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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

I’m not sure when or if this has happened before: this week we’ve got cross-category winners in both the first and second place spots, both in response to the latest example of a SLAPP suit filed by a supposed free speech supporter. Norahc won first place for both insightful and funny by putting a name to this increasingly common hypocritical phenomenon:

Hereafter, this should be referred to as the Nunes Effect.

Meanwhile an anonymous comment took second place for both insightful and funny with a response to someone misusing the notion of “freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences” as though it was meant to include lawsuits:

Interesting theory. Then for the US, I propose a new civil law that allows people to sue others for owning guns. Like, if you are unhappy that someone owns a gun, you can sue them for up to a million dollars. Thankfully this would not infringe on the 2nd Amendment, since they are still free to own guns, just not free from the consequences.

And since that’s all the winners right there, we now move straight on to editor’s choice for both categories! On the insightful side, we’ve got a pair of comments about the ongoing privacy wars on multiple fronts. First it’s That One Guy responding to the states that argued against the Pennsylvania ruling that compelled password production violates the 5th amendment:

A telling, and worrying, argument

“In a joint amicus brief in support of the Commonwealth, various states provide an interesting history of modern encryption, press the troubling consequences of Appellant’s position ― including the altering of the balance of power, rendering law enforcement incapable of accessing large amounts of relevant evidence ― and warn that adopting Appellant’s position could result in less privacy, not more, in the form of draconian anti-privacy legislation.

‘If you don’t let us violate constitutional rights we’ll pass unconstitutional laws in order to let us do so’ is really not the sort of thing you want multiple states arguing, as that shows a mindset that considers constitutional protections and privacy of the public not limits to be respected and something to uphold respectively, but obstacles to be worked around and/or undermined.

Law enforcement has never had access to all of the evidence they’ve wanted, and the fact that there are more ways for people to protect their privacy, even if that includes really terrible people, is not grounds to start giving them that which they have never had and never will have, especially when it will come at such a great cost to the general public.

Next, it’s Bergman responding to our post about the EU telling the US to ban strong encryption:

Nerding Harder

The US government has over a hundred times greater access to people’s communications, personal papers and everything else now than it did when the Fourth Amendment was written. The US government has surveillance capabilities beyond the worst nightmares of our founders.

Our law enforcement has never had a problem finding anyone from petty thieves to traitors, from illegal immigrants to foreign spies. But they’re saying now that their incredible wealth of information is insufficient, that we are at risk of them being unable to catch all these bad people if we return to a level of government surveillance that persisted for most of our history, that they had zero problems with then.

The answer is as simple as it is obvious. The tech sector is not the group that needs to nerd harder. They people who need to nerd harder are the government agencies that are apparently slacking off, because with greater capacity to find bad guys they are claiming a reduced ability to actually pursue them.

Giving them more tools when they aren’t fully utilizing the ones they already have is silly, they just won’t fully utilize those either.

They just need to nerd harder at the NSA, DOJ and ICE.

On the funny side, we start out with allengarvin responding to our post about the court that tossed 82 pounds of marijuana because of the deputy’s pretextual traffic stop:

“The rental car was only doing 60 mph in a 70-mph speed zone”

That crime is far worse than carrying 82 lbs of marijuana. If you’re not passing someone, GET OUT OF THE DAMN PASSING LANE!!

And finally, we’ve got an anonymous response to our post about cord-cutting in which we accused cable execs of sticking their heads in the ground:

Pretty sure that is NOT where they are sticking their heads…

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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