back to article Let's shut down the internet: Republicans vacate their mind bowels

Ever since Senator Ted Stevens famously referred to the internet as a "series of tubes" in 2006, we have became sadly accustomed to the fact that legislators have little or no understanding of how the internet actually works. Despite the determined efforts of many internet policy wonks in the past decade, that dangerous level …

  1. PleebSmasher
    Big Brother

    Encryption

    This could easily have been a 4 page article with 2 pages devoted to encryption. There was no shortage of dangerously cheesy misunderstandings over encryption.

    I want to see them try to take away our encryption. Maybe with some legislative effort they can force Silicon Valley to cripple end-to-end and device encryption offerings for the majority of the population, but they won't be able to take encryption away from the techies and the paranoid. Tor, Freenet, PGP, I2P, Bitmessage, etc. will be spread far and wide. Let the criminals, drug merchants, child pornographers, and terrorists use it as much as they'd like. Encryption doesn't cause terrorism, geopolitics does.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Encryption

      Who cares about Tor, freenet, and all that? They're already attacking Tor, freenet has throughput issues, and they're working on subverting every chip they can get their hands on to the point that anyone of note will have some subverted chip at some point before encryption or after decryption (since it has to exist decrypted at some point to be human-readable--we're not at Ghost in the Shell levels of cyberization yet). About the only nation with the resources to build a complete computer and network system completely from scratch are the Chinese, and they are as interested in Big Brother as everyone else.

      I'm surprised none of the candidates put it in black and white terms: "If you enable encryption, you enable terrorists to conspire to destroy the United States, so you're left with only two options: Big Brother or Big BOOM!"

      1. PleebSmasher

        Re: Encryption

        The Tor Project encourages attacks on Tor. They also have something called "updates".

        As for chips, prove they are subverted or make your own.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Encryption

          >As for chips, prove they are subverted or make your own.

          I am actually supposed to be making my own right now as that is what I am paid to do. Of course being I'm a rather unremarkable cog in the machine of thousands of other people it takes to do so I think you need to clarify. The original poster is actually not blowing smoke completely about hardware black box trust issues. Anyway back to work.

          http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/12/we-cannot-trust-intel-and-vias-chip-based-crypto-freebsd-developers-say/

          1. PleebSmasher

            Re: Encryption

            And yet FreeBSD still runs on those chips, simply using different sources for random numbers. Clearly untrusted hardware has not killed encryption yet.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Encryption

        They're working on subverting every chip they can get their hands on

        Which, of course, will change nothing. Have they forgotten that all the WW2 communications intercepted by places like Bletchely park were in clear text, easily intercepted by anyone with a radio, because the spies had first encrypted their stuff by hand using Enigma, one-time pads, etc.

        Even if "they" could somehow force the internet and every device connected to it to use only non-encrypted messages, those who want secrecy will still be able to encipher their stuff before it gets anywhere near the internet, and one-time pads (or their opensource software equivalents) have no back doors.

        As always this will penalize the honest users doing legitimate stuff like home banking, and make not the slightest difference for the bad guys. Just like all the DRM crap.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Encryption

          "Which, of course, will change nothing. Have they forgotten that all the WW2 communications intercepted by places like Bletchely park were in clear text, easily intercepted by anyone with a radio, because the spies had first encrypted their stuff by hand using Enigma, one-time pads, etc."

          Then it was still transmitted in an encrypted form. The thing about encrypted communications is that they're typically not human-comprehensible, which makes them stand out. The only way around that is through steganography (hiding a message within another innocuous message), but even that has its limitations, especially for messages of arbitrary subject and length.

          "Even if "they" could somehow force the internet and every device connected to it to use only non-encrypted messages, those who want secrecy will still be able to encipher their stuff before it gets anywhere near the internet, and one-time pads (or their opensource software equivalents) have no back doors."

          But has a bandwidth limit and, again, will make it stand out and make it easier to spot and trace. Plus it's tricky to combine the one-time pad with stego and still make it able to get past detection and mangling techniques while still able to produce a message of usable length. Another consideration. If the enemy figures out even one of the messages is suspect and mangles it such that the other side can't decipher it, you've defeated the one-time pad for the duration because now the two ends are out of sync.

      3. Roo
        Windows

        Re: Encryption

        "I'm surprised none of the candidates put it in black and white terms: "If you enable encryption, you enable terrorists to conspire to destroy the United States, so you're left with only two options: Big Brother or Big BOOM!""

        That line of argument has been in circulation in the UK for my entire life in one form or another, it would be great if died quietly and was buried alongside the careers of self-serving liars who use it.

    2. Rick Brasche

      Re: Encryption

      don't make the mistake about there being ANY "misunderstandings". this is deliberate.

      reducing encryption and begging for backdoors is a BIPARTISAN effort and desired at the highest levels of government.

      http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/262658-feinstein-vows-to-offer-encryption-piercing-bill

    3. trapper

      Re: Encryption

      OK, I sent a link to the above article to PBS Newshour, urged them to read it, urged them to disseminate it to staff, urged them to read more EL Reg articles on the topic, and then start asking the bloviators on both sides the necessary pointed questions. SOMEBODY in the news media has to start the ball rolling since this pig-ignorance is trending toward equally ignorant public policy making. Every so often an issue aired on PBS gets picked up by bigger media; let's hope.

      1. Johnr

        Re: Encryption

        And good luck with that. Even if PBS picked it up it would need be dumbed down or it would be too complicated for the Network NOOZE to sandwich into a minute and a half between boner pill ads and pharmaceutical ads for your latest made up condition. Maybe on Vice on HBO or let John Oliver have a whack at it (brilliant man and satirist) utilizing a half hour or so. You in Britain must realize that American News programs exist to make ratings and thusly money. They are interested only in the next shiny object .

        Now watch this adorable cat video

        .

  2. elDog Silver badge

    "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

    Brain shits? We have an expression "brain farts" but these individuals are taking it to new lower levels.

    Imbecilic diarrhea. Altho they are all some of the most malevolent imbeciles I have ever seen. Let alone supposedly running for some high office.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

      So predictable. Another anti-GOP screed is put out on the Reg and waves of spittle-flecked wannabe 'protestors' come screaming out of the woodwork, right on cue. Hey Reg, you guys might want to reconsider the partisan propaganda angle, it drives away intelligent people too much.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

        Go look at the CIPA vote today and what both House and Senate and both parties agreed to. Both sides want our butts in a sling... or maybe our data in a labeled box, sitting on a shelf, that they can peer into anytime they like for whatever reason they like.

