* Posts by Matt Bryant

8844 posts • joined 21 May 2007

Snowden 'ready to return to US', claims lawyer

Matt Bryant
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Re: Dim Paul Re: Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..

".....They are already holding a cell for you at Leavenworth....." Fort Leavenworth is a prison for military personnel, not civilians. That fundamental error suggests you really haven't a clue what you're posting about.

".....There will be nothing even close to a "Fair Trial" from this or any other future administration....." <Yawn> Now, where have we heard that male bovine manure before? Oh, that would be about Chelsea/Bradley Manning, who got a fair trial despite the flock insisting that couldn't happen. Duh!

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Matt Bryant
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Re: DNTP Re: Bryant

".....The fact that they can do this to him while not even having to consider the ethical issues...." Oh, you mean like the issue where he broke the law?

".....government abuse of due process....." <Sigh> Another one that needs to go read up on the FISC, the Espionage Act, and that seems to be just for starters. Seriously, do any of the flock read any background info before posting?

"....the suppression of ethical disclosure......" Yeah, right! Snowjoke didn't try to report anything through the correct or legal channels, by his own admission he instead set out to deliberately break his oath and his contract with the express purpose of stealing secrets. That's not disclosure, it's traitorous theft. Now he's stuck in Moscow regretting his decisions and wanting to come home, but even he's not as deluded as you as he seems to understand he's going to be arrested and tried for the crimes he has freely admitted committing.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: DJV Re: @ Matt Bryant

"The only (snow)JOKE around here is your moronic post!" The moronic part would seem to be your attempt at a reply. I notice you seem completely unable to counter the points I raised (honest, this is my surprised face).....

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Matt Bryant
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Re: skelbint Re: Yes

"Matt, your comments are showing...." Unlike you and your ovine buddies I don't hide behind AC. I do note that your response is of your usual fact-free and contributionless level, though.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: petur Re: Fair trial

"Dream on...." You obviously misunderstood, petur - the article is about a trial in the US, not Russia. Of course, in Russia, there would be no trial, you'd just get shot four times in the back right next to the Kremlin whilst all the security cameras were conveniently pointed the other way.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: DNTP

"......the government wouldn't even have to charge him with the "Big Issues" in order to get him put away for life......" Really? So you missed the whole Bradley/Chelsea Manning episode? People like you insisted he/she would get the death sentence, then when that was debunked you lot insisted Manning would be locked up "for life". Reality? He/she got 35 years with parole in eight, despite being a serving soldier and not just a civilian contractor. Obviously Snowjoke thinks eight years or less (and probably in a low- or medium-security prison, not Fort Leavenworth like Manning) is preferable to a lifetime in self-imposed exile in Russia. Of course, once he's done his sentence in the US, Snowjoke is then free to start making money off his infamy.....

But where Snowjoke may have miscalculated is that he was a contractor, and his actions not only put him in breach of the law but also his contract terms. I'm sure Booz Allen Hamilton's lawyers would be thinking of suing Snowjoke for bringing their name into disrepute, breach of contract, loss of earnings, etc., etc. And then there is the cost associated with the investigation of his unauthorized access to data - if BAH had to cough up to plug procedural holes then they could sue Snowjoke to recover those costs. Snowjoke could eventually be free to live in the States but be a pauper for the rest of his life. One can only hope.

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US court rubber-stamps dragnet metadata surveillance (again)

Matt Bryant
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Re: Potty Re: You best hope they don't really stop any time soon

"If the fellow in question honestly believes the tripe he's peddling, do you really think his vocabulary or vocal comprehension are in an upper percentile?" Seriously, Potty, you're starting to make the Canadian educational system look non-existant. First you and the rest of the ovine crowd insist the spooks are "watching ALL OF US", building some despicable database on "EVERYONE", then the next moment you're also insisting the same system is inefficient! Either it's "despicable" but also working or it's no threat at all and you and the rest of the paranoid delusional herd can just give it a rest and get over yourselves.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Marketing Slack Re: The FISA court is worthless...

"If I remember correctly, they refused one authorization request in the nearly 40 years they have been in business." Trust Marketing to get the numbers wrong as usual. Even far-left rags like Mother Jones grudgingly admit at least eleven requests were outright denied (http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/06/fisa-court-nsa-spying-opinion-reject-request). And the reason they did not reject more is because the requests came with good legal qualification that met the warrant requirements. You seem to have glossed over the bit about the FISC being made up of qualified judges and using laws, not whimsy.

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Would you trust 'spyproof' mobes made in Putin's Russia?

Matt Bryant
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Re: Roland6 Re: Would you trust 'spyproof' mobes made in Putin's Russia?

".....Many security programs that have been happily running on many of our Windows PC's.... originate.... in Russia..." Er, no. Whilst I might pay attention to what Kaspersky has to say on security issues I do not run his or any other software of Russian origin, thanks.

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Matt Bryant
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Boffin

Re: Neil Barnes Re: Switching off phones does not disable built-in GPS functionality

"Anyone able to explain?...." It's due to user expectation of a fast GPS lock. If you had a first gen GPS device you might recall they could take even minutes to get a lock and tell you where you were. Users demanded a better experience, so second gen and later devices either periodically wake themselves up and sync or just stay continually on in the background. The actual GPS receivers are not that power-hungry, it is the display of the maps, the loading of the maps from memory, and the associated communications with servers (point-of-interest, localized advertising, etc.) that chews through the battery.

