The FBI, in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, has gone to court and gotten a judge to order Apple to write software to decrypt the iPhones the two terrorists used. The FBI has been unable to decrypt them on their own.
Apple has refused to comply.
After reading much of the back and forth between government and Apple, I’m with Apple. As the Electronic Freedom Frontier said:
The government is asking Apple to create a master key so that it can open a single phone,” it said Tuesday evening. “And once that master key is created, we’re certain that our government will ask for it again and again, for other phones, and turn this power against any software or device that has the audacity to offer strong security.”
It’s about violating your privacy by being ordered to hand the government the key with implied permission to use it. Think Pandora’s Box. Forget security, you may as well not encrypt a phone if a master key is available out there. We’d love to believe the government when it says it will only use that software once, but anyone with a modicum of intelligence (and experience with governments) knows how likely that is. And, well, we also know how well our government does cyber security, don’t we Ms. Clinton?
Er, anyway – the government is using a 18th century law, the All Writs Act, to claim that it can demand such software from Apple.
The law lets judges “issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.”
A little word salad that has the government claiming it has every right to make this demand do just about anything it chooses (if it can get a judge to say so).
Marc J. Zwillinger, a lawyer for Apple, wrote in a letter for a related case in October that the All Writs Act could not be interpreted to “force a company to take possession of a device outside of its possession or control and perform services on that device, particularly where the company does not perform such services as part of its business and there may be alternative means of obtaining the requested information available to the government.”
The government says it does not have those alternative means.
Mr. Cook’s statement called the government’s demands “chilling.”
“If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.”
This is another indicator of how corrosive the “War on Terror” has been to our liberties. It’s like slow drip acid, with every drop another assault on what we once took for granted as protections against an invasive government. And our government has been more and more invasive as concerns our privacy since this “war” began.
Sometimes, looking at what the government attempts to do in the name of security, you’d think the terrorists had won, wouldn’t you?
It would have been nice if the Democrats could have at least let the body get cool before making political demands and unleashing the usual hate, but then that is the state of politics in this country.
Frankly, I mourn Antonin Scalia as one of the few important bastions against the “living Constitution”, defined constantly on the fly as whatever the left wants it to be. Lately it’s been all about granting liberties willy nilly (which, the smart person would realize, would mean they can “ungrant” them as well as those that you thought were inalienable, such as your 2nd Amendment right). That was one of Scalia’s greatest fears and why he stood athwart the path that led to that.
And, of course the hate – the woman who tweeted that she hoped, as he’s always want to do, that Clarence Thomas followed Scalia’s example this time.
And the politics – the conveniently amnesiac Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer demanding that the GOP accept and approve the Obama nominee immediately – whoever that might be. And don’t pay any attention to what they’ve said or done in the past, it is the duty of the GOP to play their game.
Of course, if the GOP has any desire to remain a mainstream party, they better grow a brain, spine and develop some guts and follow Nancy Regan’s advice – “just say no”. Obama’s had 8 years to work his tragic magic on this country, we don’t need to be giving him a lifetime appointment to continue the work.
Finally, the possible silver lining – do Trump supporters really want him naming a SCOTUS justice? Or Hillary, if Trump in the GOP nominee?
Yes, yes, I know, I’m making some assumptions. Assumption A) Noko was actually able to launch a “satellite”. Assumption B) they’ve actually built a real nuclear device that works and downsized it enough to be launched. And assumption C) they’d do what I think they would do for no other reason than they can. See the link below:
And what is our military being directed to do? Well they’ve been directed to integrate women into combat jobs and prioritize “climate change” in all of our military operations. Or said another way, its about ideology over national security.
EMP is a real threat, a cheap and easy way for those with low yield nuclear weapons to have a huge and potentially devastating effect on a large and more dangerous enemy. But, instead of concentrating on real threats, we’re involved in potentially capability degrading social engineering and ideological masturbation.
