these questions. If they weren't prepared their prep team should be fired for being woefully incompetent. Seriously, all the questions are about the most popular topics. I honestly would have been shocked if Flint wasn't brought up considering it being part of the national conversation.
Should she have gotten them? No. Is it cheating? Yes. Is it a big fucking deal to detract from actual issues? No. It is just another example of minor cheating that they are doing constantly. But this is like cheating on a test where the teacher pulls questions from the homework and changes a few numbers and you already memorized how to do all the homework problems.
I think its a big deal when candidate keeps on cheating or lying. It establishes a pattern of dishonest behaviour which the other candidate can easily make a soundbite by calling her crooked.
> In an email released Monday morning by WikiLeaks, Brazile provides details to top Clinton aides about what Clinton would be asked at a CNN debate March 6 in Flint, Mich., by a woman whose family had lead poisoning.
> “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash,” Brazile writes in the subject line of an email to Jennifer Palmieri and John Podesta. In the body of the email, she adds: “Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”
I hate Trump. But acting as if people are so stupid that you can just deny that this even happened? You're only hurting Democrats at the ballot box.
Was there dishonesty from the DNC? Yes! But it's important to say what happened. Someone did a bad job of trying to supply her with a couple of questions. Instead the only thing they managed to provide her was a hint about two of the subjects that would be discussed. So to the point I responded to - Did she "receive some debate questions ahead of time" - nope! She didn't! Just some things that were close.
Did that give her an unfair advantage? Maybe! But I doubt it - if Bernie's campaign didn't expect a question about the Flint water issue, then they're idiots. And I don't think they're idiots. The help offered to Hillary was inaccurate and of dubious worth.
The emails  show pretty clear strategizing with Clinton campaign staff over preparing answers to the exact questions being proposed at the CNN town hall. That the CNN town hall ultimately chose to go with similar questions worded slightly differently does not in some way absolve the Clinton campaign.
If you buy a gun and then rob a bank with it -- except the bank teller laughs at you because there's water dripping from your "gun" -- it doesn't diminish the fact that your intent was to rob a bank while yielding a deadly weapon. Just because you're ineffective and can't tell a water pistol from a Glock doesn't mean the intent doesn't, or shouldn't, count.
Yes, here is the first google result.
>Who decides whether a crime has occurred?
This is complicated and why there is a preference for whistleblowing to occur through official channels rather than through journalists. However sometimes there is a level of corruption that can't be dealt with any other way besides going public with it. In those instances, it is up to the whistleblower and journalists initially before eventually the court decides. Snowden was good in this regarding by trying to limit what was leaked. Manning did a poor job here.
>I would say that Snowden exposed a crime (perjury) by James Clapper. Manning (IMO) exposed war crimes.
No disagreement here. Snowden and Manning fit a clear definition of whistleblowers. Assange is the one who is not on the same moral footing as those two.
>Similarly, I think that it was in the interest of the public to report when it was discovered that Trump only paid $750 in taxes (despite not committing a technical crime!) or that Hillary Clinton received some debate questions in advance (again, not a crime!).
Trump's taxes likely did reveal numerous potential crimes. He reported different numbers to the government and lenders which would likely indicate he committed fraud. He both employed his daughter and paid her as an external consultant which isn't allowed. He regularly claimed things as business expenses in questionable ways. I'm sure there are many others too, those were just the first three I remembered.
 - https://www.icij.org/investigations/panama-papers/first-us-t...
 - https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-inc-podcast-never-b...
 - https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/28/politics/ivanka-trump-donald-...
 - https://theintercept.com/2020/09/28/donald-trump-taxes/
So you would have supported Twitter blocking all mentions of the Panama papers until this conviction last month? Or would Twitter judge ahead of time that a crime has occurred and thus permit the hacked materials to be released?
> In those instances, it is up to the whistleblower and journalists initially before eventually the court decides.
But only journalists of a certain political bent? You seem to be advocating adding Twitter, FB, and other for-profit corporations into the conversation here.
> Assange is the one who is not on the same moral footing as those two.
Assange was the journalist who published Manning's releases. This seems incoherent to me.
> Trump's taxes likely did reveal numerous potential crimes.
The NYPost article revealed the crime of crack possession. It was not so long ago that the FBI did a sting operation to get the same sort of footage they used to convict my city's (DC) mayor. And the FBI clearly thought they had some information about a crime, which is presumably why they were subpoenaed.
Obviously, that's a stupid argument - but that's the point. You are just going to set up arbitrary thresholds for what is a crime and what isn't post-facto to justify blocking what you don't want and allowing what you want.
Collateral murder undermined the effort to sell war as a noble goal, and then Podesta's emails hurt the democrats, so now both political parties and their fans feel personally burned by him.
He's being railroaded right now, were you aware? Not a US citizen but somehow inexplicably being extradited and charged under the US espionage act.
Assange has said that he had information on the Trump campaign but decided not to publish it.
Assange is accused of taking an active role in hacking/cracking. Also you don't have to be a US citizen to be charged for a crime by the US government.
Any idea that he is an independent journalist is now gone. He's not a force for radical transparency like he originally billed himself to be. He's only concerned about transparency when it benefits him personally or politically and is happy to lie about or coverup anything else.
 - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/20/us/mueller-report-seth-ri...
 - https://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/2934...
