Dear Government, This Is Why Our Phones Will Be Encrypted

Update: DOJ Pays $134,000 To Settle Case Of DEA Agents Impersonating A Woman On Facebook

A few days ago, the Justice Department agreed to settle the case, paying her $134,000 for her troubles. As with many settlements, this one includes the government insisting that the settlement is not an admission of any guilt for its actions — though it also leaves open that Arquiett could seek to get some attorneys’ fees as well. Both Facebook and Senator Leahy had criticized the government for this action, and the DOJ promised to review this kind of practice — though that review is still “ongoing.” Either way, in this case, the DOJ realized that it was best to just pay up rather than let the case go much further.

Update: Court Rules Police Can Force Users to Unlock iPhones With Fingerprints

According to Judge Steven C. Fucci, while a criminal defendant can’t be compelled to hand over a passcode to police officers for the purpose of unlocking a cellular device, law enforcement officials can compel a defendant to give up a fingerprint.

The Fifth Amendment states that “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” which protects memorized information like passwords and passcodes, but it does not extend to fingerprints in the eyes of the law, as speculated by Wired last year.

Update: Don’t Want Nude Selfies Stolen? Don’t Let Cops See Your Phone

A team of CHP officers is now under investigation for a years-long “game” in which they stole and traded private photos from the phones of women they arrested.

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It was created surreptitiously by a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, who seized Prince’s phone in July 2010 after arresting her, mined it for photographs, then used those pictures to forge a fraudulent profile which allowed authorities to impersonate Prince in an investigation into an alleged New York drug ring. Until, of course, Prince found out — and sued.
The result is an ongoing New York federal civil suit that Prince, who also goes by Sandra Arquiett, has filed against the United States and DEA Agent Timothy Sinnigen. The case, which Buzzfeed’s Chris Hamby first reported, has been sent for mediation by the judge in the case. It hints at the murky boundaries of social media privacy and raises questions as to how far law enforcement can go when using new technology to investigate cases.

To all the Chicken Little government prosecutors and agents:

We don’t need protection from straw-men pedophiles or kidnappers, we need protection from The Government.

via DEA created a fake Facebook profile in this woman’s name using seized pics — then impersonated her – The Washington Post.

FAA Settles Key Case Over Commercial Drone Use… Leaves The Rest Of Us With No Rules At All

As we’ve been covering for a while now, the FAA is doing everything it can to delay nearly all commercial use of drones, despite the many possible innovations drones can lead to. Are there some legitimate safety concerns? Absolutely, but the FAA’s approach of “ban everything” and then drip out a few exemptions here and there is problematic. Last year, we wrote about a key test case, involving Raphael Pirker, in which a judge declared that the FAA’s ban on drones was illegal (mostly for procedural reasons). A few months ago, that got overturned… and now Pirker and the FAA have settled the matter, with Pirker agreeing to pay $1,100 [pdf] while not admitting to any wrong doing:

FAA Settles Key Case Over Commercial Drone Use… Leaves The Rest Of Us With No Rules At All

Grassley to hospitals: Explain why you’re suing low-income patients, Mosaic Life Care

“Reports detail a number of instances where Mosaic failed to identify patients who would qualify for financial assistance and who have since been subject to abusive billing and collection practices,” Grassley wrote. “The practices appear to be extremely punitive and unfair to both low-income patients and taxpayers who subsidize charitable hospitals’ tax breaks.”
As ProPublica and NPR reported, the hospital has its own for-profit debt collection subsidiary, Northwest Financial Services, which files thousands of lawsuits each year.

Grassley to hospitals: Explain why you’re suing low-income patients

Word Fetishes

What word fetishes do is carry a connotation without carrying a denotation. In the above example, a slave is defined as one who is coerced into doing labor without a wage. The payment of a wage is the defining thing that makes a laborer not a slave; it is the sign that the exchange was voluntary. Hence the term ‘wage slavery’ has a connotation of a horrible and involuntary servitude, akin to bondage, and the connotation is affixed to working for a wage, a voluntary exchange between equals, which is the opposite.
Word fetishes are used instead of reasoning. When a man reasons, he defines his terms. When a Leftist unreasons — or whatever the mental activity is called whereby mental activity is deliberately made unable to act — what he does is undefine his terms. He makes clear terms muddy.
When the word fetish does not work, they, like the zealous medicine man whose rain dance cannot make it rain, merely dances again, this time harder. So the Leftist says his word fetish again louder or more forcefully or more scornfully. When nothing continues to happen, they try again. And so on.

In philosophy, the word fetish is to declare that the only truth is that there is no truth. It is, in other words, an insolent abandonment of philosophy, the love of truth.
In ethics, the word fetish is to say that it is evil to distinguish good from evil, and that being judgmental or condemnatory must be brought to judgment and condemned. This is an insolent abandonment of ethics.

