Edward Snowden

Forget Obama at SxSW, Listen to Edward Snowden on Encryption

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President Barack Obama ventured to Austin, Texas on Friday to deliver the opening keynote for the SxSW conference where he asked the tech industry to help solve Washington's problems. Yet when it came to the hottest debate in tech—the battle between Apple and the FBI— the President declined to comment specifically on the case. 

As USA Today reports:

"On the broader issue of privacy rights, Obama, who trained as a constitutional lawyer, said he tended to lean more on protecting civil liberties but said U.S. citizens need to be prepared to make concessions on their privacy for the sake of security, the way they endure airport screenings or DUI checkpoints.  'This notion that somehow data is different and can be walled off from those other trade-offs we make, I believe, is incorrect,' he said." 

If you need a palate cleanser after reading that, I suggest you watch Nick Gillespie's interview with Edward Snowden at the Free State Project's Liberty Forum in New Hampshire. In the wide-ranging talk, Snowden address the Apple case and talks about the NSA and how government can win back the trust of the American people. 

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  1. …Obama, who trained as a constitutional lawyer, said he tended to lean more on protecting civil liberties…

    Still? After seven years there are still obamabots in the press?

    1. Nothing but.

    2. Why wasn’t he immediately hooted off the stage? I assume only the truly devoted would actually listen to such drivel in the first place.

  2. Dear Mr. Constitutional Scholar,

    We have made the trade off you request. It is called the 4th amendment and it sets out a simple procedure for violating someone’s privacy. All you have to do is show an independent magistrate probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, that the person who’s effects you wish to search is involved, and that there is reason to believe the specific place or item to be searched will yield evidence.

    What it does not do is allow warrantless searches, general warrants, or in the immediate present case you to compel a company to destroy its reputation and its customers security for your convenience.

    I hope this helps.

    1. Oh come on — this is the president who has assumed unilateral power for extrajudicial murder on nothing more than his own say so.
      He can’t even see the constitution in his rear view mirror.

    2. “All you have to do is show an independent magistrate probable cause to believe a crime has been committed say national security is at risk.

      FIFY

      1. Are you sure they even say that in FISA hearings? We have hearings where the time, place, judge, and anything said or submitted is so secret that discussing it will get you a trip to an offshore detention facility. Freedom isn’t free. It costs freedom apparently

    3. He’s a Constitution scholar, not a Bill of Rights scholar. He only studied the original text, not the amendments.

      1. I don’t even think he studied that. The profs that worked with him said he only taught one course and it wasn’t in constitutional law, it was some kind of race studies/ grievance studies bullshit. I would be very surprised if the POS ever gave the constitution more than a glance over. The only time I remember him giving any kind of critique of the document was when he expounded on the 3/5ths canard, parroting the completely incorrect position that it proved the founders were racist. That is the depth of understanding he has of our constitution.

    4. ‘This notion that somehow data is different and can be walled off from those other trade-offs we make, I believe, is incorrect,’ he said.”

      George Orwell to the white courtesy phone, please.

      Some of us insist that data is no different, it’s covered under the “persons, houses, papers, and effects” just the same as everything else. It’s you who’s insisting that data is different, it’s you who’s insisting there’s this third-party exemption that means once I share a secret with someone else it’s now public information.

      1. It’s not even anything like sharing a secret if it’s encrypted data. A better analogy would be a safe deposit box at a bank. I’d assume that those are protected against search the same as your home or personal effects.

        1. The safe deposit box is the property of the bank, not the renter. The bank’s 4th amendment rights are at issue, not yours. Hopefully the rental contract you signed specifies that they agree to never grant access without a warrant, but if they violate that clause it only gives you the right to sue for breach of contract, not to suppress evidence.

      2. Data at rest is definitely a high tech analogue of “papers”, but data in motion is not so clear. There is precedent for extending “papers” to include letters in physical mail.

  3. Businesses are not going to want encryption that can be cracked. Trade secrets and all that.

  4. “On the broader issue of privacy rights, Obama, who trained as a constitutional lawyer, said he tended to lean more on protecting civil liberties but said U.S. citizens need to be prepared to make concessions on their privacy for the sake of security, the way they endure airport screenings or DUI checkpoints.”

    That is just astounding.

    A. Obama did not train as a constitutional scholar. He knows jack-shit about our constitution aside from knowing that he hates it.

    B. Mr. Obama has consistently leaned hard away from protecting civil liberties since his college days.

    C. Trade offs between civil liberties and security do not work. This is a truism as old as our nation. Common knowledge.

    D. I make no such concessions.

    Mr. Jervis appears to be the epitome of an Obamabot spinning tyranny into a love for liberty. Fuck that little cocksucker with a rusty chainsaw.

    1. I immediately thought of the movie ‘Land of the Blind’ and Thorne’s speech about freedom to the people after he achieves power. I looked for a clip of that speech but can’t find it.

      If you are not familiar with the movie you should see it. It is an examination of how when tyrants are overthrown it is often by someone worse. I found this interesting in a review – “The film sparked intense reaction during its festival run, attacked by both left and right, each of which saw the film as a critique of its position.”

      Maybe that is because it is.

      1. 17% at Rotten Tomatoes. Is that a conspiracy?

          1. 35 min. in, I still don’t know whether it’s supposed to be satire or parody. It’s pretty bad for satire, but may be passable as parody. Don’t know if I have the patience now.

  5. U.S. citizens need to be prepared to make concessions on their privacy for the sake of security

    Just as with the “reasonable common-sense gun safety laws” the baseline always moves to whatever position we’re in now and the goalposts get moved to stay the same distance away. We need to “be prepared to make concessions” because we haven’t made any concessions whatsoever so far. Whatever concessions may have been made were made in the past and we’re not talking about what may or may not have happened in the past, we’re talking about the future, you bitter clingers.

    1. It’s also funny that he gives two examples of privacy trade-offs (airport security and DUI checkpoints) that are completely ineffective for the security purposes they were sold to the public on, but do result in a lot of arrests for drug possession and other victimless crimes.

  6. U.S. citizens need to be prepared to make concessions on their privacy for the sake of security, the way they endure airport screenings or DUI checkpoints.

    Tell me again how the slippery slope is a fallacy.

    1. It’s only in this century that I recall its being said to be a fallacy, by people pretending it’s been a fallacy all along. It’s raised somewhat like the claim that one is Godwinning.

    2. “Slippery slope” is a claim that there’s a preferable state of affairs between two detrimental extremes, but that the things used to justify the extremes provide no reason to compromise at any point between them. Another way to say it is that the value function of each condition appears to be a monotonic increase in its direction, yet that when the situation overall is looked at, there must be a maximum in between that’s contradicted by both functions.

  7. The surprise is not that Obama said this. The surprise it is that no one at SXSW even raised the issue of NSA surveillance, and Obama’s plans to allow sharing of Surveillance information with local law-enforcement without a warrant.

  8. OT: EPA Spends $295,507 to Track Energy and Water Use of Office Workers

    Jared Blumenfeld, an EPA regional administrator, said telling employees that they are using too much energy could “change their habits.”

    “Lucid’s project is a great example of how technology can be used to help protect the environment,” he said. “Giving office workers immediate feedback on their energy use can help them to change their habits for the better.”

    The project is part of the EPA’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet competition, which initially awards grants worth $15,000 for environmental technology projects. Past projects include a device to monitor how long hotel guests spend in the shower, and “trash walls” for the poor.

  9. Obama is a complete and utter jackass.

    http://www.Anon-Net.tk

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