 - https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/wikileaks...
> Also you don't have to be a US citizen to be charged for a crime by the US government.
You sure about that? I mean, if a non-US citizen commits murder on our shores, fine, charge them, but the espionage act for non-citizens who didn't personally commit any espionage? Really? Shit, even if they did, they're not Americans, you want to extradite every non-American who isn't sufficiently pro-America?
How much of this argument relies on "we are the good guys of history, so we get carte blanche and if you disagree you are bad"?
Also, "sought out information".. you're gonna take that as an exception for rights of the press? No publishing about watergate if the editor and journalist "sought out" the information?
What is your point? Espionage laws are typically intended for foreign nationals.
> Also, "sought out information".. you're gonna take that as an exception for rights of the press? No publishing about watergate if the editor and journalist "sought out" the information?
The press has the right to publish classified information as long as they are solely publishing the information and do not partake in accessing or gathering that information. This was the finding of the Supreme Court in NYT vs US.
Part of being a "good guy" is standing by your word. We have extradition treaties with the UK. Unless there is some belief that the wanted person couldn't get a fair trial in the UK, we would follow the same process that they are putting Assange through.
As if that wasn't enough, Felt ran COINTELPRO, too.
Even so, it only mentions the equipment. Would owning the equipment grant the store ownership over all the information on the computer? Does the store gain legal authority to share that information with a third party that is neither a government official nor a journalist like Giuliani?
In my understanding the policy was aimed originally at stopping the spread of photos like in The Fappening hack. But there was nothing hacked here in my understanding.
If I remember right the basis for why that was legal was that there existed an public interests to release the recording of a private conversation to the public, and that the recording equipment were legal property of the recording studio.
Four years later and the lawyers of NBC seem to have been right on that.
I'd give it at best a 50/50 likelihood of being fake, and would hope that a free and liberal society would demand a lot higher confidence than that before they start wantonly censoring things on the internet.
However the authenticity of the documents isn't even relevant to the overall point. If they are fake, there is a crime of fraud. If they are authentic, it is likely a crime to release this information. There also doesn't appear to be any evidence of a crime committed by either Hunter or Joe Biden. Even if a meeting took place, which no one is able to confirm, that alone isn't a crime. That lack of crime would seemingly eliminate this as an example of whistleblowing. The end result is that it appears that a crime was committed just to make Biden look bad and try to turn the election in Trumps favor. I don't know why Twitter or Facebook need to allow their platforms to be a pawn in that game.
 - https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/giuliani-bi...
Except, if it did take place, Joe would be caught in another big lie because he stated he never had any dealing with Hunter's business.
 - Yes, it’s more involved than “stealing” because Snowden acted as a whistleblower, but I’m trying to draw a comparison.
Only in a universe in which Twitter is the sole means of broadcasting, publishing and communication - but we don't live in that universe, so no, they really wouldn't have.
Are these people mistaken? Does what's allowed to appear on Twitter really have no effect on the broader society?
Russian bots may or may not be a problem, but that problem is orthogonal to the point I'm trying to make.
Do not tell me that's not Big Tech putting their thumb on the scale in a dangerous way.
And before you say it, "muh private platform" is not an acceptable argument. This is dangerous to our society.
Whatever you think about their cause, you should be worried by the precedent set here. This is censorship at the same scale a government might do, but snuck in through the backdoor, and completely outside of any democratic mechanisms.
Then the content will probably go on to achieve gigantic commercial success; as is usually the case it appears that something is being banned. See e.g. Spycatcher, this story.
More than one thing can be dangerous to our society, like if these platforms were used to spread falsehoods and misinformation unchecked.
Also, what “culture” are you referring to?
I mean, do they also control the entirety of mainstream media, all of the news outlets, all book and newspaper publishers, email, television, radio and the entire rest of the internet?
Sorry... this is Hacker News, so I have to point out that they actually don't, and that was kind of a rhetorical question.
No, believe it or not, people would still know about Watergate or the Panama papers even in that case.
>Do not tell me that's not Big Tech putting their thumb on the scale in a dangerous way.
You mean the purely speculative case you just made up? Sure, it would be, but then the purely speculative case you just made up doesn't reflect reality, so who cares?
And even then, as I mentioned, there is still an entire universe of broadcasting and publishing outside of social media, and the internet itself. So even if all social media sites and Apple and Microsoft and Amazon suddenly decided they weren't competitors and collaborated to ban the same content, that content still isn't memory holed or erased from history.
>And before you say it, "muh private platform" is not an acceptable argument. This is dangerous to our society.
Yeah... you should take your brilliant intellectual riposte to 4chan where it would be best appreciated. Here we rather appreciate putting a modicum of effort into refuting someone's position. You're going to need something more compelling than that.
I think the idea is that if this is the rule, a lot of Republicans think it has already been broken a number of times against them.
Maybe Twitter would have found other reasons to block the story if it didn't violate an explicit policy literally, for example it being fake news. Calling something fake news takes more investigation and judgement so the reason they gave was simplest.
It's like, boy, they sure have it in for a sleazy and deceptive hit-piece meant to influence an election at the last moment. Unfair!
This one is more also nefarious than it looks, because it includes private information on victims of crime.
But you're right. Blue Leaks, if they share hacked personal data on Twitter, should absolutely be banned under the same policy.
