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On 1/31/2021 at 11:20 AM, Pedagogical Tom said:

Wiki is perhaps not the best source on mass surveillance revelations. Here's a better one.

How do you think Sec 230 relates to advertising? I don't see how ads have anything to do with whether The Ed here is responsible for what we all post.

It's about the time line and the major disappointment here in Europe that this surveillance was not only still happening that way under Obama but actually got worse.

 

Sec 230: Seriously? SA and The Ed are not even remotely on the radar of companies feeding from 230. Their business model has nothing to do with anything social or knowledge er even entertainment. It is all about selling ads and pushing these sales by escalating the funny to obscure to strange to bullshit to insurrection and murder (as long as noone posts a nipple, that's a no-no). They are the breeding grounds of bullshitters, Q, Trump, Brexit and God knows what next, with ZERO accountability.

 

On 1/31/2021 at 11:20 AM, Pedagogical Tom said:

I still think online privacy is oxymoronic, but would welcome a source to update my knowledge.

If you want global relevance, I did call Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek a corrupt oaf. Even did it on Facebook, where it's particularly naughty. So far, no consequences.

Close call, but I'll play.

Start with your tax dollars put to good use: Telework and Mobile Security Guidance

If you dare to dive into it: NSA Cybersecurity Directorate

Of course, if you are an active user of Facebook and Google, maybe even always logged into them and don't bother with any kind of blocking software, this privacy stuff really is not for you?

 

Re Eva: Of course, anybody posting almost anything without consequences feeds them. It only gets interesting if you are Eva and want that claim removed. This is why 230 needs some work.

 

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14 hours ago, Grog said:

Sec 230: Seriously? SA and The Ed are not even remotely on the radar of companies feeding from 230. Their business model has nothing to do with anything social or knowledge er even entertainment. It is all about selling ads and pushing these sales by escalating the funny to obscure to strange to bullshit to insurrection and murder (as long as noone posts a nipple, that's a no-no). They are the breeding grounds of bullshitters, Q, Trump, Brexit and God knows what next, with ZERO accountability.

Yes, seriously. It seems you need to read it. It's not long and the important part is very short:

Quote

 

(2) Civil liability - No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—

(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or

(B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).[1]

 

 

14 hours ago, Grog said:

Of course, if you are an active user of Facebook and Google, maybe even always logged into them and don't bother with any kind of blocking software, this privacy stuff really is not for you?

Not always, no. I'm careful what I share with them and how I do it, but once I've shared something I have no illusion that it will ever be unshared or that it will remain unused. I have a separate computer for work and it never gets to do anything fun.

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18 minutes ago, Pedagogical Tom said:

Yes, seriously. It seems you need to read it. It's not long and the important part is very short:

Quote

(2) Civil liability - No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—

(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or

(B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).[1]

 

 

I have read it and I don't get where you are going with that cite? This is about being free to edit or delete user content as well as flicking them.

I was and still am referring to (1) of the same paragraph, the universal "Don't go to jail" card:

Quote

(1)Treatment of publisher or speaker

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

 

...

23 minutes ago, Pedagogical Tom said:

Not always, no. I'm careful what I share with them and how I do it, but once I've shared something I have no illusion that it will ever be unshared or that it will remain unused. I have a separate computer for work and it never gets to do anything fun.

That's reasonable.

Beyond that you might want to have a look at your router. Exploiting a vulnerability and establishing a man-in-the-middle attack is more common and easier to do in an automated way. Some vulnerabilities are actual bugs, others qualify as back doors and patches are much rarer compared with normal computers or hand helds.

I have ditched D-Link and Cisco products because of that.

 

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On 8/11/2020 at 7:52 AM, Pedagogical Tom said:

And here comes the lawsuit.

Quote

 

In a lawsuit filed last week, the little girl's mother, Brittney Gilliam, argues that Wilson's attitude exemplifies her tolerance of Fourth Amendment violations, racial profiling, and excessive force. Gilliam's case, which names Wilson, the city, and five officers as defendants, will test the value of a groundbreaking Colorado law that allows people to sue cops who violate rights guaranteed by the state constitution. That 2020 law, which legislators passed along with other reforms in response to the death of George Floyd, does not allow officers to claim "qualified immunity," a court-invented doctrine that shields police from federal civil rights claims unless their alleged misconduct violated "clearly established" law.

