A Visit to Highlander Folk School

If you care about Civil Rights in the largest sense, whether you know about Highlander or not, this is a worthwhile read…

As part of Sewanee’s new “Finding Your Place” program for freshmen, my students and I today went to the nearby site of the Highlander Folk School, the populist educational facilit…

Source: A Visit to Highlander Folk School

Think about it: Apple’s gift to the government*

What a favor Apple is doing the government.

* The House Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing yesterday ( The Encryption Debate). It posed questions to the FBI, Apple, prosecutors and experts. The videos are long but there is also a narrative on the page summarizing much.

Expert Susan Landau testified suggested the FBI should use this situation to develop the capabilities it seeks from Apple.  (It has just asked for an extra $38 million appropriation.)

But the big Apple gift was to the government as a whole.  Cyber security has been neglected, both encryption and decryption.  Key government agencies could have protected their files as Apple protects its devices. If they had, 20+ million people would not have been hacked.

Many parts of the government have not yet taken the protection of their data seriously.  Apple is showing them they can make it damned near impossible for anyone to get information to which they have no right.  Yes, the agency would need a key for administration.  It could be highly secured.

Let me make clear, throughout this dispute, my sympathies have been with Apple.  How can access for the good guys be protected from the bad guys?  No one ever says.

In fact, we don’t know that some US government agency or someone else hasn’t already built exactly what the FBI wants Apple to build.  If you think it is sad we don’t know whether other agencies have already done what Apple is being asked to do, well, I do too.)

The Unreal Secrecy About Drone Killings | Excerpted from Just Security (This is “sick”)

Alice in Wonderland, courtesy of the US Government’s penchant for secrecy in a democratic society.

Remember that State Department employees were not (and for all I know, still are not) to read Wikileaks State Department cables when you and I and those named in them, could do so.

Remember that unclassified government documents, posted on bulletin boards, may be classified after the fact, cf. the Thomas Drake charges (not the misdemeanor of “misusing a government computer” to which he pled guilty to get them off his back and go get a job working in an Apple store, losing all his government pension, etc.)

Well, now, it’s that the publication by a Federal Appeals Court of information that had been officially withheld but unofficially leaked and commented upon generally, is still classified.

Didn’t you think that the Courts were a part of the government of the United States?  I sure did until my doubts were raised by this contention.

“But it’s the last sentence of the footnote that is truly remarkable — unreal, one might even say. Sure, the government says, the Second Circuit published the July 2010 memo, and sure, it published the memo after having concluded that the government had officially acknowledged the memo’s contents, and after the government declined to file a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court. But so what?, the government says. We don’t consider the Second Circuit’s publication of the memo to have been an official disclosure. As far as we’re concerned, the government says, the memo is still secret.”

via The Unreal Secrecy About Drone Killings | Just Security.