Click forth and read all:

Word Fetishes

The war on leaks has gone way too far when journalists’ emails are under surveillance

Most journalists and press freedom groups have been inexplicably quiet about the Justice Department’s treatment of WikiLeaks and its staffers ever since, despite the fact that there has been a (justified) backlash against the rest of the Justice Department’s attempt to subpoena reporters’ phone call records and spy on their emails. But almost all of the tactics used against WikiLeaks by the Justice Department in their war on leaks were also used against mainstream news organizations.

For example, after the Washington Post revealed in 2013 the Justice Department had gotten a warrant for the personal Gmail account of Fox News reporter James Rosen in 2010 without his knowledge by explicitly accusing him of being an espionage “co-conspirator” (for have the audacity to arrange to confidentially speak with a source), journalists and privacy advocates understandably reacted in shock and outrage.

The war on leaks has gone way too far when journalists’ emails are under surveillance

POTUS: Stuck on Stupid (SOTU)

But it’s not just that he talked about an issue as small-ball as day care, it’s how he talked about it that helps explain why so many have soured on the guy (indeed, his SOTU ratings over the years have tanked, with Tuesday’s speech the worst yet). For all his yammering about how “tonight, we turn the page” and that we need to be “looking to the future instead of the past,” Obama is stuck in the dreariest, 20th-century liberal mindset when it comes to problem solving.

After falsely claiming that the federal government provided “universal childcare” during World War II (in fact, the feds provided child care for a peak of 130,000 kids in 1944, Obama laid out his grand plan for fixing this problem: Give “working Americans” tax cuts and subsidies to buy child care. In fact, that’s pretty much his answer to everything, whether we’re talking college (whose cost he pledged to “lower…to zero”), health care (Obamacare is built around subsidies for insurance premiums), or home ownership (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are back to requiring just 3 percent down on home loans).

The one thing you’ll never hear Obama talk about is increasing the supply of just about anything. But that’s precisely how prices really come down and increasingly higher-quality goods and services become affordable and ubiquitous. We didn’t get to cheap hamburgers by subsidizing their purchase through targeted tax breaks to working Americans. Fast-food chains drove down prices and upped quality in their desperate attempts to grab and keep customers.

Click forth and read all:

To Obama, the State Can Still Solve Every Problem

How Many People Aren’t Vaccinating Their Kids in Your State?

Update: California Crunchy, 84% Of Kindergartners Not Up-To-Date On Vaccines At A Marin School

Update:Measles outbreak traced to Disneyland continues to grow

The number of measles cases from the outbreak that started in Disneyland last month nearly doubled this week. At least 85 cases are now confirmed in seven states, the latest in Nebraska. And the outbreak could spread even further.

Update: Diphtheria Excited About Possibility Of New Outbreak (The Onion)

Following a flare-up of measles in California and reports of new cases across several western states this week, the disease diphtheria told reporters Thursday that it was excited about the possibility of a new outbreak in America. “I really didn’t think I stood a chance of re-emerging in a developed country again, but this measles thing is giving me some hope—I mean, why not me?” said the deadly contagious infection that has been virtually nonexistent in the United States since a vaccine was introduced in the 1920s. “I don’t want to get ahead of myself, obviously, but these days I just feel like anything’s possible. Man, another epidemic! If I get a second opportunity, I’ll definitely make the most of it.” Diphtheria went on to say that, if everything really fell into place, it’d be able to reunite in the human population with typhus and polio.

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California is not the only state with high-exemption hotspots. On Vashon Island, Washington, 17 percent of kindergartners failed to receive their shots in 2013 due to a “personal/philosophical” exemption. That’s nine times the current national average. The year before, Vashon Islanders accounted for 16 percent of all whooping cough cases in Washington’s King County, despite housing just one percent of its population. And a 2008 study of exemption rates in Michigan found 23 clusters within the state, and, you guessed it, a correlation with higher rates of whooping cough. Even individual schools and churches can serve as ground zero: After a measles outbreak broke out in north Texas in 2012, the state epidemiologist linked it to a local megachurch whose pastor had spread anti-vaccine myths in the past.

via How Many People Aren’t Vaccinating Their Kids in Your State? | Mother Jones.

