Tag Archives: War on Terror

‘State of Surveillance’ with Edward Snowden and Shane Smith

National hero Edward Snowden explains–with chilling detail–the real world dangers of the illegal government surveillance programs he disclosed and the reality that they aren’t used to stop terrorism.

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What Apple’s FBI Standoff Says About Google’s Android Security

Everyone fails to recognize that the decentralised nature of Android is–while being a “mainstream flaw”–is one of its greatest strengths. Yes, Google wants to have more control over its operating system, but that goes against the very nature of what they intended when they began developing it. The point of the matter, though, is that very little would change if that asshole had used Android instead (considering the likely application of Paranoid Android in such a case). Actually, the whole matter would likely be less of an issue politically because there is not one entity to subpoena. The FBI could subpoena Google to do something, but Google could (in good faith) say that there is nothing they can do if an alternative OS were installed. The takeaway here should not be how much more secure iPhones are (they aren’t necessarily), but that compulsory cracking like this is dangerous to freedom at large.

“There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all.”

Justice Antonin Scalia

Source: What Apple’s FBI Standoff Says About Google’s Android Security | Re/code

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Customer Letter – Apple

Tim Cook and Apple are telling the US Government to get bent, and for good reason: encryption is vital to our individual security and to undermine that is to undermine our entire society. If the “good guys” can have a backdoor into your house, it’s only a matter of time before the bad guys copy the keys.

If your first reaction is to shrug and say, “I have nothing to hide,” I hate to break it to you, but you’re not clever enough to understand the implications, so go sit down at the kids’ table and let the grown-ups argue.

As a side note (full journalistic disclosure): If you read this website, you already know my opinions on Apple are complicated, but I do use a 2010 Macbook Pro daily, and I encourage most “casual users” to consider adopting OSX machines as their daily drivers. Despite this, I do loathe iOS since the move to “flat design”, and I vehemently refuse to “upgrade” OSX past Mavericks for design reasons as well as “integration features” that annoy me.

A Message to Our Customers

Source: Customer Letter – Apple

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Donald Trump Is Helping the Terrorists Win

People–in general–are prone to violent radicalization when marginalized by those in power (think the Black Panthers in the 1960s, the Boers in the 1890s, or even Americans in the 1770s). Pushing these people further to the margins through fear and hate only furthers their cause, and is more akin to how (Godwin’s Law aside) a failed painter from Austria became chancellor of Depression-era Germany.

Counterterrorism experts will tell you that fear and Islamophobia only make the country more vulnerable to attack.

Source: Donald Trump Is Helping the Terrorists Win

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Why Obama Isn’t Afraid of ISIS

Credit where credit is due: I think Obama has the right idea here. Obviously, the whole GWB-style, unilateral, “guns blazing” approach doesn’t work so well in the long run.

The president and his opponents view terrorism in entirely different ways.

Source: Why Obama Isn’t Afraid of ISIS

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