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Encryption Keys For Kim Dotcom's Data Can't Be Given To FBI, Court Rules

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the do-not-pass-go,-do-not-encrypt-$200 dept.

Encryption 149

the simurgh writes: As many who follow the Kim Dotcom saga know, New Zealand police seized his encrypted computer drives in 2012, copies of which were illegally passed to the FBI. Fast-forward to 2014: Dotcom wants access to the seized but encrypted content. A New Zealand judge has now ruled that even if the Megaupload founder supplies the passwords, the encryption keys cannot be forwarded to the FBI.

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Umm... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371369)

Why is Kim DotTard still in the news?!?

Re:Umm... (5, Insightful)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | about 6 months ago | (#47371387)

Because it is a test case for the limits of government search powers. What they are allow to do to him, they are allow to do to you.

Re:Umm... (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 6 months ago | (#47371407)

To bad it's in New Zealand and hinges on the fact that they drives were never supposed to be given to the FBI in the first place.

Re:Umm... (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47371597)

I wouldn't count on it. That guy had more luck than is due, something's really odd here.

I've followed the whole "Kimmie saga" for a while now. That guy is not lucky, he's DAMN lucky. It's really reaching Rincewind-luck-levels. Every "ordinary" person would either be in jail for the foreseeable future and beyond or would've gotten a pair of fitting cement boots along with a free swimming lesson.

I don't have an explanation (that I could write down in a public place, at least), but I would NOT count on having the same amount of luck if I were in his boots.

Re:Umm... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371759)

It's called money. Money and resources buy you freedom. Freedom is not free. Often the price of acquiring money, resources, and subsequently freedom is your head. The Universe may be sufficiently chaotic to be impervious to analytical treatment, but nothing in the rules of physics suggests that there's a lack of consistent rules. There is no such thing as luck. If you insist on calling it "luck", you should at least realize that it applies equally to all.

Re:Umm... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372767)

You are correct it is all money. I am/was part of this case with my involvement in a site called ninjavideo. We were the string they pulled to go after Kim Dotcom. Kim helped ICE go after us and then the evidence they got to go after us is what let them also go after him. I being poor had no money to launch a defense and I ended up doing a little 6 month sentence in federal prison and got 2 years of probation and I also now owe the MPAA 26k.

Kim in my opinion is a scumbag who will through anyone and everyone under the bus including tattling on his competitors to paypal to try and get paypal to cut off their funding.

wadswerth

Re:Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373379)

It's called money. Money and resources buy you freedom. Freedom is not free. Often the price of acquiring money, resources, and subsequently freedom is your head. The Universe may be sufficiently chaotic to be impervious to analytical treatment, but nothing in the rules of physics suggests that there's a lack of consistent rules. There is no such thing as luck. If you insist on calling it "luck", you should at least realize that it applies equally to all.

Han, is that you?

Re:Umm... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371765)

Every "ordinary" person would either be in jail for the foreseeable future and beyond or would've gotten a pair of fitting cement boots along with a free swimming lesson.

Every "ordinary" person can't afford the right defense.

Re: Umm...damage (2)

John Howell (2861885) | about 6 months ago | (#47371893)

The damage has already been done. It's ended his mirage and torn his family apart, frozen his assets and been gerally inconvenient, all without even trying him yet. This is purely to strike fear into anyone who might want to challenge copyright as the US sees it.

Re: Umm...damage (4, Insightful)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | about 6 months ago | (#47372335)

Assuming his separation from his wife is not so that she wont go down with the ship and can retain assets etc afterwards...

I have no evidence for this but I did have to wonder when I heard the news. Also he is cheeky, dodgy and clever enough to do such a thing.

Re:Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371783)

Not sure what Rincewind luck levels are, but I think I understand you to be saying he is Teela Brown lucky.

Re:Umm... (0)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 6 months ago | (#47371929)

Breakwind, erm, I mean Brincewind was a character in Pratchett's Disc World novels.

Re:Umm... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 6 months ago | (#47371939)

Err um yes, I meant Rincewind.

Re:Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372407)

Well, if he's lucky then the executive board of Google must be "Uber lucky".

Re:Umm... (1)

ShaunC (203807) | about 6 months ago | (#47373159)

I don't have an explanation (that I could write down in a public place, at least), but I would NOT count on having the same amount of luck if I were in his boots.

None of us know the whole story, and it's not likely that we ever will, unless he contracts some terminal illness and decides to write a telling memoir on his way out.