WTF! It Should Not Be Illegal to Hack Your Own Car’s Computer

Eventually, though, someone will find a way though the M5’s defenses. Someone will crack encryption. Because that’s what people do—especially tinkerers obsessed with building the perfect car. Here’s where copyright law rears its head again: Because the programming on a car is copyrighted, breaking encryption could be construed as a violation of the DMCA. It doesn’t matter that no one is pirating the car’s software. The act of breaking the lock is enough to land tinkerers, hobbyists, hackers, tuners, and even security researchers in a contested, legal gray-zone.
No one has yet been prosecuted for hacking their own car, but they could. And as locks become more prevalent, the EFF and iFixit are willing to bet that, eventually, some carmaker will bring the DMCA hammer down on a hobbyist’s head. So we’re are taking a stand now.

via WTF! It Should Not Be Illegal to Hack Your Own Car’s Computer | WIRED.

The Outrage Bus of Stupidity Stops in Tennessee

At least one Mid-South parent is concerned about what she says is a satanic symbol on a school bus.
The Cordova, Tennessee parent snapped a photo when she noticed the shape of an upside down, five-pointed star outlined in the brake lights of a school bus that was stopped in Cordova.
“Anyone who fears a God, if not God and Jesus Christ, should be outraged,” she said.

I once read, “Anyone who fears god, does not know god.”

WMC Action News 5 is not sharing her name because she’s getting death threats for her views.
She says Christians should be outraged that a symbol that looks like a pentagram would be allowed in the design of a vehicle used to transport children to public schools.
On social media, parents are arguing both sides of the debate. Some say the brake lights are a subliminal pagan message, while others say it’s just an unintentional design.
“If you can’t put a cross on there, you cannot put a pentagram on it,” she said.

Pagan Idolatry anyone?

Pagan Idolatry anyone?

Lady, god is weeping at your stupidity.  You are the reverse side of the Daeshi–calling out and destroying graven images and unbelievers.  You and all of your type can fuck off.

via Parent outraged over possible pentagram symbol on Mid-South bus – WMC Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee.

Great white shark attacks fisherman’s boat in Gulf

According to Fitzgerald, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has confirmed that the shark in the video is a great white and the agency is investigating what might have caused the shark to attack the boat.

‘Yea, we’re going to get our SWAT Team to go over there, do a dynamic entry, and ask this mope what the fuck he thought he was doing’

I am sure this will be worth, at least, 160 man-hours of charge time.

via Great white shark attacks fisherman’s boat in Gulf.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Not Enough Nuclear Threat to Stay Relevant, So We’re Adopting Climate Change

The clock is symbolic and has been maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947. The closer to a setting of midnight it gets, the closer it’s estimated that a global disaster will occur.
“In 2015, unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity,” the group said in a statement.

Tic-Toc can’t let our funding stop.

via Doomsday approaching? Clock ticking closer to midnight.

@JennyMcCarthy: You own this

Jenny's Work

If you want to quantify the alarming impact of the anti-vaccine movement, the chart above is a good place to start. It plots the cumulative number of new measles cases by month, for each year from 2001 to 2014.

There were 644 new measles cases in 27 states last year, according to the CDC. That’s the biggest annual number we’ve seen in nearly a quarter-century. The vast majority of people who contracted the disease were unvaccinated, including the dozens of cases related to an outbreak at Disneyland in Orange County, California, which is basically Ground Zero in our current epidemic of anti-vaccine hysteria.

B793QsOCQAAPTRX.png large

Measles was eradicated, at one time. Idiots.

via The devastating impact of vaccine deniers, in one measles chart – The Washington Post.

mohammedans explode children for allahs’ glory (con’d) Nigeria: mai matsorata rukuni na kare copulating aladu

Outside of Baga, Boko Haram has been active on other fronts. On Saturday, Jan. 10, a girl estimated to be around 10 years-old was strapped with an explosive device which detonated at a busy market in Maiduguri in Borno State. The market had been previously hit by suicide bombers in 2014. At least 20 people were killed and many others were injured in the bombing. A metal detector at the scene indicated that the young girl was carrying something suspicious, however the bomb was set off before she could be isolated.
The same day, a car bomb went off at a police station outside of Potiskum in Yobe State. The detonation occurred as the driver of the vehicle was being taken in for questioning. He was killed, along with a police officer.
The following day, two female suicide bombers hit a busy Sunday market in Potiskum. According to a local security source, “One of the bombers looked 23 and the other 15. The first bomber — the 23 year-old — detonated her explosives just outside the entrance of the market, where volunteers were screening people going inside the market with metal detectors. The second bomber was terrified by the explosion and she tried to dash across the road but she also exploded.”

Mai matsorata rukuni na kare copulating aladu

via Boko Haram continues to slaughter Nigerians – The Long War Journal.

Question for NOW: Is this Good “Choice” or Bad “Choice”

Update: Now we know.  Aborting girl babies is bad abortion, aborting boy babies is to ‘fight against the patriarchy.’

“In our neighborhood, girls are commonly killed in their mothers’ wombs and we don’t feel the pain,” Modi said in a speech in the northern state of Haryana.