        Yeah.. this article is partisan since it's about the GOP debate. The Dems turn is coming up. So far, the only literate voice I've heard on either side has been Wyden (R-OR) but he's also beholden to big data via the lobbying. So.. no matter who wins, we're screwed. The bigger debate will be over do we get kissed while this happens. </rant>

      2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

        @big john

        I could say that the Register was just doing (the opposite of) what you often claim your beloved Rush Limbaugh does all the time: Baiting Liberals (Conservatives in this case). You applaud Rush for what he does, so I would assume its likewise OK to bait folks like yourself. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

        But, really, The Register is a tech website that prides itself on its sarcastic tone and, as such, was merely reporting in its own house style on the tech subjects being debated by a group of potentially very influential people who it appears are extremely ignorant of tech subjects. If you feel that's not worthy of comment then what on earth are we all supposed to do? Take a GOP favoring stance and gloss over all the shortcomings of what the GOP hopefuls say, just because some like yourself approve of them? Perhaps ignore what they say altogether? And if we take a GOP friendly stance in this case then presumably we are also to take a Democratic friendly stance when they get up to yack about all the shit they know nothing about, and your good self will likewise keep silent also in deference to the liberals reading?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

          "You applaud Rush for what he does..."

          Odd, I can't remember ever doing anything like that. Are you sure you're not just making stuff up? I don't happen to be a Rush fan, if that helps clarify things for you.

          About your other points, keep in mind that the Dems have been saying similarly dumb things, but I don't see this kind of over the top "sarcasm" directed at Hillary et al. Maybe you could point me at such a Reg article?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

            "I don't happen to be a Rush fan"

            Canada is offended and also apologizes, eh. How aboot that?

          2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

            Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

            @big john RE: On you not being a Limbaugh fan...

            You've certainly defended him on more than one occasion in these fora, while calling Colbert vicious and unpleasant, and very much gave the impression you liked or admired the chap.

      3. Afernie
        Mushroom

        Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

        "So predictable. Another anti-GOP screed is put out on the Reg and waves of spittle-flecked wannabe 'protestors' come screaming out of the woodwork, right on cue. Hey Reg, you guys might want to reconsider the partisan propaganda angle, it drives away intelligent people too much."

        Have a little read of some of the staggeringly idiotic things these cretins were saying, and do bear in mind, you are on a tech site. For me it's got nothing to do with whether they are Republican candidates as much as the demonstrable fact that they are all chromosome-deficient test tube experiments who'd catastrophically fail at Hall Monitor duty, never mind the office of President. The current crop of drooling fuckwits running for the GOP nomination make George W Bush look almost educationally normal.

        1. RubberJohnny

          Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

          Which strongly suggests that Donald Trump thinks there is some kind of master-switch that can turn off parts of the internet, presumably based somewhere in Washington.

          I think there is such a switch. In popular media it's a big red button and it requires two people with a key each to access. Used for retaliating to attacks of 99 rot luftballons.

      4. WaveyDavey

        Partisan propoganda, and intelligent people?

        Since when has the drooling buffoon Trump, or any of the control-freak, intellectually deficient fuckwits that compose the GOP running list, when have they *ever* done anything that could be considered either intelligent, or interesting to intelligent people ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Partisan propoganda, and intelligent people?

          "when have they *ever* done anything that could be considered either intelligent, or interesting to intelligent people ?"

          Entertainment and primate studies comes to mind.

      5. Chris Parsons

        Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

        Big John...big bad John.

      6. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

        So predictable. Big John complains about a Reg article without actually bothering to read it.

        The piece was quite complimentary toward Rubio - one of the few who has an actual shot at the nomination - and at worst neutral toward Paul, who doesn't have one because he's too sane for the crazies and too crazy for the sane, but at least demonstrates a capability for rational thought.

        An article quoting actual idiotic things said by the participants is not propaganda, unless you think it's taking those actual idiotic things out of context. And if that's the case, please show what context redeems them.

    2. agatum
      Unhappy

      Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

      > Imbecilic diarrhea. Altho they are all some of the most malevolent imbeciles I have ever seen. Let alone supposedly running for some high office.

      And one of these tards will/may be ruler of the 'free world'. Chilling thought.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

        reg might not be bashing the democrats but they haven't gone full retard yet. Trump just went full retard. Never go full retard.

    3. kmac499

      Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

      A brilliant phrase and as with all things virtual over physical, The Mind Bowel has an almost infinite capacity to produce gas and crap from a tiny diet of ignorance and prejudice.

      Whereas the physical bowels production rate is limited by the intake of food; Unless it's curry or sprouts.

    4. SolidSquid

      Re: "Vacated their mind bowels" - a lovely phrase

      Brain shart? It would have been a brain fart but a bit more than they really wanted to leaked out?

  3. ma1010 Silver badge
    Boffin

    You're making a mistaken assumption here

    You are assuming that what politicians say has anything to do with facts or even basic reality. It does not. What they say is intended not to convey facts, opinions or to argue for any particular position. What they say is intended for one thing only, which is to persuade their audience that they are the man/woman for the job. Sadly, for most people, this sort of thing bypasses intellectual functions and goes to feelings and associations which may be more powerful in determining actions.

    Scott Adams (Dilbert) has pointed this out for months now. Whether or not Adams is right about humans being "moist robots," you have to give his hypothesis some attention because of the fact that he has correctly predicted the future. Back when everyone (including my good self) was laughing at the idea of a Trump presidency -- thinking a cartoon character was more likely to win -- Adams predicted that Trump would not only get the nomination, but likely win the election in a landslide. At the time I read that, I laughed and wondered what Scott was smoking. I'm not laughing anymore. A Trump presidency appears to be coming closer each day.

    This is not because he makes any sense in front of a microphone or has any great ideas for policies, or LOGICALLY convinces people that he is right. His rise is because he is a master persuader. He practically hypnotizes people -- or something. Adams feels that a lot of what Trump says isn't even remotely true (e.g., Trump doesn't really have any intention of deporting every illegal alien in the US).

