According to Wikipedia, "Ensuing lawsuits have resulted in a formal apology from the U.S. government and a $2 million settlement."
I'll be honest: I feel like I'm being swindled by doyouhaveasecret.org. Instead of presenting me with facts, they're relying on emotion and hearsay. And that's just as bad as the government wanting to search my laptop. The EFF's campaign is a more mature: https://cyberspying.eff.org/
No, no it isn't. It isn't in the same league of bad. Even if they were lying outright, it wouldn't be.
The government has the power to put you in prison for life or even take your life. Any bad from an organization like that will always be far worse than an attempt to get an emotional reaction to a cause by stretching the truth.
If I'm sitting in jail and have not committed a crime, the underlying legal excuse for my unjust detention isn't going to matter to me. The net result is the same.
It sucks to admit that, but it's how many humans work.
Nobody is immune to advertising, PR, or emotional appeals. Some of us are more/less impacted by specific types of advertising, but we are all susceptible. Including the people in this community.
It seems physicians have a long history pompous bullshit.
Edit: Also Semmelweis was a badass.
While ridding yourself of the core of supporters turned off by campaigns based on more emotion than fact?
Just because people are turned off by this advertising, doesn't mean they will be turned off from supporting this cause. They'll still support it, but via other means, such as the EFF.
However, I think it's easy to underestimate the benefit of hindsight here.
I seriously doubt Mr. Mayfield was thinking "Awwww yeah, I'm about to get paid off this bullshit!" when he was arrested.
More likely, just thinking over the possibilities of being wrongfully implicated in a horrific act of terrorism took a few years of his life.
There are good reasons to oppose CISPA. You shouldn't appreciate people trying to manipulate you into opposing it.
This is something that really annoys me. It's incredibly frustrating to see people argue "on my side", but using reasons that are based almost entirely on FUD and hyperbole. It undermines that entire side of the argument, because people who aren't already on your side assume that if you had valid reasons, you wouldn't be resorting to manipulative exaggerations for shock value. Unfortunately, when the internet outrage machine is whipped up into a frenzy, people don't seem to care and will happily upvote and share anything that supports their side, even if it's completely full of shit.
But that's not what they're saying. They're saying oppose CISPA. You come pretty close to needing to oppose all cyber-security legislation if you strongly oppose CISPA.
Do you just gnash your teeth and stick to your moral high ground while everything burns?
Or do you "play the game", and use manipulation to achieve the moral good?
Personally, I think I tend to do the former. When I get the relatives' chain email with stories that support my political ideals yet disagree with the facts as I know them or can learn them -- I try to correct the ignorance by sending out a Snopes or other factual link.
Sometimes I feel like a sucker doing that, though. Should I try to correct the email outrage of a few people I know when that outrage might get them into the voting booth flipping the lever the way I want? Will that email outrage insulate those less curious against the deluge of misinformation coming from "the other side"?
But in the end even Starfleet had Section 35. The world is dirty and sometimes it is better to play dirty than to lose.
I am not sure if this is one of those times though.
Sorry about that.
Related is the idea of building a case by throwing in the entire kitchen sink in order to make your point with both strong and weak points. I've found it's best to try and stick the the basic strongest points. If you put weak points in your argument and people think "that's no big deal" it will detract from your main point and make people think "oh is that all they've got?"
An fictional example to try and illustrate:
"Bill Jeffrey the CEO of XYZ flies in a corporate jet and has a $10 million salary. He also gets free lunch in the cafeteria as well a laptop computer for his house in addition to a company car". (Now add on 10 other mundane things that many execs get)
If it's war, then naturally all's fair in the name of winning the cause. If not, you probably believe that a cause is not a cause worth believing in if you have to betray it to make it happen, that the only way is through honest discourse and "being the change", even if it means social evolution.
The generally horrible state of politics is the direct result of too many people following the cynical view, that it's war. Another manifestation of our sad human tendency to favor the short-term over the long.
So I guess I am probably as cynical as they get.
The thing though is that within the article there is a great deal of honest discourse, but you can't put all the supporting data into it in that format. The fact is that we have a society where all the rhetoric about rule of law and a government of laws aside, the people expect the government to prosecute people they have been told are "bad guys" and so you get:
1) Lori Drew prosecuted for hacking and by hacking I mean violating the terms of service of a web site. Her conviction was later set aside on vagueness grounds.