Despite being banned, selective abortion is a growing problem that results in a steady decline in the number of girls being born even as the economy has grown and other social indicators like maternal mortality have improved.
India’s child sex ratio dropped from 964 in 1971 to a low of 918 in 2011, according to U.N. data. Between 2001 and 2011, the decline was seen in more than two-thirds of the districts in the nation.

via Modi launches campaign to tackle India’s dwindling number of girls | Reuters.

Democrats At Davos: “Let Them Eat Cake.”

Update: Russian DFM: ‘We Will Eat Cake!’

Shuvalov, who is believed to be one of the richest men in the government, said that what he considers the West’s attempts to oust Putin will only unite the nation further.
“When a Russian feels any foreign pressure, he will never give up his leader,” Shuvalov said. “Never. We will survive any hardship in the country — eat less food, use less electricity.”
Shuvalov’s comments triggered pithy remarks on Russia social media including an opposition activist who posted photos of Shuvalov’s Moscow, London and Austria homes to illustrate where the deputy prime minister would experience the hardships he described.

Is this a unofficial theme for the I-Don’t-Fly-With-The-Unwashed class?

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Billionaire Jeff Greene, who amassed a multibillion dollar fortune betting against subprime mortgage securities, says the U.S. faces a jobs crisis that will cause social unrest and radical politics.

“America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,” Greene said in an interview today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We need to reinvent our whole system of life.”

But don’t expect Greene to be the change he wants you to be:

Greene, who flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week, said he’s planning a conference in Palm Beach, Florida, at the Tideline Hotel called “Closing the Gap.” The event, which he said is scheduled for December, will feature speakers such as economist Nouriel Roubini.

via Democratic Billioniare Jeff Greene Tells Americans To Live with Less – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

WaPost Notices Spicoli’s Paradise, Isn’t

getting the eggs in spicoli's paradise 1getting the eggs in spicoli's paradise 2

It’s a man-made tragedy, and the men who made it won’t fix it. Maduro, for his part, blames the shortages on the “parasitic” private sector, while the food minister doesn’t get what the big deal is since he has to wait in line at soccer games.
So it turns out Lenin wasn’t just right that the best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. It’s also the best way, as Venezuela can tell you, to destroy the socialist one.

Venezuela should be rich. But its government has destroyed its economy.

Critics: Watch the Damn Movie First (American Sniper)

I have watched Clint Eastwood’s story of Chris Kyle, American Sniper.  I read the book when it was released.

If someone of the Panty-Waist Left (PWL) criticize the movie for ‘glamorizing war’ or ‘hero worship’ of soldiers/sailors depicted–they are lying.  They have not seen the movie.  They are just jumping on the bandwagon to give them some Street Cred.  Again, they are fucking lying.

In the first fifteen minutes, in the first sniper scene, Eastwood sets the tone for the whole movie.  It is a total negative statement on the ‘glory of war’.   The movie did not glamorize or make-happy any part of warfare or being a sniper.  Kyle’s return to home/family/wife is depicted with Kyle emotionally bottling up everything he did and saw while on deployments–trying to keep Taya from the ugliness.  Eastwood successfully showed  the pain and tension between Taya and Chris that, this ‘soldiers trait’ causes.

So, when a PWL whines about American Sniper with any of the above themes, you can know they have not seen the movie.

Holder limits seized-asset sharing process that split billions with local, state police

Err…Not so fast:

Holder’s new policy, “adoptions accounted for roughly three percent of the value of forfeitures in the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program

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Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without evidence that a crime occurred.

Holder’s action represents the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.

Since 2008, thousands of local and state police agencies have made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion under a civil asset forfeiture program at the Justice Department called Equitable Sharing.

Hooray for the Attorney General.  Finally.  This will not make Desert Snow and their fellow travelers happy.  I’m sure they are reading the law so it can be interpreted by their cash-hungry customers (The Police?) to get around this small annoyance.

via Holder limits seized-asset sharing process that split billions with local, state police – The Washington Post.

Privacy Not: Government Deploys Through the Walls Radar

At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.
Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person’s house without first obtaining a search warrant.
The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.
Current and former federal officials say the information is critical for keeping officers safe if they need to storm buildings or rescue hostages.

Sure.  But they will start using the damn thing for everything under the guise of ‘officer safety’.

But privacy advocates and judges have nonetheless expressed concern about the circumstances in which law enforcement agencies may be using the radars — and the fact that they have so far done so without public scrutiny.
“The idea that the government can send signals through the wall of your house to figure out what’s inside is problematic,” said Christopher Soghoian, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist. “Technologies that allow the police to look inside of a home are among the intrusive tools that police have.”