Halt! Who goes there?

This is a discussion on Halt! Who goes there? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by matsp But if that is the way to circumvent the rules, why don't the criminals/terrorists use this ...

  1. #31
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matsp View Post
    But if that is the way to circumvent the rules, why don't the criminals/terrorists use this method anyways?
    Because using encryption is a PITA, and human nature is to believe you wont get caught (if you thougth you would get caught you wouldnt do it unless you were also insane). Imagine having to decrypt your files use ti then encrypt it again every time you wanted to add somethign to your list. Thats why they had to make the STU-III block voice data while it sync'd, because even though people were trained to know not to discuss classified material in that time period, they still did.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    Because using encryption is a PITA, and human nature is to believe you wont get caught (if you thougth you would get caught you wouldnt do it unless you were also insane). Imagine having to decrypt your files use ti then encrypt it again every time you wanted to add somethign to your list. Thats why they had to make the STU-III block voice data while it sync'd, because even though people were trained to know not to discuss classified material in that time period, they still did.
    PGP-disks or other "encrypt the whole system" is very easy to use. All our laptop users have PGP-disks on their machines.

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  3. #33
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Even in the Soviet Union our privacy was protected better (sorry for this traditional comparision, but it pretty well shows how mad this crap is). USA is turning into a jail.
    Quote Originally Posted by brewbuck View Post
    While you are standing in Customs you are not technically within the United States, and as a non-citizen you don't have any "rights" anyway -- convenient huh?
    Weird. In Estonia, non-citizens have rights too. As in Free Land it is meant that you're free from any rights?
    Last edited by maxorator; 05-08-2008 at 06:21 AM.
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    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    Even in the Soviet Union our privacy was protected better (sorry for this traditional comparision, but it pretty well shows how mad this crap is). USA is turning into a jail.

    Weird. In Estonia, non-citizens have rights too. As in Free Land it is meant that you're free from any rights?
    Yep... it's like a jail. I feel so imprisoned, right now... please help me!

    The US grants as many rights to non-citizens as I'm sure Estonia does, if not much more... it's the fact that your rights don't fall under the US constitution that was being questioned. The United States, like any other country, grant specific rights (and laws) to non-residents upon arrival to the country. They are not always exactly the same rights that citizens have. It's a simple concept and it works.

    Honestly, I feel as though this post is getting very close to being another example for Godwin's law.
    Last edited by SlyMaelstrom; 05-08-2008 at 06:55 AM.
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  5. #35
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    It's just a few more months before this administration changes. Even if John McCain wins - which became a real possibility, after the democrats having spent the whole primaries making a fool of themselves - you won't have this nonsense.

    There's too much at a stake; USA credibility and the image it projects to the world was seriously tarnished. Only American citizens not watching international channels can't see it happening. For the past 7 years, anti-americanism has risen to new unheard levels. Even usually influential and moderate opinion-makers and analysts in Europe and other parts of the world get lost in attacks on USA foreign and domestic policies. A little across the world people that first supported American war efforts now are some of their main critics; world leaders were forced to publicly apologize their citizens after Iraq, or agree their were lied to.

    What scares me most however is that american citizens seem to be accepting small decrements on their civil liberties. Some 10 years ago, the uproar in America streets if something like this had been attempted would reach the other side of the globe. And yet, I've witnessed even here on this forums such things as "this won't affect everyone", or "It's like searching a suitcase". Coming from American citizens.

    I understand no one here defended this ruling. But what I find scary is the apparent numbness about it. I don't want to draw unnecessary comparisons so I hope you understand the point, but the Jews persecution in Europe was only possible exactly because people were numb and didn't react when small signs started to show throughout the years. By the time the Jewish people were being sent to gas chambers, everyone was already seeing that as perfectly normal.

