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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4323 posts • joined 31 May 2010

My bleak tech reality: You can't trust anyone or anything, anymore

Trevor_Pott
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So they go to Dropbox, get the file, crack the encryption and pull out all my passwords. This helps me how?

The key to that encryption (the master password) still has to be something a human can remember, which means it is vulnerable to a yottabyte datacenter run by evil men.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: PATRIOT

Again, you go back to "brute forcing is a measure of the crackability of a cypher." It's proven not to be true. Rainbow tables combined with knowledge about how people choose and create password can make cracking even the best algorithm's encryption relatively easy. Will you ever get 100% of the items you are trying to crack? No. You'll you walk through 90%+ with ease.

I don't think you really truly understand what a yottabyte datacenter is. I don't think you understand the raw scale of the decryption they can do in a facility like that. Not through brute forcing, but through other, simpler means.

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CIA-funded upstart: THE TRUTH about Prism and NSA's web snooping

Trevor_Pott
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Facepalm

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Please submit all your e-mails, financial, medical, and so forth history to the internet to peruse. There's no way that any of it will be:

1) Used to convict you of minor crimes (like CCTV + too many bags of garbage.)

2) Used out of context by someone who "doesn't like your attitude" to bang you up

3) Used to raise your insurance rates or deny you coverage

4) Used to blackmail you

5) Used to blackmail others

6) Used to gain competitive advantage over your employers/your company

7) Used to identify "deviant" political beliefs and target you for tax audits, police pressure or harassment

8) Used in the war on journalism

9) Used to in any other fashion to presume you are guilty unless you can prove your innocence.

That would never, ever happen because the government - all governments, really, at all levels and all of the people working for them - are professionals. Hell, shit, they're so professional they have a lid on everything!

You can't get some private in the Army stick a USB key into a classified database and start an international witchunt!

You can't get a former NSA employee working for a contractor pulling damning documents out then running away overseas to fucking China to hide while he releases the documents to a foreign news organization!

These are professionals. Your data is absolutely safe, secure, and handled by entirely impartial individuals who will never, ever, ever for any reason at any time abuse their power or allow that data to leak. Ever.

I repent and recant, your obvious wisdom and the strength of your One True Belief in the supremacy and righteousness of the almighty government watchdog has converted me.

Praise Big Brother! Praise the lord my panopticon $deity!

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NSA Prism: Why I'm boycotting US cloud tech - and you should too

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Hello pot, this is kettle.

Obviously you aren't Canadian; Toronto isn't Canada. It's Toronto. I'm certain that some Canadian --> Canadian traffic on the bits of Canada that jut down into the states get passed through US nodes. Least cost routing and all that.

The bits of Canada that don't consider ourselves the centre of the universe, however, are too far from the border for that routing to make sense. Edmonton --> Calgary --> Vancouver and back certainly doesn't go through the US. Indeed, Vancouver all the way to Thunder Bay never has to touch a US node. Lots of fibre out west.

Similarly, the Atlantic provinces are well wired up; rarely do their packets travel outside our borders. It's just that arse-end of Ontario where it all goes a little squiggly. Oh well, the yanks can have 'em!

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Canadians are viewed by the world as timid and weak?

Do the Taliban have anything that can hit Canada? Probably not. But they do have things that can affect our interests on our allies. Those interests include (but are not remotely limited to) the oil pipeline. They are not going to bomb Toronto. They might just launch a few at Israel or Turkey, however.

If they really wanted to, they might be able to drive a boat into the harbour in PEI and blow it up. Not a huge amount of local damage to Canada. But the damage they could do to our allies in the region is quite significant. Along with that comes threats to our economic interests, security assets and more. Anyone that dedicated to taking you down a peg is a serious risk, even without a cloud of ICBMs to back them up.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Canadian surveillance approved (today's headline Globe & Mail newspaper)

I will check in to that. If true, I expect the supreme court - if not the rest of parliament - to dismantle those programs and the associated ministers with all speed. We have before. We will again.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Part of the answer is...

Your solution to Big Brother is herd immunity? Doesn't that only last until they either build rainbow tables/other decryption mechanisms big enough to deal with the problem or make encryption illegal? Before you get your corporate "it'll never happen" in a twist, realize that making encryption something you need to "get a license for" (while registering your keys with the central registrar) is entirely doable and could use existing registry systems like those used for business licences or vehicle registration.

Encryption everywhere may simply force those who wish to monitor everything to solve the encryption "problem". I believe that removing the "right" to monitor En Masse is probably a better long term approach.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Pott, this is the other kettle calling

I have only the one client on Office 365 left, and they are migrating soon. Most of the rest are on Google. Some of them are planning on migrating to a hosted Canadian provider.

As to your desire to shape my discourse in the future, I'll not commit to discussing or not discussing any topic. I call things as I see them, not as they suit my personal agenda. Unlike some I could name...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Hello pot, this is kettle.

where do you mean your friends? = where do you meet your friends?