They allegedly have a contractual right to the laptop due to non-payment. It's a damn good reason not to take your PC there for repairs, though.
I've heard rumors that Hunter was allegedly hacked to get them, but I have yet to see media reports of this from prior to this story breaking. If you can provide some, please do!
Right now, my take is that, at best, this is an elaborate cover story for releasing real dirt and at worst, it's legit, like the time Hunter returned a rental car with a crack pipe in it. We'll need to dig into it further, though, I want to see if the emails have DKIM validation with a body hash parameter, etc.
Fundamentally, the reason this got banned and then ignored is that that need is SUPPOSED to be supplied by the journalists doing the research, not random conspiracy nerds on the internet.
> I've heard rumors that Hunter was allegedly hacked to get them, but I have yet to see media reports of this
Exactly! Which is the level of rigor you should expect to see from your sources. Which makes it doubly frustrating that you seem not to be applying that same logic to the original story.
FWIW: I'll bet you anything that no headers ever appear for those emails anywhere (at least none from western domains -- I'll admit to the possibility that the Kremlin could forge a DKIM signature for a Burisma address). They're almost certainly forgeries, which is why they're being distributed in the crazy obfuscated way they are.
Oh, and the relevant DKIM key in that case came from Hillary's DNS server, I know because I pulled it myself. Maybe the Kremlin hacked that, but that would implicate a lot more reporting than just Donna's claims.
So yes, I do want to see more journalism regarding this, but it also needs sufficient rigor. I don't just believe any random person who claims XYZ, whether or not I tend to agree with them, I want to see verifiable facts.
And yeah, those are in pretty short supply. I've seen tons of anonymous rumors, various forms of citogenesis, etc. far more often than I've seen things that can be subjected to some kind of objective fact finding process.
Uh... why would the journalist "validate" the DKIM signature? Publish the RFC822 content of the email and let everyone do it themselves. That's the whole point of public key encryption. And the fact that the Post skipped that very obvious and easy step tells me that this is almost certainly faked data.
> I don't just believe any random person who claims XYZ
With all respect: you clearly seem inclined to believe this nonsense about the emails with only the barest of evidence. It's only the attempts to refute it that have you worried about "rigor".
> With all respect: you clearly seem inclined to believe this nonsense about the emails with only the barest of evidence.
I haven't said anything about the email content, though. I investigated a photo of Hunter sleeping with a meth pipe using hackerfactor.com's tools to look for manipulation and did not find any. That doesn't mean they're real, but it gives them some level of credence, given that there are old reports about his rental car substantiated by police reports.
You're right that it doesn't validate the email content. I plan to withhold judgement until we have more data, but it looks like they do have some files of his.
It doesn't help that the last time we went through this sort of thing, there were spurious claims of manipulated documents which were actively disproved and some of the denials I've read parse very narrowly, which isn't right.
Actually, and this is coming from someone who is definitely not a Democrat: I'd think that picture points towards planted evidence. The picture is probably real for what I know, but why would he keep it on his laptop?
I mean, how many times have we heard variations on "Idiot caught doing drugs after posting pics on Facebook/Instagram/etc."?
This sums up the central problem in modern politics as a whole right here.
George Washington on “the spirit of party” in his farewell address:
> It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.
like imagine this was like child trafficking or something. you denounce that shit heavily each and every time, no ambiguity, no question. even if you're asked to do it 50 times it should be 50/50. the fact that people have to pull that as a "defense" is ridiculous lol.
Yes. This tells you his public stance is that he's anti white supremacist and willing to denounce them.
Do you honestly think he chose the debates as a the best time to secretly signal his base that he's a closet KKK member?
> like imagine this was like child trafficking or something. you denounce that shit heavily each and every time, no ambiguity, no question. even if you're asked to do it 50 times it should be 50/50. the fact that people have to pull that as a "defense" is ridiculous lol.
If my wife asks if I love her 50 times and I say yes 49 times, but once I get distracted. Which is more likely I secretly hate my wife or I just got distracted.
Literally one of the people explaining how trump supports white supremacists to me made this exact same mistake despite him being in his 30s and not coming down with covid.
Trump is a terrible president for plenty of reasons, we don't need to make ones up.
- Gavin McInnes, the founder of Proud Boys
The group claims to not be racist, yes, and they do have non-white members. However, their specific stances on various issues do add up to a white supremacist group in practice. As for non-white membership, it seems to be more along the lines of "honorary Aryans".
At a certain point you get tired of answering, “have you beaten your wife today?” Even if the answer is always no.
> The results are sobering. We began by asking eligible voters how “convincing” they found a dog-whistle message lifted from Republican talking points. Among other elements, the message condemned “illegal immigration from places overrun with drugs and criminal gangs” and called for “fully funding the police, so our communities are not threatened by people who refuse to follow our laws.”
> Almost three out of five white respondents judged the message convincing. More surprising, exactly the same percentage of African-Americans agreed, as did an even higher percentage of Latinos.
> These numbers do not translate directly into support for the Republican Party; too many other factors are at play. Nevertheless, the results tell us something important: a majority across the groups we surveyed did not repudiate Trump-style rhetoric as obviously racist and divisive, but instead agreed with it.
If the media had any self-awareness, it wouldn’t automatically label points a majority of non white people “agreed with” as “obviously racist and divisive.”