"....What happens if the location services are turned off (assuming of course a clean phone)...." The phone still knows where you are as long as the GPS is updating in the background, it's just not telling Google or Apple or Microsoft where you are. That does not mean the networks are not receiving the GPS data (and they can triangulate on your signal anyway).

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Buzzword Re: Who do you fear most ?

".....If you intend to commit crimes in one country (e.g. the USA), then it makes sense to buy a "spyproof" phone from a country which doesn't have a Five-Eyes style intelligence-sharing agreement with that country (e.g. Russia)......" Seriously? OK, please stop and actually think that through for a sec. No matter how "top-tech" your phone is, to work on any mobile network it requires a unique identifier, an IMEI number. Each IMEI number includes a portion that identifies the model and maker, so carrying around one of these phones is like painting a bullseye on your back. Now, you may try and be smart and use software to fake your IMEI by cloning that of another phone, but the networks are already looking for such users to cut down on fraud and have tools for finding cloned phones and blocking their network access (and, if you use the IMEI of a stolen phone, they notify the police of when and where). If the spooks or police ask the networks then they will track and record all traffic to and from a specific IMEI number. And its alleged that the spooks have tools for looking for phones with normal IMEI numbers that use unusual software not usually found on a normal phone (such as non-standard encryption). So a cloned IMEI number might just provide a false sense of security.

Then, once you realise your phone has actually just drawn attention to you, you need to realise the spooks are just as interested in the metadata of who you call as what you transmit. If the receiver is a normal phone then they can simply hijack the other end of the connection, making your efforts futile. Either way, every time you use your "spy-proof" phone you simply add to the metadata collection.

And, finally, history has shown that vendors and networks will open themselves up at home government request to stay in business, so whilst your new "spy-proof" phone may protect you from some spies it probably won't against all.

In all, you're probably better off just using a normal phone and hiding in the background noise, and being smart about what you actually use the phone for. That's if you even have a real reason to worry in the first place.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Alain Williams Re: Who do you fear most ?

"NSA/GCHQ or KGB ?....." Not the KGB as it doesn't exist anymore. You might replace them with the SVR CF or GRU if outside Russia or the FSB if inside Russia. You could also add the MOSSAD, SAVA, ABIN, CSE, MSS, or any other combination of letters dependent on your flavour of repression/paranoia. If I was in a position to have to actually worry, then a phone from Russia or China or even Israel would be off my list, but I don't actually have a reason to worry. As do the majority of the Western population.

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Snowden files show NSA's AURORAGOLD pwned 70% of world's mobe networks

Matt Bryant
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Re: Boring Bernie Boring Bernie Doctor Syntax Ben Bonkers The lunatics....

"......we are entirely in agreement MB......" Er, no. You are whining about how terrible it is we keep these people locked up, whereas I am quite happy for them to be locked up.

".....a legal mess that's near impossible to untangle in any elegant manner......" No, there is no legal mess at all. US civilian law does not applying they are not on US soil in Gitmo. Even the Third Article of the Geneva Convention does not insist they just be released because people like you have got your knickers in a twist. The legal issues have been examined and satisfied, otherwise useful idiots like the ACLU would have brought successful legal actions to close Gitmo - they have tried and failed to do so. You can justifiably claim there is a moral issue but not a legal one, and moral issues are simply a matter of perspective. Obambi's desire to close Gitmo is not for legal not so-called "moral" reasons, but simply political expediency - he thinks it is a vote-winner with his base.

".....My natural inclination is not to "inter" anyone who hasn't actually committed a crime....." But the US and UK governments have a legal imperative to also protect their citizens, even you. That legal imperative is enshrined in international law (read, for example, Articles 1, 5 and 6 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, GA Res 260 A (III), 9 December 1948; Articles 2 and 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, GA Res 2200A (XXI), 16 December 1966, 999 UNTS 171; and Articles 1, 2 and 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950, 213 UNTS 222; ETS 5). You are claiming "foul" in ignorance of the law simply because it suits you. Your willingness to push such ignorant views as both factual and moral is what should make you shiver.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Boring Bernie Re: Boring Bernie Doctor Syntax Ben Bonkers The lunatics....

"... I just think they should be accorded legal rights so we can determine whether they are innocent or not." The Gitmo detainees already do have legal rights and due process as non-uniformed combatants, inline with the Geneva Convention. The US courts ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006 that Gitmo detainees were entitled to the minimal protections listed under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, not US civil law. But, before you celebrate, you need to understand that Common Article 3 in no way whatsoever includes a provision for trial under civil law, US or otherwise. But, the US and UK have fallen over backwards to give (IMHO) even the scummiest terrorist supporters a fair trial. Moazzam Begg is one example, though in his case it seems clear to me that he is at least a supporter of Islamic extremism (his pushing of such vile material as spewed from Anwar al-Awlaki before al-Awlaki got droned is an example - http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/nov/15/international-criminal-justice-yemen). Even if the US courts could not prove Begg to be an actual terrorist, and the UK's that he facilitates terror (http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/01/world/europe/uk-begg-syria-charges/index.html), in a real war he would have been locked up for the duration as many Nazi propagandists and sympathisers were in WW2. Do you want to argue that we were wrong to lock up the likes of Oswald Mosely (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Mosley#Internment) on the grounds of "free speech"?

