Acta

This is a discussion on Acta within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; I got into this a bit in the EULA thread a few weeks ago and just ran across a couple ...

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Acta

    I got into this a bit in the EULA thread a few weeks ago and just ran across a couple of new articles for anyone interested:

    This is a newsweek article about the FBI accessing "internal data from telecommunications companies that showed the locations of their customers' cell phones—sometimes in real time" without a warrant, which is now normative:
    FBI Tracks Suspects' Cell Phones Without a Warrant - Newsweek.com

    This one's about ACTA, the "anticounterfeiting trade agreement" currently being negotiated by western "democracies", including provisions to force ISPs to enforce intellectual property laws:
    Computerworld > Leaked ACTA draft reveals plans for internet clampdown

    If you connect the dots here and throw in EULA type technology, you have the (soon to be realized) situation where government authorities will be making routine sweeps of you hard drive looking for...whatever.

    Sieg Heil USA!
    C programming resources:
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    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
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    Registered User UltraKing227's Avatar
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    erm.. i know what you mean by Whatever.......................................

    by the way, MK27, i didnt notice you changed your avatar!

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UltraKing227 View Post
    erm.. i know what you mean by Whatever.......................................

    by the way, MK27, i didnt notice you changed your avatar!
    Next time pay attention
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
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    Registered User UltraKing227's Avatar
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    sure!
    Last edited by UltraKing227; 02-26-2010 at 06:52 AM.

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Some related stuff about how Microsoft is already ahead of the game here (in a totally negative sense):

    Microsoft Spy

    Microsoft backs down over online 'spy guide' | Technology | guardian.co.uk
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I got into this a bit in the EULA thread a few weeks ago and just ran across a couple of new articles for anyone interested:

    This is a newsweek article about the FBI accessing "internal data from telecommunications companies that showed the locations of their customers' cell phones—sometimes in real time" without a warrant, which is now normative:
    FBI Tracks Suspects' Cell Phones Without a Warrant - Newsweek.com

    This one's about ACTA, the "anticounterfeiting trade agreement" currently being negotiated by western "democracies", including provisions to force ISPs to enforce intellectual property laws:
    Computerworld > Leaked ACTA draft reveals plans for internet clampdown

    If you connect the dots here and throw in EULA type technology, you have the (soon to be realized) situation where government authorities will be making routine sweeps of you hard drive looking for...whatever.

    Sieg Heil USA!

    Thing is, though, unorthodox intelligence gathering techniques have been used since the dawn of civilization, and it just seems a bit naive (to me, at least) to assume that this sort of thing can be regulated. The fact is, nations can and will go to any length to protect their borders; if that means monitoring every inch of soil, so be it. Naturally, this is a difficult thing to accept as a citizen, whose main concern is privacy, but I think we have to be realistic about these things. I mean, what would *you* do if the security of the nation was on your shoulders?

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastiani View Post
    Thing is, though, unorthodox intelligence gathering techniques have been used since the dawn of civilization, and it just seems a bit naive (to me, at least) to assume that this sort of thing can be regulated.
    Sure -- 150 years ago you could say "Women have never been allowed to vote since the dawn of civilization, why would we start now?"

    I'm not (necessarily) recommending everyone start rioting in the streets about this, I just think it is something to be aware of and form an opinion about. A lot of this stuff is still up in the air -- eg, if you read the guardian article about MS trying to use the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to prevent Cryptome from whistle blowing. That does not have to be that way at all. That is just a big corporation abusing excessive copyright laws to hide some significant facts from their customers.

    So while there are many good reasons for domestic surveillance, and it may be an inevitability anyway, there are many smaller issues like this that are not carved in stone and merit an informed public debate.

    My concern is mostly that the American right wing is using this to get a foot in the door: it parallels the habeus corpus issues. Once you say, well, it is okay to do this in certain circumstances (eg, with terrorists), you know have a model in place that can be applied to "demonized" activities that have absolutely nothing to do with terrorism, such as drug trafficking, pornography, or pirating software. Then after that, you can just apply to everyone and voila: totalitarianism! Why not have an officer of the law on duty in your living room? Nothing wrong with that, if you aren't a criminal, right? The point being, we've already constitutionally decided that even if you are suspected of crime, there are certain procedures that must be followed to prevent the abuse of power by government authorities.

    Part of the American right is composed of and supported by some very Haliburton-Blackwater type heavyweights in the security industry. They do not care why they are doing what they are doing: their best interest is just doing more and more of it. For all their whining about "big government", what they really want is the biggest government of all: a police state, with them either in charge or employed within it. Domestic computer surveillance, like the domestic prison-industrial complex, is a potentially massive multi-multi-billion dollar industry (that your taxes will pay for much of). So you start with national security as an excuse and just keep lowering the bar. That's a business plan.

    Intellectual property does NOT deserve this kind of "at all costs" protection. There are more important concepts, such as the right to liberty and privacy -- not to mention sane fiscal policy. This is just gonna be another trough to feed at, when apparently we can't afford health care.
    Last edited by MK27; 02-28-2010 at 01:09 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Look at South Korea to see what the ACTA treaty will do to the internet when it removes many safe harbour provisions (as ISPs there already have similar laws imposed on them by a FTA with the USA).