As someone from a third-world country I felt this way over the pearl-clutching when Trump said “s—thole countries.” It’s a crass and very cruel thing to say. Definitely offensive. But not racist. People don’t leave Bangladesh because they’re racist, they do so because of the poverty, arsenic in the water, etc.
A diplomatic person would break out the canned condemnation for the 50th time. Trump is not a diplomatic person.
If 50 different people ask you the same question you put out a press release.
If 5000 ask you put out a news conference.
Responding to anything implies many things not r
Also some former white supremacists seem to disagree with you:
Do you think actual white supremacists are dumb enough to accept that? I accept that actual white supremacists aren't the brightest souls on this planet, but seriously?
Or is it just the general problem of
- taking things out of context
- using "white supremacist" as a general slur for people one doesn't like?
Because if all the people I see named as white supremacists were that then I think 2020 would be the year were white supremacists stood up for the Jews and that would be quite a news story for anyone who dared to break it :-)
Any non-dumb actual white supremacists are surely capable of playing the long game and deal with son-in-laws when they get there.
I'd recommend following people on both sides. It is ugly but you might come out smarter.
Arguing otherwise simply justifies using the rules as a sledgehammer to silence voices you don't like. The WH Press Secretary is a very, very loud voice that should be listened to whether you like it or not. She said nothing mean, nothing cruel, nothing divisive or illegal or inciting violence, she linked to a news story by the 4th largest publication in the US. This is about as vanilla as you can get and it is completely unjustifiable to block her account just for that.
This sounds pretty authoritarian. I can think of plenty of times this wouldn’t be true. What if she directly invited violence or knowingly spread foreign propaganda?
Your desires to insult those who disagree with you and fast forward to some “corporate sovereignty” fantasy aren’t relevant to the discussion of whether this action broke the terms Twitter has laid out.
==if we want to go that way we have to argue in favor of corporate sovereignty given the power these companies have.==
Or, we just allow them to manage their users, user agreements, and platform like we do other businesses. Your argument is to take that power away from companies and give it to government.
I predict that your views will likely find a far more receptive audiance in the generations that will follow. What is happening now is the result of decades of pedagogical prepration, and generations that really do not know what it is like to live under authoritarian regimes or cultures.
Those of us who immigrated to United States precisely to escape authoritarianism recognize the signs full and well. It is quite unsettling to see what is happening in this nation.
Unmarked officers of the state grabbing people off the streets is not acceptable, either.
Both are features of mickey mouse states, the world over. There are various assumptions we make, when we try and make sense of the world. Most of these assumptions are based on good faith. Suspending disbelief regarding the unspoken possibilities for actual dynamics in play affords the insight that the above 2 items are not necessarily at odds for some interested actors.
It is obstructing the dissemination of things that break its TOS. Should people be allowed to dox others on Twitter? People get banned for calls for violence pretty frequently.
What makes Twitter a “de-facto communication platform”? Is tiktok? Skype? Instagram? Twitter isn’t a public square, but the internet is, and this story is readily available on the internet.
Or didn't you realize that this insanity cuts both ways?
One of thousands of places online that the white house fully controls, where the press secretary can say whatever she wants, accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
For some private individuals a twitter ban, coupled with bans from a dozen other internet hubs, might be a difficult hurdle to overcome, as starting a new site and then getting traffic to it is difficult due to network effects. But to claim that public officials have no means of having their voices heard besides twitter is patently absurd.
Until then your argument is beside the point.
Arguably, this is the purpose of every rule ever made in any context (if you follow the chain of reasoning far enough)
You're looking at the leaf on the tree and assuring everyone you see the forest.
And, you're wrong by the way. Courts have already ruled more than once that it is, which is why Trump's account still exists.
The repair shop almost certainly retains ownership of unclaimed deviced after some period of time. The shop owns the laptop. The data is theirs to do with as they please and they chose to publish it (at least, that's the story). No hacking necessary.
I'd love to see the jurisprudence on this. If there are any photos, do they also get the copyrights? Can they share any nudes they find? How about that Adobe license?
As a non-lawyer, it is clear that owning the medium doesn't mean you own the information on it (or the cloud wouldn't be a thing). If we agree on that, then logically, it is possible to exfiltrate information that does not belong to you without authorization, which I think can be called "hacking".
Considering copyright violation to be hacking seems pretty out there to me, and I haven't seen clear evidence that Twitter actually holds that point of view.
If transferring ownership of a physical data storage device does not constitute transferring ownership of the data stored therein, then I don't know what does.
When it comes to the cloud, that sounds more to me like leasing storage rights, but I'm no lawyer.
I think you misunderstand US copyright law. With few exceptions, almost all pictures and emails are copyright by whoever took the picture or wrote the email. Is there some reason that these would not qualify?
I believe excerpts of pictures or emails taken for news reporting qualifies as fair use. It's not like they showed the whole picture, they just cropped his face with the crack pipe in his mouth. Likewise, the full emails where they discuss illegally peddling influence and pay for play with all the headers wasn't published. Just select emails with enough metadata to give context.
Copyright doesn't supersede the first amendment right of free press. At worst, the NYPost is on the hook for $150,000 per violation. They can probably make that much and then some on the scoop. It may be worth it to them, even if they lose on a fair use argument. It's a huge scoop in October of an election year.
I probably do. This is the first I've heard of that.
