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Current Topic: Society

Freedom to Tinker: Security Research Muzzled in Georgia
Topic: Society 12:56 pm EDT, Apr 16, 2003

] The complaint is constructed, as the lawyers say,
] "artfully". They vilify one of the defendants, without
] saying much about the other defendant; but they ask for
] an injunction against both. They gleefully quote one
] defendant calling himself a "hacker", apparently unaware
] that "hacker" is still a legitimate term of respect in
] some circles. They quote a law against distributing
] "access codes" and then trumpet a defendant's
] distribution of "code". And so on.
] There is no mention in these documents of the enormous
] free speech issue here. The injunction is a prior
] restraint on speech, which prevented the defendants from
] speaking to an specific audience that had gathered to
] hear them. Yet somehow neither Blackboard nor the court
] indicates that any consideration of the First Amendment
] was even necessary.

Felten takes notice..

Freedom to Tinker: Security Research Muzzled in Georgia

Your glow stick could land you in jail
Topic: Society 12:54 pm EDT, Apr 16, 2003

Last Thursday, the House and Senate almost unanimously passed the National AMBER Alert Network Act of 2003, a popular bill that will soon create a nationwide kidnapping alert system. Coming in the wake of a year of high-profile child abductions -- from Elizabeth Smart (whose parents supported the bill) to Samantha Runnion -- the bill was a no-brainer, destined to pass quickly and smoothly through Congress.

Surely Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) knew this, which explains why he cannily sneaked his own, completely unrelated legislation into the AMBER Act just two days before the vote. Piggybacked onto the act was the Anti-Drug Proliferation Act, a thinly veiled rewrite of legislation that had proved so controversial in 2002 that it failed to pass a single congressional committee. Now, club owners and partyers alike are being subjected to a loosely worded and heavy-handed law that authorities will be able to indiscriminately use to shut down music events at any time they please, assuming they find evidence of drug use. Thanks to Biden's surreptitious efforts, a few glow sticks and a customer or two on Ecstasy could be all it takes to throw a party promoter in jail for 20 years.


In English, this meant that anyone who intentionally let people do drugs at their events could be held liable. It also expanded the crack-house statute in two significant ways: Now the law could be applied to one-night events -- concerts, raves, parties, festivals -- as well as permanent locales like nightclubs, and it added civil penalties for violations, lowering the burden of proof from "beyond reasonable doubt" to a "preponderance of evidence."

Civil liberties are crumbling around us...this is very disturbing to me. -Nano

Your glow stick could land you in jail

The Register - DMCA threats gag security researchers
Topic: Society 12:38 am EDT, Apr 16, 2003

] Threats of DMCA-inspired lawsuits have been used to gag a
] pair of security researchers due to give a talk on the
] shortcomings of smartcard technology at the
] conference last weekend.
] Blackboard Inc. found out security researchers Billy
] Hoffman (AKA Acidus) and Virgil Griffith (Virgil) were
] about to present a paper on security flaws involving its
] popular university ID card system, and called in its
] lawyers.

The Register - DMCA threats gag security researchers

Court blocks security conference talk | CNET
Topic: Society 1:09 am EDT, Apr 15, 2003

] A pair of students were blocked by a federal court from
] presenting information at a Georgia security and hackers'
] conference on how to break into and modify a university
] electronic transactions system.

] "The temporary restraining order pointed out that the
] irreparable injury to Blackboard, our intellectual
] property rights and clients far outweighed the
] commercial speech rights of the individuals in
] question," said Michael Stanton, a Blackboard spokesman.
] The company claims that the speech being blocked is
] commercial speech because the students were a "small
] competitor" to Blackboard. One of the students,
] Georgia Institute of Technology's Billy Hoffman, had
] threatened to give away code allowing any computer to
] emulate Blackboard's technology, the company claims.

] Although an initial cease and desist letter sent to the
] Interz0ne conference organizers hinted that the students
] may have violated the DMCA, the complaint that resulted
] in the temporary restraining order did not touch on that
] copyright law.

Court blocks security conference talk | CNET DMCA not part of judge's Interz0ne order over security flaws
Topic: Society 1:09 am EDT, Apr 15, 2003

Declan is following..

