It is time for Louis Freeh to lose his job.
July 16, 2000 6:05 PM   Subscribe

It is time for Louis Freeh to lose his job. Carnivore, indeed. This has got to stop.
posted by baylink (9 comments total)
Via Brennan's excellent Weblogging Considered Harmful, BTW. Sorry, Bren.
posted by baylink at 6:13 PM on July 16, 2000

I'd already mentioned this on the original Carnivore thread, although that was already well down the page at the time.

Remember, Bob Cringely's conclusion (a shutdown system for the net, if you haven't read it) is purely speculative, but he does bring up a few questions that needed to be asked. What could this system be doing to require a specialized black box instead of a software patch or some off-the-shelf hardware? The latest word I've read on the system has Reno taking a closer look, the ACLU raising several kinds of protest, and Earthlink vowing to keep the FBI on a vegetarian diet.
posted by harmful at 8:15 PM on July 16, 2000

Reminds me of all that Clipper Chip shit a few years back. What the f*^% are these people so damn afraid of, anyway? Iron Chef fan sites? Blogs? Pages dedicated to Klingon translations of the plays of the past? Porn? How is any of this going to hurt anyone?

Just a bunch of fascist idiots afraid that they aren't controlling us enough. Go back to bed, America, your government is in control.

So damn tired of this crap.
posted by Ezrael at 9:35 PM on July 16, 2000

Well, while probably 99% of the content of the web and email is completely innocuous, there have been known to be things which are less nice out there.

For instance, at one point someone published the complete contents of the "Anarchist's cookbook" on the web. Now if you're not familiar with this particular tome, what it contains is the exact instructions on how to make all sorts of interesting things -- like plastic explosive.

It keeps popping up various places; like so many things on the web it's a weed which is impossible to eradicate, and there are groups which are constantly searching for it (and similar volumes) and when they find them will immediately start yelling big-time to the ISP carrying the page to kill it off. But if you look hard you can still find it; at this point there are tens of thousands of copies of it in private hands, and occasionally someone will post it somewhere. (While I would in no way equate it to DeCSS morally, it does have in common the fact that there's absolutely no way to ever get it back under control.)

Is this really good?

I happen to be a big supporter of the First Amendment; don't get me wrong. In fact, I think it's the finest single sentence ever written in the English language, more pregnant with meaning than any other sentence ever written. Many men have made their careers around that sentence, and not an inconsiderable number of given their lives to defend it.

But I do have to wonder just a tadge about the wisdom of telling all the k001 d00dz out there how to make C4.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:23 PM on July 16, 2000

Well, seeing as Echelon has been snooping on everyone outside the US for long enough, it's about time you shared in the joy. As for us Brits, we're getting an extra helping of surveillance from the RIP bill, once it gets rubber-stamped.
posted by holgate at 12:48 AM on July 17, 2000

Exact, inaccurate instructions. The Anarchist's Cookbook isn't dangerous to anybody but the person dumb enough to try making something from it. If you want to make real bombs, there are several publicly available U.S. government publications that could assist you in that.

A review of the Anarchist's cookbook. The same site's notes and commentary on it. And a FAQ about it.

Also note that it IS available for sale from (along with the author's disavowal) and that you can buy it from your local bookstore (probably on special order).

I don't need the government to protect me from idiots. I don't need the government to protect me from myself. And I don't need the government to abuse me so it can protect idiots from themselves.

And, yes, I realize that was just an example.
posted by fable at 1:36 AM on July 17, 2000

In other words (although fable's were well chosen) we don't need the government to be our daddy.
posted by Ezrael at 5:34 AM on July 17, 2000

Wait, wiretapping my phone is OK, but for some reason, wiretapping my internet connection isn't? I don't understand what all the furor is about here...
posted by delfuego at 4:48 PM on July 17, 2000

Go re-read the piece.

A phone tap requires a court order, and is a *tap*, on *one pair of wires*, that the judge can call the phone company guys who hung it into court to testify about.

This thing is a black helicopter^Wbox, that just sits on the hose... and who *knows* what it's doing...

Transport level strong encryption will help, but there's no way to avoid traffic analysis, which will pretty much be impossible.

The people who don't get this, really don't get it: your government doesn't work for you anymore. It works for America, Inc.

They just keep chivvying us and chivvying us to start the Second American Revolution...
posted by baylink at 6:34 PM on July 17, 2000

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