Regardless, the NY Post article in question did not publish any of the pictures and I doubt the same copyright law applies to emails.
"Northeastern University Law Review: Do Not Forward: Why Passing Along an Email May Constitute Copyright Infringement"
However, the issue has not been well tested in courts. The piece ends by saying "Congress should act to clarify whether and when forwarding an email infringes the author’s reproduction right in the work."
Whether the repair shop owner had copyright to the content is totally irrelevant. He had legal possession of the drive, and handed it to a journalist who found something newsworthy on it.
Almost every single major story every told in modern history will contain essentially the same type of information transfer, and it is not illegal for the journalist to use this information or publish it if it’s newsworthy.
Sometimes a source can go to jail for sharing the information. But almost certainly that won’t happen in this case, because there is no evidence that the repair shop owner did anything wrong. In fact, he was the one who called the FBI!
No. He handed it to a lawyer working for the President of the US' personal lawyer (Rudy Guiliani), not a journalist. Guiliani handed it to the NY Post and then worked with them.
Stealing a laptop and causing a bit of damage to initiate a costly repair, then leaving it with a shop under an assumed name seems like a solid Mitnick-level hack to me.
Makes perfect sense, if you want it to.
You missed my sarcasm. If you believe son of the Vice President abandoned his laptop in rural Deleware to a Trump supporter to eventually give it to the Trump campaign, I have several bridges in NY to sell you.
No clue if any encryption was used though, and either way the doxxing restriction could stop it.
1) Assuming Biden did bring and abandon the laptop, what do state laws generally say about data ownership? What does Delaware law say about it?
2) We can't assume it was Biden who brought the laptop. Suppose it was stolen: naively, I'd guess ownership can't pass to the store owner, because the person who brought it didn't own it in the first place. But who knows: IANAL. What if the laptop was legitimately owned by someone not Biden, but they stole Biden's data and moved it to the laptop before abandoning it?
3) Again naively, it appears that the shop owner definitely and Giuliani potentially distributed intimate videos of Hunter Biden without his consent. That would seem to run afoul of revenge porn laws, which are on the books in both Delaware (as of 2014) and New York (as of July 2019).
I don't know if the blanket assertions you're making are accurate or useful. At the very least, they need to be fleshed out, and there's way too little information available right now to say conclusively that the owner of the shop broke no laws.
IIUC, the idea is that the whole thing was a setup from start to finish:
1. Burisma emails were hacked;
2. Hunter Biden's iCloud account was hacked;
3. They bought a Mac, dumped a bunch of the hacked photos, along with some real hacked emails and some forged ones;
4. Sent someone over to the computer shop with the frame up on the laptop already in place;
5. Either the store owner was complicit from the beginning, or they just used him as a dupe.
The above may or may not be true. But again, IIUC that's the line that Twitter is taking.
If that's what Twitter believe (or can credibly claim to believe), then they're executing the policies in their TOS.
I'm not saying it's true, and I'm not saying it ain't. That's just my understanding of Twitter's stand on this.
I'm not saying that there is.
That's just my understanding of Twitter's reasoning, not a defense of them or anyone else.
Don't shoot the messenger, eh?
If the store owner was in on it, then he's taking a heckuva gamble on this working out right, with relatively little (known) reward.
The claimed story seems simpler.
Remember the guy got the FBI involved, which would make the whole operation a federal crime.
That said, the “hack” theory is pretty weak, I believe it mainly relies on a coincidence that Burisma was hacked last year https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/13/us/politics/russian-hacke...
However, the computer shop guy claims the laptop was dropped off in early 2019 and this article says the Russians hacked Burisma in November 2019. The email PDFs themselves provided by the NY Post are dated September 2019, so stuff doesn’t add up here.
And regarding the FBI, they were hoping that the FBI would open some sort of investigation, which would give the issue much more credibility. But that failed, so plan b was to just hand it over to NY Post.
My bet is that the NYP didn't bother to verify the emails, because they don't even know how to do basic due diligence on these types of things. (I would guess they're authentic though, FWIW.)
You're right - my comment was written under the assumption that the Biden camp has enough access to Hunter that they could verify the authenticity of the emails. I'll add: I would be shocked if that were not the case.
Regardless of my personal feelings about the NYP, my guess is they probably did verify to some extent and I agree that they are probably authentic.
I can understand the temptation of doing this sort of "slow the spread" if you're a social media platform faced with Trump, my worry is when that gets turned around and deployed against the Left, or against anti-trust, etc. I'm already getting near daily push notifications from Uber telling me which way to vote in California elections, I'm terrified of what the future holds where Twitter et al. can ban certain messages from even being sent to friends.
And suppose you're a campaign operative, and you've been tasked with finding out from Hunter whether the emails are authentic or not. He swears that they're not. Next question: do you bet the campaign on his honesty?
> my guess is they probably did verify to some extent
Probably verifying to some extent is frustrating when it's trivial to mathematically prove authenticity via DKIM.
As far as social media and big tech goes, as soon as they took on this role of moral arbiters of the world, they signed onto an endless stream of these controversies. This is the world we live in now.
This was in 2019 - I'm assuming that the emails are backed up somewhere.
> they took on this role of moral arbiters of the world
Who gave them this role? I certainly didn't and I will donate to anyone who supports taking this role from them.