 

 

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On 2/2/2021 at 6:21 AM, Grog said:

I have read it and I don't get where you are going with that cite? This is about being free to edit or delete user content as well as flicking them.

I was and still am referring to (1) of the same paragraph, the universal "Don't go to jail" card:

Quote

(1)Treatment of publisher or speaker

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

 

That part follows from this one:

 

Quote

 

(2) Civil liability - No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—

(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected;

 

 
Even editing or deleting user content does not make a social media site responsible for the user content. If The Ed is a publisher or speaker of all that we post here, he can be liable for it. He's not, so he can't.
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I disagree.

(2) follows (1) and the impact and importance of (1) in terms of accountability WAY outpaces and overshadows the rather simple implications of (2).

 

(2) is the janitor, (1) is the emporer.

 

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4 hours ago, Grog said:

I disagree.

(2) follows (1) and the impact and importance of (1) in terms of accountability WAY outpaces and overshadows the rather simple implications of (2).

 

(2) is the janitor, (1) is the emporer.

 

Either way, why should The Ed be "treated as the publisher or speaker of" anything that any of us posts?

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He should not be, at least not because of any of the forum content.

(But he has been and it did have an impact on the forums. Remember the bacon wrapped minister of unmitigated doom and failure?)

Sec 230 needs work, but the impact must be gradual. Facebook and Twitter do have a very different impact on individual opinions and behaviour than any public forum. This needs to be adressed.

Number of users, reach and how posts are transmitted should be taken into account.

The law makers responsible for Sec 230 were of the kind that still had "the internet" printed out for them and commented with a ball pen. They were way behind their own days while the net kept leaping forward.

 

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15 hours ago, Grog said:

He should not be, at least not because of any of the forum content.

But I thought the "don't go to jail card" was a big problem?

 

15 hours ago, Grog said:

Number of users, reach and how posts are transmitted should be taken into account.

The law makers responsible for Sec 230 were of the kind that still had "the internet" printed out for them and commented with a ball pen. They were way behind their own days while the net kept leaping forward.

Not really true.

In any case, the part you seem to want to address is the definition of what entities and individuals are covered. Have you read that part? I think it's fine like it is.

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11 hours ago, Pedagogical Tom said:

But I thought the "don't go to jail card" was a big problem?

Why did you skip the following paragraph where I stated that the impact of a revised 230 must be gradual?

 

11 hours ago, Pedagogical Tom said:

Not really true.

In any case, the part you seem to want to address is the definition of what entities and individuals are covered. Have you read that part? I think it's fine like it is.

I am getting a strong feeling that you are just pulling my leg, some sort of softer and slightly more friendly trolling. And I don't like it.

 

Seriously, Sec 230 was passed into law in 1996. Not a single part or intention within it could have even tried to target the global reach and power of the web based media of any kind we have today, starting with smartphones which only started to become popular some 15 years later.

It was and is a very blunt attempt to protect the then established and any upcoming USAnian tech companies from being held responsible. And for a good reason except the blooming cash flow: back then the user content uploaded 24/7 already outpaced any meaningful review and timely deletion. It was quite simply impossible to try and keep up with that content and still make money from it, much less untold billions.

Except of course when that content would possibly harm the US music, movie or software industries.

 

Sec 230 was and is a piece of bigot BS designed to amass and hold control of the World Wide Web with US companies.

 

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12 hours ago, Grog said:

It was and is a very blunt attempt to protect the then established and any upcoming USAnian tech companies from being held responsible.

And we already agreed that should apply to The Ed here, so it's apparently not a problem.

This seems to be the part you want to see revised in some unspecified way:

Quote

Interactive computer service The term “interactive computer service” means any information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides access to the Internet and such systems operated or services offered by libraries or educational institutions.

What's wrong with it and how should it be revised?

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I'm also curious what you think should be changed about sec 230, Grog.  I've only ever seen people who never read it / don't understand it, talk about needing to change it.  You seem to understand it, but I'm not clear what you'd want changed...?

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19 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

How does this apply to finding Rick?? 