    The ruling is clearly against the constitution of the United States of America. It is clearly an attack on the privacy of its citizens and anyone visiting. It won't solve anything because any terrorist capable of causing serious harm will not be carrying their plans on a laptop, and terrorists know of encryption too. Any child molester or organized crime member will know how to protect themselves. Instead, it's your personal feeling of privacy and your freedom that is put at stake, regardless of how objective the person searching my laptop is. I don't care how objective they are. I, an individual, me, a self-conscious person, am being stripped of my right to my privacy. And to this, we are saying ok.
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    Even in the Soviet Union our privacy was protected better (sorry for this traditional comparision, but it pretty well shows how mad this crap is). USA is turning into a jail.

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    I love a good glass of Hyperbole in the morning. I would think Maxorator, who has probably witnessed first hand heavy policing of the populus would not make such overreaching comparisons.

    Even if the soviet union protected citizens' privacy, they'd probably imprison you if they publicly spoke about how they really felt about communism.

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    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    If you understand that nobody has been in agreement with this particular ruling then why do you keep explaining why you disagree with it as you do in your last paragraph? The argument is almost ad nauseam at this point.

    Now, from a law stand-point... references to the fourth amendment barely apply in this case as it falls under the accordance of the border search exception which places "reasonable suspicion" on the discretion of the individual. If you're got a complaint about anything, you could be complaining about that doctrine as it's been in place for quite a long time. (And in fact, the USA is not the only civil country to have adopted such a doctrine)

    For many of us on this forum, a good part of our lives are on our computers... but if you start going around and asking people that don't use computers for too many things, I'm sure you might find that this ruling means very little to them. To your average person, there isn't much difference between the contents of their hard drive and the contents of their purse. In fact, for many, the contents of a purse can be significantly more private. So really, wouldn't you say that your belief that a hard drive is more personal than a suitcase is just a little self-regarding?
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  9. #39
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matsp View Post
    PGP-disks or other "encrypt the whole system" is very easy to use. All our laptop users have PGP-disks on their machines.

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    Pretty Good Privacy, which means NSA can crack it with minimal effort. And most people keep their keys with them, which makes it even more trivial.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    I'm all about the Cesar Cipher.

    Anyone trying to decode it gets a knife in the back

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    If you understand that nobody has been in agreement with this particular ruling then why do you keep explaining why you disagree with it as you do in your last paragraph? The argument is almost ad nauseam at this point.
    Because you keep insisting it's not that of a big deal... ad nauseam. I had hoped we wouldn't come to this type of bickering, Sly. It's been a nice discussion so far. Besides my last paragraph wraps up the previous reasoning. Something you didn't address.

    I too am tired of reading about suitcases, cars and now purses. It's absolutely incredible the lenience on this issue and the weak comparisons that are being drawn. If this doesn't affect some, the fact is it can strongly affect others for no good reason other than a ruling that states one can inspect your privacy without reason. That is the issue.

    I can agree to disagree however and its clear we will not change each other minds about this. I'm done.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  12. #42
    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indigo0086 View Post
    I love a good glass of Hyperbole in the morning. I would think Maxorator, who has probably witnessed first hand heavy policing of the populus would not make such overreaching comparisons.

    Even if the soviet union protected citizens' privacy, they'd probably imprison you if they publicly spoke about how they really felt about communism.
    The reason why I mentioned this is because you people think Soviet Union's regulations were something far away, something that can never have anything in common with any democratic place on the earth. But frankly, it is not so. Comparing these things is to show which way we are moving. Yeah, you can probably never create a monster like that again, but it doesn't give you the reason to say something like "There's still room to make it worse without making it THAT bad, so let's do it!".

    IMO, comparing these things is an easy way to see if something is very badly out of order. It gives you the scale, where SU or Nazis are the bottom of the scale. In these scales, I would assume people always want to climb up, instead of going lower and lower and saying "No worries! It's not on that bottom level yet."

    I didn't compare them generally, I compared the aspect of privacy, and privacy ONLY. The fact that everything else was frighteningly evil in SU isn't related to my comparision.