] I should clarify one point. I (and some of the reports I
] forwarded) said the DMCA was one of the claims in the
] suit. That's incorrect. It was one of the points made in
] the lawyer nastygram but it was not part of the complaint
] and therefore not considered by the judge in granting
] the injunction.

Also see: DMCA not part of judge's Interz0ne order over security flaws

The copyright cops strike again
Topic: Society 12:58 am EDT, Apr 15, 2003

Decius added: "We live in a society in which we are increasingly dependent on this high-tech infrastructure which our lives are arranged around, and if we can't take these things apart and understand how they work, then I think we have a very serious threat to our freedom."

More info on the Interz0ne incident

The copyright cops strike again

Interz0ne: Cease and Desist Letter - 20030411
Topic: Society 9:45 pm EDT, Apr 13, 2003

Interz0ne talk censored due to DMCA notice (blogging from the sequestered talk (which is instead a discussion about what occured)).

(Rattle here blogging live from my talk.. There is a reason I have been going around all day chanting "Chilling Effects" in ominous tones..)

Interz0ne: Cease and Desist Letter - 20030411

Wired News: Due Process Vanishes in Thin Air
Topic: Society 1:54 am EDT, Apr  9, 2003

] Asif Iqbal, a Rochester, New York, management consultant,
] must get FBI clearance every Monday and Thursday when he
] flies to and from Syracuse for business. Iqbal can't get
] off a government watch list because he shares the same
] name as a suspected terrorist.
] What's more, the suspected terrorist Iqbal has been in
] U.S. custody at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
] since January 2002 when he was captured in Afghanistan.

Transportation Security Administration = Totally Stupid Assholes?

If you haven't read about it yet, you should follow the link through to CAPS II... Think all this added anti-terror security is temporary? Think again. Of course, they are promising that the institutionalized revision will actually include a way to remove yourself from the list ( :-O, these people are absolutely BRILLIANT). How one gets on the list will, of course, remain secret. So, basically, if everyone flies, and they need to get rid of someone they don't like, its really easy, and its impossible for anyone to ever find out what occured. You can bet your ass a hell of a lot more then "due process" will be "vanishing" under this system (Mike Hawash anyone?). Look for it to eventually get applied to every single mode of transportation in the country. Look for the Supreme Court to "interpret" that this is "legal." I'm sure that one or two of the justices will agree to "take one for the team" and write a dissent, if that makes you feel any better.

Wired News: Due Process Vanishes in Thin Air

The Philosopher of Islamic Terror
Topic: Society 1:05 am EST, Mar 25, 2003

Paul Berman writes for the New York Times Magazine on Sayyid Qutb.

This is some rather deep reading for a Sunday afternoon.

[I am memeing this so that I can come back and read it when I have time - Nano]

The Philosopher of Islamic Terror

AlterNet: When U.S. Foreign Policy Meets Biblical Prophecy
Topic: Society 8:04 pm EST, Feb 24, 2003

] Academics do need to pay more attention to the role of
] religious belief in American public life, not only in the
] past, but also today. Without close attention to the
] prophetic scenario embraced by millions of American
] citizens, the current political climate in the United
] States cannot be fully understood.
] Leaders have always invoked God's blessing on their wars,
] and, in this respect, the Bush administration is simply
] carrying on a familiar tradition. But when our born-again
] president describes the nation's foreign-policy objective
] in theological terms as a global struggle against
] "evildoers," and when, in his recent State of the Union
] address, he casts Saddam Hussein as a demonic,
] quasi-supernatural figure who could unleash "a day of
] horror like none we have ever known," he is not only
] playing upon our still-raw memories of 9/11. He is also
] invoking a powerful and ancient apocalyptic vocabulary
] that for millions of prophecy believers conveys a
] specific and thrilling message of an approaching end - not
] just of Saddam, but of human history as we know it.

Quick! Take a drug, get laied, go skydiving, drive your car real fast, write a novel, climb Mt. Everest, learn to swim, code that program, ask her out, run a marathon, get that peircing, write that song, go to that club, move to a city, move to the woods, eat sushi, do whatever the hell you gotta do, because the end times are here and George Bush is driving..

Umm.. Yeah.

AlterNet: When U.S. Foreign Policy Meets Biblical Prophecy

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