Gouv, it doesn't. I think? Proposed a new thread earlier but that would be Tom's call.

 

On 2/8/2021 at 11:03 AM, Pedagogical Tom said:

And we already agreed that should apply to The Ed here, so it's apparently not a problem.

This seems to be the part you want to see revised in some unspecified way: ... [snip] ... What's wrong with it and how should it be revised?

Tom, you are again omitting major parts of what I posted. Then you pick one tiny bit and digitize it, assuming accordance where there is none. Are we actually having a discussion or at least some sort of constructive conversation?

 

Re the text of the law and re frencie's question ...

20 hours ago, frenchie said:

I'm also curious what you think should be changed about sec 230, Grog.  I've only ever seen people who never read it / don't understand it, talk about needing to change it.  You seem to understand it, but I'm not clear what you'd want changed...?

I am not a lawyer and I don't speak legalese very well, much less in english.

I looked into 230 because companies I worked for felt they were getting screwed and tried to find if there was any handle to do something against it. There was not, quite the contrary. Going after an US company in US courts over libellous or mala fide content? Forget it. No matter how mean, untrue or wide spread, the US outfit would hide behind 230 and you are left with nothing but costs and sometimes a business gone bust.

So my perspective on sec 230 is a european one, not so much as a user (because I have adopted to the CYA game just about when Google was born) but from trying to do work for companies, small and large, who tried to adapt to the marketplace internet, which was only about to become a thing some 20 years ago. Turns out, they couldn't, even with spending insane amounts of money and upping both their marketing and legal departments to unprecedented levels.

When I say the 230 needs work it might well be with amendments. When the sec 230 became law, it was already too generalized back then and much more so for today's web and means of mass communication. This needs to be adressed in a way that the hosters of commercial services like Google, Facebook, Twitter et al can be held responsible for the information they distribute, easily and internationally. Establish your own Hague if you have to, and make them pay for it.

This does not mean going after the end user's ISP. It does not necessarily mean going after an end user's posts. It should also not affect smaller platforms such as this forum, because they simply don't have the same reach (as in number of users) nor do they use the method of pushing any information to any number of users. On a forum like this, users have to log in and visit the thread they want to read. This is a major difference from getting posts pushed onto your device, including posts from sources you don't follow because you might like it (which is the core of ad-based marketing and social networks, followed by commercial or political bot networks).

 

Trying to put it in two sentences:

With power comes responsibility. The power and money of modern media companies must make them accountable and responsible for the content they distribute.

 

(It works when someone posts a nipple.)

 

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16 hours ago, Grog said:
On 2/8/2021 at 3:55 PM, Gouvernail said:

How does this apply to finding Rick?? 

Gouv, it doesn't. I think? Proposed a new thread earlier but that would be Tom's call.

Users can't edit thread titles, only mods do that.

16 hours ago, Grog said:
On 2/8/2021 at 3:48 PM, frenchie said:

I'm also curious what you think should be changed about sec 230, Grog.  I've only ever seen people who never read it / don't understand it, talk about needing to change it.  You seem to understand it, but I'm not clear what you'd want changed...?

I am not a lawyer and I don't speak legalese very well, much less in english.

I looked into 230 because companies I worked for felt they were getting screwed and tried to find if there was any handle to do something against it. There was not, quite the contrary. Going after an US company in US courts over libellous or mala fide content? Forget it. No matter how mean, untrue or wide spread, the US outfit would hide behind 230 and you are left with nothing but costs and sometimes a business gone bust.

So my perspective on sec 230 is a european one, not so much as a user (because I have adopted to the CYA game just about when Google was born) but from trying to do work for companies, small and large, who tried to adapt to the marketplace internet, which was only about to become a thing some 20 years ago. Turns out, they couldn't, even with spending insane amounts of money and upping both their marketing and legal departments to unprecedented levels.

When I say the 230 needs work it might well be with amendments. When the sec 230 became law, it was already too generalized back then and much more so for today's web and means of mass communication. This needs to be adressed in a way that the hosters of commercial services like Google, Facebook, Twitter et al can be held responsible for the information they distribute, easily and internationally. Establish your own Hague if you have to, and make them pay for it.