The PS2 --> USB converter on this keyboard is really quite asstastic. It seems to cut out at random intervals and my brain doesn't adjust so well to the gaps in the words. Reassembles things funny. Hmm...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: I just read the entire thread ...

Who's trolling? I haven't trolled once in this thread. In fact, I haven't trolled anything, anywhere in probably 3 months. Maybe more. I don't have time to troll. To many articles to write. My responses in this thread are sincere and honest. I am sorry if you feel otherwise, but that really isn't my boo-hoo.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Magna Carta

I'm aware of the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta was important; but it was layered on top of extant power structures. The US constitution was the first such document upon which a brand new nation was formed. Ground-up. Start from scratch.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Hello pot, this is kettle.

A rich, powerful and famous person forms a friendship with another rich, powerful and famous person whom he interacts with on a regular basis. Over the course of years that friendship deepens to the point that when one gets married the other attends the wedding.

Stop the fucking presses, it's a conspiracy.

Seriously; where do you mean your friends? I meet most of mine through work. I've gone to a few weddings of folks I met through work; even folks from outside the country I mostly talk to over the interbutts! My best man was a dude I met at a LAN party and who ended up becoming a business partner. My other groomsmen were a dude from college, a dude from my childhood a dude from work and a dude I met on my condo board. Obviously, I am involved in something nefarious. Oh noes.

While I am the first to agree that corporations have too much power in our political systems - Citizens United is something so evil that I am convinced a pantheons of deities will be created and afterlives created just so Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, Alito; Thomas, Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor can burn in hell for all eternity - I see nothing nefarious in $politician attending the wedding of $executive. It seems a perfectly normal evolution of social interaction to me; one largely in line with how my own interactions with those around me occur.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Canadians are viewed by the world as timid and weak?

Some in the government certainly are as you describe them. (Vic Toews springs to mind.) Most aren't. In fact, my experiences with most levels of Canadian government - as opposed to American government - lead me to believe that most Canadian bureaucrats and politicians are neither corrupt nor apathetic. (As is the case with their American counterparts.)

The problem with the Canadian government is that the ones who are corrupt/apathetic end up being middle management in the bureaucracy or cabinet members/judicial appointees of the Prime Minister. It wasn't always this way, but Harper's managed to do a lot of damage in a very short period of time.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Canadians are viewed by the world as timid and weak?

The reason we're in Afghanistan is frankly that there are still rather a lot of very bad people there sitting on enough weaponry (continually sold to them by Russia and China) that they can do rather a lot of damage to us if they choose. They have access to boats and planes, missiles and other things that they can strike us and/or our allies (think the EU) if they so choose.

We are attacking them in Afghanistan for the simple reason that if we don't, we'll have to fight them on our soil, or that of our allies. More to the point, we don't want them to have control over Afghanistan because we don't want them to A) become a legitimate state B) have the resources of a nation-state at their disposal.

We cannot eliminate their ability to make war because their funding and arms supplies are damned near infinite. So our only real options are to clean them out almost completely - preferably whilst training the local Afghans up enough to keep fighting the fight over the long term to mop up the stragglers - or to pull out and wait a few years before they regroup and bring the fight to us.

Left alone, they will bring the fight to us. They started from a religious extremist position and a desire for personal and collective power. They started a war and as a result we've done terrible things to them. This is more than a simple ideological war at this point, it is about blood vengeance. That is something that only ends when one side is eliminated or after the passing of many - many - generations.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: time to encrypt your messages

Decryption gets easier every single day, and the NSA measure their computing in acres.

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Trevor_Pott
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Do you honestly believe that a bunch of people sat down in a room and said "here is how we are going to keep the hoi polloi servile"? Honestly?.

I don't.

I think that each step along the chain - with perhaps one or two exceptions - the individuals involved in these breaches of ethics and trampling of liberty honestly and truly believe they are doing the right thing. They think they are striking the right balance because they, personally, value security more than liberty. Does that make them bad people, evil conspirators? I don't believe so.

I simply think that a series of people have made a number of wrong choices. One here, one there...over decades it grew into a culture that separated the powers that be from the people they are supposed to serve. I absolutely do not believe that they are out there conspiring to oppress us. The result is merely an unfortunate side effect of their wrongheaded beliefs and their unfortunate actions.

It is a result we must change, but not by leaping to the conclusion that the people involved are evil, conspiratorial or otherwise "out to get us". (Border guards excepted. Those people seem to be almost universally sadistic and entirely "out to get" as many people as possible.)

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Trevor_Pott
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You talk big, but you've not been on the receiving end of a government with too much info about you, a bad attitude and promotions based on how many people you successfully hassle. I have. Many, many others have had it far worse than I.

Yes, the spooks are interested in me. They want to make sure that I am not doing work on American soil. (Because I don't qualify for a TN visa and can thus not work as a computer consultant or analyst in the US.) They will thus cheerfully hassle me every single time I cross the border and the amount of information they know about me is truly terrifying.