I'll agree that no one like you or me would ever have the same amount of "luck," primarily because it can't be luck. Kim has money and he has leverage. One doesn't always buy the other (to the chagrin of a litany of folks from George Jung to Bernie Madoff), but it seems clear that Kim has banked plenty of both. He's freely given out some of the juicy bits, like the MegaUpload accounts that were registered and used by USG and MAFIAA entities to engage in various copyright infringement. But he has more, and he's keeping it to himself.

The man may be a complete and total pompous douche canoe with a proven track record of dubious activity, but he isn't dumb by any stretch of the imagination.

Re:Umm... (3, Informative)

Mistakill (965922) | about 6 months ago | (#47373163)

Luck?

He has broken no laws in New Zealand... the NZ Police and the GCSB overreached with their spying and the execution of the search warrant (the warrant was found to be not legal). The US tried to get him extradited, so the Judge asked to see some of the evidence... (presumption of innocence you know), and the US said 'were the US, we want him, hes guilty', so the Judge said prove it. Seeing as the extradition hearing still hasn't been heard in it's entirety, he's still here in NZ.

You can argue luck all you want, but what matters here is New Zealand law, and the opinion of the Judge (btw Kim Dot Com is a New Zealand resident, so is subject to all the rights that kiwi's have)

Re:Umm... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371445)

So that shining stars like yourself can provide us with such cutting witticisms as appending -tard to the ends of words. Top of the comedic drawer, old chap!

Re:Umm... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371541)

So that shining stars like yourself can provide us with such cutting witticisms as appending -tard to the ends of words. Top of the comedic drawer, old chap!

That's chap-tard, you insensetive clod.

Re:Umm... (0)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 6 months ago | (#47371703)

FTFY

That's chap-tard, you insensetive clod-tard.

Re:Umm... (0)

bmxeroh (1694004) | about 6 months ago | (#47371993)

I was going to append another -tard to your -tard, but then I realized we'd be left with one of two possible meme outcomes. Xzibit or turtles, you pick.

Nudge, nudge. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371403)

Nudge, nudge. Wink wink. Say no more. Say no more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ona-RhLfRfc

"cannot" (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371429)

There is nothing these governments "cannot" do.

Re:"cannot" (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47371611)

Really?

Ok, challenge accepted: Find me one of THESE governments that can do a balanced budget.

Re:"cannot" (2, Informative)

ganjadude (952775) | about 6 months ago | (#47371637)

oh they COULD do that...but they wont

Re:"cannot" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371639)

Touché!

all states but Vermont (2, Informative)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#47371755)

All US states other than Vermont run balanced budgets, so those same politicians could do the same when they move to Washington. Apparently, the voters don't really care aboyt that any more once governor gets elected president.

Interestingly, Vermont owes $13,000 per person, or $30,000 per family. It seems that either you keep the politicians on a short leash (49 state) or allow them to overspend and they'll put you $30,000 in the hole (Vermont).

A couple of states are debatable as to whether or not their budgets are exactly balanced. Either way, none of them borrowed hundreds of billions from social security, spent it, and then bragged that they "balanced" the budget by balancing their spending with borrowing.

Re:all states but Vermont (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371887)

All US states other than Vermont run balanced budgets, so those same politicians could do the same when they move to Washington.

Every state gets money from the federal government for things like roads and law enforcement grants. No state has to maintain a military. If states run balanced budgets only because the federal government is handing them money and giving them services for free, is balancing the state budget really that much of an accomplishment?

Re:all states but Vermont (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 6 months ago | (#47371985)

Up until the income tax was federalized, the states had much more adequate finances. Admittedly, the taxpayers often refused them access to it.

Re:all states but Vermont (2)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 6 months ago | (#47372623)

Every state gets money from the federal government for things like roads and law enforcement grants. No state has to maintain a military. If states run balanced budgets only because the federal government is handing them money and giving them services for free, is balancing the state budget really that much of an accomplishment?

All that "free" money was collected from the taxpayers, and they all live (or exist on paper) in some state. They could have just as easily paid their taxes to their state capitols instead of Washington DC.

Sure, if your state stopped getting highway money from the feds, the resulting consequences would look bad on the state's books. ("All these roads and no money to repair them! All these assets and we can't afford a military to guard them!") But if your state stopped receiving that money and its residents stopped paying the federal taxes for those uses, and instead those taxes were paid directly to the state, then it doesn't really look all that bad on the books, does it? ("All these roads and look at all this state income tax to pay for them! All these assets and look at all the money this state's residents have paid to hire guards!")