But then that is the real political problem - we're not in a "real war", and Obambi promised on the election trail that he would close Gitmo and give all the detainees trials. Only he found out when he got into office that wasn't actually either legally possible nor desirable from a security viewpoint. This is shown by Obambi signing the National Defence Authorization Act which "prohibits transfer of any Guantanamo detainee to a country where returnees have reengaged in terrorist activity and requires certification from the receiving country that it has taken steps to prevent such activity".

Hence all his backroom deals with Third World countries to take Gitmo detainees, trying to keep them as far away from trouble in the Middle East and Afghanistan as possible, and at the same time make it look like Obambi is keeping his election promise. The simple truth is there is a number of hardcore AQ and Taliban members in Gitmo that even Obambi will hesitate to release in such a way, but he might have an executive get-out after the Bergdahl fiasco (http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/bowe-bergdahl-deal-criticized-afghanistan-barack-obama-107312.html). No, we don't deal with terrorists, do we, Mr Presidunce? Not unless it means you can offload some of those hardcore Gitmo prisoners....

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Matt Bryant
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Happy

Re: Boring Bernie Re: Ben Bonkers The lunatics are in the hall.

"Sticking a downvote is not a reply....." Oh I did reply, it's just El Mod seems to have thought it too damaging for your fragile ego to survive reading the facts I posted. I'll just post the links and we'll see if you can join the dots and understand why the GCHQ and NSA have better things to look into than your paranoid delusions.

Team Poison and the IS media jihad - http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/birmingham-hacker-junaid-hussain-syria-7291864

Jihadi John, "brave Muslim warrior" who likes hacking the heads off bound hostages - http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31641569

Emwazi, poster child for "the abusive harassment of the Security Services", and CAGE - http://guerillamedianetwork.com/%E2%80%8Bisis-killer-jihadi-john-radicalized-by-uk-govt-claims-charity/).

CAGE, Amnesty International, Gita Saghai and the Moazzam Begg issue - http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/1167/amnesty-international-whitewashes-terrorism-suspends-whistleblower

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Boring Bernie Re: Doctor Syntax Ben Bonkers The lunatics are in the hall.

"......Not in Guantanamo it doesn't, as has been well documented." The only fact around Gitmo that seems to be well documented is the number of what you would like to call "innocents" released who immediately returned to terror (http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2014/12/oops-u-s-offers-5-mil-reward-al-qaeda-terrorist-released-gitmo/).

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SkyProwler VTOL transformo-drone set to darken skies

Matt Bryant
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Meh

Meh.

if I am understanding the design correctly, the VTOL blades just fold away on arms when in normal flight in the Blade mode whilst seperate pusher props and motor(s) provide the forward impetus. Which seems an awful waste of space and weight. I'd be much more impressed if the design had pivoting rotors ala V-22 Osprey.

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P0wned plug-in puts a million WordPress sites at risk of attack

Matt Bryant
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Re: Ian Emery Re: Asking the big questions.....

"Is WordPress the New Microsoft??" Don't be silly, they're just the new Adobe.

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Fight back against illegal GCHQ spying with PAPERWORK!

Matt Bryant
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Re: Terry Cloth Re: Is this limited to UK bods only?

".....can I, an Amerian, sign up with PI...." If the data was gathered in the US by the NSA and transferred to the UK by the GCHQ prior to December 2014 then I believe you could retain an UK-based solicitor as brief and instruct them to make a FoIR for you or do it yourself (the forms are online), so I would assume PI would accommodate you. You do not need to be either an UK citizen or even resident in the UK to make a request (https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-freedom-of-information/what-is-the-foi-act/). However, the data transfer was used by the GCHQ spying on UK subjects/residents gathered by the Yanks, not data gathered by the UK on Yank subjects/residents, so it is unlikely the haul would include you as a Yank unless you were communicating with an UK subject/resident of interest to the GCHQ.

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Matt Bryant
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WTF?

Re: Potty Re: @LucreLout

"Did it hurt when you jammed your head up your own ass, or were your born in that position?" Oh dear, the standards of Potty's rants are slipping! He hasn't included the usual bile for "Amerikkka" or the insistence that They are out to get Canada. I mean, it's not like the lack of argument in his post wasn't perfectly expected, but should we be concerned by his not shrieking at the Yanks?

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Matt Bryant
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Holmes

Re: Mr Ned Re: MrNed Let me get this straight

".....So no, of course they're not going to let you know if you're the subject of an ongoing investigation....." You are missing the obvious implication - all the "hate The man" posters here squealing about "privacy intrusion" will put in requests in the hope of launching privacy invasion cases, but will probably get back a "nothing found" answer for one of two reasons. Now please try and concentrate on reading the next bits before succumbing to your reflexive rant and downvote habit.

Firstly, because they are of no interest anyway, so any metadata that was collected in the NSA databases will not have been processed to the point where an individual's identity will have been noted (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/interactive/2013/jun/12/what-is-metadata-nsa-surveillance#meta=0000000). Remember, this is raw data in the US databases - if you were already of interest to the Yanks it would have been processed and identified and be classed as part of an investigation (see point two for why that means the response is "nothing found"). Which means when Joe Wannabe goes and asks for all the data transferred which refers to Joe Wannabe there is no data returned by the search, even if there is actually metadata or (even intercepts) from Joe Wannabe in the database, as none of it has been tagged "Joe Wannabe" as it is actually tagged by something else such as your router's MAC address or your mobile number. So your request on all the info on Joe Wannabe will result in a blank. Unless you are already being or have been investigated, which takes us to the second option.