Now, I'm a good person trying to obey the laws. I ensure that I do all my work from Canadian soil and do not "do work" on US soil. I will attend conferences and some types of meetings - explicitly allowed by our treaties - but I will not "perform work". (Give advice, write an article, etc.) Despite the, I get hassled ever single time.

Now that's a very minor issue and I am a very minor person. You should hear what happens to some of my buddies when trying to cross the border when they have the temerity to be from an "unclean" nation. They are carefully law-abiding folks - perhaps even more so than I am, because of the crap they get - and they are hassled all the time. Again, the amount of information the border guards know about them is insane.

We're just talking about border guards here! Department of homeland security, yes, but the level of access to information is positively alarming. TO think what the NSA might have on us that is getting filtered through an algorithm somewhere...

Look: this isn't about the spooks targeting you and going after you. If the spooks are actively targeting you you'll get a goddamned warrant and there is nowhere you can hide. The issue here is how many people will be caught up by an inhuman algorithm and flagged as a "person of interest" despite having done nothing wrong.

It is about the presumption of innocence. If you can't understand that, I weep for you..and for the future of our nations.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Absolute Power....

To be honest, I don't get the rage surrounding the Bilderberg Group. Yes, people without power and money will look on this as "the Illuminati" and feel angry, envious and even jealous that they do not have a seat at these meetings. That said, I cannot agree with the sentiment.

I'm a mid-level kind of guy. Middle manager, mid-sized importance, mid-size influence on the world. I will never be a member of the Bilderberg Group. Despite this, I do understand why they feel they have to get together and I believe it has absolutely nothing to do with plotting to take over the world.

I myself call meetings with what I consider to be "my peers" on a semi-frequent basis. These are not necessarily individuals who are my friends. Many of them are my rivals; others outright hostile to me. Yet they are individuals of equal intelligence, charisma, social stature, knowledge, influence and capability.

The meetings are both an attempt to let off steam and to put our knowledge together to act in a predictive fashion so as to better our place in the world, collectively. It is a place to share gripes and concerns, to settle of grudges and reach new understandings. It is also where we talk about which issues we've seen in companies or even governments that might affect our ability to do business as we had been conducting it thus far.

The rules are pretty simple: no business dealings are to be conducted at such meetings. These meetings have nothing to do with that. They are for solving the interpersonal difficulties we have that could prevent business from going smoothly in the future. They are for sharing information we all have to the benefit of all.

When I picture the Bilderberg Group I picture something very similar, but with people several levels of importance, social standing and means above mine own. I understand the necessity for those sorts of meetings; to take the "personal" out of the "business."

But conspiracy theories are just so much more fun...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: You're late to the party

There is no way to stop a man with means who is willing to give his life to inflict harm upon you. I can't think of a point in our history where the suicide bomber/gunman/archer/stick thrower/whatever wasn't an uncounterable threat. It will always be an uncounterable threat.

The point is that so few of us are that completely fucking broken. Yes, some suicide attackers will succeed. Innocent people will die, be maimed, live lives of misery. I'm sorry to say it, but that's life. That is an acceptable price to pay for liberty.

We can reduce the number of violent nutjobs by treating everyone with honour and dignity. By being decent to others both at home and abroad. It will never stop all of them, but it will stop many - if not most - of them from ever feeling the need to martyr themselves to make their point in the first place.

The rest is up to us. It is up to us to stand up after such attacks and say "we will not be terrified or cowed by such actions." "We will not negotiate with terrorists and we will not alter our way of life out of fear." It is up to us to help those hurt and to ensure that they do not suffer from neglect or mistreatment for being victims of events beyond their control.

It is also up to us to remember that terrorist is not a word that applies simply to the lone fanatic or non-state actor. Terrorism is quite often practiced by the state. Terrorism does not mean "suicide bomber" "Muslim" or "crazy person." It means "someone who seeks to use fear to influence society on a grand scale."

Right now, I honestly believe that describes quite a few agencies and individuals within the governments of the US, the UK and even Canada. They may not walk into a mall full of people and blow themselves up, but they are damned straight all about using fear to cow the people into submission.

We must not negotiate with terrorists. Not the individual, lone fanatics nor state actors. We need to stand up to these people and say "no." If they are elected then we need to make sure that under no circumstances are they reelected. If they are appointed then we need to get out into the streets and demand their jobs on a platter.

Anyone who seeks to use fear to coerce the people into action is not to be trusted, not to be accepted into our society and certainly they can not be allowed to lead us. Governments can be destroyed from within just as surly as from without; it is our duty as citizens to be ever vigilant and to ensure that we identify and remove the rot before it becomes to intractable to excise.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: At the very least look at the Canadian link below, to see how bad this could get.

"Current location?" I"m probably fat enough to picked up by satellite. My address is public knowledge, my car is registered and the US has already very clearly demonstrated at one of my interrogations when crossing the border that they know my entire client list.