    Adams bases his theory on his study of hypnosis. I don't know enough about hypnosis to express much of an opinion on Scott's theory from that angle, but, as I pointed out, we have watched Trump go from a "are you really serious?" sort of candidate to likely the front runner for his party. If Adams is right, for better or worse, we'll see Trump in the White House in 2017. If that happens, we can only HOPE that he's been babbling hypnotic/persuasive nonsense and not revealing what he really plans to do once he gains office.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: You're making a mistaken assumption here

      We're not "moist robots" as Adams puts it but animals who don't realize it. We still have this bank of lower thought processes--mainly emotions--that can override our higher reasoning when pushed enough, such as during a crisis. Historically, humans tend to lash out during a crisis because our emotions demand a response. Otherwise, we go nuts even before our reason is able to kick in. You punch someone out of the blue, their usual response is to retaliate, the cerebrum usually doesn't even come into play. We like to think of ourselves as higher-thinking creatures, but let's face it; we're no Vulcans. That's why elections are such a farce; candidates worth their salt know that winning elections requires appealing to the gut, not to the brain.

    2. Dadmin

      Re: You're making a mistaken assumption here

      Yes, but the real beauty is that Trump is a candidate that will fail and fail big. There's going to be a few people in the democrab party that are scared that this giant bag of farts with a squirrel on his head could win an election. The reality is that he is the PERFECT candidate for a democrab win in 2016. He is helping the continual self-destruction of the repubic party, and nothing will stop him from completely disrupting and eventually losing the office to his rivals. This is a funny sitcom that has come to life! All he needs to do now is make that idiot Ted Nugent his running mate and the deal is done! I can't stand most of what goes on in the two big parties, but the one waving the flag and claiming they are for less government while spying on all citizens and restricting already won freedoms sound like shitheads to me. Trump is their king. Of what I do not know. Aren't repubic-ians supposed to be money-makin' job-creators? Trump's holdings are mostly air, he tried every get-rich-quick trick to get some attention on his failing properties(reality show host, wrote a shitty book, some crappy board game), and any jobs he creates are in the hotel services industry making at or near minimum wage. What a "great" fucking leader he'll be! HA! If poor people who like to vote for rich people stop smoking crack for two minutes, this could all end in a bad way, but for sure this assmunch is going to cost the election for his party of Terrorists™ With Flags.

    3. PleebSmasher

      @ma1010

      Politicians on both sides of the aisle are attacking encryption, and they can ban it or encourage Silicon Valley to stop enabling end-to-end and device encryption. The business class will be able to keep their encrypted communications services, but they will pay for the privilege. The vast majority of the public will ignore free alternatives.

    4. Naselus

      Re: You're making a mistaken assumption here

      "you have to give his hypothesis some attention because of the fact that he has correctly predicted the future"

      I'm sorry, are you writing in 2017? Only literally none of the things you list have actually happened yet from where I'm sitting in December 2015. The nominations aren't settled and the first primaries are still over a month away (Trump is incredibly unlikely to get the nomination and unlikely to win the early primaries either), and the election itself is 11 months away (Trump doesn't have much chance of winning that either).

      Trump's position in the polls is basically static. He's not losing support, but he's also not really been gaining any either - because anyone who would vote for him is already committed to doing so. He can't appeal to cross-party support without fatally wounding his base; in fact, he can't even appeal to cross-Republican support without doing so (since his entire appeal is to the most deranged Tea Party fanatics who have become so distrustful of Washington that they now think anyone who's ever been in government is too tainted to vote for).

      Adams' blog posts on this are for entertainment. They are not a serious analysis. Trump has less support in actual numbers than Bernie Sanders does, and no-one is seriously freaking out about the danger of a Sanders presidency.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    None of you morons

    understand how El Reg has manipulated you to make you react the way you have.

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: None of you morons

      I object to being called a moron. I have a degree. I think. Conservatives do not. They knee-jerk react. Stupidly.

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: None of you morons

        @ Bloodbeastterror " I have a degree. I think."

        What? You think you have a degree, or you think, in a functional sense? One would hope we all think, its what we think that matters.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: None of you morons

      Republicans spouting bullshit not backed by science is not exactly an El Reg only argument.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: None of you morons

      God damn El Reg, quoting stupid things said by a bunch of politicians. How dare they manipulate us this way. If only they had quoted all the well-reasoned eloquent stuff they said too.

      1. Grikath Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: None of you morons

        I'll take the bait and point out that then they'd have had no article to write...

        1. Swarthy Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: None of you morons

          If only they had quoted all the well-reasoned eloquent stuff they said too.
          The Register did report on the intelligent things said, it's on page 2. ...Rather, it would have been on page 2 had anything intelligent been said.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: None of you morons

      This article is very slanted against the GOP. Anyone here that can't see it isn't looking, or doesn't mind as long as the slant is in their 'preferred' direction. Is this the direction we can expect for El Reg in future? Agitprop?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: None of you morons

        No Big John the US population (among others) is slanted against the GOP. Its why they have lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections (things look even more bleak electoral college wise for the GOP) and their losing streak with this lovely reality challenged field looks to continue. Not to mention with the GOP having to defend 3x more Senate seats than the Dems they will probably lose control of it as well this cycle. Its a good thing for the Dems too that the GOP is trying so hard to out batshit crazy each other as the Dem candidates aren't exactly the strongest this cycle either.

        1. Code For Broke

          Re: None of you morons

          Please review the current majority in both houses of Congress and then reconsider your post.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: None of you morons

            Gerrymandering.

            GOP should be ashamed that they have had to bend the rules in order to keep their majorities. But they lack the facility for shame.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: None of you morons

              Gerrymandering.

              Indeed, among other factors. Anyone who thinks the composition of Congress represents the democratic will of the populace at large is deluded.

              GOP should be ashamed that they have had to bend the rules in order to keep their majorities. But they lack the facility for shame.

              To be fair, both parties do it, and always have. Elbridge Gerry (for whom the practice is named) was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence; a "Founding Father", for what that's worth (very little).

              The Republicans have had the fortune to be in a good position to gerrymander a number of districts in recent history. They also had especially large contrarian mid-term bumps. Eventually the pendulum will swing the other way, and then people will be cursing the districts drawn by the Democratic party, unless the system gets reformed, which isn't terribly likely. (Some states have instituted reforms but those wheels grind very slowly indeed.)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: None of you morons

            >Please review the current majority in both houses of Congress

            Senate is about to change back. Its only the in off years when a small minority of mostly old white people vote that the GOP makes gains. Yes they can win state wide in the poorest least educated states but when the majority pays attention they kick them out of office of the more reasonable states. As for the House basically who ever wins the election after the latest census is the party that gets to gerrymander its way to victory until the next census. Still Republican will always have a solid presence in the house due also to its nature of catering to small geographical areas full of extremists.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: None of you morons

        @Big John

        How is it slanted against the GOP? It's slanted against the GOP candidates that are stupid (which is most of them, in the eyes of anyone who cares about privacy or secure communications). It spoke well of Rubio. I'm sure their coverage of the Dem debates will be equally scathing -- they're all politicians after all, and they want their power.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: None of you morons

          > "I'm sure their coverage of the Dem debates will be equally scathing..."