(On average. I realize that on a state-by-state basis there is variance, but add up all 50 and the fed's contribution is less than zero, or exactly zero if they just happen to magically have no overhead at all.)

Re:all states but Vermont (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 6 months ago | (#47372773)

It could even be better. "All this extra money because bureaucrats and politicians in Washington didn't siphon off a bunch of it for their side projects. Now our citizens can pay us less than they did the Feds for the same services and road repairs!"

all states but Vermont (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371921)

Every state is massively subsidized by the federal system, both with direct funds and with indirect benefit from things like military protection, interstate commerce, etc.

Re:all states but Vermont (1)

SrLnclt (870345) | about 6 months ago | (#47372063)

All US states other than Vermont run balanced budgets, so those same politicians could do the same when they move to Washington.

Have you seen Illinois (or many other states for that matter)? Most have no idea what a balanced budget is. Here's an excerpt from some random google search [statebudgetsolutions.org] :

Top 5 State Debt Per Capita
Alaska $40,714
Hawaii $33,111
Connecticut $31,298
Ohio $27,836
Illinois $24,959

Personally I find Illinois a bit amazing, since it is also the fifth most populous state based on the 2010 census.

Illinois politicians are special. Unconstitutional (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#47372471)

Illinois is pretty whacked out. The legislators admitted that their budget was unconstitutional, while they voted for it. At the same time, Illinois republicans proposed that they should not get paid until they pass a balanced budget, as certified by an independent third party. Here's hoping we never get any of those Illinois dems in the Whitehouse! Oh, crap.

Re:Illinois politicians are special. Unconstitutio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373993)

Read this raymorris (don't evade it a dozen times and downmod it like you did before) http://it.slashdot.org/comment... [slashdot.org]

Re:all states but Vermont (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373305)

Doesn't follow. Doing a balanced budget for the USA is, demonstrably, significantly harder than doing one for Texas. Just because you can do one, doesn't mean you can do the other.

simpme: states not allowed to run deficits (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#47373433)

I don't know how you figure "demonstrably". Most state legislatures have no choice, they aren't allowed by state constitutions to spend money they don't have. The federal government is allowed to spend money they don't have. That's the difference. It's not EASY in each state, but it's REQUIRED in most states.

It's actually pretty darn easy to NOT spend money that you don't hav. All it requires is inaction. Congress is normally pretty good at inaction, just not where spending is concerned.

Here's a real simple balanced budget:
Each department gets 3% more than they did last year.
Do that for a few years and the budget will balance. The year after that, the budget will be in black, meaning we can start getting rid of the debt load.

Getting rid of the debt has a positive feedback cycle. The more debt you pay off, the less interest you pay, leaving more money to pay the debt off even faster. Before long, the savings from not spending all your money paying interest start to make the rest of the budget a lot easier.

Re:simpme: states not allowed to run deficits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373991)

Read this raymorris (don't evade it a dozen times and downmod it like you did before) http://it.slashdot.org/comment... [slashdot.org]

Re:"cannot" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372053)

a federal budget based on a fiat currency, of which the same federal government issues, is inherently ALWAYS balanced.

money isn't real.

#DEALWITHIT

Re: "cannot" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372137)

Its as real as our modern concept if property.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372527)

There are only two countries involved: US and NZ. I don't think the US government is near balanced,
but try googling "New Zealand Budget Surplus". They are _really _ close.

Re:"cannot" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373933)

Seems like a really easy challenge, especially if we are limited to "THESE" governments. It's clearly not the US.
So by elimination it must be the other one, i.e. NZ?
E.g. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304908304579562812392844326

What's my prize?

ugh (5, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47371443)

I don't know who I dislike more in this case. Is there any way we can get Kim Dotcom and the FBI to go all Point Break on each other and get locked into a Patrick Swayze/Keanu Reeves death spiral except without the single parachute?

Re:ugh (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#47371617)

Whoever loses.

We win.

Re:ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371743)

we can jack Bauer the code out of him or just say we will push the death penalty if you don't give up the code.

Re:ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372223)

If they can do that, then they can Jack Bauer the evidence of your wrongdoings out of you, any old time.

I bet you'd whine like a little girl the moment they did that.

Re:ugh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372105)

It takes a dick to fuck an asshole?