Credit card records will tell them my favourite restaurants, where I buy my groceries and even where I gas up my car. They have my fingerprints on file and from my writing and videos they have both my writing style and samples of my voice. My search engine usage probably gives them my writing cadence while my youtube history tells them what TV shows, comedians and so forth that I like.

If these people want to listen in on every thing I say, do harm to me, interrogate me or intimidate me there is absolutely nothing I can do. I can not hide from them, I can not outrun them...nothing. I have no privacy and the chances are I never, ever will.

But I sincerely hope that if enough of us work together then the next generation of humans will have privacy. That our generation will serve as a lesson to those that follow us. With luck, our posterity will say "this must not be allowed to happen again" and enshrine privacy and personal liberty in law for another couple hundred years.

Before, naturally, it all happens again and the struggle has to occur one more time...

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Trevor_Pott
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Why thank you! But really, it was my left testicle jumping around on the keyboard while I chugged coffee. Chris Williams had a good look at it and made me rewrite a couple paragraphs too, which helped make it more comprehensible.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Canadians are viewed by the world as timid and weak?

Oh, yeah, so intelligent we let that idiot Mulroney sign NAFTA and screw our whole country over by handing the reigns of our economy over to the USA. The USA that religiously breaks the terms of that treats - and its WTO obligations - to screw Canada and then turns around and threatens us when we attempt to enact trade sanctions which are our due under the terms of those same treaties.

We should have joined the EU. Yes, we'd be one of the nations propping up all the others. I don't care; I'd rather work with the other nations of the EU to build a long term hegemony based on multiculturalism and cooperation that might one day evolve into a truly great political union focused on the preservation of liberty and human rights than I would prop up the theocratic extremists of the US of A. *sigh*

No sir, we aren't that bright. Not at all.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ribosom/Trevor_Pott

French horns are awesome. Wish I still had mine.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Hello pot, this is kettle.

Funny, I know where almost all the routing and even POTS switching is for western Canada and neither my calls nor my packets hit the US when I'm calling another Canadian, unless I'm going way out easy, in which case my packets are probably going through Chicago.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @ribosome

The real story of the war of 1812 is very easy to find: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ety2FEHQgwM

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Ive read the US constitution

Promotion, apparently. At least if the past few years are anything to go by.

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Trevor_Pott
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With no European servers? No US legal attack surface?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Good op-ed, but unfortunately Canada is probably part of the system.

China's GDP: 7.318 Trillion

China's Population: 1344 Million

Canada's GDP: 1.736 Trillion

Canada's Population: 34.48 Million

I have the deep and abiding suspicion that we can build all the goddamned drones we feel like and have no problems with either the US or China. After all, we can afford to feed our people and build a robot army. We also don't have to buy the resources from a third-party country because we are sitting on all the resources we could ever want. Canada just has to wake up and start building.

Unlike China we don't need massive labour to build our drones. We have our robots build our drones. As for Chins building "better" drones, I beg to differ. Canada's aerospace technologies are second to none. We have advanced weapons R&D and some of the best and brightest nanotech researchers on the entire planet live in my very own city. If we do need more labour, well, we seem to import it just fine. I hear India has more than a few highly-trained people, perhaps they'd be willing to send some over.

Canada having an army capable of defending itself against all comers is entirely feasible. I really wish we'd get on with it and stop being beholden to the vagaries of others.

Besides, a strong drone-manufacturing industry would be a great way to export manufactured goods. We could stop exporting resources and waiting for others to add value and start doing it ourselves. I am certain that the EU, non-EU European nations and the rest of the commonwealth would love a second-source provider for critical defence components that wasn't tied to the US or grossly incompetent. We really should get on that...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Not all cloud tech is bad

Your solution to angry men with guns and a warrant is what, exactly? Please do remember they can crack most encryption is they so choose.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Very well said

I travel to the US. I have clients there. I go to conferences there. If they want to hassle me for speaking my mind, well...oh well. It may be that the price I pay for having principle is that they extend the war on journalism to encompass me. That would suck, but this is way bigger and way more important than just me.

Stopping our descent and getting back on the path starts with one person willing to say "hey, I think we took the wrong fork back there."

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Hello pot, this is kettle.

I don't think so. Corporations don't need government intervention to illegally pollute, to destroy someone's credit rating, to create dangerous workplaces -- in fact the only reason they don't do more of that crap is because of government intervention.

Absolutely correct. Don't mistake me for a pro-corporatist...I"m not. I am saying very specifically that I trust a corporation with my personal data more than a government. I don't truly trust either, but I find the government far more likely to do something untoward with that info. The corporation is probably just going to advertise at me (or maybe hike my insurance premiums.) There is a place for government. Public health care. Environmental regulation. National defence, emergency services and policing. That place is not "spying on it's own citizens.