          How could it be? the Dem debates this cycle are totally bogus. That's why they're holding them on Saturday night; They hope no one will watch. Even if they do, they will see nothing of any substance. The GOP may not be a shining light of perfection, but they at least are willing to fight over policy in public. Mrs. Clinton is too chickenshit to let that happen anywhere near her.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: None of you morons

            Actually Trump et al has put me onto US politics. Previously I couldn't have cared less, however the more I heard trump speak the more I wondered if this was commonplace in the US.

            By Christ it frightened me.

            Trump is not a stupid man per se, he is a very intelligent businessman and a showman. But he must have some sort of belief in what he says, and that is very very worrying. I can just imagine a briefing (if he was president) where "scientists" and academics are told to simply "sort the internet" or "break the encryption now" etc and simply fires them for academic team mk2 when they try to explain why it cannot be done.

            It also worries me the amount of people who agree and believe in what he says; never mind his utterly medieval views on religion or womens rights.

            1. Naselus

              Re: None of you morons

              "Trump is not a stupid man per se, he is a very intelligent businessman and a showman."

              You know, I keep reading this and wondering why the hell people thinking having a successful business makes you intelligent. It doesn't. It most just means you work hard and take dumb risks (also, Trumps business success recodr is questionable, given the number of bankruptcies he has on his record). It's not exactly hard to make a profit, particularly not in real estate (where the market is hard-wired to give inflation-busting ROI) and when you inherit millions of dollars to begin with. I don't think Trumps a moron, but I don't really think there's any evidence that he's of above-average intelligence either.

              As to "his utterly medieval views on religion or womens rights."... actually, Trumps history in this regard is considerably more progressive than most of his rivals. He's even been pro-abortion at times, while Ted Cruz actually supports classifying fertilized eggs as people, which would reclassify the morning-after pill as murder.

              1. sisk Silver badge

                Re: None of you morons

                As to "his utterly medieval views on religion or womens rights."... actually, Trumps history in this regard is considerably more progressive than most of his rivals. He's even been pro-abortion at times

                Trump currently claims a pro-life stance (though that's probably just him telling people what he thinks they want to hear). Plus whether or not pro-choice is actually a progressive view is highly, highly debatable once you accept that there are atheist pro-lifers and give their arguments some consideration. (Seriously, google atheist pro-life some time. There are some very well reasoned and scientific reasons to oppose abortion. It's not all religious dogma.)

                As for him being more progressive than his rivals....um, no. Not just no, but hell no. Do some looking into how he treats women before you go calling him progressive. And no other candidate would dream of making some of the racist comments he's made. This is a man who has nothing remotely resembling a progressive view.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: None of you morons

                  Trouble is, no pro-life argument, theological or atheistic, can stand up too well to a single word: overpopulation, and the proof of this can be seen plain as day in the increasing amounts of resource exhaustion and the increasing numbers of people for which society can simply find no place.

                  1. sisk Silver badge

                    Re: None of you morons

                    Trouble is, no pro-life argument, theological or atheistic, can stand up too well to a single word: overpopulation, and the proof of this can be seen plain as day in the increasing amounts of resource exhaustion and the increasing numbers of people for which society can simply find no place.

                    Let's not hijack the thread with a (pointless) debate on abortion. My point was simply that Trump's former status as a pro-choice advocate does not necessarily indicate a progressive mindset. My comment was not intended to be an indication of support for either side in that particular debate. I do have an opinion on the matter, of course, but I generally try to keep it to myself since it's a topic of discussion that's much better at starting fights than anything else.

            2. sisk Silver badge

              Re: None of you morons

              the more I heard trump speak the more I wondered if this was commonplace in the US.

              Yes and no. Idiotic hyperbole has been a mainstay in American politics for as long as I've been paying attention, but Trump has taken it to a level a few orders of magnitude higher than what we've seen before.

      3. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: None of you morons

        @big john "This article is very slanted against the GOP. Anyone here that can't see it isn't looking..."

        If only it wasn't for all you meddling liberal media's this world would be ours...

        Copyright "Scooby Doo"

        1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

          Re: None of you morons

          Damn! I put an apostrophe in "Media's"! Not even sure it should be plural...Someone flog me...right now...

    5. AbeSapian

      Re: None of you morons

      I didn't.need this article to tell me that the GOP had long ago crossed the Rubicon into the land of tin hats and drooling. That was most eloquently demonstrated by the Tea Party and its almost complete takeover of right wing thinking (if thinking is the appropriate word for what's been going on in the GOP).

  5. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Well, freedom of speech does include the freedom to speak foolishly. I rather like major Winchester's pronouncement in M*A*S*H that "It is the inalienable right of each and every person to make a fool of themselves in public".

    Wise words indeed

    Such wise words were sorely lacking in the debate, it seems

    1. AbeSapian

      It is true that the 1st amendment allows you to say whatever foolishness comes into your mind. It does not, however, protect you from being ridiculed for it or from consequences that stem from your speech.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Thought that was actually Col. Potter, but it's been a long time.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hillary Clinton - the designated and blessed inheritor of the Democrat nomination if the press are to be believed - has said exactly the same things, but for some reason she never gets mentioned in articles like this. Got to make sure the proles believe this is a purely partisan matter and not a fundamental conflict between the people and the political class, after all...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Hillary is just as crazy fucked up as Trump, she just has another coiffeur and had already the occasion to utterly wreck a country while gloating on prime time TV like the Joker.

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      I do not for a moment doubt the ability of politicians of ALL parties to get things wrong, often deliberately because it suits their purposes. As stated in the Hitchhikers' Guide:

      "It is a well-known and much-lamented fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it"

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Which then implies a contrapositive: "Those most suited to lead others are the people least desiring to do so."

        Presenting a hard problem. How does society find the people best suited for the job when they are, by definition, least desiring of it and indeed may be preoccupied with other, important matters?