He would be an idiot to give up the keys (1, Troll)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 6 months ago | (#47371499)

Because the FBI would get them, despite the court order. Courts have no power to enforce their rulings, and it is pretty plain to see that the current occupant of the Whitehouse doesn't give two shits about laws or court rulings.

And worse (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | about 6 months ago | (#47371559)

They'd claim they broke the encryption using some "Super Duper Top Secret Compute Cluster" and attempt to use it

Re:And worse (3, Funny)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 6 months ago | (#47371955)

They'd claim they broke the encryption using some "Super Duper Top Secret Compute Cluster" and attempt to use it

...and to nevermind the numerous wrench shaped bruises all over Kim.

Re:He would be an idiot to give up the keys (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371609)

By current occupant, do you mean the President of the United States? You seem like a nut.

Re:He would be an idiot to give up the keys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372179)

You're right. Obama has proven himself to be an outstanding president that holds to his oath to follow and protect the constitution. When has he ever supported something that was unconstitutional? Never! Never ever!

That guy is a nut, as you stated, and you most certainly aren't delusional.

Re:He would be an idiot to give up the keys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372543)

I'm sure he has no legal jurisdiction in another country beyond the drooling fealty of John "I did not mislead the House!" [thestandard.org.nz] Key.

Re:He would be an idiot to give up the keys (1)

ScepticOne (576266) | about 6 months ago | (#47373131)

It pretty much just means that if the NZ police give the encryption keys to the FBI, the people who handed over the keys can be prosecuted while the FBI happily uses DotCom's formerly-encrypted data against him. Of course, who's going to actually arrest the people who provide the encryption keys?

What a crazy situation (5, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 months ago | (#47371505)

Something seems really, really off kilter if so many of us see the federal government's law enforcement agencies as the enemy.

There are so many good things that they're supposedly in the business to do: go after child porn producers, rapists, murderers, (actual) terrorists, etc.

It's stunning that through their tactics (both in the courtrooms and out) and some of the unjust laws they have to enforce, they could actually be viewed as the enemy by a large portion of the public.

This doesn't feel remotely like a healthy democracy.

Re:What a crazy situation (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 6 months ago | (#47371533)

Something seems really, really off kilter if so many of us see the federal government's law enforcement agencies as the enemy.

The War on Drugs made law enforcement into the enemy for a lot more people than the War on Copyright Infringement. That's really where the Government started to overreach, in modern times, and if you think what they're doing with cyber criminals (real and imagined) is horrible you should Google "civil asset forfeiture" and start reading.

Re:What a crazy situation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371635)

Yeah... as long as the government uses law enforcement as a form of revenue generation (everything from asset forfeiture to speed traps) and rewards police based on the number of citations rather than some metric of police effectiveness, I will continue to view our institutions as corrupt and law enforcement as the principal instrument of that corruption.

In a 3rd world country... a corrupt cop pulls you over and you pay him $5 bucks for a bribe. In the US, he gets $5 in salary incentives from the chief. The only difference is that in the 3rd world, it ends at the cop... in the US, the ticket goes to your driving record and insurance and everything else.

The 3rd world system, in this case, is better.

Re:What a crazy situation (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#47371873)

Personally, to me, all of that is peanuts next to random beatings and killings of unarmed, defenceless and subdued people.

Re:What a crazy situation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372081)

What's quite telling (and sad) is that my first impression was that you were not referring to the 3rd world country example.

Re:What a crazy situation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372531)

What's quite telling (and sad) is that my first impression was that you were not referring to the 3rd world country example.

Who says the US isn't a third world country?

Re:What a crazy situation (2)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 6 months ago | (#47372557)

Anyone who has ever defined the term "first world" as either "NATO-aligned countries" or "countries with post-industrial economies". The only people who call the US a "third world country" are people who are using incorrect terminology to describe the issues the US faces.

Re:What a crazy situation (4, Informative)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 6 months ago | (#47372835)

In Chariman Mao's "Three Worlds Theory" [wikipedia.org] the Two Superpowers (the US and the USSR after capitalism was restored there in the 1950's) are the First World. The second world is the modernized secondary powers (Europe, etc.) The third world is the exploited nations (i.e. most of Africa.) So Belgium and Germany are Second World powers, the US and USSR are the First World.

This was in opposition to the classic cold war use of 'Three Worlds' in western foreign policy, which defined the US and allies as 'The First World', the USSR and allies as the Second World, and the rest as the Third World.