Says who? How many US government employees have you observed being "accountable to no one"? Give me some real data on this. Most US government agencies are answerable to at least two of the major branches (often Executive and Legislative, but also Executive and Judicial (think law enforcement), and even Legislative and Judicial) and there are more regulations targeting government employee behavior than targeting corporate employee behavior.

Obama's former director of speechwriting. Look up the interview on the Daily Show between Stewart and Jon Favreau. He is very frank about how damn-near impossible it is to create change int he government because each section reports to a different committee made up of members of the house. Decisions on what to change (if anything) are politically motivated, not based on requirements.

He makes specific mention of how intractable most agencies are and how resistant to change they have become. He is not remotely the only one to have said so of late, but is the only on at the top of my mind that I can remember a name for.

It's easy to paint any large organization with broad strokes, but the fact of the matter is that more than 90% of the 2 million US government employees you mention have (a) no access to the data discussed in the original article, (b) little to no direct control over the fate of individuals, (c) a hell of a lot more people looking over their shoulder than you or I have and hence way more accountability than you think, and (d) would really rather you just left them to do their job, rather than lumping them in with all of those shady types.

Far more of those people have access to the data than should have. Many of them abuse it. Far - far - to many of them (especially border guards) take obvious and notable pleasure in making others suffer. Ultimately, it isn't required that to totality of the organization be corrupt. Enough of the wrong people in the wrong places having abdicated their duty of care is more than enough to turn the whole thing into the very monster it exists to defend against.

It's too bad, too...because there are examples of governments that actually work well in other parts of the world. Places where accountability and transparency are more important than anything else. Where the government's duty is to the people, not merely keeping one's head down so that they can stay employed.

Apathy is not an excuse for abdication of ethics.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: The Cuckoo's Egg

Scale matters. A targeted intercept with a warrant for a single individual (or relatively small group of interconnected individuals) is an understandable and entirely acceptable law enforcement requirement. Dragnet style operations are another thing entirely. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are not supposed to be carrying out fishing expeditions. This has been established over and over at all levels of our courts.

What about "with a computer" makes it somehow morally, ethically or even legally acceptable to throw out the presumption of innocence? "Because we can" is no justification for changing "innocent unless proven guilty" to "guilty unless proven innocent."

That's really what this boils down to: it is not my job to prove my innocence. The burden of proof is on the accuser to prove me guilty. Guilty of what, well, since I haven't done anything illegal (that I am aware of) I haven't the foggiest clue. There was a speeding ticket a few years ago, but I paid the fine.

So what give you/him/her/them the right to presume me guilty and montior all that I do just in case I might be guilty of something? That whole concept goes against the very foundations of our society's belief systems.

Innocent unless proven guilty. To give that up is to render all of the struggles for liberty through the ages utterly and completely meaningless. If you demand of me and mine that we give up that essential liberty then it's time for the struggle to recommence.

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Re: Hello pot, this is kettle.

We have recently (as in with in the past year) dragged this through our parliament, our senate and our judicial system. We have had three separate law enforcement/spy agencies investigate eachother to ensure that they are not overreaching and breaking the laws that are very much under debate in our country.

What's more only one and a half (as in Bell and the eastern portion of Shaw's network) are even capable of massive dragnets involving more than phone records. In theory, it is possible that you could pull the phone records of the cell phone providers en masse. I have my doubts about the landline/sip providers. Retention requirements aren't exactly eternal, and I know a few who are privacy types who will delete the instant they can.

If there was room 641A-style dragnet snooping going on in Canada it would legitimately be a conspiracy. The kind of conspiracy that has people lying under oath. The kind that is really, really hard to keep a tight lid on and would have quite a few people in the not very nice jails until the end of time when it all came out.

I am as sure as it is humanly possible to be without actively monitoring every single person at all levels of our government 24/7 that nobody in Canada is operating a dragnet-style monitoring operation on our citizens. Given that I can only point to a handful of politicians in all of Canada that are legitimately corrupt (and not mistakenly trying to do do the right thing while having lost what that right thing truly is) I'm willing to accept the word of the people involved that we are not spying on eachother here.

That doesn't mean our cops don't want to...but it does mean that they go through proper channels to do so. Those proper channels - in this country at least - require public debate. Besides, I know one of the blokes that runs the tech forensics side of CSIS; he's a good chap and he'd not stand for that sort of thing. Since he's still working there, I have to assume they've not gone yank on us quite yet.

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Re: Good op-ed, but unfortunately Canada is probably part of the system.

Frankly, I've been a strong proponent for bloody ages of Canada sinking a hundred billion or so into a revitalized navy. We need to defend our interests in the north and be fully capable of projecting force anywhere on the continent of our choice from a pile of boats at sea.

You don't need boots on the ground. Tomorrow's wars will be fought by robots, and with a GDP of 1.8 Trillion Canada should damned well be able to defend its interests against anyone. We should not be dependant on the US for anything.

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Re: Hello pot, this is kettle.