Secondly, if Joe Wannabe has potentially done a naughty and is of interest, and his data has been processed and identified either already by the NSA or in the UK by the GCHQ, then the look at Joe Wannabe, whether it is still ongoing or suspended, will be classed as an investigation and the resulting evidence redacted, meaning the search answer still comes back "nothing found".

It is only in the rare cases that metadata or intercepts have triggered a second pass of analysis (for example, you visited the "wrong" chatroom on 4chan when someone of actual interest was also logged in there) that the metadata will have been processed to the point where the user will have been identified as Joe Wannabe, and then found to be unvalued data, that the identification of the data and it's lack of value will mean it will be returned in any search. Big whoop! Your bragging rights extend only to the fact the NSA and GCHQ found you of no interest despite the poor company you kept. That's if they kept the data after the decision that you were of no interest - see below.

"....the spy agencies have been found to have acted outside of the law...." The transfer of data before that date was considered "illegal". Do try and bear in mind what happens to aged data - it gets flushed if it is not of value. Do also bear in mind that the Spooks have had plenty of time whilst this meandered through the courts to clean shop. Now, if Mr Spook looked at Joe Wannabe and decided he was just an oik as opposed as a threat to law and order, do you think the details of the check were recorded and all the data was retained or do you think they recorded the fact he was of no interest and the unvalued data flushed (remember, it's still in the NSA database, so why keep a copy of unvalued data in the UK, they can always go get it again from the Yanks if required)? The access was probably logged by the NSA, but that log is not available under an UK FoIR. A local log may have recorded the access from the GCHQ end, but all that will say is "search of Joe Wannabe done by Analyst <REDACTED>, subject of no interest, no data retained". Big whoop again!

Summarising - if your data were just a raw metadata search then you won't find it in any FoIR search (that's if the Spooks haven't already deleted all record of it to cover their tracks). Similarly, if you were of interest they won't tell you as you're part of an investigation. Your only reply other than "nothing found" will be "found but not of interest, no data retained" - good luck on building a case for privacy invasion on that! Oh, and what searches they do since December 2014 are all legal and will not be subject to a FoIR. Enjoy!

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Matt Bryant
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Re: MrNed Re: Let me get this straight

"......they will have to allow some sort of independent audit to prove they've actually done it......" Having worked with government contracts it can get very fun indeed when it comes to audits. Once, when asking to run a quality audit, we were informed no-one on the team actually had high enough security clearance to view the output from our tests with live data. This led to the amusing instance that we would type our process code into a terminal, then get up and leave the room so a uniformed bod could click the mouse button, watch the process run and read the resulting output, clear the screen, then come out of the room to tell us if the result was "as expected" or "unexpected".

I expect any independent audit will involve a ton of redaction of anything of actual interest, especially if it is being used as evidence in an ongoing Police investigation. There is no way the authorities are going to say "Yes, Mr Terrorist/Drugdealer/Paedophile/E-crim/Spy, this is the evidence we have gathered against you so far which we are using to build a criminal case against you" - duh!

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Matt Bryant
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Happy

Re: MrNed Re: So they want...

"......they'll be swamped by the tower of shit they've built for themselves......." Exactly who do you think will be processing such requests? I'll give you a clue - it will not be anyone in the NSA or GCHQ actually tasked with data gathering or doing analysis, it will be just more civil servants. All your pointless exercise will do is increase your tax bill.

"......And rightly so." Personally, I hope the Police take a very careful look at not just those that apply but Privacy International as well. If their reason for applying is to waste resources, and given that the data is used in criminal investigations, it would seem their intent is to obstruct said investigations, which would be a criminal act.

But I suspect the Spooks and HMG will be happy to respond if only for the massive ego-bruising which will occur when the majority of posters here find their paranoid delusional fantasies of all being Neo turn out to be unfounded, and that they really are of zero interest to anyone. Enjoy your pointless exercise in denial, MrNed, the reality is it will change nothing.

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Vodafone didn't have a £6bn tax bill. Sort yourselves out, Lefties

Matt Bryant
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FAIL

Re: Olius Re: Fresh Air

".....The fact that the author wants to convince us all that what has happened is right, moral and unavoidable...." Bingo! Another leftie lie! The article does not state it is right, moral nor unavoidable, only that it is legal under the current tax laws (and could be made avoidable by changing said laws), and some of it would actually be illegal not to do under those same laws (wrt Starbucks). If you wish to pretend otherwise then please do point out the lines in the article saying what you claim, or just admit you lied. I'll pretend to be generous and let you claim it was not a lie but simply a mistake due to your continual and excessive hyperventilating having seriously reduced the amount of oxygen reaching your brain, if it makes it easier for you to admit.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Olius Re: Yes, but

".....ISA....." And where do you think your ISA funds get invested, comrade? Oh crap - in the very tax-avoiding companies you are slating, and because those companies perform better by tax avoiding. Get it? Seriously, put down the Marx and go actually learn something about the markets before you try any more "reasoning".