Your definition is the modern mish-mash defnition from after the decline of the Soviet Union, which comes closer to Mao's meaning, but is still significantly different.

And the existence of Mao's theory and the older Cold War definition trashes your 'Anybody who has ever defined the term' claim. I've shown there are at least three ways the term has been used.

Re:What a crazy situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372505)

Yeah... as long as the government uses law enforcement as a form of revenue generation ( ... speed traps)

Considering that #1 non-disease loss of life is due to car crashes (maybe it is guns in the US, but US is special in that regard) and significant portion of these involve speeding, they are not investing enough in speed traps. I would definitely welcome more speed traps. Speed kills, and clearly people cannot understand that basic fact.

E = 0.5 * m * speed^2

40% more speed, 2x the energy
3x the speed, 9x the energy

So if you survive 40km/h crash (ie. breaking before crash) with just minor injuries, at 120km/h you are lucky to survive at all.

Re:What a crazy situation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372847)

speed traps arent an effective deterrent in speed enforcement. One of the definitions of "speed trap" (in many state's vehicle code and therefore the law) is a place where the limit is set lower what is determined by engineering design. For instance, the Civil Engineer determines that a safe speed is 60 and for some reason the speed limit is set to 35. This is common in rural communities where the speed limit is set to a reasonable speed and "all of the sudden" the speed dips down at a place where cops can park and pick off the folks who don't know the road.

Traffic cams operate on a similar principle.... reduce the timing of the yellow light so that more citations are given.

In both cases, the safety is sacrificed because folks will slam on their brakes.

I agree that speed kills... but taking the side of LE on whether these practices is corrupt is not a valid point. Take away the financial incentive and lets see if these citations are still made. I guarantee that if you set the incentive on measurable results (e.g. safer neighborhoods, etc) then speeding citations would go away. To prove this point.... what proportion of speeding citations occur on routes where there is high crime? Almost none.... so we are taking the cops away from the neighborhoods that need a patrol and putting them on the transit routes. If they want to set speed traps, let them do it in the neighborhoods that need patrolling for serious, violent crime.

Corruption in the United States is institutionalized and centralized. At least in a "developing" (i.e. 3rd world) country, you can haggle.

Re:What a crazy situation (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 6 months ago | (#47372975)

Yeah... as long as the government uses law enforcement as a form of revenue generation ( ... speed traps)

Considering that #1 non-disease loss of life is due to car crashes (maybe it is guns in the US, but US is special in that regard) and significant portion of these involve speeding, they are not investing enough in speed traps. I would definitely welcome more speed traps. Speed kills, and clearly people cannot understand that basic fact.

E = 0.5 * m * speed^2

40% more speed, 2x the energy
3x the speed, 9x the energy

So if you survive 40km/h crash (ie. breaking before crash) with just minor injuries, at 120km/h you are lucky to survive at all.

Not even in the top 10 as a percentage population

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

Re: What a crazy situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372991)

Guns are nowhere close to number one. Alcohol, cars, and smoking take the lions share.

Re: What a crazy situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373021)

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_preventable_causes_of_death#Leading_causes_in_the_United_States

Might have been posted. And once you remove suicides, the numbers drop far further.

Then you need to ask what proportion of the homicides number is gang on gang violence.

Re:What a crazy situation (2)

rainmaestro (996549) | about 6 months ago | (#47373151)

The fact that it is the #1 non-disease killer (even in the US) is pretty much meaningless in the overall picture when you consider that over 90% of deaths are caused by diseases. Traffic fatalities represent about 2% of the total deaths per annum. Now factor in that only about 30% of traffic fatalities have excess speed as a contributing factor (according to the NHTSA). And only about 35% of fatalities occur above 55 mph (again, NHTSA), so most people aren't even in the "lucky to survive" range when they are killed.

So...2% overall death rate, times 30% if speed traps could magically eliminate every instance of excessive speeding causing a crash, AND each of those crashes ONLY had excessive speed as a cause, and we get a *best case* 0.6% reduction in overall deaths if we went balls-out on speed traps. Complete and utter waste of time.

Your numbers, while theoretically valid, are ultimately pointless in practice. Putting that extra effort into reducing distracted driving or alcohol-impaired driving would both yield a better return. Or, even better, put it into reducing the staggering number of deaths caused by preventable diseases if you really want to cut down the death rate.

Re:What a crazy situation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371917)

The damage we're doing to ourselves by trying (and failing) to stop drug abuse is worse than the damage we would suffer without trying. That's been self-evident for at least a quarter of a century, if one only considers "drugs." If one considers prohibition, then we've had ample evidence since the 1930's.