Yes; corporations are by default less corrupt than governments. Corporations do nothing without a profit motive. There is no advantage to a corporation noticing that you are interested in cartoon porn of girls and aliens and then having you arrested and thrown in jail for an indeterminate period of time. Potentially while being held without charge for over a month and not allowed to even contact your family or employer to tell them why you're missing.

There's no profit in labelling a journalist as a "threat to national security" because they spoke out about a problem in their home country caused by an American country an then have them hassled at the border, refused entry or otherwise severely hassled.

There's no profit in digging into text files to identify individuals, claim they are somehow a threat (without saying how, because it's all secret) and then beating protesters (in some cases nearly to death) who are occupying a public park trying to get some banks held accountable and demand social change.

I could go on and on and on. Look; corporations don't have the power of governments to completely ruin your life. They can only do so by involving a government in the first place.

The US government employs over 2 million people. 2 million! The overwhelming majority of them accountable to no one. The bureaucracy has become paranoid, defensive and dedicated to preserving their own jobs above all else.

Most of them are good people, but good people can to terrible things when bored, scared or apathetic. When you start to develop and "us and them" mentality you dehumanize the people you are paid to serve and that's where this whole mess starts. Border guards, the tax man, cops, the DMV, you name it! THe US governmental apparatus is deeply embedded in "us" versus " them" where "them is not only "other countries" it is their own damned people!

So yes, I believe that the cumulative actions of 2 million bitter, disillusioned people who just don't give a damn led by a handful of the truly corrupt are a heck of a lot more damaging than any corporation I can name.

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Re: Hello pot, this is kettle.

Our spooks tried to obtain the same powers. We shot them down in full public view. Multiple times. They keep trying. We keep denying. If they did it anyways, our supreme court would have a goddamend field day slapping them right back down to earth. There are no Patriot Act style laws here that allow the government to claim "National security" and slap a gag order on it. For that matter if our government attempted to introduce such laws, our supreme court would slap it back down.

So yeah, I"m damned sure CSIS isn't monitoring my internets. The NSA is (hi, ECEHELON!) and CSIS may periodically go hat in hand to them for stuff, but only once they've a warrant and an individual to target. There are no dragnet style snooping operations in Canada. If there were, I promise you, we'd resolve that right fucking now.

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Aye, and before France the idea persisted in various cultures for thousands of years. It was the US that made 'em stick and immortalized them with that constitution. There were other things attached that for the first time designed an entire nation in an attempt to preserve those beliefs. Separation of of power being only the start of the things they tried to put in place to ensure that those beliefs couldn't be corrupted.

Every other time we'd tried in the past it was cute, but layered on top of an existing governmental structure desperate to preserve it's own power and thus severely limited. Though France came damned close...

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We're losing the battle with a government seduced by surveillance

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Well said.

The FBI have a pretty full arsenal of weaponry. Everything from small arms to APCs and armed choppers. They have more than enough to put up quite a show...frankly all that is really required. "The people" don't have much more than small arms. There are a few out there breaking the laws against heavy arms, but those can be taken care of by the military-class hardware the FBI has on hand for just such emergencies.

For the rest, well...a missile detonating 100m in front of a crowd has a remarkable dispersal effect. You don't have to mow the populace down, just cow them enough to return to their homes. The FBI cheerfully have enough firepower to do exactly that. The majority of the outraged civilian populace will go right back into their hidey holes whole a few strike forces mop up the true crazies. There's no need to bring the military in at all.

Protecting the nation against domestic issues is the FBI's remit. They would be the natural first responders. I seriously doubt that anything could make the apathetic American populace as feisty as the Egyptians, but even if so I suspect that the FBI have more than a few tools to hand to deal with large crowds that the Egyptians didn't.

Hell, we now have Hum-Vee mounted crowd-disperal masers. Flash bangs by the bucket and even sonic weaponry. Do I believe the FBI would use these against the citizenry? In a heartbeat. An "us against them" mentality has been cultivated amongst US law enforcement. Would the military? Probably not; but they really aren't required to deal with American civilians.

This fantasy that some in your nation have of one day rising up against the government is just that: a fantasy. It has no basis in reality. The country isn't that unified, it isn't that brave and it doesn't stand a snowball's chance in a neutron star against real-world military hardware. Hardware that not only the FBI have, but so do most American police forces, the DHS and even the ATF.

Armed rebellion will net nothing but blood and further oppression.

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Re: September 11, 2001, the day when Americans decided that freedom was not worth the risk.

If you want to trust big brother, that's your right. Me? I trust that two or three generations of exposure to a society that believes in intrinsic liberty of the individual will remove from anyone the desire to live under Sharia - or any other theocratic, totalitarian law.

There are plenty of Muslims living in Alberta; they've been here for quite some time. I have never met a single one that thought Sharia was a good plan. I have met thousands who would fight against Sharia and be perfectly willing to die defending the freedoms we all hold dear.