This does not mean going after the end user's ISP. It does not necessarily mean going after an end user's posts. It should also not affect smaller platforms such as this forum, because they simply don't have the same reach (as in number of users) nor do they use the method of pushing any information to any number of users. On a forum like this, users have to log in and visit the thread they want to read. This is a major difference from getting posts pushed onto your device, including posts from sources you don't follow because you might like it (which is the core of ad-based marketing and social networks, followed by commercial or political bot networks).

 

Trying to put it in two sentences:

With power comes responsibility. The power and money of modern media companies must make them accountable and responsible for the content they distribute.

 

(It works when someone posts a nipple.)

Actually, as I noted above, going after end users' posts is exactly what the Euro court ordered, prompting this post from me on FB calling Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek a corrupt oaf.:

EvaCorruptOaf.jpg

I actually agree that I'm responsible for posting that and FB is not, just as I'm responsible for what I post here and The Ed is not.

Speaking of successful services with lots of reach, let's not forget myspace. If they're still around any more. And also youtube.

 

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9 hours ago, Pedagogical Tom said:

Users can't edit thread titles, only mods do that.

I know, I was talking about a new thread for this.

 

9 hours ago, Pedagogical Tom said:

Actually, as I noted above, going after end users' posts is exactly what the Euro court ordered, prompting this post from me on FB calling Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek a corrupt oaf.

Yes? And? 

Are you sure that you actually have some basic understanding of the 1st? Or Sec 230?

How does a simple insult put you on that high horse of discussing the 1st or Sec 230?

 

9 hours ago, Pedagogical Tom said:

Speaking of successful services with lots of reach, let's not forget myspace.

Do you feel that CITES is a threat to your 1st amendment rights because you no longer can build your soapbox from Brazilian rosewood?

 

Not that it matters. I think I will end my expedition into Tom-Land here and turn around. I still don't know how far and wide it expands but it sure feels disappointingly shallow.

 

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15 hours ago, Grog said:

I know, I was talking about a new thread for this.

 

Yes? And? 

Are you sure that you actually have some basic understanding of the 1st? Or Sec 230?

How does a simple insult put you on that high horse of discussing the 1st or Sec 230?

 

Do you feel that CITES is a threat to your 1st amendment rights because you no longer can build your soapbox from Brazilian rosewood?

 

Not that it matters. I think I will end my expedition into Tom-Land here and turn around. I still don't know how far and wide it expands but it sure feels disappointingly shallow.

 

A new thread for what? This one started out about cameras used in law enforcement and facial recognition.

My basic understanding of the first amendment and Section 230 tells me that discussion of such things really belongs in a thread like this one, which is why I mostly discuss it there.

An insult that defies EU court censors isn't exactly highbrow, but is a typical American reaction to meddlesome continentals. She's a nice looking woman and I have no idea whether she's a corrupt oaf or not but, well, fuck you first amendment (and section 230) is the response that was invited and received. And no, FB still hasn't complied with the EU court.

I support CITES and don't see the relevance here.

I find the Grogland desire to loot large American companies in response to European failures disappointingly venal.

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20 hours ago, Grog said:

I know, I was talking about a new thread for this.

 

Yes? And? 

Are you sure that you actually have some basic understanding of the 1st? Or Sec 230?

How does a simple insult put you on that high horse of discussing the 1st or Sec 230?

 

Do you feel that CITES is a threat to your 1st amendment rights because you no longer can build your soapbox from Brazilian rosewood?

 

Not that it matters. I think I will end my expedition into Tom-Land here and turn around. I still don't know how far and wide it expands but it sure feels disappointingly shallow.

 

Go no further, it's very dark with a serious echo.

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  • 1 month later...

Lawsuit Challenges Clearview's Use of Scraped Social Media Images for Facial Recognition
 

Quote

 

...

The lawsuit follows up on revelations from early last year that Clearview AI, which sells its facial recognition services to law enforcement agencies, populated its vast database by scraping images from social media services without the permission of either the posters or the hosting companies.

"Clearview AI, a tech startup, has created an app that enables law enforcement agencies to match photographs to its database of over 3 billion photos scraped from millions of public websites including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Venmo," Reason's Ron Bailey noted in January 2020. "For comparison, the FBI's photo database contains only 640 million images."