    GWB illegally spied on US citizens and gave the telcos immunity when the govt changed. Now Obama has to try and protect 'lobbist privacy'.

    Appeals Court Backs EFF Push for Telecom Lobbying Documents Disclosure | Electronic Frontier Foundation

    For example; AT&T created ways to bypass the legal requirements and safeguards to allow the FBI to quickly and easily violate your privacy (and then got immunity to prosecution).

    Obama Quietly Issues Ruling Saying It's Legal For The FBI To Break The Law On Accessing Phone Records | Techdirt
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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    How long does anyone think this freewheeling internet was (is) going to last?

    I mean, don't you want to buy stuff of the internet? Don't you want to use it to socialize? Don't you want to give everyone free access to it? Don't you want to access your bank account from it? Don't you want to advertise your company products on it? Don't you want to make a business of it?

    So... anyone here really believes all that wouldn't come at a price?
    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.

  10. #10
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Sure -- 150 years ago you could say "Women have never been allowed to vote since the dawn of civilization, why would we start now?"
    I was oversimplifying things a bit, maybe. I'm just saying that it's only natural. Is it right or ethical? Well, not officially...

    I'm not (necessarily) recommending everyone start rioting in the streets about this, I just think it is something to be aware of and form an opinion about. A lot of this stuff is still up in the air -- eg, if you read the guardian article about MS trying to use the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to prevent Cryptome from whistle blowing. That does not have to be that way at all. That is just a big corporation abusing excessive copyright laws to hide some significant facts from their customers.
    Fair enough.

    Once you say, well, it is okay to do this in certain circumstances (eg, with terrorists), you know have a model in place that can be applied to "demonized" activities that have absolutely nothing to do with terrorism, such as drug trafficking, pornography, or pirating software. Then after that, you can just apply to everyone and voila: totalitarianism! Why not have an officer of the law on duty in your living room? Nothing wrong with that, if you aren't a criminal, right? The point being, we've already constitutionally decided that even if you are suspected of crime, there are certain procedures that must be followed to prevent the abuse of power by government authorities.
    So use the power of your vote. All I'm saying is that in matters of state security, vigilance is obviously imperative. You can't just wait around and let things get out of hand. Survival depends on knowing what's going on.

    Part of the American right is composed of and supported by some very Haliburton-Blackwater type heavyweights in the security industry. They do not care why they are doing what they are doing: their best interest is just doing more and more of it. For all their whining about "big government", what they really want is the biggest government of all: a police state, with them either in charge or employed within it. Domestic computer surveillance, like the domestic prison-industrial complex, is a potentially massive multi-multi-billion dollar industry (that your taxes will pay for much of). So you start with national security as an excuse and just keep lowering the bar. That's a business plan.
    I don't know. I haven't kept up with it as much as I should, honestly. It definitely sounds like it warrants further investigation, though.

    Intellectual property does NOT deserve this kind of "at all costs" protection. There are more important concepts, such as the right to liberty and privacy -- not to mention sane fiscal policy.
    Well, true, where do you draw the line, after all?

  11. #11
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    How long does anyone think this freewheeling internet was (is) going to last?

    I mean, don't you want to buy stuff of the internet? Don't you want to use it to socialize? Don't you want to give everyone free access to it? Don't you want to access your bank account from it? Don't you want to advertise your company products on it? Don't you want to make a business of it?

    So... anyone here really believes all that wouldn't come at a price?
    This would have happened with or without both commercialization and large scale use -- in fact, it would have happened sooner.

    I knew someone in high school (c. 1988) who was arrested, charged, and had a court order issued forbidding him from using a personal computer for any purpose for one year, because he was involved in the (very commonplace at the time, and rather innocent) illegal distribution of software on his BBS.

    And BBS was neither commercial nor mass media. If the internet were more intimate and unmass commercialified, it almost certainly would be subject to much more restriction and government control, esp since a smaller scale would make this task easier and no one would care ("oh that's just those geeks, it doesn't matter to me if they all go to jail for life anyway").

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastiani View Post
    Well, true, where do you draw the line, after all?
    I would draw the line at using warrantless surveillance to investigate copyright violations, esp when under the DMCA the punishment does not involve a trial either. So now someone in law enforcement has the power to investigate you without a warrant (using techniques that you would be arrested for using), then have you summarily convicted without giving you any chance to defend yourself in court. So this could take place by mistake, or maybe because you were identified protesting at an anti-war rally? Why not? You will be forbidden from using the internet (and possibly worse), then it will be your problem to prove this is an accident (or unfair) afterward, and there may very well be no means for you to do so. Iran...China...USA...what's the difference?