We're creating a large and violent underclass of convicted non-citizens, a breed of corrupt, heavily armed and very militant lawyer-cops, a distorted judicial system that feeds off revolving door drug prosecutions and a vast, costly and nightmarish prison system. And it doesn't work. If you want to ruin your life with drugs you may do so with little impediment.

I come from a place that is now the social equivalent of necrotized flesh; Detroit, where the drug war was fought in earnest early on. I live in the first state to legalize recreational marijuana; Colorado. So maybe there is hope.

On the other hand, I see the "war on drugs" as just another expression of the growth of the power of the State. There are so many comfortable, well paid and powerful "civil servants" that have so much at stake enforcing so many laws on so many aspects of every facet of every thing that I just don't see how any one large part of it, such as the police state we're nurturing in the name of the "drug war," gets rolled back.

Not without a major, constitutional crisis level collapse that defunds them.

Re:What a crazy situation (1)

ShaunC (203807) | about 6 months ago | (#47373043)

The War on Drugs made law enforcement into the enemy for a lot more people than the War on Copyright Infringement.

Anyone who doubts this statement should have a look at this graph [wikipedia.org] . Turns out that "Just Say No" was actually referring to whether or not you wanted to live outside of prison.

Re:What a crazy situation (-1, Troll)

rtb61 (674572) | about 6 months ago | (#47373117)

What it actually was even though it is not readily apparent because it takes time to manifest, was not the war on drugs, not any pseudo war at all. You can all point your finger at idiot economists and the destruction they have wrought where ever they point their bullshit spreadsheets. 'PERFORMANCE BASED EVALUATION'.

That is what caused all your problems. The improper evaluation of your policing agencies and their staff. Once you allowed idiot economists to tie it to arrest and convictions rather than keeping the peace. So the adjustment over time occurred. Your policing agencies instead became law en'FORCE'ment agencies with a focus on achieving as many arrests and convictions and asset confiscations 'As Fast As Possible' and you have to use a whole lot of force to do it as fast as possible ie a bunch of officers spending 4 hours talking someone down or a couple of officers spending 10 seconds emptying their pistol clips into the victims chest.

Wake up to yourselves fools. Idiot knee jerk right wing thinking driven by fuckwit economists (isn't one great big fucking surprise how many economists are tea baggers) have screwed up pretty much every single government agency they have touched, from schools, to emergency services, to the military and especially the police.

Rush to arrest, rush to convict, innocent or guilty who cares as long as the conviction is gained. Need to keep those numbers rolling, need to justify budgets, need to confiscate stuff, faster, faster, faster. Privacy invasion meh who cares as long as there are more convictions for more crimes achieved faster than ever before, let GOD sort out the innocent and guilty.

Long range projections of what is likely to happen that can not be readily just shoved on into a spreadsheet is what economists routinely and specifically ignore but that doesn't stop those things from turning around and biting you on the arse. Now you get to spend billions repairing the harm caused by saving millions. Not that it will happen overnight, those dick head economists will fight spreadsheet and bullshit to keep their ideas in place and their bonuses coming, fuck the consequences.

Re:What a crazy situation (1)

sphazell (745128) | about 6 months ago | (#47371583)

All they have to do is stay out of our lives

Re:What a crazy situation (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47371607)

You're actually highlighting the root of the problem. Law enforcement shouldn't be good or evil. They should be an impartial enforcer of the governments laws. Once we started treating them like some benevolent father figure they started seeing themselves in that way as well.

Do you lie to your children to keep them safe?
Sometimes you have to give them a spanking?
Scheme with other parents on how to keep them safe?
Pox parties anyone?

Law enforcements not good. It just is. The fact that most police departments have PR firms working on retainer, that the Feds have an honest to god propaganda news agency working INSIDE THE US, that the government now works in secret with the courts to rule on our behalf? That's terrifying. It's no longer a government of the people... it's a government to control the people.

Re:What a crazy situation (2)

Shakrai (717556) | about 6 months ago | (#47371671)

They should be an impartial enforcer of the governments laws.

They usually are. That's kind of the problem. This was the best moment ever of The Wire [youtube.com] .