Do I think the potential number of 300 million dead in the US is probable (as outlined in the clip)? No. I don’t. We have neighbors and allies (unless they too are all hit with the same sort of attack, which would be unlikely). But it would likely cost us millions of lives. There’s no question the effect would be pretty devastating on the national infrastructure – something no one in government has addressed adequately. In fact, preparation for EMP attacks is nonexistent. And, in the case of such an attack, as a side effect, you can expect the bad actors in the world to take advantage of the attack to advance their agendas as well.
Will NoKo do it? Under the right circumstances (that means should it ever enter the whack-a-do leader’s head), yes. Do I think it will happen? Well it depends on assumptions A and B. And the “experts” seem to think that they at least haven’t been able to do B. I don’t disagree.
But NoKo isn’t the only rogue nation out there trying to develop this sort of capability. The article above talks about “delivery” of nuclear weapons in a conventional sense, i.e. ground to ground. And it claims NoKo has a long way to go to do that. But, as I’m suggesting, do they really need to do that if they can set up the EMP attack? Same with Iran?
Of course, should NoKo and/or Iran screw up such an attack, I’m sure they’re aware that they’d cease to exist as a functioning state as the retaliation from a real nuclear capable nation would be devastating. And our biggest deterrent (besides the overwhelming ability to strike them) may be the fact that they are unsure of the effect or reliability of their technology.
That doesn’t change the fact that we’ve done nothing to prepare for a threat that a nations like NoKo or Iran (or any other nuclear capable nation) are building. I’ve heard it discussed as a serious problem for decades and we’ve still done nothing about it. If this crew in charge right now want to actually do something to benefit national security, they ought to knock off the social engineering and ideological nonsense and prepare the military and the nation’s infrastructure to resist an EMP attack.
That would actually be useful.
Sometimes you see a quote that just infuriates you, because it is so wrong. It is wrong in substance, because this is not what our Founders believed at all. And it is wrong in context, an implication that what you pay in taxes is due because you are renting something the government or others own. Anyway, Kevin Williamson does a bang up job of making the point based off of this one liner from Hillary:
Terry Shumaker, former U.S. ambassador to Trinidad (I wonder what that gig cost him) and current abject minion in the service of Mrs. Clinton, quotes Herself telling an audience in New Hampshire: “Service is the rent we pay for living in this great country.”
You do not owe service to this country … at all. This is the “Elizabeth Warren” school of lefty politics. Living in this country and working our rear ends off to produce wealth is what makes this great. The country is a creation of those who have done and are doing that now. Government is the parasitic institution that likes to claim credit for what it has “done” when it doesn’t have nor has ever had the assets to do what it claims. Government too is a creation of those living in the country and not the other way around.
Williamson likens what Clinton said to a very old age which I thought we’d gotten past:
There is a very old English word for people who are required to perform service as a rent for their existence, and that word is serf. Serfdom is a form of bondage.
Americans are not serfs. We are not sharecroppers on Herself’s farm or in vassalage to that smear of thieving nincompoopery in Washington that purports to rule us.
We don’t owe you any damned rent.
Nope. And, in fact, the government and politicians “serve” at our sufferance. But that sort of thinking, the thinking Clinton espoused in her quote, is why so many people refer to the “Democrat plantation”. Because frankly, that’s precisely how the elite of that party view the citizens of this country … share croppers and plantation workers. And we all know what the bulk of plantation workers were.
And make no mistake, the Clintons and even the Sanders of this world see themselves as members of the elite. The plantation owners. The Queen in her medieval castle who, unfortunately, must sally out every few years and be around the serfs long enough to garner the minimum support necessary to keep herself (themselves) in power.
The Nanny State is simply another name for the plantation or that feudal plot. The serfs get the minimum shared equally while they “serve” to “earn” it. Meanwhile the Queen and her court get whatever they want, to include umpteen million in speaking fees, ignoring laws that would put anyone else under the jail and pretending that the law is important to them, when, in fact, they see it as nothing to concern themselves with.
When they obviously break the law, meh. When a serf does, the Red Queen yells, “off with his head”.
