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Posts by muppetry

 I think perhaps you misunderstand the relationship between the lawmaking process and the operation of government agencies.
 As I said, I'd replace repeal with reconsider, but no argument with your second observation. I'd go further and say that the political system in the US is broken in many ways.
 That's trivially correct, but presumes that all such data gathering is inherently bad. There are certainly conceivable bad uses, but there are also tangible advantages to the consumer, such as benefitting from crowd-sourced data, targeted product information etc.. I don't regard anonymized consumer data as an intrusion of privacy, and so it seems to be me that the bad comprises mostly hypothetical future abuse, while the perceived benefits are current and actual. An...
 I use Déja Vu for targeted backups.
 Actually I think it's unlikely that there was widespread high-level intent. To clarify, the agencies themselves always tend to ask for whatever makes their jobs easiest, while we expect our elected representatives to make sure that they don't overreach. Unfortunately this act was a real rush job, with good intentions and a determination to do whatever it took to prevent a repeat of 9/11 outweighing caution and due diligence. It's a widely held belief that few politicians...
 I'm not sure about that. While it does contain provisions that have been interpreted to be in violation of various aspects of the constitution, those are really a small part of the overall act. Remove those, clarify some others (mostly in Title II), and what is left has little impact on US Citizens, while making it significantly easier to monitor potential hostile targets. The other criticisms mostly relate to erosion of rights of aliens, and while those probably should...
 The Patriot Act needs to be completely reworked, in my opinion - it simply has too widespread, open-ended and vague provisions that are easy to interpret in ways that, I would hope, were not originally intended.
 I don't disagree with the concerns over erosion of rights, but I don't think I follow your logic here.  The ability to do interesting things (assuming that's not a euphemism for illegal things), innovate, lead and challenge the status quo do not, per se, require any particular level of privacy, unless the results of government intrusion into your privacy are used to prevent such things. So far I've not seen or heard of evidence of these data being used in such ways. From...
 I completely agree with your assessment of the headaches that Apple may be giving the NSA (assuming that we are correct in believing that they do not have access).  I'm not convinced that the NSA (or whichever agencies may be involved) have either the authority (real or assumed) or the influence to go after such a powerful US company, especially during the continuing fallout from Snowden's tales. And, if they did manage to put together such a campaign, I would expect to...
 That's a plausible explanation of the assumptions and mistakes that might have led to the court's basic decision, but it doesn't really shed any more light on whether this is part a larger government scheme to subdue Apple or just a few incompetents at DoJ working with a prejudiced and ignorant judge. It's very tempting, but logically untenable, to regard the recent information about NSA surveillance activities as direct evidence for this hypothesized conspiracy. I'm...
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