Wednesday, January 02, 2008

End of the year non-review #3: Civil rights and the government,

I continue running through my overflowing Google Reader "Starred Items" list.

TSA to punish fliers for facecrime a la New screening technology might detect terrorists before they act

The TSA and DIY culture clash
I used to naively think as long as it passed the swab test, the TSA would professionally act accordingly and let it through, as it couldn't possibly be explosive. It seems that any exercise of your rights means immediate retaliation. The days of me refusing to let screeners and the Secret Service take photos through my cameras is probably over.

Watching FISA fizzle
Chris Dodd's actions on the telecom immunity provisions made me reconsider who I'm voting for in the primaries. More here.

DEA War on Plants
98% of all "seized marijuana plants" is wild hemp with no active drug content.

Another Man Arrested For Using Free Cafe WiFi

Ethicist Says Nothing Wrong With Using Free WiFi
When your operating system automatically connects and uses an open wifi system, how the hell can anyone claim that's illegal? Close your systems if you don't want people to use them off-site. This nonsense is why we don't currently have a ubiquitous and free wifi in dense cities.

My own philosophy comes from the old days of radio, where any radio wave entering your home or your personal space was fair game to receive and listen to. Telecom interests lobbied and paid campaigns well to get the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, which suddenly made certain wavelengths illegal to listen to, all because their cordless and cellular phones were poorly designed and completely open to listening.

Australian DRM from 1923 - dumb radio idea that refuses to die

The Schneier section.
Bruce Schneier usually gets it right about security and insecurity in the world.

Papers Please: Arrested at Circuit City for refusing to show ID, receipt
Remember that you are never required to show a receipt to leave a store. I never do, and it saves me much time on leaving busy stores like Fry's.
A members-only store may issue such rules, but common law says when you bought the item, it's yours. Some of the people exercising this right are jerks, but that doesn't excuse the stores and their aggressive rent-a-cops.

Insect Spy

Protesters might even nab one with a net -- one of many reasons why Ehrhard, the former Air Force colonel, and other experts said they doubted that the hovering bugs spotted in Washington were spies.

So what was seen by Crane, Alarcon and a handful of others at the D.C. march -- and as far back as 2004, during the Republican National Convention in New York, when one observant but perhaps paranoid peace-march participant described on the Web "a jet-black dragonfly hovering about 10 feet off the ground, precisely in the middle of 7th avenue . . . watching us"?

They probably saw dragonflies, said Jerry Louton, an entomologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Washington is home to some large, spectacularly adorned dragonflies that "can knock your socks off," he said.

At the same time, he added, some details do not make sense. Three people at the D.C. event independently described a row of spheres, the size of small berries, attached along the tails of the big dragonflies -- an accoutrement that Louton could not explain. And all reported seeing at least three maneuvering in unison.

"Dragonflies never fly in a pack," he said.

Paranoia from activists or real? I'd really like to know--this is tantalizingly straddling the border between the kooks and real technologies. I don't trust either sides' judgement or statements on this.

California Police Camera Surveillance Increasing
The only solution now that public surveillance is out of the bag is to require the government to open up all the video and use of the system to the public. ,

Video of Man Tasered to Death
Incredibly uncomfortable, so much so I haven't watched it. Tasering is torture and our society uses them way too much. Overescalation is epidemic.

Your color laser printer has been compromised and is leaking data.


Lydia said...

Oh man, I can't even begin to cope with all these links, but thanks for posting them. I'm really enjoying this "Nothing to Hide" article.

Dean W. Armstrong said...

Sure thing, I didn't mean for anyone to read them all, just any that might be of interest.