2) Jeff Skilling prosecuted for honest services fraud under a standard that would make viewing HN from work a federal felony. His conviction for honest services fraud was set aside by the Supreme Court on vagueness grounds.
3) Daniel Hurwitz prosecuted because he knew or should have known that there was a statistical likelihood that at least some of his pain patients were selling narcotics from their prescriptions on the street. Hurwitz was following general medical consensus regarding medically appropriate prescriptions for chronic pain as well as the DEA's guidance. He was convicted, won a right to a new trial, and was convicted a second time for a smaller number of charges.
4) You also see federal entrapment of Randy Weaver for firearms violations (it is undisputed that Weaver would not have violated the law but for the repeated and prolonged insistence of a government informant paid to get convictions). Weaver may not be a good guy but neither is Skilling. This sort of thing, as well as additional problems with the case going forward (bad advice from lawyers, incorrect statements by a judge, etc) set up the tragedy at Ruby Ridge and FBI conduct so egregious that a man who shot and killed an FBI agent won a significant settlement from the government.
These patterns have been building since Reagan was in office.
The real problem here is breaking through the social consensus that we could never do what China does despite the fact that our civil liberties are degrading and the basic infrastructure is in place for those exact sorts of abuses. Indeed the only real difference is in degree, not in kind.
I am reminded of Karl Doenitz's thoughts on the lessons from Nazi Germany. Doenitz, the architect of the U-boat war, was the one who lead the Third Reich from Hitler's suicide to the surrender. He said that the primary lesson one should draw from Nazi Germany was on the importance of a robust tradition of civil liberties. (The fact that this is a systemic argument I think avoids Godwin's Law and puts this simply in the domain of history discussion.) The upshot is really that the problem that lead to the rise of the Nazis was not caused by bad people as we are lead to believe but rather by systemic deficiencies in German government before their rise to power. It's worth noting also that at the outset of WWI, the Kaiser Wilhelm stated that no civilized nation does not carefully rein in their press (responding to Serbian statements that freedom of the press prevented them from telling the press not to celebrate Archduke Ferdinand's death).
 see "Three Felonies a Day: How Feds Target the Innocent" by EFF/ACLU veteran Harvey Silverglate. He covers the Hurwitz and Skilling cases, though the book was published before the Supreme Court ruled on the honest services fraud statute.
 See "No More Wacos" by Kopel and Blackman.
 Ibid. The authors blame Waco and Ruby Ridge largely on the militarization of law enforcement under Reagan and Clinton, and the drug exception to Posse Comitatus under Reagan.
 See "Ten Years and Twenty Days" by Karl Doenitz.
It is the reason that science and reason cannot take hold in many human societies, because there is a false equivalency of opposition. Opposing heinous attempts to control are not equivalent to opposing freedom, liberty, and self-determination.
Granted this was sub textual, but the implications where clear enough.
In the end you have to be able to say 'I am right on this subject, and they are wrong' and act accordingly.
And when the fight is over there is zero point for being virtuous.
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law..."
Beyond that, read sections (SEC. 701., 703. 704. etc http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s2105pcs/pdf/BILLS-112...) which are heavily couched in language like "safeguards" and "threats" but the effective result is more about authorizing full monitoring of personal communications and sharing all of that with other private companies in government "cybersecurity exchanges". The protections in this bill seem to only protect private companies from getting sued for sharing personal communications.
Why aren't our representatives writing laws that further protect our privacy? Instead we get bills that ignore or even override and nullify existing privacy law. I feel betrayed by our elected representatives in government. It seems they are working for someone else.
(edited to add link to PDF of the Bill)
I do not think I could even call it link bait. They may as well have called it, "doyoulovebluewhales.org"...
Also, the soundtrack ruins its factual/informative presentation value and use of scripting for such a light site makes it feel unprofessional and insecure.
Some of the content and flow of information is good though. But overall just too light, lowbrow and unconvincing if I was not a techie but otherwise had half a brain to care about issues like this.
