Tech at Night

Sometimes the government cheers the idea that your data is being protected from the bad guys. Other times, the government grumbles and complains.

It turns out they’re fine with your data being at risk, as long as it means government can get to it whenever it wants. Funny, that.

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Tech at Night

According to the government, if they think you’re breaking the law, they have the authority to break into your servers. Given the possibility of errors, combined with the tendency of third parties to gather data which could help, this puts private citizens online in a tricky spot.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not sympathetic to the Silk Road scum, and I’m inclined to look the other way when an anarchist gets stomped by the state.

However, Google is right that it’s government’s fault that there’s a new push for encryption online.

Even if you support NSA’s role online, a government that is not transparent while actively searching people’s data, is a good reason to keep your data encrypted. Governments make mistakes, and data gets leaked. Just look at Bradley Manning’s case, or Edward Snowden’s.

Should our data be at the mercy of anarchists, traitors, and opportunists? No, we have the right to secure our data. And government has no business telling us they need special access. Democrats have wanted that since the Clinton era, with the Clipper program of so-called Escrowed Encryption (where you can encrypt your data, but government can always decrypt it), but it’s never had any popular support. Rightfully not.


If Belkin can’t even keep routers running, why would anyone trust the Internet of Things?

There’s no such thing as a ‘light’ or ‘forbearance’ version of Title II Reclassification, which would cause the Internet to be regulated by the FCC like the phone system. 1930s regulation for 2010s technology.

Net Neutrality violations are a myth, finds the European Commission, after spending a year trying to gin up justification for government control of the Internet.

Tech at Night

Have to say, sometimes enforcement of things is rather inconsistent in this country.

If you or I (or Aaron Swartz) were caught making unauthorized access to other people’s computer equipment, to engage in a Denial of Service attack, we’d risk criminal charges. Marriott International? Not so much.

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Tech at Night: This is why we need the NSA

On September 7, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

We need the NSA. I know the new hotness is following after Rand Paul’s inane blathering, and finding reasons to complain about the NSA. But rather than old and busted, the NSA is actually an important thing to have and to defend.

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Tech at Night: Your phone calls and texts were never secure.

On September 4, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Sometimes, we forget just how little privacy we have against a determined attacker. So often we rely just on the fact that we believe our communications are of so little importance, that nobody will take the effort to try to snoop on us.

So once in a while we get concerned, when we hear about some sort of mass snooping, that means no extra effort has to be engaged to read our own individual, personal data. Then we want to assign blame, as though this mass snooping caused our lack of privacy.

We need to fix this muddled thinking and understand the limits of our privacy.

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Tech at Night

Anarchy is back. The last time anarchy was a noticeable political movement in the world, bomb throwing anarchists were killing heads of state and government leaders, as part of their scheme to take the whole system down, and impose socialist rule. Of course they claimed socialist rule didn’t really count as rule, because ideology.

Well, these days world leaders are much better protected, so instead the anarchists are going after websites and just trying to disrupt, particularly online. We must be mindful of this, create cybersecurity policies that let government and industry share information (through bills like CISA), and make sure to investigate and prosecute these crimes.

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Tech at Night

I’ve taken some criticism for saying over and over again in this space, that kids don’t belong on the Internet (unsupervised and uncontrolled really), and that classrooms should not have Internet access introduced. The basic problem is that unfettered Internet access brings bullies and predators to kids. It also means pornography will just keep popping up, and there’s no way to fix that with these uncontrolled environments. It’s just not worth the risks.

Have you quit using Mozilla Firefox yet? It’s time to switch, yet again, as Mozilla has taken an extremist political position for no real reason except that the project has been completely hijacked by radical ideologues. Not only are they for zombie Net Neutrality, they’re claiming the Obama FCC isn’t going far enough. Lunacy.

Look, it doesn’t really matter what browser you use: MS Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, Chromium, Google Chrome Opera, or w3m. Just switch to anything that doesn’t fund this left-wing outlet.

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Tech at Night

The longer you look at regulatory policy in this country, the more you run into special interests looking out for their own personal payoffs. But seriously, I feel like terrestrial broadcasters are the worst of all when it comes to acting entitled. Waah waah we’re big fat socialists and we don’t want to have to pay the people who made the stuff we’re broadcasting. Meanwhile, Waah waah we want to restrict competition amongst ourselves to retransmit our broadcasts on cable.

Virtually every company, every industry I write about in this space goes around lobbying in DC for some advantage. But nobody gets so many special protections and is so rabid in protecting them at any cost, as terrestrial broadcasters. At some point, small government folks are going to have to smash this racket.

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Tech at Night

Edward Snowden is in full propaganda mode for Vladimir Putin, basically becoming Putin’s puppet. I’m sure he’s enjoying his award nominations while his patron state terrorizes women.

Barack Obama showed weakness when he even floated the possibility that America would turn our control of ICANN over to other countries. Down in Brazil they’re all over that idea (the anarchists are claiming they want a non-governmental control, but look, in a world with Russia and China, and even the EU countries like Germany having ‘national champions’, that’s not happening). India’s game, too. Republicans, and heck it’d help if Democrats did it to, must signal that the next President will not let this happen.

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Tech at Night

As the rest of the world attacks us every day, people just keep looking to demonize NSA. And it’s foreign threats we need to worry about, and that link doesn’t even talk about the state-sponsored threats out there.

Troubling news, as Democrats want to apply speech codes online, using a shooting to push for online censorship. Never let a crisis go to waste, so say the progressives.

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