Back to the quote though. That quote says so much about why we’re in the shape we’re in now. And it reflects an attitude that bodes even more travail. Someone who actually believes that should be kept as far away from the Oval Office as is possible.
I suggest a max security jail somewhere in Colorado. Or reopen Alcatraz. Let the Queen rule there.
At the end of a get out the vote campaign event in New Hampshire on Wednesday, […] was asked about […] plans for protecting cyber security.
“It is one of the most important challenges the next president is going to face,” […] said.
[…] said that the technology offenses conducted by hostile states have become more advanced. […] named Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea as countries that are just going to accelerate their attacks on the cyber infrastructure of the United States.
“We first have to figure how to create what would be an understanding with these nations that we will not tolerate their cyber theft and their cyber evasiveness, and we certainly would never ever sit still for a cyber attack,” […] said.
No. Instead we’ll just put secret material on a private server located in a bathroom somewhere and you can just help yourself.
And yes, it was Hillary Clinton, the irony impaired candidate.
The AP reported that during Clinton’s time at the State Department that it was one of the worst agencies in the federal government at protecting its computer networks. The deteriorating situation continued well into when John Kerry took over.
Actually, we have a few QOTD and most come from Dr. John Cristy who recently gave testimony in a Congressional hearing to detail why satellite-derived temperatures are much more reliable indicators of warming than surface thermometers. You can read his full testimony here.
The quote I’m referring too, however, goes to the heart of this matter like no other. It gets to the reason so many who are skeptical continue to doubt the validity of the alarmist’s theory.
“It is a bold strategy in my view to actively promote the output of theoretical climate models while attacking the multiple lines of evidence from observations,” Christy wrote. “Note that none of the observational datasets are perfect and continued scrutiny is healthy, but when multiple, independent groups generate the datasets and then when the results for two completely independent systems (balloons and satellites) agree closely with each other and disagree with the model output, one is left scratching one’s head at the decision to launch an offensive against the data.”
Even more to the point was this:
“Following the scientific method of testing claims against data, we would conclude that the models do not accurately represent at least some of the important processes that impact the climate because they were unable to “predict” what has already occurred. In other words, these models failed at the simple test of telling us “what” has already happened, and thus would not be in a position to give us a confident answer to “what” may happen in the future and “why.” As such, they would be of highly questionable value in determining policy that should depend on a very confident understanding of how the climate system works.”
“Highly questionable value” is an understatement.
The predictions, as they’ve proven themselves, are useless for determining policy. They. Are. Wrong! Christy has a number of other charts available at the “full testimony” link, which point out how wildly wrong the climate models are. They’re not even close. Meanwhile, the scientists who have based their science in data vs. obviously incorrect models are the one’s that are the one’s under fire, with alarmists going so far as to call for their jailing for disagreeing with them.
Bottom line, it all comes down to the Richard P. Feynman quote that’s been flying around the net lately – “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” And, as we’ve pointed out, the observable data simply doesn’t support the theory.
Not that it will stop particular ideologically driven politicians from doing what they want to do in this regard:
A few weeks ago, a group of 13 prominent environmental law professors and attorneys released a 91-page report outlining this new approach, which would allow EPA to use existing laws to quickly and efficiently regulate all pollution sources, in all states — not just power plants and cars. The experts concluded, “It could provide one of the most effective and efficient means to address climate change pollution in the United States.”
Or, put another way, one of the largest power grabs in US history and certainly nothing beyond the man in the White House.
But, you know, damn the facts, full ideological speed ahead for him. It’s never been about science with him, it’s always been about ideology and power.
Anyone who has ever worked in or around classified material understands how draconian the rules concerning their use are. If revealed to unfriendly eyes, it could mean lives. Namely the lives of sources or their handlers. And, not only that, it would likely give those who oppose us a look at the means and methods by which we gather intelligence.
Hillary Clinton threw that all out the window when she made a decision, at the beginning of her term as Secretary of State, to use a private server located in a bathroom somewhere outside the government’s secure nets. There was no gradual migration to that server for “convenience” (something she first tried to claim), but instead a very deliberate act and decision to circumvent the restrictions she’d face within such a government net. Oh, and to be able to dodge accountability.