Where? The laptop was lost in 2019, but the emails are from 2015. At some point they were on his company's mail servers, though whether they're still there would depend on their mail retention policy, which in my experience is often as short as 2 years. Even if they do still have it, going from campaign to Hunter Biden to ??? to IT personnel can take awhile.
> Who gave them this role? I certainly didn't and I will donate to anyone who supports taking this role from them.
I mean, if you're on Facebook/Twitter/etc, you are giving them this role, it's just a tradeoff you find acceptable for convenience.
Aside from the leak, it's also not the loss that it would be for most of us. He's rich. He had some sort of iCloud backup thing (sorry not a Mac user) to restore all the data, so he wasn't missing anything. Picking up an old laptop wouldn't be worthwhile if a replacement arrived before the old one was repaired.
(And again, note that the repair shop owner never saw who dropped off the laptop. He just inferred it was Hunter Biden because there was apparently a Beau Biden sticker on the laptop.)
Crackhead does not think the same way or act in any sort of reasonable manner. Well sometimes they do and then next day they break into a house crack a woman on the head killing her and get put into prison. While having enough money in the bank to stay high for years. It does not make sense but that is what one former classmate of mine did.
None of it surprising in any way.
Why would you knock up a stripper while cheating on your dead brothers widow who you were also dating?
How the contents of that laptop made their way to the news is a bizarre story. But that dude also made some bizarre decisions.
Because you are addicted.
Supposedly, this blind shop owner then gains access to the computer (doesn't say how, was it unprotected?) and it contains lewd videos of Hunter (again, blind shop owner). So he copies the drive (which is likely illegal in Delaware) and then he reached out to the FBI, or the FBI reached out to him, or someone else reached out to the shop owner (i.e. Rudy) and told him to reach out to the FBI. We don't really know because they can't get their story straight on that one.
Months later, and the FBI still hasn't announced an investigation, so they go to Plan B and Rudy hands the (likely illegally ) copied hard drive over to the NY Post.
Even if you believe their story, the shop owner likely broke some laws by copying and handing over PII to NY Post. But I am personally more inclined to believe that either the laptop was planted by someone, or that shop owner (who is an avid Trump supporter) was in on the ruse, and that the laptop/source material was not accidentally left by Hunter.
The degree in which you "fall for it" is the degree in which you want to see Trump reelected. No one that could fog a mirror would normally believe such nonsense.
That doesn't corroborate the story, it compromises it.
How? The laptop does exist, so at a minimum this is not an outright fabrication, allusions to which I've seen several times in the comments here. The veracity of the photos of crackhead Hunter seems to be also beyond reasonable doubt. As is the fact that he was magically getting millions of dollars for things he has no expertise in, for some reason. The veracity of emails can likely be confirmed by the FBI using DKIM.
A better question would be why this did not come up during the impeachment hearings. There's some exculpatory evidence on that laptop.
And to answer your question, the intelligence community believes that this is GRU disinformation. So that is why this wasn't used in the impeachment hearings. And also why the FBI is not investigating this.
Also, you might want to avoid such categorical statements, because one of Devon Archer's business associates has recently flipped and provided his emails as well. Those corroborate the "China" arc of the story. Note that the story you linked is a repost of a WaPo story, which itself has no on-the-record corroboration from ODNI, FBI or DOJ. So I'm pretty sure it's fake news.
It was a meth pipe. If you got something so basic wrong, why would anything else you said be true?
And please post links to your sources. Until then, I am going to go out on a limb and assume that the reason you are not doing so is because they are also coming from sites with little to no credibility.
Everyone is aware that Hunter has had drug issues. But HN is not the place to be calling someone a crackhead. Go to reddit for that.
Now you're just making shit up. It has been, numerous times.
The "repair shop" is almost certainly a poorly-convinced backstory as to the origin of the hacked materials.
But you are right in saying that hasn't been confirmed yet.
The idea that it was/is fake is a lie direct from Trump's mouth.
There is always a good sounding explanation, especially from those with full time PR people on staff.
Also, NYTimes did not disclose any PII in their articles about Trumps taxes. The NY Post couldn't even be bothered to scrub that out.
Furthermore, it has been widely reported that Giuliani was being targeted by the GRU to launder disinformation. This article is from December 2019. Here is a quote from the article:
"Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) suggested over the weekend that any evidence presented by Giuliani should be scrubbed for possible Russian propaganda..."
So there you go. A republican senator, on record. Anyone who has been paying attention was expecting Giuliani to try and stir up an October surprise, and it was widely known that he was probably going to be laundering GRU disinformation.
The tax returns were absolutely hacked. There is no question that those documents were not legitimately obtained.
RE: Tax, the NY Times, which has a long history of credible investigative journalism, has stated that their source had legal access to the documents. They were not obtained by their source via a hack. The source most likely did not have permission to share the documents, but the practice of using anonymous, credible sources has a long history in journalism and is widely accepted as ethical. And the practice of laundering RSU disinformation is generally looked down on. And the NY Post has failed to prove that they aren't laundering RSU disinformation.
If there's a body hash (bh) parameter, then you can pull the DKIM key from DNS and prove one way or another whether it went through a mailserver with that DKIM private key.
Jack is just trying to justify it after the fact.
The Jack giveth, the Jack taketh away...
That's what happens with a free press when you are at first see as a benefit and later a liability to the person who owns a press...