Re:What a crazy situation (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 months ago | (#47371679)

Not sure I totally agree. The CIA isn't being morally neutral when they torture people. The FBI wasn't morally neutral when they went after Nixon's / Hoover's political enemies. The NSA wasn't morally neutral when they repeatedly ignored the Bill of Rights. Local police officers aren't morally neutral when they form a Wall of Blue. None of them is morally neutral when they lie on the stand.

Now if none of them did these things, you're right, they'd be a lot closer to morally neutral. But the fact they that sometimes do do these things is I think a big reason they're hated and feared by average citizens.

Re:What a crazy situation (3, Insightful)

jxander (2605655) | about 6 months ago | (#47372273)

IMO, you're conflating the roles of Police and Judges. A judge should be impartial and neutral. They determine if laws are broken or if certain acts even violate laws (for any of the myriad events that aren't spelled out to the exact letter in writing, such as TFA) and mete out proper punishment when laws are broken

Police are boots on the street, and need to be more personal and empathetic. Their role is to keep everyone safe, even if that does occasionally mean keeping people safe from themselves and their own actions.

And at the end of the day, even if cops and judges were 100% True Neutral, that would be viewed as an overall positive by Joe Public. They're enforcing laws, catching bad guys, not harassing law abiding citizens, keeping us all safe, etc. The filter on my water pitcher isn't inherently good or evil. It simply does what it's designed to do: impartially filter out the crud I don't want to drink. And I appreciate this action. I like my water filter.

But as with all things, money infects the proceedings. Police chiefs need money for brib^H^H^H^H campaign contributions, to ensure whoever gets elected lets them keep their cushy job. Elected official like to run with campaign puffery like "we caught 10x more criminals during my term, as compared to the previous mayor." So the order of the day becomes less about protecting people, and more about gotta catch em all. Get as many tickets as possible. Invent some new illegal-thing so that we can arrest people. Install red-light cameras, despite the fact that they increase accidents and endanger the people. Who cares about that, they practically print money.

Add in the War on (Drugs, Terrorism, etc) and we've built a very hostile relationship between police and civilians. Police and judges are no longer performing the actions for which they were designed.

Re:What a crazy situation (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | about 6 months ago | (#47372317)

that the Feds have an honest to god propaganda news agency working INSIDE THE US

Yeah.. there sure is.. Its what *was* the "4th Estate", then later, the "Mainstream Media"... It's now become the "US Department of Propaganda".. Herr Goebles, Hitler's propaganda minister would have been soooo proud at how far America has come to towards what Der Fuerer was working for....

Re:What a crazy situation (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 6 months ago | (#47371677)

This doesn't feel remotely like a healthy democracy.

Well you answered your own question...

Re:What a crazy situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371731)

You would say that a democracy where everyone is cozy with LEOs is healthy?

Re:What a crazy situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371859)

I don't think we need to be cozy, but in a functioning society, a person should not be afraid to ask directions or have a chat with them. As of now, the mere prospect of chatting with a cop, even about something trivial, is an uncomfortable experience. A bored bike cop recently came over and started chatting me up. He faked being offended when I told him that I wasn't actually calling out to him (I called out to a friend standing about 25 feet away from him). We spoke for a couple more minutes, and then I went on my way, slightly worse for the wear and tear on the old ticker. An interaction like that shouldn't be spiking my blood pressure, increasing my heart rate, and causing adrenaline and cortisol levels to spike. That isn't even physically healthy.

Re:What a crazy situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371969)

So your nerves following a friendly interaction with a police officer is evidence that your fear of officers is rational?

yeah it would be good for cops to serve and protec (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#47371877)

Yeah, if most people saw that law enforcement did a good job of "serve and protect", if you felt good about calling the local cop because he'd help you out, I'd say that would be a good thing.

Where I grew up, even the local pothead teenagers would talk to one cop, because he did a good job. If a (pothead) girl was having problems with some dudes harassing her, this officer would help her out- serve and protect - not bust her for the joint in her purse. I think that was good.

Of course that was a local cop, someone who lived in the neighborhood, someone who went to high school with the adults he pulled over. I don't have a similar experience with a federal agency. Maybe that's why the Constitution originally set it up where all cops were local cops.

Re:yeah it would be good for cops to serve and pro (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373997)

Read this raymorris (don't evade it a dozen times and downmod it like you did before) http://it.slashdot.org/comment... [slashdot.org]

Re:What a crazy situation (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 months ago | (#47371757)

There are so many good things that they're supposedly in the business to do: go after child porn producers, rapists, murderers, (actual) terrorists, etc.