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Matt Bryant
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FAIL

Re: Olius Re: Re Amazon

".....The point is that it is immoral and an abuse of all of us...." Morality is simply down to perception, so all you are doing is insisting your POV is more important/right than anyone else's and the sole matter of concern when considering the issue. This is disproven by the simple fact that if that were true, all the politicians would be falling over themselves to implement tax laws closing such loopholes. They are not because they realise (unlike you) that accepting a measure of tax avoidance inside the law is necessary to remain competitive. Just ask the ex-workers from British Leyland how making themselves uncompetitive worked out!

".....If the companies that could afford to set up these arrangements paid the same effective percentage in tax as the companies that can't, the UK would perhaps not have food banks or a failing NHS....." What complete and utter male bovine manure! Firstly, please do define the performance point at which you would consider the NHS to be at least "not failing", and the corresponding level of increased investment that would require. I won't even bother to ask you to justify your claim of "failing" as that is just as much of a biased perception as your "immoral" claim. It might interest you to actually know that the 18% of the 2015 budget planned for the NHS is £133bn - if that level of spending is "failing" what level would satisfy your leftie "morality"? £150bn? £200bn? Oh dear, suddenly it looks like even the ridiculous "£6bn" figure mentioned in the article would not make a dent in the funding gap you insist exists, and certainly not leave additional cash to feed those using food banks. Not surprisingly, another leftie myth debunked in seconds.

"....some tax analysts have estimated this amount to be around the same as our deficit...." Apart from asking which "tax analysts" said that, you yourself have already made that point irrelevant. You see having no deficit would only mean collecting as much tax as we plan to spend, which would still leave the "failing" NHS (you do remember you insisted it was underfunded, right?) getting their £133bn, which you have already implied is not enough. By your insistence (I could never be generous or drunk enough to call it "logic"), even if all the Big Bad Capitalist Corporations stopped avoiding tax it wouldn't provide the additional funds you insist are required for the social utopia you insist we should be having. So your argument is still a load of leftie propaganda bullshit.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Olius Re: Naselus

"......There is a difference you are missing. Using ISAs and pensions to save paying tax is using certain financial instruments for the purposes for which they were explicitly designed...." You are assuming I was suggesting pension schemes that take advantage of tax laws are just as bad. That was not my point. My point is those pension funds get invested in the stock markets and you can bet that the spread of investments will include those big, bad tax avoiders like Starbucks and Amazon, as well as hundreds of smaller companies that are also doing as much tax planning and avoidance as they can. Even the Co-op had a hard time keeping their "morally acceptable" ethical investments clean (http://fincris.net/the-ethical-failures-of-the-cooperative-bank/).

Heck, even those unions run by "Red or dead" firebrands that shriek at every opportunity about "evil capitalists aggressively avoiding tax immorally" stick their investments into funds that use tax avoidance or other "immoralities" (http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/11/13/BC-Teachers-Pension-Plan/)! Such evangelical lefties also often later seem to be very selective of how they apply their "morals" to their investments (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2539801/Arthur-Scargill-branded-hypocrite-trying-London-flat-Right-Buy-laws-old-foe-Margaret-Thatcher.html).

".....I'm not sure I can even be bothered to attack the arguement about "leave these poor companies alone - they pay LOADS of tax via employee contributions...." Yeah, we all know that actually translates to the fact you can't argue it. It's not the first time someone has pushed such selective leftie claptrap, as TW pointed out in the first paragraph of the article.

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Matt Bryant
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FAIL

Re: Nonymous Crowd Nerd Re: Good article.

"....Bad article. It attempts to over-complicate the simple popular demand that corporate profits should be taxed somewhere......" Er, no. Go back and read and try and retain the first paragraph - the opening is that TW is amazed at the level of deliberately deceitful untruths spread around by people with issues about "moral bankruptcy" who actually have more left-wing agendas. Probably people like you. The rest of the article is his proof that shows evidence of the argument. Your post is simply more of such evidence.

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Matt Bryant
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Meh

Re: AC Re: Tim, get real.

".....Light regulation and helpful tax structures....." Oh, it's not just the Amazons and Starbucks of the World (or even just Europe). I know plenty of people that work in Germany but are employed by Swiss subsidiaries and live in Switzerland, commuting every day across the border. I know more than one IT consultant that did the same, working only in Germany but claiming Swiss residency and paying lower Swiss taxes.

".....concerned at the country's global reputation for tax avoidance and speculation in basic commodities, Swiss public and politicians are considering action....." Er, no. Just like Mr Junker when pressed on his encouraging tax evasion in Luxembourg, the Swiss are making a lot of noise and the right postures, but the behind-the-scenes message is it all seems to be business as usual. Remember, whilst Switzerland has trade agreements with the EU it is not a member and therefore not bound by either the majority of EU law nor EU voter opinion. Indeed, even when bound by EU law the Swiss have voted their own laws in direct opposition, as shown by the Swiss referendum on immigration which conflicts with EU law on free movement (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_immigration_referendum,_February_2014). Which kinda implies the majority of Swiss aren't that badly bothered about the opinion of the rest of Europe nor the World.

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Matt Bryant
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Stop

Re: Hans1 Re: Please refrain from writing about stuff you do not understand

".....moved a lot of their funds to Luxembourg where the current President of the European Commission, then Prime Minister, granted them tax-haven-style "discounts"....." And? Seriously, if you're surprised by that news - that tiny Luxembourg encourages tax avoidance - I'd have to ask just where have you been getting your "news" from for the lat few decades?!?