The first element loaded here on the train was stop soundtrack ... that made me bounce as I thought "My mobile tethering will choke on this" and "I don't have headphones hooked up".
* A lot of idle browsing come from idle time spent at coffee shops, libraries, and trains using low-power devices (e.g. netbooks, tablets, phones). If you want that to be your time then you have to play by those rules. Make sure your experience is acceptable for these scenarios.
* People don't expect playing audio on page-load. If you are trying to shock, ok. But if you are trying to get a message across, and people are around other people they will bounce from your site or have to quickly press mute...you're forcing your user to be really reactive here. Instead of trying to understand the content, they are doing damage control.
Think about your grandparents riding the subway reading the old-time newspaper or standing in line somewhere with the 25cent novel. Although our media today has changed, the purpose of the content consumption really hasn't. Make sure you captivate people in analogous ways.
Second, the domain made me think it was a reboot of "post-secret".
You can go with a goofy or an intriguing domain as long as you deliver something that matches the level of goof or intrigue. The delivery here is ok ... being on HN, I just expected more I guess.
That most of the 'facts' present are at best tangentially related to what the bill allows just made it worse.
Anyway, a link to the bill is here:
On a more serious note, this could have been presented much better. This gave me the same feeling as that semi-attractive girl in college stepping into your personal space to tell you all about how unjust mandated meal plans are.
There are definite problems with CISPA in regards to privacy, but a lot of the stuff on that "Do you have a secret?" page is just mindless FUD.
> doesn’t back up own claims of FUD
Both qualify as FUD because their factual relevancy is extremely low, while their shock value is high. Their only use on the page is to scare visitors into going "Oh my god, that could happen to me!" so that they tell all their friends about all these terrible things that the evil gubmint is going to do if we all don't oppose CISPA.
Sounds relevant to me.
They’re just taking a big picture approach here, not focusing on CISPA. I think that’s okay.
It draws attention to the "Center for Rights" http://fightforthefuture.org/ and on that page there are a bunch of hipsters http://fightforthefuture.org/#staff who know how to play things to the media and get taken seriously.
Certainly a case at the very least for the importance of good design.
My only complaint is the scrolling is a bit broken.
Exhibit A: The Lori Drew prosecution. A lot of people thought that because she did something bad, that we should find something to charge her with, so the US attorney in California charged her with unauthorized access to MySpace's computer systems for the "crime" of violating their terms of service. After she was convicted of misdemeanor and acquitted of felony charges, the judge held the law was too vague as applied and threw out the convictions.
Exhibit B: The Daniel Hurwitz prosecution. Here was a doctor following exactly what the DEA's public guidance was, who was prosecuted and eventually convicted on the basis that he had some knowledge of the statistical certainty that some of his patients were selling narcotics on the street from his prescriptions. And indeed when the defence noted that they had the DEA's public guidance to submit into evidence the DEA's response was to remove it from their web site.
The fact is that total surveillance + vague laws is exactly what the USSR used to lock people up and exactly what China uses to lock people up. The comparison to China on the page in question is actually a very good one.
So what in particular is bad about this bill? http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s2105/text
A while back, the Apple Safari team had a build system that would run performance tests against every code commit. If the commit degraded performance, it was ejected and the developer had to "fix" it. Sometimes that fix meant going into another totally different piece of code to improve the performance there so that the overall commit wouldn't degrade performance.
Something like that should be required of congress. They should be required to constantly refactor laws so that the overall legislative burden upon society remains constant or maybe even decreases.
Direct quoting of something to prove something is "original research", then it's violation of Wikipedia's rules.
The term "original research" (OR) is used on Wikipedia
to refer to material--such as facts, allegations, and
ideas--for which no reliable, published sources exist.
Directly quoting a bill, citing the house.gov or whichever source, provides context for the ensuing discussion (pros and cons) which in turn should consist of a set of citations.
I don't think you understand how modern politics work.
If there is a real fight, it is over criminal procedure, rules of evidence, and other things useful in more banal dealings with law enforcement, and thus having some bearing on the juridical outcome in the event that one is prosecuted (or persecuted) on the basis of some illegal surveillance technique. In other words, you could get acquitted of dealing drugs if the state's main evidence against you is something obtained through warrantless electronic surveillance, and that surveillance is illegal. And that's important.