It should be noted that the 'federal government's law enforcement agencies" have nothing to do with murderers or rapists, unless they perform their crimes on a federal reservation. Normally, that sort of crime is handled at the State or local level.

Re:What a crazy situation (1)

slashdice (3722985) | about 6 months ago | (#47371907)

That should be true but you have things like the Violence Against Women Act and Hate Crimes Prevention Act. But if a white heterosexual male is killed or raped the federal government won't intervene.

Re:What a crazy situation (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 6 months ago | (#47371805)

Something seems really, really off kilter if so many of us see the federal government's law enforcement agencies as the enemy.

Floods can help to irrigate land and forest fires clear away deadfalls, but I don't think many would say the positives outweigh the negatives.

What a crazy situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372205)

>> Something seems really, really off kilter if so many of us see the federal government's law enforcement agencies as the enemy.

No. The constitution itself tells us so. The government is the enemy. We are the sovereigns.

JJ

Re:What a crazy situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372263)

Something seems really, really off kilter if so many of us see the federal government's law enforcement agencies as the enemy.

There has been a war on people by certain aspects of The Law for a while now. Read the report - War Comes Home. That's America today.

https://www.aclu.org/sites/def... [aclu.org]

It's sad when "insurgent countermeasures" as learned from Iraq actually win law enforcement awards for novel policing!

http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

âoeOnce it became clear to me that he wasnâ(TM)t talking about checkpoints or fast roping from helicopters," replied Springfield Deputy Police Chief John Barbieri, "that he was talking about going door-to-door, organizing the neighborhood into a collaboration to report crime, to get involved in solving their own problems, it became obvious to me that that was exactly the type of program needed in that neighborhood.â

Less SWAT mentality, more community policing and maybe people will start to trust law enforcement.. Less about "convictions" and more about "giving a helping hand". Imagine that! Policing should be about helping people solve problems, not throwing grades into their homes because of some anonymous drug tip.

Give respect and you'll get it back. Terrorizing communities with SWAT and long jail sentences does not result in much respect.

Re:What a crazy situation (0)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 6 months ago | (#47372421)

The sad fact is that your justice system is totally broken, and it probably has been since you've been hanging horse thieves on nearby trees.

Re:What a crazy situation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373297)

They are a law unto them selves - every law enforcement agency should always, without question obey they law. And not be above the law. When law enforcement agencies are above the law and beyond reproach democracy is lost.

Can't be "given" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371515)

But hey, I'm just gonna leave this USB stick here on the table while I go pinch a loaf. Just be sure you don't look at the contents or anything while I am gone...

Re:Can't be "given" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47371729)

Amazing how the NSA managed to packet sniff those keys when they were being emailed.

Re:Can't be "given" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47373077)

I hope they also wasted a lot of time and olfactory value sniffing the packets I dropped down the toilet.

Hm? (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#47372037)

> "A New Zealand judge has now ruled that even if the Megaupload founder supplies the passwords, the encryption keys cannot be forwarded to the FBI."

Yeah. Like copies of the drives can't be forwarded... to... the FBI...

Wait.

Re:Hm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372671)

As a citizen of New Zealand, that was my first thought.

Given this Administration's thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372171)

...but the can be passed to the NSA who can let the FBI query their databases...

Don't trust these fuckers...

Just watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372285)

Once the keys are on a government hard drive, a backup of that drive can be lost
( or deleted or sent to a crusher or otherwise become untraceable ). Then the FBI
will somehow manage to crack the encryption.

Cue fat german man doing happy dance! (1)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#47372303)

While it doesn't kill the US prosecution dead (these jackasses will pursue it until the day they die if you let them), it DOES take a gelding knife to it.

US Gov't cannot access encrypted data??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372563)

I thought with all the NSA acquisitions that the US wouldn't need this information and they could just decrypt it using their own methods. Especially if they have had it in encrypted for for such a long time.

Re:US Gov't cannot access encrypted data??? (2)

AutodidactLabrat (3506801) | about 6 months ago | (#47372881)

Think "Ultra".
Kim DotCom is small potatos to the NSA.
They aren't going to give away their shooting stand just to get a shot at him

Yeah right (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47372939)

A New Zealand judge has now ruled that even if the Megaupload founder supplies the passwords, the encryption keys cannot be forwarded to the FBI.

So what? A court ruled that the FBI that they could not take copies of the HD out of the country, a ruling that was promptly ignored. What makes you think the US government is going to honor this one?

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