".....Call me leftie, I do not care, but that is tax avoidance....." Call me a rightie, I do not care, but I'd call it tax avoidance too, the difference being I would also point out it was not illegal in any way, shape of form. Now, you may have a moral issue with it but then that is your issue. Until it becomes a big enough moral issue for the majority of voters in the EU states that it predominates as an election issue you are not going to be able to change the laws and make it illegal.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Ted Treen Re: "Branch" line

".....Our roads are in one hell of a state, our infrastructure is broken & can't cope, and it's been one hell of a long time since our legal system had anything to do with justice....." Ted, are you posting from Greece, perchance? Portugal, maybe? One of the 'stans? Or is it that you really need to get out in the World and actually see how the UK actually does compare to the state of many other countries to realise just how (IMHO) silly you sound?

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Nick Kew Re: Nick Kew Yes, but

"..... whoosh...." Yes, I bet that's a sound you're very familiar with. In essence you are now trying to insist you don't want to say that tax avoidance is not legitimate, it's just you're so upset by Tim's article that you just have to disagree some way, so you chose to make out someone (obviously not as reasoned and smart as you, and in some way reality-challenged, which you of course are not) might bring up your point. Shall we look at your original post?

".....Yes of course Starbucks is doing the right thing given its structure, but the issue there is: was there ever a legitimate reason to create that structure in the first place?....." Because, of course, you know there is actually no difference in legality between Vodafone's case and Starbucks tax avoidance, you just try and make the inference that planning to pay less tax and putting in place measures to do so makes it "illegitimate". Because, of course, you are too reasoned and smart and not in any way reality-challenged by socio-political outlook to think that really, you're just suggesting others might think that way, right? A river in Egypt comes to mind.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Nick Kew Re: Yes, but

"....That is, if you don't accept tax avoidance as a legitimate reason...." BZZZZT!! Sorry, that assumption is incorrect - tax avoidance is not illegal, therefore it is legitimate. Please stop trying to insist otherwise.

You really need to work harder on understanding the difference between "fair" and legitimate". "Fair" is what people throw about when they are upset or morally-offended by something which is not illegal, usually when they don't have an argument that holds water, so they fall back on squealing about "unfairness". To make tax avoidance illegal you would need to change the laws, which is why we have ended up with such a humongous mess of UK tax laws - people trying to make it more "fair" to at least the majority (because you cannot please all of the people all of the time). To change the laws you either need to convince enough people that your reasoning is valid (unlikely) or get them to swallow such untruths by bleating on about "aggressive tax avoidance", etc., etc.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Desk Jockey Re: Re Amazon

"This leads to a simple conclusion that Luxembourg should be kicked out of the EU!...." Well, by that argument, we should kick the Germans out for having smarter unions than the UK's "Red or dead" bunch of morons, seeing as the German unions concentrated on working with management to build up their efficiency and therefore their economy without aggressive and confrontational (and ultimately job-destroying) pay demands. Oh, hold on a sec, I can see why that might not appeal to some of the posters here.

Then the Greeks can ask for the UK to be kicked out for not running up such a bad debt balance, and the Italians can ask the French to be kicked out for having a better health system, etc., etc. Face it, all members of the EU have advantages of one form or another, and they seek to maximise those advantages inside EU laws. You could suggest the one way to stop that would be to have one set of tax laws and one monetary system for all of the EU, killing such "unfair" tax avoidance as Amazon and Starbucks are accused of, but I would suggest Amazon and Starbucks would simply move their "headquarters" outside the EU to another tax haven and proceed as before. There's also the slight problem that the EU has proven grossly incompetent at running the Eurozone (Greece should never been allowed entry with their dodgy books, and it looks like the other Euorzone members have been equally "immoral" with their "unfair" but legal debt swaps - http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aDibpgE_X2MM), so the whole tax avoidance/planning issue is likely to continue for many years yet.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Naselus

Whilst I agree that you have clearly outlined the "lefty" grievance from paragraph two downwards, and I would even agree the tax system is not perfect, you have failed to explain the one-sided nature of that viewpoint. For example, you have conflated "big corporations" with "the rich", failing to include that many of "the poor" have their money tied up in pension funds also benefiting from the tax rules that allow tax planning. As far as you are concerned, tax planning/avoidance only benefits "the rich", which the pensions fund case shows to be untrue. Your bias makes you blind to inconvenient facts. You also fail to understand that big corporations employ lots of people in the UK - HMG have to balance how much they whack them with a tax stick with the possibility they will take their business elsewhere, which means lots of "the poor" you claim to care about will be unemployed. Your failure to understand this is on par with such "geniuses" as the unions that trashed the British car industry, doing themselves out of work. What you and a lot of other "lefties" need to understand is not all "big business" is "evil" and you need to strike a compromise in a modern economy, by changing taxation laws if required (as TW pointed out) rather than just relying on spreading lies and bile.