2) If not, how did they treat the NYT's Trump tax papers ( clearly hacked from some sources, since it was not revealed). For all one knows, at the time of release, it could have been fake?
3) Does twitter/FB have processes to identify hacked material?
For these reasons, @jack's explanation is not being accepted.
This being the same newspaper that was forced to settle a lawsuit after defaming a minor in seven articles by lying about an interaction he had with a protestor--even though the encounter had been recorded and was freely available online.
These are the folks who are sticklers for independent corroboration.
They've lost their standards a while ago. The difference with these papers is they use the same tricks other papers do, they just write in a more "intellectual" fashion so you never question it because you feel smarter just reading it. But you go check multiple sources and you find there is the same kind of spin and framing you'd expect from Fox News on a topic.
Almost every independent analysis of media bias and journalist quality disagrees with you. In fact, I don't know of one that agrees with you.
facebook is no better, google search no better either.
someone should be locked up, to avoid further tensions between two sides and who knows, maybe civil war or something alike. People can die because of its biased censorship.
We know that despite loud voices arguing about conservative bias it is the opposite, that conservative voices get a pass.
The crowd tangle data shows conservative news being the most powerful when it comes to discussions, but Facebook is saying reach is not the same.
If they are not a neutral platform, these companies must not be able to claim protections reserved for neutral platforms (like this section 230).
It is the same as a for-profit business must not claim same tax benefits as a Non-profit Charity. If they do, their execs will likely face jail time.
Systemic violoaters, would face more jail time.
Jack's tweets were clear that "simply discussing" is okay, however.
The official policy appears to be flexible when the leaked supports Twitter's political opinions.
The PC was left at a repair shop unclaimed, it then became the shops property. They were explicitly given access to the material, but Hunter never picked it up, this isn't a hack, and far less a violation of privacy than the Federal Government employee's leaking personal tax information which they are legally obligated to keep private.
This after "US intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that Rudy Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence, as he gathered information he thought would expose the Bidens."
Forgive me if i'm fast forwarding past the obvious lies and openly mocking all those who can't do the same.
And hacked in what way? Didn't the repair shop owner take ownership of the computer after repeatedly asking for payment but not getting it? Didn't the owner give the hard drive first to FBI, then to a few media, and then to Giuliani?
As for fact checkers, Twitter didn't really fact check those media who give a report that says "anonymous source says", right? Twitter didn't really fact check that Jack Tapper contradicted himself now and in 2016 on exactly the same fine people hoax, right? Twitter didn't really fact check The Project 1619 that teaches us to hate America with a long list of inaccuracies (if not outright lies) or the critical race theory that claims that all white people are born racists or Asian people are complicit racists because they bought the values like working hard or being good at STEM, right? Or why isn't leaked tax records not "hacked"(FWIW, I'm only arguing the definition of "hacked", not whether it's good or bad to reveal tax record).
Oh wait, I guess I'm not exactly following the righteous narratives here, as all the morally superior mainstream media are doing. So this makes me a what? A bigot? A Nazi? A brown but really white supremacist? A racist?
Unless Section 230 gets repealed, it's the exact opposite, actually.
I don't see how. Their actions are explicitly what are protected:
> Civil liability - No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of
> (A)any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected
Essentially nothing, which is why a few of the proposed bills to punish tech companies for removing content have tried to turn that into a clause with teeth.
It's important to remember that it's the first amendment that protects Twitter ability to filter anything it wants on its own platform, but it's the "material that the provider or user considers...otherwise objectionable" part of Section 230 that maintains the liability shield for other content that remains on their platform. That covers removal of essentially any content.
Everyone here knows exactly what's going on and it's rotten as can be.
Do you think those screenshots of emails were well vetted given the simplicity of verifying email header info if it had been published?
After the 1619 Project, I'm not even sure anymore.
Yes I am aware. Bret Stephens was hired to write headlines like this, to appeal to the "fair and balanced" crowd (which will always fail, nothing will ever be enough).
Social media sites are legally entitled to censure things they disagree with, but it's dishonest how they portray themselves as being non-partizan.
That's right. But when they do that, can they claim that they are a 'platform' and not a 'publisher' ?
If paulX is a for-profit-business can he claim that his business a non profit and apply tax code designed for non-profit charities ?
I don’t see a whole lot of difference here.
As far as I know, literally nothing about the story has been verified.
For all you know the Post validated the content itself as real.
Think about how well it works for a scenario like this. Using real videos to legitimize fake emails is an easy win, especially if you don't release either. No on can disprove the legitimacy of the emails and if Biden says they're total BS you release the real videos to add more legitimacy and give the whole thing another news cycle. Then you claim victory and go silent.
Should that matter if the criteria for Twitter is whether something contains hacked/leaked materials or PII? Big news often contain the former and most articles contain the latter. Twitter would lose a lot of journalists if they went down that route. Might be good for the sanity of the users though.
So yeah. A publication that makes a significant effort to vet their source and the story deserves the benefit of the doubt while a publication that acts as a click-bait tabloid without any kind of investigative effort doesn't.
That said, I think Twitter is grasping a bit and trying to use a policy that's right or wrong when the reality is more subjective.
The other thing I don't understand is how revisiting section 230 of the DMCA and turning Twitter into a publisher is going to improve things. If the current publishers don't suffer any repercussions for anything, how will it be different if Twitter is considered the publisher? They're looking for a whipping boy IMO.
