Whenever somebody declares the need for an “adult conversation” in the first place, they are suggesting that one hasn’t already been happening, and often accomplishes little but to raise the hackles. It is a deliberate insult against those with opposing views. In this particular case, the person invoking the term is FBI Director James Comey, and it’s pretty much directed at the entire tech sector and privacy advocates who have been pushing back (for decades) against government attempts to tamper with and weaken encryption.
There’s something remarkably telling about the man saying we need to have an “adult conversation” on encryption limits primarily because he can’t just get whatever he wants. Isn’t that the child’s argument? The government wants this information. Give us this information!
Of course, as always, it’s couched in terms of the alleged threat of the Internet going “dark” and federal investigators worried they’re not able to track down alleged criminals and terrorists. Comey complained about it at a tech symposium today. The Associated Press reports:
“The conversation we’ve been trying to have about this has dipped below public consciousness now, and that’s fine,” Comey said. “Because what we want to do is collect information this year so that next year we can have an adult conversation.”
The American people, he said, have a reasonable expectation of privacy in houses, cars and electronic devices — but he argued that right is not absolute.
“With good reason, the people of the United States — through judges and law enforcement — can invade our public spaces,” Comey said, adding that that “bargain” has been at the heart of the country since its inception.
This is what he thinks is an “adult conversation.” While Comey wants to present this is a reasonably as possible, recall that when they found a phone in the possession by a terrorist that was protected with a password, what the Department of Justice thought was the reasonable, adult response was to try to use the courts to conscript Apple and to actually force it to compromise its own security systems to give the government access to the phone’s contents. The government wants things! Give the government those things! This is the “adult conversation” Comey’s side is having right now.
No, privacy is not absolute, but just because they government has the authority to pursue information related to crimes doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed access to it. I’ll dredge up an old example: A suspect may take a box containing evidence to a crime and bury it somewhere out in the desert. The government absolutely has the authority to try to track down that evidence and use any number of tools to do so. But they can’t order the desert to cough it up for them or command some desert experts to track it down for them (though they can certainly hire them).
The “adult conversation” that’s actually already happening is trying to get people like Comey to understand that there’s no magical system where the Department of Justice (or any other government entity) can get access to information to encrypted data that doesn’t leave the whole system vulnerable.
The “adult conversation” is about trying to get authoritarian senators like Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) to understand that the legislation they wrote to order tech companies to assist the government in cracking their own security was so bad—so childish, in fact—that it’s impossible to imagine any tech or privacy-minded adult trusting what they’ll suggest next. The “adult conversation” is “white hat” hackers showing how easy it is for a mistake to compromise the data of millions of computer users. The “adult conversation” is about understanding that oppressive governments will use these tools to punish and imprison their own citizens.
If Comey wants to have an “adult conversation,” we should maybe set encryption aside for now and talk about the absurdity of our government-sponsored drug war that will never, ever succeed any more than any other prohibition has ever succeeded and why the government still clings to the illogical, absurd (and childish) fantasy that illegal drug use can somehow be halted. Maybe if we had that “adult conversation” and brought it to its logical conclusion (ending this foolish war), we could actually then go back and determine how important it actually is for the FBI to be able to defeat encryption. Evidence shows the relentless drive to perpetuate this drug war is playing a major role in this encryption fight, not terrorism, as the feds would have us believe.
Cash raised for killer Mo. cop now surpasses Michael Brown donations August 24, 2014
Online fundraisers for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson surpassed the amount of money raised for Michael Brown’s family as the officer’s supporters gathered at an afternoon rally Saturday.
Supporters of Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., came toBarney’s Sports Pub in south St. Louis.
“Many of us have received death threats toward ourselves and our families,” said one speaker, wearing sunglasses, paint beneath her eyes and a baseball cap. “We will not hide. We will no longer live in fear … If you support Darren Wilson, make your voices heard.”
She refused to give the media her name, saying “You want my name? I am Darren Wilson. We are Darren Wilson.
The media has shown a strong bias against Wilson supporters, the speaker said, drawing loud applause from the crowd.
"We share the united belief that officer Wilson’s actions on Aug. 9 were warranted and justified and he has our unwavering support,” the woman said.