But you then get a downvote for insisting that TW uses "strawmen" and "cherrypicks" arguments, neatly avoiding actually stating when or how he has done so. That is a standard denigrating tactic amongst poor losers that don't like to admit when they cannot argue the point. I would like to give you a second downvote if I could for your use of "aggressive tax avoidance", which is just typical and mindless repeating of a purpose-made slur. Please try harder.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Senshi

"Tim just trolling. Again" Oh puh-leeese, grow up! Just because Tim posted an article that you take upset at due to your socio-economic outlook it is "trolling"? By that measure, every issue of Private Eye is "trolling", which is exactly why I and many others enjoy reading it. I think it is fairly safe to state your reaction is that of defeat, because you cannot argue what Tim has expounded.

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Holmes

Re: AC Re: And in other news...

".....and the Beeb just report whatever's claimed by either side without bothering to check their facts...." Actually, it is worse than that - the media do check their facts but concentrate on reporting the story, something very distinct from the whole and complete truth. If you look closely, they all cover themselves legally with clever phrases such as "it is reported", "we have been informed" (note, not even "reliably informed"), etc., which allow them the legal cover of repeating rumours and hearsay without the threat of being sued for libel or slander. The problem is the sheep/readers/viewers skip right past the clever phrases that make the report an inference and accept it as gospel.

You can't really fault the media for this self-serving, they are in the business of selling the story, not providing the truth (though they will happily justify their own transgressions that way). And whilst the BBC is a tax-funded system (yes, the TV licence is a tax), it is in competition with all the other media services. Whilst I personally believe the BBC is one of the least bad on this point, internal politics and belief do lead to quite alarming occasions of bias even there (such as on climate change - http://www.theregister.co.uk/Print/2012/11/13/climate28_named_wtf/).

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It's not easy being Green. But WHY insist we knit our own ties?

Matt Bryant
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Re: Will 28 Re: The problem with markets

".....We don't see the ones who were not rewarded, often enough, because they aren't around to tell us about it......" So you missed that market crash in 2008, and have not seen any of the recent and in-depth analysis on why the Greeks are screwed? Lehman Brothers ring any bells? You must lead a very sheltered life if you are so unaware.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Zog_needs_to_think_first Re: What is a market anyway?

".....There are thriving craft/farmers'/small producers' markets..... sell homemade soap for money..... the all-powerful "markets" that dominate our lives. The latter are very, very different, and not in a good way....." So, Zog, how many of those craft marketeers were selling home-made motherboards or RAM, etched in their kitchen sinks? Any selling organic telecom fibre cabling? Or flash drives? Or even keyboards? The very products required for you to post your denial of economic reality with. Face it - that technology was produced by the "all-powerful markets", by a lot of very, very specialized working, the majority working for "eeeviiiiilllll" capitalist companies. I bet the vast majority, if not all, of those craft marketeers used products sourced from the "all powerful market" in order to produce their wares. How many of your organic farmers used factory-made tools, probably with steel from open-caste mines in China? If you really want to pretend that craft markets and DIY are the ideal then quit using all the advances of modern society and go live in a mud hut, otherwise you're just being a hypocrite.

No, I do not want society to revert to us all being hunter-gatherer-farmers just to please the hippies, nor am I interested in some form of pre-medieval bartering lifestyle. I'm quite happy to sell my specialized skills for money and have the spare time and take the technological advantages of the "all powerful market" to watch Netflix, thanks.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Jason Hindle Re: I mostly agree, but, but BUT.....

".....If more people made their own soup, due to health concerns, the food industry might do something about it, because that's how markets work....." Go down to your local supermarket a and actually look at the soup section - see the varieties labelled "healthy", "low sodium" and "low fat"? Now go to the chillers - see the "just like home-made" varieties in their plastic pots? Then go to the organic section and look for the organic soup. It is already happening.

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Re: Tim99 Re: Let me get this right:

"....We know that people in many hunter-gatherer societies only have to spend a couple of hours a day obtaining food and servicing their basic needs of procuring tools, accommodation and security...." And how many of those hunter-gatherer societies had what we consider modern essentials, such as surgeons and X-Ray scanners, let alone non-essentials such as Netflix, Xboxes or art museums? Sure, if you want to go live in a mud hut and have a life expectancy of thirty then go ahead, but please do not pretend it will give you a lifestyle of equal quality or length.

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Tim99 Re: Specialization and Corporatism

".....As far as I can see, many larger businesses have effectively simplified jobs by making them more limited. This applies particularly in service industries, which are apparently where most of us will be working - Each "skill" is being de-skilled such that it can be easily and cheaply taught, such that the worker is easy to replace......" Yes and no. Companies do not want to have irreplaceable staff members as that is a risk - if an irreplaceable staff member leaves or falls under a bus then your company suffers. But to pretend this is universal deskilling is false - the reality is identification of unique roles and processes usually means more staff are trained in specialized skills to ensure there is no skill gap. It also makeshift easier to hire people - if I know I need to replace a forklift truck driver with a level 2 certificate and you already have a forklift truck driving level 2 qualification then you are already specialized and trained to do the job I need doing. If you work in a job where the training and skills requirement is very low (barista, waitress, etc) then you are easily replaceable, true. But some jobs (especially in IT, the legal field, medicine, etc) require specific and specialized skills and there is always demand. And which is why we encourage our kids to study at school and gain certain "valued" skills/knowledge, so that they can then have the benefit of excess-to-survival cash and "spare time". And you do not need to be a rocket scientist with an IQ of 200 to gain "spare time", there are many career paths that are attainable with average intelligence and a good bit of effort, such as nursing, being a paralegal, or just a baker, many of which are highly process-orientated so that employers can replace staff.