I kind of understand why they don't, because that would likely be hard to quantify and you'd have to decide what basket a company goes into, which would act as a gate keeper (if you don't have a good track record, or none at all, you can't publish visibly) and they'd likely have to constantly monitor for changes. Not something that scales well or can be automated, and definitely something where they'd get roasted each time the NYT commits a faux pas.
> If the current publishers don't suffer any repercussions for anything, how will it be different if Twitter is considered the publisher?
True. In a post-fact world, consequences for publishers reporting falsehoods might need to come back on the table. On the one hand that's a problem because it stifles reporting, on the other hand they have been playing very loose and saying "oops, sorry, we'll do better next time, promise" every time doesn't work.
> In a post-fact world, consequences for publishers reporting falsehoods might need to come back on the table. On the one hand that's a problem because it stifles reporting, on the other hand they have been playing very loose and saying "oops, sorry, we'll do better next time, promise" every time doesn't work.
That one flip-flops in my head all the time. Maybe the idea of reduced liability or a higher bar for proving libel / slander in a civil suit against a publisher might be an option, but with _some_ exposure to liability. There has to be a threshold where high quality publishers could bear the costs of honest mistakes, but bad actors would be overwhelmed financially.
Give me a break. The unauthorized leak of Trump's Tax Returns were all over social media and nothing was done about that.
How is a domestic firm exercising it's Constitutionally-protected free press rights “interference”?
Anyway, if Twitter/Facebook ever had the intention to stop dissemination of that NY Post article, it surely backfired.
The root of the issue here is that Twitter is the one deciding this in the first place. What appears on their platform influences large numbers of people. I know it, you know it, and know it too--influencing people to e.g. buy stuff is how they make money after all. It's not hard to understand why a company with such influence making such large impacts without being accountable to the public scares people, particularly those who evidently think differently than those who run these companies.
Edit (I should have included this), Disclosure: I work at Google Cloud and have worked with folks at Twitter (but never their policy teams or anything).
I would say that compared to many cable news sources, the mean time to response of Twitter and Facebook is actually better. No media company is perfect. Unfortunately, no media company is particularly accountable to the public (anymore).
It’s fair (right?) to be concerned about control of media. I think it’s less clear that Twitter is less accountable, less responsive, or more impactful than other major media sources.
It smells very much like "rules for thee but not for me", which is why people have a problem with it.
Twitter just decided to claim that the post is lying, with no evidence and no fact-checking, and then banned the Post Twitter account and every other account that shared the article. At the same time, they allow content like the Panama Papers, Pentagon Papers, multiple Wikleaks, Snowden leaks - which were all obtained by admitted unauthorized hacking.
Without those conditions, you'd exclude the whole field of social engineering from hacking, which is all about making the owner "voluntarily" copy data to a third party - and is widely regarded a subset of "hacking".
Also pending the specific circumstances under which you "own" data, which may not be identical with owning the storage medium, as discussed in other posts.
How about you? Do you think Donald Trump called white supremacists "fine people" or do you care for facts?
This is such a strange argument.
They don't get held to the same standards because they're playing to different audiences.
Just as bad, if not worse than Trump.
2) the NYT articles about Trump's tax returns that were obviously obtained illegally weren't given the same treatment.
3) apparently tweets were also blocked based on hashtags:
This, the unbelievably biased treatment of this throughout the media and social media and good old qui bono tells me all I need to know.
Everything else is just technical details.
Jack's response came much after the censorship actions were taken. You have to analyze with timelime. his PR firm told him he needed to do damage control.
Moreover why was this policy not applied to Trump's alleged tax return? This is one of many examples one could give. You may be too far in the SF bubble or not have a diverse news list.
Taking a picture of people in public is perfectly legal yet it requires no permission. There are countless examples of where permission has nothing to do with legality or legitimacy. Please do your research and stop spreading misinformation about law.
Flame war EOF
Geek squad is not a warehouse nor do they want the burden of holding the equipment indefinitely. This is common practice across almost all goods services such as laundry, shoe repair, instrument repair, etc. There’s an overwhelming legal precedence in this case. In this case the shop owner attempted to return the equipment several times but no response was heard, therefore the standard contract clause(s) are executed.
I think where you’re struggling is you’re confusing your emotions, clearly you don’t like this outcome, with legality. Feelings are not facts.
I could cite a whole bunch of legal jargon and cases to utterly destroy your weak argument, but I’ll have mercy keep it high level like above.
I won’t be responding to further comments because we both know you’re just pouting here and you got some free legal education on my dime.
Btw Do you mean that there are people paying for your level of legal advice? Good for you man.
False. Laptop became the property of the repair shop when nobody paid the bill or turned up to pick it up.
Or that conservatives are more likely to dox people?
In general yes, that is true. Or said another way: Progressives say different things internally and externally, far more often than Conservative's do.
Usually when Conservatives' emails are hacked there is nothing in them that people don't already know.
Note: I'm not making any judgement on the content of what they say, just the difference between what they say internally vs. externally.
Yes. For one thing, if there ever collusion in 2016, it came from the Democrats now established pay-for-play policies, selling US influence to the highest bidder. Once again, knowledge of these actions required multiples hack/leaks to be disclosed.