        1. dcluley

          Robert Heinlen wrote a science fiction story about this. My memory might be a bit astray but I think it involved choosing one person a year to act as the decision maker for the year.

          1. Yugguy

            Are you thinking of Asimov's story Franchise, where one voter is chosen by computer to be the representative voter for the whole nation?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franchise_(short_story)

        2. Code For Broke

          @Charles 9: Have you read Plato's Republic? It makes an interesting argument in its effort to answer your exact question.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            "Have you read Plato's Republic? It makes an interesting argument in its effort to answer your exact question."

            Interesting, yes, but highly unrealistic and one that assumes a knowledgeable and informed public when the opposite is true. The average American has a narrow scope of knowledge that can have a detrimental effect in a highly-interconnected society where one's decisions, made even in isolation, can affect the whole, perhaps even boomeranging back and hitting the decision maker.

        3. AbeSapian

          No it merely suggests that anyone that wants the job should be disqualified from having it.

          The unfortunate trend in America of late has been to hire people whose stated goal is to sabotage the job. They've been doing a very good job of it too.

      2. P. Lee Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        >I do not for a moment doubt the ability of politicians of ALL parties to get things wrong, often deliberately because it suits their purposes.

        UPVOTE!

        These people are not dumb, but like Ms Hilton, make a very good living out of playing dumb for the amusement of the electorate and the benefit of their sponsors.

        In this case, the message was, "America is Better than the Others" which the electorate is free to interpret to mean whatever he's in favour of whatever they want him to be in favour of.

        The average man doesn't understand why encryption can't be done with a backdoor. Why would you insult him by telling him it isn't logically possible?

        1. Naselus

          "These people are not dumb, but like Ms Hilton, make a very good living out of playing dumb for the amusement of the electorate and the benefit of their sponsors."

          Funny, I could've sworn Ms. Hilton made a very good living out of being born in to an obscenely rich family. The playing dumb for the population thing isn't how she makes a living, because there is no reason whatsoever for Paris Hilton to make a living. It's her hobby. She decided she wanted to be famous and so her father spent a lot of money and pulled a lot of strings so that she could be famous.

    3. kierenmccarthy

      Context

      I think the reason Hillary Clinton didn't merit a mention was because she wasn't on stage at the Republican debate talking about these issues.

      But let me assure you, that if she had been, and if she had said things that were equally inaccurate, she would have been included.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Context

        so where are the articles talking about brain shits among the Democratic candidates? Even in their statements inside and outside debates? Nothing coming up on my searches.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Context

          The current article's only reason for existing is to trash the GOP.

          Hey, the Democrats are the good guys!

          1. Blank Reg

            Re: Context

            Have you listened to anything these candidates have been saying? They are self trashing,

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Context

          Maybe if there was a democratic debate on another channel at the same time as the republicans, there would be equal time for pointing out bipartisan stupidity in an article like this.

          But since there was only republicans on stage last night, the democrats will have to wait their turn.

          No left-wing liberal conspiracy here, nothing to see, move along.

    4. Rick Brasche

      or, "since when was Feinstein a Conservative Republican"?

      so California's definitely liberal definitely Democrat senator Feinstein also bloviating about breaking down privacy rights over FUD:

      http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/262658-feinstein-vows-to-offer-encryption-piercing-bill

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Fucking appalling

    Low-IQ, high arrogance and generally mental.

    A fine selection of the "produce" of local politics.

    Carly Fiorina, who actually used to be a tech CEO and so should have a pretty good understanding of how technology works and the interplay with politics and law enforcement...

    The only thing that Carly knows how to do is ram a company into the ground based on nothing more than utter certainty that she has understood something about what she is supposed to do. Which isn't necessarily in agreement what the universe thinks about that matter.

    [Shutting down parts of the Internet] is something that only a government can really do and even then only if there is a reasonably stable rule of law in a country.

    Unfortnately this is hockum: You just need the rule of men, or the rule of force. And we are rapidly getting there because hell, I admire the rule of law in the rear view mirror whenever I open the newspaper...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Refresher

      Justin Raimondo on the second Republican presidential debate back in september.

      If any of those people gets voted in, just pray for Lee Harvey Oswaldstock up on holy water.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Fucking appalling

      "[Shutting down parts of the Internet] is something that only a government can really do and even then only if there is a reasonably stable rule of law in a country."

      Oh? What about a chokepoint undersea cable located in international waters? Unless they already have links that go through countries like Russia that will refuse to cooperate.

      1. Dadmin

        Re: Fucking appalling

        Then there's only microwave and satellites left! Totally cut off? I don't think so. So, let's say you can stop the undersea cables, satellite and microwave ground comms. What about dark fiber, what about bands of citizens making a mesh-net out of their consumer routing hardware? The cat's out of the bag. That cat is called TCP/IP and it's EVERYWHERE you want to be and where you don't want it to be. Nothing short of a Brute Squad FCC Enforcement Team on every corner will stop mesh-net and sneaker net.

        1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

          Re: Fucking appalling

          The only way anyone can take out the Internet at a local or regional level is by physically deleting its users.

          Considering the USA is the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons (twice) against civilians during a war, I wouldn't put it past Trump, et al, to resort to the nuclear option. Assuming they can find any nukes that still work. And assuming Trump can work out which of the buttons he needs to press.

          "Uh, it's the big, red one, with 'Make Go Boom!' printed on it, Mr. President!"

          "Excellent! Now, get me off this thing, Broussard! This hairpiece form is tiring to hold. I must splinge into my original shape for a while!"

          "Certainly, Mr. President. Would you like me to clean the spittle from your dummy too?"

          "Yes, clean the Trump up. And be more careful: you left some drool on his shirt last time."

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Fucking appalling

          "What about dark fiber, what about bands of citizens making a mesh-net out of their consumer routing hardware"

          They can talk to each other (which they can still do by telephone and in person), but that says nothing about being to talk to the outside world, which by definition needs some sort of outside link. Unless, as I requested before, they DO possess this link, and it's with an "unfriendly" state that would refuse to cooperate with the West.

          PS. Even meshnets will have a hard time getting past broadband jammers, as the Arab Spring showed. If a leader doesn't want the people to talk, they'll find ways to reduce it to such a crawl that anyone who dared would stand out, such as by simply outlawing all encryption not under state control.