I don't fear Muslisms the way you seem to. Certainly I don't fear the ones in my nation. They aren't "Muslims". They are Canadians. That they believe in a religion is of no concern to me so long as they aren't dedicated to forcing others to believe...and the ones I've met here have no interest in doing so.

As you your Nazi question...

...yes. You do allow the Nazis the right to run for office, become elected and form a government. You do not track them with Big Brother and murder them before they can do something bad. You presume people are innocent UNLESS they are proven to be guilty of something. It is the price we pay for liberty: eternal vigilance.

For us to be truly free we must acknowledge the intrinsic rights to liberty and freedom of all others, including those who disagree with us. We can only act if others choose to violate the laws of our society. NOT BEFORE.

You also present a false dichotomy: that the only alternatives are Big Brother and Genocide. That is utterly fallacious. The reality is that in a properly vigilant society there is a place in between where you catch those in charge violating laws, freedoms and fundamental liberties after they have done some damage but before they have committed crimes anywhere near that scale.

Right now, today, that is what all the people in this thread are up in arms about. There are people in charge of the USA who have committed crimes, violated freedoms and ignored fundamental liberties. We are outraged and demanding action be taken before those corrupt individuals start committing genocide.

Given some of the paranoid delusions I've seen here, it may well not be far off until some dumb shit decides that "the terrifying Muslims" need a "final solution" and we'll be right back at war again; this time against those who used to be our own leaders. That you cannot see this...that scares me.

You pull up Nazis as an example of why we must violate the liberties of all to catch the very, very few without understanding the irony of your example. It is exactly that sort of thinking that allowed the Nazis to evolve as they did. They certainly didn't start out to destroy the Jews/Gypsies/etc. They set out to reshape a battered Germany into an economic superpower. The rest snowballed as the dude in charge went nuts and those around him either followed, were more nuts than him, or wiped out those that weren't nuts.

You don't seem to understand that evil movements, organizations and governments don't start out with a subterranean lair and a bald guy petting a cat. They start out with a group of people doing what they think is right. They compromise one ideal then another and then another. Their morals and ethics fall like dominoes as they fixate on the end, justifying any means to achieve it.

"The right thing" turns into something monstrous and those who have become obsessed with the often originally noble end become blind to the horrors they have wrought. Some wise up, but generally by the time they do they have surrounded themselves with fanatics. Fanaticism reinforces fanaticism and it gets pretty ugly from there.

Mass surveillance of innocent people is not right. There is no moral or ethical justification for that activity. It is a means that is unacceptable towards any end.

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Re: Well said.

I don't believe violence will ever solve this. The people could not possibly hope to win a war against the US government. I'm sorry, but the FBI alone has the firepower to counter the entire US civilian population, that's before you bring in any other branches of the government.

No, any revolution or change must be done peacefully and within the rules of the system as it stands. But it will require the people to start working together for a common goal. Keeping the people divided; that's the greatest threat to change that exists.

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@Charles 9

Nice false equivalence. Very Bill O'Reilly. "The only two choices available to you are extremes."

Well, let's deal with your straw man. Would I sacrifice my nation as a whole rather than live under totalitarianism? You're goddamned right I would. Some things you die for. It amy even mean that your entire culture evaporates while fighting the good fight. But those deaths - and that dead culture - will live on in the memories of those who survive elsewhere.

If a single man can martyr himself and birth a revolution, what then the martyrdom of an entire nation? There are more nations than mine? There are more people in this world that are contained in my nation. There are billions - perhaps trillions or even more - of human being yet to be born. It is our duty to all those who remain to stand up to injustice, to fight for our essential liberty and to never - ever - give in to terrorism. Terrorism of the individual, the group or the state.

To give in to terrorism is to signal your weakness to the world's predators. It is to open the floodgates to an infinite number of others who will spend the rest of eternity trying to gnaw on your bones. We can no more let a nation-state crush our will as a people than we can allow a group of religious terrorists to cow us into changing our beliefs with a bomb, a plane or even mean words.

You will live and then you will die. We will all live and then we will all die. Neither you nor I nor any other human being has control over that; we are all mortal, we are all ephemeral and temporary. The one thing you do have control over is what you stand for. What legacy will you leave for your posterity? What will you fight for, what will you - if necessary - die for? That is the only thing you have any real control over in this world.

I will not die cowering under Big Brother's skirts bleating in fear about some manufactured boogyman. If necessary I will tackle the sonofabitch on the plane. I will stand up to the corrupt cop and say "no." I will pick up a shovel and dig strangers out of the rubble. I will do what needs to be done to defend what I believe in and what I believe in is personal liberty and the foundations of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Perhaps you need to fear less and believe more. In something...anything! I don't care what you believe...just believe.

"I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing......Only I will remain."

--The litany against fear, Frank Herbert, The Dune series.

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First, they came for the Jews...

And targeting political ideologies with the taxation gestapo. And initiating a war on journalism. And PRISM. And...