That presumptuous use of personal images blew new life into the vestigial privacy concerns of social media executives. Companies including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube demanded Clearview stop its invasive practices and delete the scraped images. So far, that hasn't happened.

...

The use by government agencies of social media images scraped by Clearview for facial recognition is reminiscent of their purchase of cell phone location data from marketing firms and telecommunications companies for tracking targeted individuals. In both cases, private firms compile information in ways that would raise eyebrows, or be explicitly forbidden, for government actors. In both cases, the over-clever end-run around civil liberties protections invites legal challenges.

"Our concern is that the Supreme Court rejected the Government's argument in Carpenter that [cell-site location information] is truly voluntarily provided to the phone carriers," the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration wrote last month of IRS use of cell phone location data purchased from private parties. "The Court's rationale was that phone users do not truly voluntarily agree to share the information given the necessity of phones in our society. Courts may apply similar logic to GPS data sold by marketers."

Plaintiffs in U.S. lawsuits, as well as regulators in Canada and elsewhere, say that similar concerns apply to facial recognition databases. People didn't post vacation photos so they could later be used by cops to identify suspects and scan crowd scenes. If the challenges prevail, they probably won't stop the advance of the surveillance state by themselves, but they may slow it down a bit.

 

I'm skeptical of the surveillance state but don't really see the problem here. They might very well have pictures of me at Clearview because I make everything on FB public. But that means that I DID give permission for anyone to see it.

Also, the comparison to Carpenter is weak IMO. I could stop posting pics to FB and my life wouldn't change much. Life without a cellphone? Unthinkable.

 

 

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On 2/5/2021 at 6:19 AM, Shambolic Tom said:
On 8/11/2020 at 7:52 AM, Pedagogical Tom said:

And here comes the lawsuit.

The Cops Who Drew Guns and Forced an Innocent Family To Lie on the Pavement Were Dismayed by the Angry Response
 

Quote

 

...

According to a state lawsuit that Gilliam filed in January, the cops patted down everyone, including the 6-year-old. With guns drawn, they made everyone lie on the pavement. They handcuffed Gilliam, the 12-year-old, and the 17-year-old. The complaint says "Defendant Officer 4 tried to handcuff six-year-old L.T. [Gilliam's daughter], but the handcuffs were too big to fit around her wrists."

Exactly who was handcuffed, and how those individuals should be described, became a point of contention. "They put handcuffs on the babies," a male bystander can be heard saying in Dasko's video. "That's not true," an angry female officer replies. "That's a lie. No handcuffs went on that child…There were no handcuffs on the small child." That much is true, but it elides the question of whether the cops tried to cuff her, as the lawsuit alleges.

Although Moen's body camera video should cast light on that issue, 10 crucial minutes are missing from the version released by the district attorney's office. Buresh has asked the office to explain the legal justification for that redaction but has not heard back yet.

...

 

The bystanders who witnessed the encounter or its aftermath saw things differently. "They had guns on kids!" Jennifer Wurtz says in the video she recorded. "That little girl did not need to have her face in the concrete." Another woman agrees that "you shouldn't do that to a baby." A man declares, "This is some bullshit." Another bystander notes that "the car's not even stolen." A woman says "these babies are traumatized" and wonders, "How can they trust police officers?"

Although those seem like pretty cogent points, the cops were upset by the criticism. "A group of irrational people began yelling at us and recording," Officer Kristi Mason complains in her report. "I had to tell one irrational white female several times to step back and record from a distance."

If Mason is referring to Wurtz, that characterization is inconsistent with Wurtz's recording. Wurtz repeatedly expresses her concerns about the incident, insists on her right to record it, and offers to talk to the children because "they're obviously scared." But she remains calm throughout. "At some point," she says to one of the cops, "when you see little kids screaming and crying with their faces in the concrete, your partner has to go, 'OK, let's get 'em up.' It took far too long."

From Hanson's perspective, however, Wurtz was "interfering with our investigation." While "you have every right to record," he says, "I'm going to give you a lawful order to step away at least 25 feet."