So then she dropped back to another excuse. No classified material was ever sent to that server. When that one blew up, the next excuse was that no material “marked” classified was ever sent.
Here’s the thing, however. Unless you’re a complete idiot, you know what does or doesn’t fall within the realm of classified … especially if you’re the Secretary of State. And its not like this was all new to her. She’d served as a US Senator and been privy to classified material before and was certainly briefed on how to handle it. One can’t imagine, given the stringent rules surrounding the handling of classified material, that she didn’t receive additional briefings when she took State.
She chose to ignore them all.
And her latest excuse? Well, Chris Cillizza pretty much declares it dead:
That defense hit a major snag on Friday when the State Department announced that it, too, had found “top secret” information on Clinton’s server — 22 emails across seven separate emails chains. The information, the State Department said, was so secret that those emails would never be released to the public.
The Clintonian response? Well, it’s classic, you have to say that:
The Clinton team quickly pivoted. “After a process that has been dominated by bureaucratic infighting that has too often played out in public view, the loudest and leakiest participants in this interagency dispute have now prevailed in blocking any release of these emails,” said campaign spokesman Brian Fallon.
Calling for the release of the allegedly top secret emails is a smart gambit by the Clinton folks since it makes them look as if they have nothing to hide while being protected by the near-certainty that the State Department won’t simply change its mind on the release because the Clinton team asked them to.
That’s right, ask for the emails to be released and when they’re not, for obvious reasons, claim someone (VRWC) is trying to smear you.
But what were in those emails? John Schindler says it’s pretty volatile stuff … something anyone would know, markings or not, was very highly classified:
Discussions with Intelligence Community officials have revealed that Ms. Clinton’s “unclassified” emails included Holy Grail items of American espionage such as the true names of Central Intelligence Agency intelligence officers serving overseas under cover. Worse, some of those exposed are serving under non-official cover. NOCs (see this for an explanation of their important role in espionage) are the pointy end of the CIA spear and they are always at risk of exposure – which is what Ms. Clinton’s emails have done.
Not only have these spies had their lives put in serious risk by this, it’s a clear violation of Federal law. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, enacted due to the murder of the CIA’s station chief in Athens after his cover was blown by the left-wing media, makes it a Federal crime to divulge the true identity of any covert operative serving U.S. intelligence if that person has not previous been publicly acknowledged to be working for our spy agencies.
You probably recall Valerie Plame was a NOC and the stink her supposed exposure brought. The media was all over that … but this? Yeah, they’ve mostly been forced to report on it, but not very enthusiastically.
If this is the case, Ms. Clinton has committed a very serious breach of security that is and should be punishable by conviction and jail time.
The problem, as has been stated recently, is she’s a powerful politician … not one of the little people. And we’re becoming more and more acquainted with how the “law” works now for the powerful among us, aren’t we?
Explaining the Trump phenomenon – I think this is pretty close:
“American presidential elections usually amount to a series of overcorrections: Clinton begat Bush, who produced Obama, whose lax border policies fueled the rise of Trump. In the case of Trump, though, the GOP shares the blame, and not just because his fellow Republicans misdirected their ad buys or waited so long to criticize him. Trump is in part a reaction to the intellectual corruption of the Republican Party. That ought to be obvious to his critics, yet somehow it isn’t.”
The GOP more than shares the blame, they are the direct reason a person like Trump has traction. Gutless, spineless and afraid to do what they were elected to do election after election has finally turned on them. They’ve been warned for a while. The rise of the Teaparty should have given them a clue, but it was business as usual for establishment GOP types. This last Congressional election and their ineffectiveness while in the majority appears to have been the last straw. Trump is their creation, and they still don’t understand why.
Speaking of Bernie and why his socialism is attractive to so many, I think this is pretty close as well:
“In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.”