      2. AbeSapian

        Re: Fucking appalling

        If I recall correctly it was either Egypt or Syria that tried this very thing during the Arab Spring uprising. In the end, it failed miserably because people used technology to bypass the shutdown routers and send their messages to countries that were still open.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Fucking appalling

          No, it succeeded. The Arab Spring was a bust. The popular uprisings fizzled out, and the governments in Egypt, Syria, et al are no better than what was there before. Sure, some information got out, but not enough to make a difference. They didn't have to squelch all communication, just enough of it. Also consider the ramifications for those people who did manage to leak. Have we ever heard from them again (implying they allowed some information to leak so as to trace them)?

  8. Sven Coenye

    Carly's comments

    "Carly Fiorina, who actually used to be a tech CEO and so should have a pretty good understanding of how technology works and the interplay with politics and law enforcement, then managed to get just about all of it completely wrong."

    That explains the state of HP then...

    1. Grikath Silver badge

      Re: Carly's comments

      It's been proven time and time again that being the CEO of a tech company has nothing to do with having any clue about any technology whatshowever. Worse, any expertise in that direction seems to be generally seen as Getting In The Way of Business..

    2. dan1980

      Re: Carly's comments

      @Sven Coenye

      Yeah - where are we getting this idea that the CEOs of tech companies actually understand technology?

      Of course some do but Carly Fiorina is not Marissa Mayer, who was an engineer who rose through the ranks*; she is a professional manager.

      And I am not suggesting that that career path makes one ill-suited to become a politician or even the president, but it certainly doesn't imply any aptitude or ever particular knowledge of the field in which the company works.

      * - Leaving aside any criticisms of her personality or management style, of course, as the relevant part is that she is highly intelligent and highly capable in her field.

      1. Sven Coenye

        Re: Carly's comments

        IMHO, any manager should at least have some understanding of what the company is peddling. If not, they are bound to misread their customers. And the higher up the disconnect happens, the costlier the mistakes will be.

        (And then of course, there is planet Microsoft. I'll take them as the exception that proves the rule ;-)

        1. graeme leggett

          Re: Carly's comments

          At the very least, a good manager should know how to get the information they need to make a decision.

          Eg finding a worker who knows it and getting them to explain it (slowly)

  9. Youngone Silver badge

    A quick guide to US politics

    I could be wrong, but after 30 years or so of watching US presidential elections I think I'm right(ish).

    1: Say whatever it takes to get the party hacks to give you the party nomination

    2: Say whatever it takes to get 51% of the voters to vote for you. (this is not that many people in the US).

    3: Do whatever your wealthy backers tell you to do.

    4: Profit!

    We're at 1: right now, so lots of weirdness.

    George II said it best: "You gotta dance with those what brung ya".

    1. AbeSapian

      Re: A quick guide to US politics

      What is most appalling is the complete disconnect in voters minds (as small as they are) between what is said in the primary and what is said in the general election. It's as though the past never happened.

  10. Barbarian At the Gates

    The GOP candidates weren't talking to you

    They were speaking directly to their base: the stupid and angry. This is the stuff the stupids want to hear, they feel bad when people use big words and make them feel their dullness. People with average intelligence or better are supposed to hear this drivel, despair, and give up on democrazy. If the GOP can get smarter people to not vote, they're on their way to taking over the thing they most want to destroy.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: The GOP candidates weren't talking to you

      I agree with what you wrote. I think that your particular form of cynicism, coming from your handle, has just won an Internet (Unfortunately, it's one of 'their' Internets, not 'our' Internet).

    2. David Pollard

      Re: The GOP candidates weren't talking to you

      If the GOP can get smarter people to not vote ...

      There's nothing they won't do to improve the standard of apathy.

  11. Roo
    Windows

    Fear and Loathing ...

    It's weird watching this circus, it's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail writ large. It really doesn't speak well for the future at large if these people can't be arsed to understand stuff they are raving about.

    The best hope the world has is that they are all sock-puppets.

    1. Hollerith 1

      Re: Fear and Loathing ...

      Trouble is: they ARE all sock puppets, except Trump. He funds himself and so answers only to himself (the very epitome of a free man?), while the others must mind their paymasters.

  12. Mr.Mischief

    Ted Cruz is being investigated for revealing classified information.

    The end bit of the article, between Rubio and Cruz is now being investigated to see if Cruz divulged classified information.

    Which pretty much means that they do have the capability to monitor everyones calls, all the time.

  13. Mage Silver badge

    but unfortunately tweets do not write laws.

    You joke I hope.

    99.99% of tweets are irrelevant (a guess).

    If Facebook and Twitter was closed the Internet would be improved.

    Media takes far too much notice of Tweets. The BBC has plumbed new depths by not only having a feature article on their website of something trending on Twitter, but having BBC R4 program promoting what ever trendy thing on Twitter they picked.

    We certainly don't want undemocratic, self selecting, minority activists using twitter to create laws.

    However the US Politician ignorance of Internet, or indeed life outside USA, or the "West" and the sense of entitlement to >70%+ resources for < 16% of population is astounding.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: but unfortunately tweets do not write laws.

      Yes. "twitter fury at...[celeb dress choice]"

      "Storm at [politician quote]" and quoting tweets

      "Internet upset at [popular drama storyline twist]"

      One of these might be a news story with genuine mass movement behind it.

  14. Bloodbeastterror

    Conservative = stupid

    http://www.livescience.com/18132-intelligence-social-conservatism-racism.html

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Conservative = stupid

      “To be conservative requires no brains whatsoever. Cabbages, cows and conifers are conservatives, and are so stupid they don't even know it.” - Colin Welch

    2. Cpt Blue Bear

      Re: Conservative = stupid

      No, I have to disagree: Conservative = frightened.

      I have yet to work out if people are frightened because they are conservative or conservative because they are frightened. Like much of life, I suspect its both.

    3. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: Conservative = stupid

      I think its more:

      Conservative: "Life is good for me, I don't want that to change"

      Liberal: "Life sucks, let's try something new to see if it works"

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Conservative = stupid

        Conservative: "Life is good for me, I don't want that to change"

        Liberal: "Life sucks, let's try telling everybody else how to live their lives so they can have a sucky life, too

        There. FTFY.

      2. Code For Broke

        Re: Conservative = stupid

        You are ascribing anger to the liberals here, and not at all to the conservatives. Yet all I hear about why Trump is succeeding is because of how angry folks are.