The cops were clearly unnerved by the fact that they were being recorded. "Just be advised," someone says over the radio in Dasko's video. "We have a lot of people out here recording." Talking on his cellphone with a sergeant, Dasko says, "Oh, it's a disaster. We've got people recording, people yelling here." Just to be clear: The "disaster" was not the erroneous detention of an innocent family; it was the people "recording" it and "yelling" about it. In their written reports, Dasko, Mason, Wells, Drexel, Tollakson, Officer Steven Garcia, Officer Michael Enriquez, and Officer Jonathan Kwon likewise note that bystanders were using their cellphones to record what was happening.

...

 

10 minutes of missing body camera footage makes me suspicious.

So do cops who don't like bystanders with cameras.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/21/2017 at 7:51 AM, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

 

Thinking about the bikes that were available at the time, and having a little history in motorcycle land speed racing, I was thinking, but not certain, that most of the air-cooled monsters would top out around 80, and w/a suspension optimized for soaking up bumps, be a bit squirrely at speed. a couple years ago, someone took a KX500 (liquid cooled 2-stroke) modified w/some fairings, skinny tires and VERY tall gearing to 130MPH at the Bubs meet on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

 

If there's better information - I'd be interested in hearing it.

 

04f22dec5a77a0644576f5df8dc4a90814beb5-wm.jpg

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5 minutes ago, jerseyguy said:

Can you unfind him?

You should really lay off on those Estrogen Jello shots....

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/1/2020 at 7:40 AM, Excoded Tom said:

The epidemic of people doing math without a license continues, this time in Minnesota.

Writer-Activist Hit With Licensing Complaint for Calling Himself an Engineer
 

The guy had a license since 2000 and inadvertently let it lapse. So he was briefly unqualified and it was a "fraud" to talk about the subject?

...

AELSLAGID is pursuing sanctions so Charles Marohn is suing them.
 

Quote

 

...

Charles Marohn, a licensed civil engineer since 2000 and president of the advocacy group Strong Towns, argues that the board is violating his First Amendment rights by policing his description of himself as a professional engineer in connection to his policy advocacy.

The sanctions he's being threatened with, he contends, are retaliation against Strong Towns' activism, which is critical of spending more money on large infrastructure projects typically beloved by professional engineers.


...

"It's kind of silly. I don't go out and practice as an engineer. I'm a writer. I do public speaking, and I do writing. I do advocacy work. I don't sign plans; I don't do construction drawings," Marohn told Reason in July 2020. He said at the time that he didn't expect the board to sanction him over an obvious bad-faith complaint.

That prediction has turned out to be wrong. In November 2020, AELSLAGID informed Marohn that their investigation had determined that disciplinary action was warranted.

Specifically, the board demanded he pay a $1,500 fine and sign an order admitting he'd violated Minnesota law by using the title of "professional engineer" in his writings and speeches while his license was expired. They also wanted him to admit he'd lied to AELSLAGID when filling out his license renewal application, part of which requires the applicant to certify they haven't improperly represented themselves as a licensed professional.

...

One member of the board, he says, expressed concern that his description of himself as an engineer in talks he gave at Google, The American Conservative, and TEDx might make people more likely to listen to his ideas, thus endangering public health and safety.

That notion "is ridiculous because it's not like I was any less qualified during the gap in my licensure," says Marohn. "I was just talking; I'm giving a speech."

Following the hearing—and in an effort to put the whole thing behind him—Marohn told AELSLAGID that he'd agree to a $500 civil fine and would sign a "stipulated order" admitting that he called himself a professional engineer while his license had lapsed.

In exchange, he wanted the board to acknowledge in writing that he'd renewed his license before being made aware of any complaint against him and that they drop their accusation that he'd made "untruthful" and "false" statements.

In April, AELSLAGID's Complaint Committee declined that settlement. So last week, Marohn sued AELSLAGID in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota arguing the board's sanctions against him violate the First Amendment's Free Speech protections.

"The board's enforcement against [Marohn] raises some serious First Amendment concerns," says Sam Gedge, a nutjob at the Institute for Justice.

The government does have the ability to restrict unlicensed people referring to themselves as professional engineers to prevent fraud, Gedge says. But that would only apply to a very narrow set of circumstances like commercial advertising.

"The board is concerned that this gentleman referred to himself as a professional engineer in books, and speeches and communications like that. In that context, the government has no business policing the truth or falsity of speech," he tells Reason.

