Tag Archives: ron paul Institute

Orlando: The New 9/11?

 ron paul

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Last week America was rocked by the cold-blooded murder of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Unlike the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Orlando shooter appears to be a lone gunman who, while claiming allegiance to ISIS, was not actually working with a terrorist group. About the only thing Orlando has in common with 9/11 is the way power-hungry politicians and federal officials wasted no time using it to justify expanding government and restricting liberty.

Immediately following the shooting, we began to hear renewed calls for increased government surveillance of Muslims, including spying on Muslim religious services. Although the Orlando shooter was born in the US, some are using the shooting to renew the debate over Muslim immigration. While the government certainly should prevent terrorists from entering the country, singling out individuals for government surveillance and other violations of their rights because of religious faith violates the First Amendment and establishes a dangerous precedent that will be used against other groups. In addition, scapegoating all Muslims because of the act of one deranged individual strengthens groups like ISIS by making it appear that the US government is at war with Islam.

The Orlando shooting is being used to justify mass surveillance and warrantless wiretapping. For the past three years, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Defense Department appropriations bill limiting mass surveillance. But, last week, the same amendment was voted down. The only difference between this year’s debate and previous debates was that this year defenders of the surveillance state were able to claim that the Orlando shooting justifies shredding the Fourth Amendment.

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Fascism: A Bipartisan Affliction

Did the FBI Intentionally Bumble the San Bernardino iPhone Investigation? written by adam dick tuesday february 23, 2016 undefined Over at We Meant Well, always-interesting writer Peter Van Buren provides a funny rundown of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s blunders he suggests prevented it from accessing information on an iPhone connected to the December 2 San Bernardino, California killings. The FBI sure does look like the Keystone Cops with Van Buren’s tale of mistakes that put the FBI into a situation where, to uncover encrypted information from the iPhone, it has to depend on a US magistrate judge ordering Apple, the phone’s manufacturer, to create a means to breach the phone’s information security. But, is there something more sinister taking place behind the scenes? Governments are renowned for incompetence, so you cannot rule out, barring more information, that a series of blunders did occur. At the same time, blunders in this instance would create a situation that sure is convenient for a US government intent on ensuring it can obtain access to everyone’s encrypted information. The blunders, after all, provided the FBI with a reason to seek the court order in a case where the facts are quite advantageous for the government. US government lawyers intent on breaking down technological privacy protections should be expected to focus their efforts on a case with facts that would allow their arguments to appeal most to judges in courtrooms as well as to Americans more generally. What facts are better as a starting point for demonstrating the need to require companies to create backdoors to overcome information security than that a backdoor is necessary to uncover information connected to the phone of a terrorist responsible for mass murdering his coworkers at a holiday party?

written by adam dick

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Over at We Meant Well, always-interesting writer Peter Van Buren provides a funny rundown of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s blunders he suggests prevented it from accessing information on an iPhone connected to the December 2 San Bernardino, California killings. The FBI sure does look like the Keystone Cops with Van Buren’s tale of mistakes that put the FBI into a situation where, to uncover encrypted information from the iPhone, it has to depend on a US magistrate judge ordering Apple, the phone’s manufacturer, to create a means to breach the phone’s information security.

But, is there something more sinister taking place behind the scenes? Governments are renowned for incompetence, so you cannot rule out, barring more information, that a series of blunders did occur. At the same time, blunders in this instance would create a situation that sure is convenient for a US government intent on ensuring it can obtain access to everyone’s encrypted information. The blunders, after all, provided the FBI with a reason to seek the court order in a case where the facts are quite advantageous for the government.

US government lawyers intent on breaking down technological privacy protections should be expected to focus their efforts on a case with facts that would allow their arguments to appeal most to judges in courtrooms as well as to Americans more generally. What facts are better as a starting point for demonstrating the need to require companies to create backdoors to overcome information security than that a backdoor is necessary to uncover information connected to the phone of a terrorist responsible for mass murdering his coworkers at a holiday party?

more here