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Re: False positives

No. Most people - most people who aren't American - would say that liberty is something you can only purchase in lives and that the cost is worth it. The totality of human history demonstrates our willingness to pay the price with each new generation.

My life, the lives of my family or friends...if they are required so that we can retain liberty then so be it. I promise you my wife and my friends feel the exact same way. Some things, you have to be prepared to defend, to the death if necessary. Liberty is one. It is more important than the individual. More important than many individuals. At a large enough scale, it is even more important than entire nations.

Only the unbelievably selfish would put their own security above the liberty of their entire nation.

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Re: False positives

Are you saying "it's all worth it so long as one person's life is saved?" I entirely disagree. Some things are worth dying for, liberty is one. That means not becoming the thing you hate. It means not negotiating with terrorists and it means that you live with a little more risk in the world because you refuse to have your ideals and beliefs compromised by extremists with a grudge.

Your beliefs are either worth defending or they are not. In the end, the person who is most willing to stick to his beliefs - come what may - will win. So, which beliefs are you prepared to live under? Which are you willing to defend? Or will you simply choose apathy and let someone else dictate the shape of the society you will inhabit?

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Re: #1 is good but #2 is even better :-

Well, the first was highly tongue in cheek. I was mocking myself for all the flak I got for a previous article about how much of yiur data US.gov could access if you stored it there...a few days before shit hit fan. Aaron's tweet was raw frustration, and all the more poingant because of it.

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El Reg drills into Office 365: The science of compliance

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Vice versa.

Never ask anyone to explain why they like something. It doesn't help you improve a product and people like strange things. Some people juggle geese...

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Re: Vice versa.

Oh, I admit that I'm an edge case. I do, however, believe that "edge case" here is defines as anything not 2 sigma from the centre. That leaves a lot of people kicked to the curb. A lot.

I don't mind being "different." I do mind people taking something that was working and then breaking it. I Ioathe the arrogance of a company (and it's fanboys) demanding that I explain why I don't want to buy a given product. It's my fucking money! The burden is on the vendor to convince me why I should spend my hard-earned.

That's really what the whole thing boils down to for me. Microsoft - and Microsoft fanboys - have taken an attitude that constant upgrades, subscription fees and so forth are their due. They Deserve it on some moral level. Those who choose not to pay the fees (all of them, and they are many) every year, every upgrade cycle and then turn around and evangelize the product are suspect, questionable and above all guilty of something.

There is a concerted push to berate, belittle, ostracize and condemn anyone who doesn't accept blindly the assertions, claims and propaganda shovelled at them. There is a well thought out strategy to put the customer on the defensive and make them repeatedly explain the choice not to upgrade.

That's fucking asinine and I have nothing but contempt for those who practice such utter bullshit.

If you want my money - either to keep your business running (Microsoft) or to prop up your personal ego by ensuring you feel like you've made the right choices with your money (Microsoft fanboys) then you will have to convince me that what's on the table makes my life and my workloads, use cases and extant estate run better.

I'm the customer, damn it. Not a terrorism suspect captured at the border with a truck full of semtex and a USB key full of 56,000 American jobs in MP3 format. So don't get shocked and shaken if I get all ornery when you treat me like a US Customs and Border weasel with wide eyes at the prospect of finally having a chance to validate the existence of their job.

There is no moral equivalence in the online debate. One side is selling something and wants money from the other side. There are valid reasons for customers to be skeptical and they have every moral right not to spend money. There are no valid reasons to attack the customers and no company has a moral right to a customer's money.

Grok the gap?

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El Reg drills into Office 365: Unified communications

Trevor_Pott
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No, you can not use any provider. Only those that have received the magic stamp of approval.

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The Cloud OS: PR fluff or tech awesomeness?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: 'Interesting question. Can you expand on it?'

RE: #1 nobody uses the web apps unless forced to. That means that all e-mails are downloaded locally and cached on the local Outlook. They use local copies of Office. That makes it work as fast as an exchange server, excepting for Very Large Files which are attached and aren't cached. These down have to download when you open them, but I have not heard a single complaint from my Office 365/MS Office customers or my Google Apps/Thunderbird/LibreOffice customers.

RE: #2 cloud provider will generally offer a testbed platform for CRM alongside the production version. The migration process is a bitch and a half, but this is no different than migration from any installed CRM to a new installed CRM. Latency is generally improved in cloudy versions because the cloudy infrastructure is almost always faster and better maintained than internal stuff. Costs only make sense if you fire a bunch of nerds and factor that in. Otherwise, cloud is always more expensive.

RE: #3 I have e-mailed myself that question so I can go hit it with a hammer. I'll make you a complete article on that, fair enough?

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Re: Cloud Latency...?

Interesting question. Can you expand on it? What are you precise concerns? I've not seen latency as an issue on anything I've tested or run in production...not even Lync! (Though, admittedly, Office 365's exchange/HTTPS mail does get crappy as hell if you are on a thready wireless connection in the third world...but Outlook does do caching...)

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