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Lee Lloyd
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I won't claim it is necessarily the most exciting video on the Internet, but it literally affects every single person on the net.

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And before anyone says "but terrorists and criminals use encryption..."

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People make the mistake of thinking that these stupid laws passed by New York and California are just reasons to not move to those states. Then they are surprised years down the road when the entire media (largely in those two states) is constantly advocating that the entire nation should be that way, and the federal government forces through legislation. I assure you, this new push against encryption is everyone's problem, no matter their resident state.

So saw the new Star Wars film. What was my impression of the most successful film ever made? Apparently audiences want nothing more than to be pandered to. There was not a single new, original, exciting or inspired moment in the entire film. It was nothing but a dutiful retread of predictable elements and plot points, in perhaps the most unadulterated nostalgia trip I have ever seen. 

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At first I thought (hoped?) this article was fear-mongering, since the EFF has been so big on that lately. However, reading the bill, it is actually worse than this article makes it sound.

The really terrifying part, in my opinion, which this article doesn't even touch on, is it gives the relevant agencies the power to authorize private parties to monitor and compromise another private party's system, and then make use of that information.

Let me be really clear about this, because it can easily get lost in the legalese of the bill. That means that fill in government agency here can authorize Shadowy Computer Security LLC to monitor and compromise Popular Mail Service Y, with no judicial oversight, and just some administrative agreements.

Making it even more explicit, the feds can now, without a warrant, go to Email Service Y, and say "mind if Shadowy LLC takes a look at your network, for national security reasons, of course?" And when Email Service Y says yes, the feds can now authorize Shadowy LLC to do whatever they want on that network, and report whatever they find back to the feds with no legal requirement to go through any court.

This gives Email Service Y full deniability to say "we never gave them any information on specific users, except under court order" and gives the feds full deniability to say "we never compromised their system" while everyone, but the user, gets what they want.


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Just out of curiosity, when something like this happens, and it happens more than you think, why dot we see politicians grandstanding about how we more common sense laws to end senseless car violence? 

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I have plenty of issues with the EFF, but this is a good scorecard to check the security (or lack thereof) of your favorite messaging client.

I know, I've heard it all before.

"I don't have anything to hide, why should I care about security?"

The simple fact is, before the Internet, the default state of everything was private. No one knew anything about you, unless you volunteered that information. It has nothing to do with whether you have anything to hide. The question should be, why would you want to share that information? The presumption shouldn't be on justifying privacy, the presumptive question should be "why does anyone need that information?"

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Listen Internet and mainstream media, when Mother Jones, a publication that is in no way pro-gun, is calling you out on your ridiculous and hyperbolic claims, you really should listen. No rational discussion has ever been helped by blatant falsehoods. 

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Oh that's not at all creepy. I'm sure this story has a happy ending.

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So here would be an example of the most extreme argument against the TPP. Rather than go into each point and misrepresentation in this article, I would rather just tag the whole thing with "citation needed." However, you will quickly notice that the author is barely even talking about the TPP. He in fact lumps all trade agreements, including NAFTA, which has been in effect since 1994, as one big pile of society-destroying evil.

My question then, would be, what does this author think is the correct answer? No trade agreements? Isolationism? The criminalization of capitalism? The abolition of private property? State-owned industry? Communism? I don't know, because he offers no alternatives, just says that every trade agreement ever signed or proposed is essentially evil, and constitutes a corporate usurpation of sovereign governments.

From my perspective, it is an entirely flawed opinion, because from where I am sitting, it does not seem like the problem is capitalism, or regulations, but rather consumerism. The repeated desire of individuals to constantly act against their own long term interests, because it promises instant gratification in the short term, and requires less of them immediately, would appear to be what is causing the bulk of the egregious inequalities in wealth distribution in the current system we have. I don't see how isolationism, higher state ownership, or regulations fix that. As long as people are willingly throwing their money at people acting against their interests, there isn't much you can do to stop it.

What we need is not less trade, or more government. What we need is consumer education, to teach people the importance of sometimes taking the longer, more difficult, and more expensive route, that results in better individual outcomes for them, so they stop acting against their own interests.
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