        And to me, anger is merely one of the forms taken by fear.

        And I believe the fear of the voter is, "what I have may be taken from me and I will receive nothing of similar value to me in return."

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Conservative = stupid

          And in contrast the position of the typical liberal is that, "Everything of value has already been taken from me by the affluent, so what's left to lose in trying to take it back?"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Conservative = stupid

            No, Charles 9, to quote you:

            And in contrast the position of the typical liberal is that, "Everything of value has already been taken from me by the affluent, so what's left to lose in trying to take it back?"

            Is not true, and this is a perfect example of the Republican stupidity/fear/bombast: making a fallacious straw man that you find easy to attack. The liberal position, which I have held for decades and you have never understood, is "I have a good life, but I observe others do not. How can I, as a citizen, work to ensure that others have a good life as well?" There, fixed it for you. Anonymous Coward for the first time posting here, because Republicans are vicious people with guns.

            1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

              Re: Conservative = stupid

              Well, I'll vote for you Mr AC, and not anonymously. Guns don't work on the internet.

            2. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Conservative = stupid

              "The liberal position, which I have held for decades and you have never understood, is "I have a good life, but I observe others do not. How can I, as a citizen, work to ensure that others have a good life as well?""

              Which makes no sense in a world of 12 islanders but only 10 coconuts. It sounds all nice on paper, but eventually the game turns zero sum and it's you or him.

  15. E 2

    He's not completely wrong

    "We're not talking about closing the Internet. I'm talking about parts of Syria, parts of Iraq, where ISIS is. Now, you could close it."

    Unplug the cables that service Iraq and Syria, and drop the routes. Many countries have done this at times to disconnect from the intertubes. Iran did it last time it had a big uprising.

    Sure, the evil doers could use dial up to AOL or sneakernet USB sticks into online pats of the world, but they'd have problems with routing via AOL, hard to do point to point IP messaging or telephony via USB stick.

    'course they'd just use POTS or fax if we did this.

    Just imagine: an ISIS cold-call fax campaign, or cold-call ISIS telemarketing.

    1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: He's not completely wrong

      Yeah, except the vast majority of ISIS's infrastructure is hosted elsewhere in the world. Shutting down the internet in the territory that they control wouldn't hurt them much, if at all. They have enough infrastructure within their territory to continue communicating within their borders. Plus the cell phone companies out there already have a pretty extensive network of microwave nodes that cell service can continue even if they are cut off from the rest of the world (Which wouldn't be that difficult to re-connect over satellite or some other system anyway).

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: He's not completely wrong

        But satellite requires a subscription which can be revoked. As for the microwave towers, they still need to be able to communicate with towers outside the borders to be able to connect to the greater Internet. It may not be so much "shut down" the Internet in those regions as "isolate" it so that those within the borders can't easily talk to those outside them.

        1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

          Re: He's not completely wrong

          ISIS has billions of dollars sitting around, I would think that there're at least a few ISPs / TelCo's that are unscrupulous enough to give them a connection. Orascom (an Egyptian company) provide cell services to the North Korean government and they happen to have fiber in Syria, I'm pretty sure that they wouldn't have any qualms about letting ISIS use their links.

          As for Satellite links, ISIS has been known to create fake non-profits and charities and I wouldn't put it past them to use one to purchase a bunch of Sat Phones and internet subscriptions.

          1. David Halko

            Re: He's not completely wrong

            @OpsGuy

            > Orascom (an Egyptian company) ... have fiber in Syria, I'm pretty sure that they wouldn't have any qualms about letting ISIS use their links.

            The Egyptian government control by the Muslim Brotherhood disappeared with the last "bloodless" revolution, to the disdain of Democratic President Obama - that Islamic State alliance dissolved.

            The Islamic State is basically "at war" with Egypt now, fighting in Sinai & elsewhere, blowing up stuff. If an Egyptian company grants access, the Egyptian Government has a self-preservation motivation to disrupt it.

            > ISIS has been known to create fake non-profits and charities and I wouldn't put it past them to use one to purchase a bunch of Sat Phones and internet subscriptions.

            Track them down, shut them down, throw people in jail, fine others, follow money payments, keep it up indefinitely. When terrorist sympathizers understand sympathizing can result in loss of homes & apartments (making housing payments for families from prison is tough) - resolution begins.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: He's not completely wrong

              "Track them down, shut them down, throw people in jail, fine others, follow money payments, keep it up indefinitely. When terrorist sympathizers understand sympathizing can result in loss of homes & apartments (making housing payments for families from prison is tough) - resolution begins."

              Tracking gets blocked because it goes through a covert charity protecting dissenters in China or Russia. It's a legitimate cause yet they have damn good reason to keep things secret, plus its going through a country on competitive terms with the West so they're not exactly going to open the doors. Triple whammy. Organized criminal and terrorist organizations are well-versed in weaving money trails that law enforcement have a hard time following. Now how do you follow the money trail?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >Carly Fiorina, who actually used to be a tech CEO and so should have a pretty good understanding of how technology works and the interplay with politics and law enforcement,

    That isn't remotely true. Carly Fiorina took an MBA ("a programme for inducing sociopathy in susceptible persons"), and used it for its intended purpose--she crawled to the top of the most convenient hierarchy without ever managing to notice that it was a tech company. Leaving it in shambles by the simple expedient of "removing cost centers" (i.e. people who generated technology that might have even been sold for a profit), she bought her yacht and leaped at the next most convenient hierarchy (a political one.)

    The chances of her being able to recognize technology, let alone understand it, are negligable.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lawful Interception is coming in 3GPP

    TS33.107 et alii.

  18. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    These smartest people he wants to use. How does he define smartest? If he means smarter than himself he's setting the bar fairly low.

  19. Someone Else Silver badge
    Pint

    From the headline:

    The presidential debate did not score highly on accuracy or sense.

    Kieran, that's the "Duh!" of the week.

    A pint, because I finished several of them playing the requisite drinking games during the "spectacle". (It's now several Motrin later, and I'm doing OK....)

  20. Pompous Git Silver badge

    bloviating ego-maniacs shouting over one another and talking without thinking or even understanding the basics of what they were discussing.

    Much like the politicians we have in Australia then...

    1. annodomini2

      Or any career politician in the rest of the world.

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Looks like Rand Paul made the smartest observation

    "Rubio says we should collect all Americans' records all of the time. The Constitution says otherwise. I think they're both wrong. I think we defeat terrorism by showing them that we do not fear them."