    Actually, I think this is one of the best paragraphs in this whole topic:
    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    The ruling is clearly against the constitution of the United States of America. It is clearly an attack on the privacy of its citizens and anyone visiting. It won't solve anything because any terrorist capable of causing serious harm will not be carrying their plans on a laptop, and terrorists know of encryption too. Any child molester or organized crime member will know how to protect themselves. Instead, it's your personal feeling of privacy and your freedom that is put at stake, regardless of how objective the person searching my laptop is. I don't care how objective they are. I, an individual, me, a self-conscious person, am being stripped of my right to my privacy. And to this, we are saying ok.
    Last edited by maxorator; 05-08-2008 at 08:30 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Because you keep insisting it's not that of a big deal... ad nauseam. I had hoped we wouldn't come to this type of bickering, Sly. It's been a nice discussion so far. Besides my last paragraph wraps up the previous reasoning. Something you didn't address.

    I too am tired of reading about suitcases, cars and now purses. It's absolutely incredible the lenience on this issue and the weak comparisons that are being drawn. If this doesn't affect some, the fact is it can strongly affect others for no good reason other than a ruling that states one can inspect your privacy without reason. That is the issue.

    I can agree to disagree however and its clear we will not change each other minds about this. I'm done.
    Why is it a bigger deal than searching a suitcase or purse? Honestly, no matter which country you come from, you can walk around a street and ask people "If you were to let a cop search the contents of your laptop harddrive or your purse/suitcase, which would you prefer they search?" I'm sure you would find more people would let them search their computer. I've already asked several people at home and in my office this question and I've yet to find a person that said they would prefer that they search their purse/suitcase. The fact is, unless you live a very digital lifestyle, a computer is no more personal to people than their luggage.

    Let me give you an example... the last time I was searched in an airport, in my bag there was a novel and a sketch pad... the officer flipped through the pages of both of these books (presumably to see if I was hiding a weapon)... the sketch pad had things that are significantly more personal to me (and some embarrassing) than anything on my laptop. However, do you think I could go in front of a court and argue that the sketch pad is an extension of my mind or my home?

    The only reason I've been so relaxed about this whole issue of my rights being violated in this case is because I don't feel that they're any more violated than they were when I was pulled aside and had my bags searched. That's my feeling about it... your feeling appears to be that your laptop is more private, and I could show you a dozen people around me that feel their bags are more private... so all opinions aside on what is private and what is not... why don't we talk about the real issue here? There is nothing serious to gain out of searching people's computers and it will never amount to anything more than a hassle for the innocent. The criminals will get around it so easily that it's not worth any amount of the time or money that it will eventually cost me. That's it... don't ask me to care more about the embarrassed person having all his porn sites viewed in front of him than I care about the person who has her sex toy turned on in front of them because it was sitting in their bag.
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  14. #44
    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    Even in the Soviet Union our privacy was protected better (sorry for this traditional comparision, but it pretty well shows how mad this crap is). USA is turning into a jail.

    Weird. In Estonia, non-citizens have rights too. As in Free Land it is meant that you're free from any rights?
    The US makes a legal distinction between "human rights" and "Constitutional rights." The protection against search and seizure is a Constitutional right, so it only applies on U.S. soil and only to U.S. citizens.

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    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewbuck View Post
    The US makes a legal distinction between "human rights" and "Constitutional rights." The protection against search and seizure is a Constitutional right, so it only applies on U.S. soil and only to U.S. citizens.
    Brewbuck, I have a feeling that you're not right about this. Even in Estonian constitution the same privacy rights are for both citizens and non-citizens. There are quite few things that apply only to citizens here: like the right for retirement pension, right to work in governmental institutions, may not be sent away from the country, rights to receive some kinds of information, right to be in parties. This is pretty much the whole list and I think in USA non-citizens have most of the constitutional rights too, as SlyMaelstrom said.
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