...

 

No one has said exactly how Mr. Marohn was "endangering public health and safety." Possibly because he just was not. At all. His 20 year old license lapsed briefly and he renewed it before the complaint reached him. During that brief window of time, he was not any less qualified to have an opinion on public works than he was (or currently is) with a current license.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Congress Weighs a Moratorium on Facial Recognition and Biometric Surveillance Technologies
 

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Today, a group of congressional Democrats re-introduced the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act of 2021. And it's not a moment too soon.

Earlier this month a coalition of more than 40 privacy advocacy organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Fight for the Future, and Restore the Fourth, issued a declaration calling for a ban or moratorium on law enforcement use of facial recognition technology. In its statement, the coalition observed that police use of facial recognition technologies is already becoming pervasive.

"Law enforcement agencies routinely use the technology to compare an image from bystanders' smartphones, CCTV cameras, or other sources with face image databases maintained by local, state, and federal agencies," noted the coalition. "Potentially more than 133 million Americans are included in these databases, with at least thirty-one states giving police access to driver's license images to run or request searches, and twenty-one states giving the FBI access to the same. Law enforcement use of these databases for investigations places millions of Americans in what has been called a 'perpetual line-up.'"

...

The privacy group coalition argued that ubiquitous police facial recognition surveillance would chill the exercise of First Amendment freedoms to protest, attend political events, or gather for religious ceremonies. "American history is fraught with efforts to monitor individuals based on dissent or religious beliefs, and face recognition could supercharge that surveillance," the coalition pointed out.

In addition, police often hide the fact that they used facial recognition software in investigating cases, thus preventing defendants from exercising their Sixth Amendment rights to challenge the accuracy of identifications made by police procedures and software algorithms.

...

 

 

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In talking about math without a license news,

Retired Engineer Offers Free Expert Testimony for Flood Victims. Licensing Officials Threaten Him With Criminal Charges.
 

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Wayne Nutt is a retired engineer who worked for decades at DuPont's chemical plant in Cape Fear, North Carolina. Since his retirement, he's frequently lent his expertise to local neighborhood groups by testifying in public meetings about everything from the storm drainage design of new developments to traffic safety plans.

That civic engagement has now made Nutt the target of the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Surveyors and Engineers, which has threatened him with potential criminal charges for testifying about engineering matters.

The board argues Nutt's pro bono testimony in a recent legal case constitutes the unlicensed practice of engineering, a misdemeanor in North Carolina that can come with the maximum penalties of a $1,000 fine and 60 days in jail. Nutt is now suing the board in federal court, arguing that the First Amendment guarantees his right to talk about engineering.

"It's intimidating and intentionally so," Nutt tells Reason. The board "pretty clearly said that only a licensed professional engineer can criticize or testify against a licensed engineer's design and that's not good for the public. That's protecting engineers, that's not protecting the public."

An irony of Nutt's case is that never during his 40-year career was he required to obtain a state engineering license. By virtue of being employed by a manufacturer, he qualified for an "industrial exemption" to North Carolina's licensure laws.

...

His lawsuit notes that he's offered his opinion in public testimony to a number of state agencies, from North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

None of this advocacy caused any issues for Nutt until this year. That's when he agreed to testify for free in a lawsuit being litigated by his son Kyle, who is representing some homeowners alleging the drainage system of a nearby subdivision was flooding their property

In his testimony for the case, Nutt offered his opinion on the capacity and stormwater flow of the contested drainage system. During a deposition, lawyers for the defendant took issue with the fact that Nutt was commenting on technical matters without having an engineering license, and threatened to report him to the Board of Examiners.

In response, Kyle Nutt contacted the board to ensure his father's testimony didn't meet the state's definition of "practicing engineering." To both Nutts' shock, a lawyer for the board informed them in a two-page email that "the definition of engineering includes testimony if engineering education, training or experience is required to render the testimony." In order for the elder Nutt to testify, he had to have a professional engineering license.

The board followed up this opinion with a letter to Nutt in May saying that, because of his testimony in his son's lawsuit, he was being investigated for the unlicensed practice of engineering.