    The American Constitution.

    You remember?

    That piece of paper that all those suckers signed.

    1. Notas Badoff
      Facepalm

      Re: Looks like Rand Paul made the smartest observation

      The most revealing (to me) part of this election cycle was a poll of Iowa Republican voters, where one half of those said that Islam should be illegal in the US. That these 'citizens' have forgotten what the first amendment mentions as basic freedoms somehow didn't surprise but does appall. The US has a native-born fifth column. And they ain't *any* of those people the GOP candidates are warning about.

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Looks like Rand Paul made the smartest observation

      The American Constitution.

      You remember?

      That piece of paper that all those suckers signed.

      The one that starts on page 136 of my 1956 edition of Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary? I often find myself wondering what the USA would be like if it had not abandoned that document...

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Looks like Rand Paul made the smartest observation

        Many reckon it wouldn't exist as evil would take advantage of the Constitution's guarantees of freedom to destroy it. It's either Big Brother or Big BOOM.

  22. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Flame

    Complaint

    I think the Reg article did a pretty thorough job of covering the ignorance of those that would be candidates. My only complaint would be the huge picture of the Donald's face. For f*cks sake, I'd just eaten dinner when I saw it. Now I feel queasy and may have lost some IQ points from staring at it head on.

  23. Steven Roper

    Dear Mother Nature

    A VEI 8+ level super-eruption at the Yellowstone caldera sometime in the next 11 months would do the world a huge favour if you could manage it, thanks.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Donald Trump's loud demagoguery somehow reminds me of the Great Muppet Capper, specifically the "cycling though Central Park" scene where Kermit is showing off for Mss Piggy when they go past Staedler and Waldorf on a bench who comment. "Look Ma, No Brains".

    Can someone pelase riid us of this Dumb Blond of USA politics?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Sorry, but they're part and parcel. The only way to remove the dumb blonde is to remove humanity, full stop.

  25. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Bring on James Kipper for President of the United States

    Even though imaginary, he's still smarter than these escaped inmates.

    1. Gordon 8

      Re: Bring on James Kipper for President of the United States

      We have already had Douglas Adams insightful comment on politicians.....

      Why not

      Zaphod Beeblebrox for President?

      I mean the broadcasts might be just as funny (scary) as the debates

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Bring on James Kipper for President of the United States

        Uh, one little detail. Only people born in the United States (more or less) can run for President. And that's right in Article II, so the requirement can't be removed easily.

  26. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    I'm at a complete loss, do I laugh or cry?

    I appreciate that some people are not technically minded. I myself do not know that much about the legal profession or accounting but the difference is that I wouldn't get up in front of thousands of people, who are pinning their futures on my abilities to help them, and start spouting off an absolute load of utter tosh about which I know sweet FA!

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "I wouldn't get up in front of thousands of people,..and start spouting... utter tosh

      But that is in fact an essential "skill" for being a US presidential candidate in the 21st century.

      Sadly.

  27. Matthew Taylor

    Hahaha these mega powerful people are such idiots! They don't understand ANYTHING! hahaHA!. Brain diarrhoea, you can't shut down the internet, it routes around censorship etc.

    Really? You don't think President Trump, or someone like him could deny internet access to some undesirable country? President Trump wouldn't have to know how some international routing protocol works. He would just get the people who DO know, and the owners / controllers of these gateways together in a room, and explain what's going to happen. Granted there will be plenty of things out of their control, but this is the US, there's a LOT of stuff they can do.

    1. AbeSapian

      George W. Bush- 2007. Need I say more about the damage these people can do?

  28. Richard Boyce
    Facepalm

    Idiocracy

    Seeing these politicians so out of their technology depth reminds me of a film called Idiocracy where two ordinary people hibernate for 500 years and then find themselves the smartest people alive. One ends up as president.

  29. Yugguy

    Technically could they?

    Disregarding the should they, I guess a country could isolate itself by controlling or cutting its core incoming routers?

    Isnt this what NK and China more or less do?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good to see Microsoft doing their bit for freedom...

    The enforced and repeated Windows 10 downloads and following 'telemetry' bulk uploads inflicted on the world are surely using up all the bytes the bad guys would've used for terror. Bravo Microsoft!

  31. AndrewDu

    "Carly Fiorina, who actually used to be a tech CEO and so should have a pretty good understanding of how technology works"

    No, that does not follow.

    The words "CEO" and "understand technology" should never appear in the same sentence.

  32. John Robson Silver badge

    Can't we get an advisor to say...

    "If only we could get Pi to be 4, then we could break this stuff"

    And see them battle over that...

  33. Laura Kerr
    Facepalm

    A series of tubes

    Yon Stevens might have had a guid point. The presidential candidates look like an awfy big series of tubes to me.

  34. Steve I

    Idiot. What he meant was...

    not shut down parts of the Internet, but to shut down people speaking Arabic! and other Muslim (sic) languages. After, the US probably invented them, right? The US should be able to stop people using them.

  35. Alfred

    Why the obsession with trashing the other team's candidates?

    What do people think this is? Some kind of political website dedicated to being balanced and fair? It's not. The Reg has no requirement to trash politicians in equal handfuls. Some stupid and ignorant people said stupid and ignorant things about technology and the Reg wrote about it.

    Why the fuck should the Reg feel any kind of need to then go and trash some other politicians from another political party? What makes the whingers here think that the Reg has that obligation?

    1. RJChurchill

      Re: Why the obsession with trashing the other team's candidates?

      "Really? You don't think President Trump, or someone like him could deny internet access to some undesirable country?"

      No, I don't think the Donald as president could prevent a country from using the internet. TCP/IP was designed to survive a nuclear attack the destroys most of the world and still be able to get packets from point 'A; to 'B; assuming both A and B are not radioactive craters.

      You would have to cut every single wire and jam every frequency along the border. All it would take is one ham operator on either side of the Trump digital wall. They can't stop all the oil tankers crossing the border in Syria to Iraq and Turkey. If you can't stop a transport truck you can't stop packets.

  36. nilfs2
    Paris Hilton

    Don't blame the bad politicians

    Blame the stupid people voting for them, most 'mericans know more about Kim Kardashian's life than they know about politics, they get what they deserve, the problem is that other countries get directly affected by who's in charge in the White House without the right of voting or giving an opinion, since most of the world's economy is dollar based.

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