A crowd-funding page created for Wilson raised $235,010 from 5,902 people before organizers stopped accepting donations Friday after surpassing their goal of $100,000 in four days. The group then opened a new fundraising page, which already has more than $104,000.
The Support Darren Wilson group, which has more than 58,000 likes on Facebook, encouraged supporters who could not attend the rally to “blow up some Twitter accounts” with photos of supporters and the hashtag #iamdarrenwilson.
I just got back from #Ferguson, where they issued a state of emergency and curfew to give cover to a crackdown. A quote from a young man I met during a march this evening:
“That cop’s in hiding, but he’s freer than we are. We’re protesting, but we ain’t free.”
If the cops really wanted to avoid confrontation tonight, all they had to do was arrest the cop they know killed #MikeBrown. Instead, they ignored community demands, trampled on people’s rights, and unleashed more violence.
As another protester said to me:
“I’ve been out here the last three days, and it’s always peaceful until the cops show up. You saw it back there, we’re grilling, people having a good time, talking, building community. It’s the police. They’re the ones causing the violence. Thursday they didn’t come out and nothing happened….I heard about the curfew, but I’m not leaving. They can’t tell me to go inside and then shoot tear gas at us while we’re on our front lawns. So I’m staying out. If they want war, they can have it.”
A Staten Island man was busted Thursday after police discovered thousands of dollars in untaxed cigarettes in his van, law enforcement sources said.
Michael Zekry, 67, was stopped in New Springville by police who were on his tail for several months, and busted him with over 2,500 cartons of untaxed cigarettes, according to a criminal court complaint.
Police had been keeping tabs on him since May 2014, but it wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the investigation.
Zekry was found inside a Ford Econoline van parked outside his home around 12:30 a.m. on Field Street and Forest Hill Road with the contraband, according to the criminal court complaint.
He admittedly boasted of his earnings to police, and told investigators he peddled the smokes across Staten Island and Brooklyn about every 10 weeks, the documents charge.
“I go to Virginia every 10 weeks, I make $5,000 to $7,000 on a load, a carton sells between $40 to $50, you got a good one! I’m out of business now,” he told arresting officers.
After cops executed a search warrant for his home, they uncovered 500 more cartons of untaxed cigarettes, the documents state.
That’s approximately 517,200 loose cigarettes.
If Zekry had sold the smokes, it would have resulted in a $150,000 loss in city and state tax revenue, authorities said.
He has been charged with tax fraud for peddling the tax-free smokes, which is considered a felony offense, law enforcement sources said.
He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
In July, Eric Garner tragically died after cops put him in an illegal choke-hold when they tried to place him under arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes.
Police murder man @ movie theater for disobeying orders February 17, 2013
On January 14, 2013, a young man with Down syndrome went with his companion to see Zero Dark Thirty at the Regal Cinema in Frederick, MD. At the end of the movie, apparently because he wanted to see it again, he refused to get out of his seat. A Regal employee, rather than allowing him to stay and dealing with the situation later with his parents and the companion, called not one, not two, but three off duty Frederick County police officers who were working security for the theater at the time.
According to published reports, when the officers/ security guards asked him to leave, he mouthed off at them and “resisted arrest”. Those of you who know my son Landon can visualize what this would look like. In response, the officers wrestled him to the ground where he asphyxiated in handcuffs. The handcuffs were removed and EMS called and according to the police news release he later died at hospital. I don’t know how that reconciles with the coroner’s finding of asphyxiation which I thought was pretty immediate.
The price of a ticket at the cinema is between $9 and $11. The additional cost to Regal of allowing him to watch the movie again was ZERO. But instead a beloved young man died on the floor of a movie theater in his neighborhood at the hands of people he was taught would protect him.
The police officers remain on duty and were allowed to invoke their rights as police officers not to provide statements even though they were not on duty or performing official duties at the time. They were security guards in police uniforms.
The county police are investigating and the story has received local news coverage. Please share this everywhere both to ensure justice but also to raise public awareness.
Where is our humanity when a young, obviously disabled young man dies for the price of a movie ticket? My son is worth a lot more to me & society than eleven dollars.
With all the stories that we have heard and continue to hear about excessive/lethal force, “accidental shootings” and police brutality, it really doesn’t seem that far fetched that this could possibly be taught in police academy training.