That opens up Nutt to the possibility of fines from the board, and potentially even jail time. It also could prevent his ability to testify in the upcoming trial in his son's lawsuit.

So last week, Nutt filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina alleging that the Board of Examiners is violating his First Amendment rights by threatening to punish him for mere speech.

"The Board's position is that it is perfectly legal for Wayne Nutt to spend decades gaining hands-on engineering expertise by designing pipes that are actually built…but that it would unlawful for him to simply publicly state his opinions about a pipe designed by someone else," reads the complaint.

The lawsuit asks for a permanent injunction prohibiting the Board of Examiners from enforcing its prohibition on people without licenses speaking or testifying about engineering topics.

"The state may be able to regulate what you can build but that doesn't mean it can regulate what you can say about what other people have built," says Robert McNamara, a nutjob with the Institute for Justice (which is helping to represent Nutt).

...

 

I hope that one goes the same way as the suit on behalf of Mats Järlström, who was similarly targeted for doing math without a license. Shortly thereafter, the people targeting him decided his math was right and officially adopted it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Federal Law Enforcement Is Running Roughshod Over Facial Recognition Privacy, Says GAO
 

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Out of the 86 federal agencies that employ full-time law enforcement officers, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) surveyed 42 of them about whether they either owned and/or used facial recognition technologies from outside suppliers. At the request of members of Congress, the GAO looked at how many agencies used the technology; why they used it; and how carefully the agencies tracked their employees' use of the technology.

In the GAO report released yesterday, 20 agencies acknowledged that they did use facial recognition technology. Three owned internal systems, 12 used outside suppliers, and 5 both owned internal systems and used outside suppliers. The report found that 10 agencies used Clearview AI and 5 used its competitor, Vigilant Systems. Most of the agencies that acknowledged using facial recognition technology admitted to exercising little oversight of employee use of the technology and having no systems in place to protect privacy.

...

One of the chief findings of the GAO report is that 13 of the surveyed agencies actually have no real idea how their employees are using outside systems in their investigative activities. In addition, most of the agencies have never formally assessed the privacy and accuracy-related risks of using non-federal facial recognition systems.

"Facial recognition is out of control, and it's only getting worse," said Surveillance Technology Oversight Project Executive Director Albert Fox Cahn in a statement. "It's alarming that six federal agencies targeted facial recognition at BLM protesters. In a democracy, police should not be allowed to use surveillance to punish dissent. While the GAO's findings are alarming, their recommendations don't go far enough. We don't need facial recognition regulations, we need a full ban. We can't wait for Congress to act, so we are calling on President Biden to issue a moratorium on federal facial recognition."

...

 

We can wait for Congress to act and Biden doesn't have that authority, so I disagree with that last part.

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2 minutes ago, Excoded Tom said:

Federal Law Enforcement Is Running Roughshod Over Facial Recognition Privacy, Says GAO
 

We can wait for Congress to act and Biden doesn't have that authority, so I disagree with that last part.

 

Pretty soon, every vote of congress will be 'historic' - they'll be down to voting for one continuing resolution to fund the government and one vote for a 'reconciliation' bill that includes every other piece of legislation conceived of that year.  The first will be unanimous and the second will be pre-counted based on (D) or (R).

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19 minutes ago, Olsonist said:

I saw him just the other day. I swear.

I swear I saw Jesus while on a hike in Bryce Canyon over the 4th.  

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2 minutes ago, Olsonist said:

Walking on land again. I'm gonna have to have a talk with that boy.

Maybe the sea level rise is getting to him too.  Maybe when he walked on water BITD, it was really really shallow.  Now, Jesus be like:  "walk on water??  Fuck that, Dad never even taught me how to swim".

But seriously, There was a scraggly looking dude on the trail that was stopped ahead of us as we crested a small peak.  I swear, He was the spitting image of the Profit (sic).  Once we passed by and once out of ear shot - I said to SWMBO.......  "I guess we can start the meeting now".  She looked at me quizzically "what meeting?".  The COME TO JESUS meeting, of course.

 

I'll be here all week.  Tip your waitress...... and try the veal.

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Now that you mention it, he did say he was surprised to see one of Mohammed’s contractors in Mormon territory. I just told him that I move in mysterious ways.

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