We’ve actually seen “the long run” in the late and unlamented Soviet Union. We have examples with us today via North Korea where famine and poverty stalk the population constantly, Cuba, where they live in the ’50s and work for $20 a month and Venezuela, where it failed utterly and the population is now trying to dig out from under the ruin. But Bernie supporters, apparently, think his version will work.
In the “thank the good Lord” department, this:
President Obama is not interested in sitting on the Supreme Court once he leaves office, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday.
If you think he’s been a disaster as a president, imagine the damage he could do on the Supreme Court.
Interesting. When given a choice:
The number of dues-paying workers within the state’s labor groups has fallen steadily since GOP Gov. Scott Walker signed his signature legislation, 2011’s Act 10, which repealed most collective bargaining for most public workers. But new federal statistics show that trend intensified in 2015 after Walker and GOP lawmakers followed up on Act 10 by approving so-called right-to-work legislation last spring….
In 2015, 8.3% of Wisconsin workers, or 223,000 in all, were members of unions. That was down sharply from the 306,000 people, or 11.7% of the state’s workforce, who belonged to unions in 2014….
Labor unions are another thing the left isn’t “pro-choice” about.
ICYMI, Al Gore’s apocalyptic predictions expired recently. Yup, Manhattan isn’t submerged in water (unless you want to count the latest footage in frozen precipitation) as he had predicted 10 years ago. David French does a riff on the doomsayers:
Gore’s prediction fits right in with the rest of his comrades in the wild-eyed environmentalist movement. There’s a veritable online cottage industry cataloguing hysterical, failed predictions of environmentalist catastrophe. Over at the American Enterprise Institute, Mark Perry keeps his list of “18 spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions” made around the original Earth Day in 1970. Robert Tracinski at The Federalist has a nice list of “Seven big failed environmentalist predictions.” The Daily Caller’s “25 years of predicting the global warming ‘tipping point’” makes for amusing reading, including one declaration that we had mere “hours to act” to “avert a slow-motion tsunami.”
Indeed. But the fact of the epic failure of their predictions, they will simply reinvent themselves as they always have. Here’s French’s chaser:
Can we ignore them yet? Apparently not. Being a climate hysteric means never having to say you’re sorry. Simply change the cataclysm — Overpopulation! No, global cooling! No, global warming! No, climate change! — push the apocalypse back just a few more years, and you’re in business, big business.
Dead on. Anyone remember who was one of the first investors in the carbon trading scam?
It appears that deploying other Clintons just isn’t quite working out as Hillary hoped. Bill has been playing to small rooms and Chelsea, well, let’s just say she hasn’t much drawing power, or so it appears:
Chelsea Clinton hosted her highly-hyped Soul Cycle fundraiser for her mother in New York City on Wednesday afternoon.
The $2,700-a-head event, which offered just 60 seats at the popular cycling studio’s Tribeca location and promised guests a photo with Chelsea, was expected to sell out quick while raising some easy money for the Hillary Clinton campaign but was ultimately a flop.
Apparently they fire sold some of the seats at $50 each at the end to fill more and ended up with less than half the bikes filled. This should have been a slam dunk in NYC if Hillary has the pull most think she does in the city. Or else it’s Chelsea. Or both …
The Trumpless debate? Apparently about the same viewership as the previous debate with Trump included. Make what you will of that, but regardless, Trump gave his opponents an open field last night and, at least as I view it, came off as a petty, spoiled brat throwing a tantrum. Like I said, my view.
Have a great weekend!
Don’t expect this sort of treatment should Queen Hillary ever get the nomination. Expect every one of the GOP candidates to be treated like this if they’re even somewhat viable. The Washington Post takes Bernie to the whipping post:
Mr. Sanders’s story continues with fantastical claims about how he would make the European social model work in the United States. He admits that he would have to raise taxes on the middle class in order to pay for his universal, Medicare-for-all health-care plan, and he promises massive savings on health-care costs that would translate into generous benefits for ordinary people, putting them well ahead, on net. But he does not adequately explain where those massive savings would come from. Getting rid of corporate advertising and overhead would only yield so much. Savings would also have to come from slashing payments to doctors and hospitals and denying benefits that people want.