“This weekend is part of a national call that will tell the world that King’s vision and mission were larger than what we have been allowed to remember. Through 96 hours of direct action and a Jobs & Economy March, we are reclaiming Dr. King’s radical and militant legacy of direct action."
Join us (click here) for a MLK day march that reclaims the spirit of King from whitewashed history and celebrates his legacy of radical resistance! Let’s debunk the mainstream media narrative that has painted MLK as a sanitized pacifist and uses him to denounce militant forms of resistance.
An open letter from Assata Shakur – posted 1998* May 6, 2013
My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984.
I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.
In 1978, my case was one of many cases bought before the United Nations Organization in a petition filed by the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, exposing the existence of political prisoners in the United States, their political persecution, and the cruel and inhuman treatment they receive in US prisons. According to the report:
The FBI and the New York Police Department in particular, charged and accused Assata Shakur of participating in attacks on law enforcement personnel and widely circulated such charges and accusations among police agencies and units. The FBI and the NYPD further charged her as being a leader of the Black Liberation Army which the government and its respective agencies described as an organization engaged in the shooting of police officers. This description of the Black Liberation Army and the accusation of Assata Shakur’s relationship to it was widely circulated by government agents among police agencies and units. As a result of these activities by the government, Ms. Shakur became a hunted person; posters in police precincts and banks described her as being involved in serious criminal activities; she was highlighted on the FBI’s most wanted list; and to police at all levels she became a ‘shoot-to-kill’ target.’
I was falsely accused in six different “criminal cases” and in all six of these cases I was eventually acquitted or the charges were dismissed. The fact that I was acquitted or that the charges were dismissed, did not mean that I received justice in the courts, that was certainly not the case. It only meant that the “evidence” presented against me was so flimsy and false that my innocence became evident. This political persecution was part and parcel of the government’s policy of eliminating political opponents by charging them with crimes and arresting them with no regard to the factual basis of such charges.
On May 2, 1973 I, along with Zayd Malik Shakur and Sundiata Acoli were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike, supposedly for a “faulty tail light.” Sundiata Acoli got out of the car to determine why we were stopped. Zayd and I remained in the car. State trooper Harper then came to the car, opened the door and began to question us. Because we were black, and riding in a car with Vermont license plates, he claimed he became “suspicious.” He then drew his gun, pointed it at us, and told us to put our hands up in the air, in front of us, where he could see them. I complied and in a split second, there was a sound that came from outside the car, there was a sudden movement, and I was shot once with my arms held up in the air, and then once again from the back. Zayd Malik Shakur was later killed, trooper Werner Foerster was killed, and even though trooper Harper admitted that he shot and killed Zayd Malik Shakur, under the New Jersey felony murder law, I was charged with killing both Zayd Malik Shakur, who was my closest friend and comrade, and charged in the death of trooper Forester. Never in my life have I felt such grief. Zayd had vowed to protect me, and to help me to get to a safe place, and it was clear that he had lost his life, trying to protect both me and Sundiata. Although he was also unarmed, and the gun that killed trooper Foerster was found under Zayd’s leg, Sundiata Acoli, who was captured later, was also charged with both deaths. Neither Sundiata Acoli nor I ever received a fair trial We were both convicted in the news media way before our trials. No news media was ever permitted to interview us, although the New Jersey police and the FBI fed stories to the press on a daily basis. In 1977, I was convicted by an all- white jury and sentenced to life plus 33 years in prison. In 1979, fearing that I would be murdered in prison, and knowing that I would never receive any justice, I was liberated from prison, aided by committed comrades who understood the depths of the injustices in my case, and who were also extremely fearful for my life.
The U.S. Senate’s 1976 Church Commission report on intelligence operations inside the USA, revealed that “The FBI has attempted covertly to influence the public’s perception of persons and organizations by disseminating derogatory information to the press, either anonymously or through “friendly” news contacts.” This same policy is evidently still very much in effect today.
On December 24, 1997, The New Jersey State called a press conference to announce that New Jersey State Police had written a letter to Pope John Paul II asking him to intervene on their behalf and to aid in having me extradited back to New Jersey prisons. The New Jersey State Police refused to make their letter public. Knowing that they had probably totally distort the facts, and attempted to get the Pope to do the devils work in the name of religion, I decided to write the Pope to inform him about the reality of’ “justice” for black people in the State of New Jersey and in the United States. (See attached Letter to the Pope).