But why is it important? It's important because it's small stuff, not the kind of stuff governments would throw national-level resources like NSA supercomputers at. So, the argument is really about the gaps, not the fringes. As far as terrorism and national security-type activities go, it seems to me they already have unlimited _de facto_ authority, capability, and inclination to spy on you all they want, and that this has more or less always been true.
Thus, I find that the rhetoric is a bit off. This isn't about stopping the government having "access to your e-mails". They already have that, in principle. With enough initiative and spiritual commitment, they can track you, read your e-mail, and listen to your voice communications. The real objective ought to be framed more precisely, perhaps something like: "There shouldn't be a law that goes out of its way to grant unto pedestrian police the formal sanction to employ surveillance capabilities hitherto the province of spooky intelligence agencies".
However, that's a lot harder to sell.
Yes, I have many.
Now can you tell all of your friends?
I realise that sounds sarcastic, but really- we have a democratic system for a reason. No, it doesn't work perfectly, but whole point is that they are representatives of us.
Representatives of "us"? Oh, you donated millions to an election fund, right? No? Oh, OK then, you're a lobbyist, backed by millions? No. Ah well, they aint representing you then.
We are sold government in the same way tobacco companies sold tobacco in the past. Lies, misrepresentation, half truths, and attacks on the other brand. And because advertising is so powerful, yes it is, you think you are part of it. You're not, you are pawns. Necessary to get the "important" pieces in to position, but in the end, sacrificed at will for their greater good. Your jobs, homes, mortgages, businesses, financial health, health, all there for the taking so that those at the top can get rich, or as the banks have shown, survive and keep their bonuses. Its a filthy pyramid scheme, that we are conned in to supporting.
Sorry, democracy is a myth.
I assume its worse in the US.
Knowing is not the problem. Doing is the problem.
Proportional representation is much better. Having both PR and the ability to approve or veto legislation is even better.
Switzerland has BOTH of these features. And government is not the slave of lobbies as it is in the US.
And there's no need for letter writing campaigns in a vain attempt to get these people to listen to the voters.
Ignoring bad, overreaching legislation but finding a technological way to fight back will result in law enforcement going to congress later saying, "You gave us the authority to take these broad measures, but technology prevents us from doing our jobs. We now need new laws that outlaw those technologies or give us new authority to circumvent them. Perhaps we need a law that forces hardware manufacturers to include our backdoors so we can track users hiding behind anonymizing technologies. We'll also need more funding to increase our manpower and research to stay ahead of the subversive technologies out there."
(That is my reaction to the graphical design of the page.)
It turns out the fingerprints belonged to somebody else. Blame it on faulty software and faultier human interpretation. This scaremongering about routine evidence-gathering is socially irresponsible.
It's more complex than that.
The problem was the fingerprints of the real bomber and Mayfield's prints were identical, each print was exact match to the other person. Exact at least to the satisfaction of the multiple fingerprint examiners each of those examiners followed a different procedure since there is no science of what's conclusive.
The problem was the FBI absolutely denied any two people could ever have the same prints although there was no way to prove that.
Even after the case was solved a test was done where the prints were sent for analysis again and the same examiners came to a different conclusion given the same prints!
Frontline on PBS covered this situation http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/criminal-justice/rea...
So you mean blame it on no one but a man's life gets destroyed.
And you wonder why they get away with murder...
And you wonder why America is mocked as such a litigious country...
I think there's confusion with the "blame game". As in, once you can blame someone, the problem is over and solved but that's just the start to solving the problem. I always want to know who did something wrong and how it happened so we could work to prevent it from happening again in the future.
"It's not about pointing the finger or otherwise apportioning blame. It's about learning from mistakes and preventing them from happening again."
Just assigning blame is a cop-out that doesn't do anything other than make people better by finding a scapegoat and punishing that scapegoat as a result.
This would include, to my mind, monetary compensation as well as having the offenders cover the cost of mental rehabilitation.
It's a traumatic experience and we should not be so heartless.
I am more concerned with the person who had his life destroyed, not so much the system. The system is guaranteed to muck up, by definition.