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Matt Bryant
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Re:Neil Barnes Re: Let me get this right:

".....If I was not working otherwise, I was not earning. The value of the time is zero......" No, you were "not working" that amount of time because the modern and specialized market meant you did not have to dig a well to get water, collect firewood for heating, nor hunt down and kill a cow for your Sunday roast. You didn't even have to grow the wheat to make your flour nor build your oven, you were given time back because you simply went to the shops and bought the raw produce and tools pre-produced for you. the time was "free" because whatever specialized skill or service you provide earned you the money to buy the products and services you require to survive plus have the excess to bake your own bread and go paragliding. The specialized market gave you back the time, ie it made you richer in time, even if you thought of it as "free time".

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Matt Bryant
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Re: Zog_needs_to_think_first

"....Remember "Innocent", of smoothie fame? Green, hip(py), small-producer friendly etc....." Fail! So-called "hippy" Innocent had a big and specialized back office, including the marketing team that drove their "we're so hippy" message. Do you really think they hand-crafted the server farm they used for their CRM and website (which I know they had because I know the engineer that used to go to London to install their non-hippy Windows servers)? All you have done us fall for their marketing.

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Evolve: A shoot-em-up full of scary monsters and super creeps

Matt Bryant
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Happy

Re: Roo Re: Evolving playable monsters?

".....it wasn't really possible to have a quick blast in the same way as Counterstrike et al, which pretty much eliminated the casual gamer." True, it was a steep and often abusive learning curve! Many a time I saw newbie players as gorges on the alien side build the wrong chamber and get an earful from more experienced players. And I remember hilarious games as a marine when no-one wanted to take responsibility and jump in the commander's chair for a good few minutes after the game started. Ah, happy days! NS2 went the wrong way, IMO, making the aliens use a commander too.

Evolve could be interesting if it was a team of different purpose aliens (tank, DPRs and medic) against a team of hunters with similar roles, they could even then swap sides at the end of a round. One alien vs four hunters seems a bit meh, TBH.

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Matt Bryant
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Meh

Evolving playable monsters?

Natural Selection had that years ago.

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Elon Musk's Tesla set to unveil home storage battery

Matt Bryant
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Re: Arnaut Re: Choose one: energy density, durability, power output

"I wonder if what this actually means is "we've managed to make a high capacity battery but it is either too heavy or insufficiently durable for cars....." The design issues for a static battery are very different to those for a vehicle. I would not want two tons of bulky batteries in a car as it would compromise my car's design, but the same two tons of bulky batteries sitting in the corner of my garage (or in the basement) is much more acceptable. And if Mr Musk is selling it as a bundle with some solar panels (and government rebates and/or off-peak rates) then it is also economically appealing too. I know one technohippy in Cyprus that is already doing this with solar panels and old car batteries so he could go off-grid in the hills.

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Israeli gov & boffins targeted by pr0ntastic malware from Gaza

Matt Bryant
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Denial still rampant.

"......there “may be an overarching organisation or underground community that helps support Arab hackers fight back against perceived enemies of Islam”....." COUGH* Muslim Brotherhood *COUGH

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Accused Goldman Sachs code pilferer sues FBI for 'wrongful arrest'

Matt Bryant
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The legal question at his appeal was "did he steal something that was legally goods?"

The appeal seems to have succeeded because the laws applied for the charge covered the theft of a product, and his lawyers argued in court that the law's definition of a product did not cover code. This does not mean Aleynikov did not actually take code from Goldman Sachs that the company thought was their intellectual property. Indeed, Aleynikov acknowledged downloading some source code from Goldman Sachs systems, he just claims he did so when looking for open source code (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergey_Aleynikov#Arrest.2C_trial_and_acquittal). So, IMHO, it does look reasonably suspicious that he tried to take code he should not have from Goldman Sachs with the probable intent of using it for his or a competitor's benefit. Which sounds like textbook industrial espionage to me. After his successful appeal, the law in question was tightened up to cover code (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r112:H18DE2-0051:).

Some of the posters here seem driven by a distaste for Wall Street into thinking it is just some "bank-driven vendetta". In the UK, having worked with financial institutions and signed many a NDA, I can assure you his downloading of proprietary code - even if he was the coder that wrote it for an UK bank - would have got him in hot water legally too over here and in most of Europe (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b7fb43ae-57af-11e3-86d1-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3RpYFvtAe). That the Feds and New York are keen to protect the financial institutions that make a lot of tax dollars is hardly surprising, so Mr Aleynikov is going to have the book plus a ton of bricks thrown at him with gusto.

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UN negotiations menaced by THOUSANDS of TOPLESS LADIES with MAYONNAISE

Matt Bryant
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Holmes

Belarus taking a dig at Brussels?

I suspect this is the Belarus government taking a dig at the European political elite, who have spent years lecturing the Belarusians on how to govern (and not be a dictatorship). The reference to topless protesters links to the trial of the former head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31349263), where everyone is very delicately dancing round the fact his "parties" we're allegedly attended by many of the Brussels political elite over the years (hence the bit about mayo). There seem to be quite a few politicians/dictators around the World that got lectured by the IMF and EU that seem to be enjoying DSK's comeuppance and the stories breaking of his "unusual" (and potentially illegal) sexual escapades (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31437975).

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