In January of 1998, during the pope’s visit to Cuba, I agreed to do an interview with NBC journalist Ralph Penza around my letter to the Pope, about my experiences in New Jersey court system, and about the changes I saw in the United States and it’s treatment of Black people in the last 25 years. I agreed to do this interview because I saw this secret letter to the Pope as a vicious, vulgar, publicity maneuver on the part of the New Jersey State Police, and as a cynical attempt to manipulate Pope John Paul II. I have lived in Cuba for many years, and was completely out of touch with the sensationalist, dishonest, nature of the establishment media today. It is worse today than it was 30 years ago. After years of being victimized by the “establishment” media it was naive of me to hope that I might finally get the opportunity to tell “my side of the story.” Instead of an interview with me, what took place was a “staged media event” in three parts, full of distortions, inaccuracies and outright lies. NBC purposely misrepresented the facts. Not only did NBC spend thousands of dollars promoting this “exclusive interview series” on NBC, they also spent a great deal of money advertising this “exclusive interview” on black radio stations and also placed notices in local newspapers.
Like most poor and oppressed people in the United States, I do not have a voice. Black people, poor people in the U.S. have no real freedom of speech, no real freedom of expression and very little freedom of the press. The black press and the progressive media has historically played an essential role in the struggle for social justice. We need to continue and to expand that tradition. We need to create media outlets that help to educate our people and our children, and not annihilate their minds. I am only one woman. I own no TV stations, or Radio Stations or Newspapers. But I feel that people need to be educated as to what is going on, and to understand the connection between the news media and the instruments of repression in Amerika. All I have is my voice, my spirit and the will to tell the truth. But I sincerely ask, those of you in the Black media, those of you in the progressive media, those of you who believe in truth freedom, To publish this statement and to let people know what is happening. We have no voice, so you must be the voice of the voiceless.
Free all Political Prisoners, I send you Love and Revolutionary Greetings From Cuba, One of the Largest, Most Resistant and Most Courageous Palenques (Maroon Camps) That has ever existed on the Face of this Planet.
Dozens of security vehicles blocked the intersections of two streets Saturday where the demonstrations were taking place. North of Riyadh in the city of Buraydah, around 30 people — mostly women related to the prisoners — held a similar rally.
In past years, a small number of Saudis have demonstrated in Riyadh to demand the release of thousands of people detained without charge or trial on suspicion of involvement in militant activity. Some have been held for up to 15 years.
Mass detentions of both serving and retired officers have been taking place in Turkey over the last decade. The country’s media is closely following a number of trials against top brass accused of plotting against the ruling government. Over at least the past half a century, the Turkish armed forces have been notorious for regular interference in domestic politics, organizing several coups to displace governments and generally having great influence on the political landscape.
In late January 2013 the exodus of Turkish officers from the army was given a new push. Turkey’s number-two naval commander Admiral Nusret Guner resigned, allegedly over the detention of hundreds of his colleagues. His premature voluntary retirement sparked yet another wave of resignations.
Mulligan “suffered a broken shoulder blade and facial fractures requiring several surgeries at the hands of police officers after they stopped him in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood and forced him to check into a local motel and stay there against his will,“ according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Mr. Udaltsov, the leader of the radical socialist Left Front movement, faces a charge of conspiracy to incite mass disorder, under a statute that can bring a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. According to Saturday’s ruling, he may not leave his house, use the Internet, receive letters or communicate with anyone outside his family and legal team until April 6, the current date for the end of the investigation of his case.
The ruling seemed to signal a new stage in the government’s effort to bring criminal cases against well-known critics of President Vladimir V. Putin.
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection act (CISPA) will be reintroduced before the US House next week following a spate of cyber espionage and hacking attacks. Civil liberties advocates have criticized the bill for violating privacy laws.
The House Intelligence Committee’s Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) will attempt to breathe new life into CISPA on Wednesday.
The bill will be identical to the version of CISPA that passed the House last spring, but was defeated on the Senate floor in August mainly because the upper house was hammering out its own cyber security bill.