He would be a braver truth-teller if he explained how he would go about rationing health care like European countries do. His program would be more grounded in reality if he addressed the fact of chronic slow growth in Europe and explained how he would update the 20th-century model of social democracy to accomplish its goals more efficiently. Instead, he promises large benefits and few drawbacks.
And that’s just a sample. They pretty much trash the low information, economically illiterate’s dream candidate. Bernie’s the “free stuff” guy, yet even he has to admit that someone has to pay for his “free stuff”. Of course those who support him stop listening right after “free”.
But that’s really not the point. Hillary is sinking in the polls. The presumptive favorite is in a tight race in the first two primary states. Bernie, despite the fact that he’s clueless, is almost even with the chosen one of the big time Washington media establishment. You know, the one’s with Democrats with bylines? Way to close for comfort. And Clinton isn’t helping. In fact, it seems she’s beginning to crack a little bit. Additionally, she’s wearing thin with the voters who are just as tired of the circus she was a ringmaster in as they are of the Bush dynasty. And all these reminders of her past residence in the big house is beginning to make inroads and erode her support. Then there’s that email thingie.
So up steps the editorial board of the WaPo to take a few well aimed pot shots at her closest competitor. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily disagree with anything they say about Bernie. I just question the timing and intent.
That said, I loved this chaser they included near the end:
Mr. Sanders tops off his narrative with a deus ex machina: He assures Democrats concerned about the political obstacles in the way of his agenda that he will lead a “political revolution” that will help him clear the capital of corruption and influence-peddling. This self-regarding analysis implies a national consensus favoring his agenda when there is none and ignores the many legitimate checks and balances in the political system that he cannot wish away.
You can’t make this stuff up and it again points out something that I’ve wondered about for some time …. do these publications actually have editors?
Again, it’s the Atlantic. The writer is David Graham. His problem? Well, you see, various corporations are providing the citizens of Flint, MI … you know, the town where the government managed to make the drinking water undrinkable … free water.
That these firms are stepping up to deliver water is good news for Flint’s schools and citizens in the immediate term. But a one-time infusion of gallons of fresh water doesn’t do much to address the systemic failures of government that led to the water crisis in the first place. By making four for-profit corporations into a de facto public utility, the gift might actually risk making things worse in the long run.
Ye gods. I must be missing something Mr. Graham. Why is this bad again?
Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Pepsi aren’t just charitable organizations that might have their own ideologies. They’re for-profit companies. And by providing water to the public schools for the remainder of the year, the four companies have effectively supplanted the local water authorities and made themselves an indispensable public utility, but without any amount of public regulation or local accountability. Many people in Flint may want government to work better, but with sufficient donations, they may find that the private sector has supplanted many of government’s functions altogether.
So, wait, they fill in where government has utterly failed and you’re worried that the citizens may say, “wow, these guys are better than government” or something? Well, if they’re providing water to schools for the remainder of the year they already are, aren’t they? So, again, what’s the problem sir?
Oh, I bet I know … privatization. Don’t want any privatization now, do we? Lord help us if the citizens of Flint should find out that nasty “for profit corporations” might be able to deliver a basic commodity like water better than government, huh? And especially if they can do it cheaper as well!
Let’s remind Mr. Graham of something he wrote prefacing the whole “OMG, for profit corporations might be seen in a positive light” nonsense:
The Flint water crisis is above all a human tragedy: The effects of lead exposure on development can be lifelong and irreversible. But it is also a fundamental failure of government. At all levels, government failed to protect citizens.
Not only did it fail to protect its citizens, it failed spectacularly in the delivery of a very basic “every-city-does-it” sort of duty – potable water. Government has always claimed that only it can reliably deliver such a commodity safely.
Yeah, well Flint disagrees. And it should be clear to Mr. Graham that despite “public regulation” and “local accountability”, that government failure occurred.
Now what, sir?! Any bets on who will be held accountable? In government, I mean.
Yeah, me neither.