    You can say, well, we trust the police and the FBI to not lie and whimsically wreck havoc however they please, and we trust politicians not to use their law enforcement friends to further a politcal agenda. Okay, but perhaps no one -- much less massive anonymous institutions employing hundreds of thousands of people (and certainly not politicians) -- deserves a priori totally unchecked, unregulated trust like that. They need to held accountable and kept in check, at least by already existing, well tested means such as habeas corpus, warrants, and court trials. Even in a society where the majority are too often cowards and fools.

    That is like a totalitarian dream! Orwell, anyone?
    Last edited by MK27; 03-01-2010 at 07:37 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    This would have happened with or without both commercialization and large scale use
    Yes. But I happen to think it's a little more involving that that.

    The internet has a technology is profoundly flawed. It's perhaps the equivalent of putting up a car for sale all around the world after having failed all crash dummy tests. Because of what it is, what it can achieve, and perhaps how it came to be, this is acceptable. However, there's always been a constant demand for uses that put an incredible burden on security and property concerns. To the point that all those promises of a cheap world-wide business has becoming nothing more than a pipe dream. It's quite incredible looking at some companies expenses in security.

    On the other hand the idea of a freewheeling internet could not really be achieved simply because of human nature. And not just a general tendency for governments to keep an eye on their "subjects", but because, as the internet so clearly illustrates, the general population when given free reign tend to violate that trust. Hackers or pirates are no less guilty than anyone using their services, since it's this that justifies their continued presence and ever growing numbers.

    The problem is that this lack of technological achievement on areas of security and property perpetrated by TCP/IP, the Web and the Internet in general, then turn against the general population. Because the same tools can be used against them; secretly by governments or corporations, or openly with the support of laws that find comfort in the fact otherwise it's chaos.

    What concerns me too is that this constant probing at the limits of our privacy in the internet by governments backed by commercial and social interests do meet with a general acceptance (as a recent thread on PunkBuster demonstrates by some of the arguments defending its use). And that once they exist within the internet, what's stopping them from spilling over to our normal lives?
    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.

  13. #13
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    This would have happened with or without both commercialization and large scale use -- in fact, it would have happened sooner.

    I knew someone in high school (c. 1988) who was arrested, charged, and had a court order issued forbidding him from using a personal computer for any purpose for one year, because he was involved in the (very commonplace at the time, and rather innocent) illegal distribution of software on his BBS.

    And BBS was neither commercial nor mass media. If the internet were more intimate and unmass commercialified, it almost certainly would be subject to much more restriction and government control, esp since a smaller scale would make this task easier and no one would care ("oh that's just those geeks, it doesn't matter to me if they all go to jail for life anyway").



    I would draw the line at using warrantless surveillance to investigate copyright violations, esp when under the DMCA the punishment does not involve a trial either. So now someone in law enforcement has the power to investigate you without a warrant (using techniques that you would be arrested for using), then have you summarily convicted without giving you any chance to defend yourself in court. So this could take place by mistake, or maybe because you were identified protesting at an anti-war rally? Why not? You will be forbidden from using the internet (and possibly worse), then it will be your problem to prove this is an accident (or unfair) afterward, and there may very well be no means for you to do so. Iran...China...USA...what's the difference?

    You can say, well, we trust the police and the FBI to not lie and whimsically wreck havoc however they please, and we trust politicians not to use their law enforcement friends to further a politcal agenda. Okay, but perhaps no one -- much less massive anonymous institutions employing hundreds of thousands of people (and certainly not politicians) -- deserves a priori totally unchecked, unregulated trust like that. They need to held accountable and kept in check, at least by already existing, well tested means such as habeas corpus, warrants, and court trials. Even in a society where the majority are too often cowards and fools.

    That is like a totalitarian dream! Orwell, anyone?
    Okay, but then again you don't see that sort of thing happening everyday, either. I mean, if that sort of abuse was so common, I think we'd know about it, wouldn't we? Anyway, any good statesman knows that stability requires restraint, and I think that most of ours know this very well.

    You have raised some good points, though. I do agree that oversight and honest assessment are needed. Checks and balances, and all.

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastiani View Post
    So use the power of your vote.
    Now's your chance in Europe:
    Help the European Parliament oppose ACTA | La Quadrature du Net
    http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/ACTA-Agreement/#detail

    Nb. this is being negotiated in secret (with leaks ) -- an interesting strategy for "democratic" governments to engage in on behalf of their too dumb to know or care populace
    Last edited by MK27; 03-02-2010 at 10:37 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Yay for Europe

    ACTA lost big time in the European Parliament, it seems largely because of the putative mandatory disconnection thing:

    Parliament threatens court action on anti-piracy treaty | EurActiv

    An overwhelming majority of MEPs (663 in favour and 13 against) today voted a resolution criticising the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), arguing that it flouts agreed EU laws on piracy online.

    The Parliament's resolution states that MEPs will go to the EU Court of Justice if the European Commission, which is leading the negotiation on behalf of the European Union, does not reject ACTA rules that would allow cutting off users from the Internet if caught downloading copyrighted content.
    I hope this makes American Democrats, who have stood up for nothing and fall for anything, ashamed of themselves.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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