Month: September 2011

There is never an online cop when you need one.

What we need is an international police force with the enforcement power to really target the organized crime that operates on the net. It would investigate the top of the crimeware food chain and track down the people who are running the online crime syndicates. Each member country would be required to co-operate with others, regardless of the apparent size of the crime.

Of course, establishing such a new force would mean a number of legal challenges. For example, malicious code is often created in countries where it is not even illegal or where the perpetrators are not prosecuted.

In my opinion, such an agency should focus only on fighting international malware crime gangs. If it would try to extend to other areas, such as fighting pirates or hactivists, things would get much more complicated. Nobody wants banking trojan gangs around, and we should focus on this problem. The last thing I’d want is some sort of a net police that would try to restrict the freedom of the net. This very freedom is the reason the Internet has become as useful as it is.

And there is the edge of that slippery slope. Read More: We need an international police force to fight cybercrime

81 Percenter

Majorities of Democrats (65%) and Republicans (92%) are dissatisfied with the nation’s governance. This perhaps reflects the shared political power arrangement in the nation’s capital, with Democrats controlling the White House and U.S. Senate, and Republicans controlling the House of Representatives. Partisans on both sides can thus find fault with government without necessarily blaming their own party.

Read More: Americans Express Historic Negativity Toward U.S. Government

Down the page there is another interesting poll: Nearly Half Now Say Government Poses Immediate Threat, wich says Americans’ sense that the federal government poses an immediate threat to individuals’ rights and freedoms is also at a new high, 49%, since Gallup began asking the question using this wording in 2003.

Who’d have thought?

To whatever high school intern probably came up with the idea, the White House’s "Attack Watch" website and Twitter account must have seemed a spark of genius. After all, they yoked together two trendy ideas—rapid response and crowd-sourcing—in service to the president. Give people the opportunity to report false and malicious things others are saying about Obama, so the administration and its supporters can fight back.
What could possibly go wrong?
The intern—whoever it was—must have been too young to remember the left’s Bush-era motto: "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

Read More: Obama’s Thought Police

Excessive Snooping?

Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit handed down a unanimous ruling in the Simon Glik case. That case held that Glik had a “clearly-established” First Amendment right to record the actions of the police on the Boston Common, and that police officers should have known this when they arrested him. Civil libertarians are hoping a second ruling in Illinois will help cement the principle that audio recording is an activity protected by the First Amendment.

Read More: Judge worries recording police will lead to excessive “snooping around”. Also see: Police Immunity from Cell-Phone Recording Overturned by Court of Appeals

For what it is worth

Saturday, September 17, 2011 marks the 224th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention.  In conjunction with this historical milestone, Public Law 915 guarantees the issuing of a proclamation each year by the President designating the period from September 17 through 23 as “Constitution Week.”

Read More: September 17-23 designated as “Constitution Week” in St. Joseph County

Let there be light

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that the government must turn over information from criminal prosecutions in which federal law enforcement agencies obtained cell-site location information without a warrant. The suit, filed as part of EFF’s FLAG Project and in conjunction with the ACLU, sought the release of the case numbers and case names in which the government had tracked the location of a person’s cell phone without obtaining a warrant.

Read More FOIA Victory Will Shed More Light on Warrantless Tracking of Cell Phones

Keeping Silent

On September 2, 2011, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette issued an opinion which will now allow citizen’s of the State of Michigan to join the citizens of 38 other states in the legal possession of sound suppression devices. AG Bill Schuette used the same logic in this opinion as was used by former AG Mike Cox to allow Michiganians to possess fully automatic machine guns manufactured before 1986.

Read more Attorney general: Michigan gun owners can use silencers, suppressors