Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

In the wake of the FBI’s failed fight against Apple, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have introduced a draft bill that would effectively ban strong crypto.

The bill would require tech and communications companies to allow law enforcement with a court order to decrypt their customers’ data. Last week a draft copy of the bill, dubbed the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016, was leaked, but the new version is even worse than the discussion draft.

The bill would apply to “device manufacturers, software manufacturers, electronic communication services, remote communication services, providers of wire or electronic communication services, providers of remote communication services, or any person who provides a product or method to facilitate a communication or to process or store data.” That’s a pretty wide net.

“No entity or individual is above the law,” said Feinstein. “The bill we have drafted would simply provide that, if a court of law issues an order to render technical assistance or provide decrypted data, the company or individual would be required to do so.

“Today, terrorists and criminals are increasingly using encryption to foil law enforcement efforts, even in the face of a court order. We need strong encryption to protect personal data, but we also need to know when terrorists are plotting to kill Americans.”

Not that it would stop terrorists – apart from the very, very stupid ones. This law would only apply to US companies or overseas firms with offices here, so anyone else who writes encryption software would still be able to sell their code online to the evil terrorists and their ilk.

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Zuckerberg and the Facebook Thought Police

Billionaire, alleged tax-dodger, CEO and all-round PC dullard Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook is not doing enough to combat hate speech.

At a recent townhall event in Berlin he pledged to work closer with the German authorities, and even offered to fund a section of the German police, in order to help Facebook expand its view of ‘protected groups’ and restrict ‘hate speech against migrants’.

Pardon my German, but what utter scheisse.

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Nile Rodgers – The Disco Ambassador Gets Lucky

Last month, when the band were filming the video for Get Lucky in Los Angeles, Rodgers says he realised that the dancers didn’t really know what they were listening to.

“Somebody called out, ‘Wow, what kind of music is that?'” Rodgers recalls. “I didn’t hesitate, I said, ‘disco!’ And they all screamed back, ‘Yeah!’. It was like they’d found something mythical that they’d heard about but didn’t know. There was an organic connection between the kids and the music. At the end they were literally weeping. I’ve seen those moments. I’ve been that guy – and it was for real.”Read More…

SS United States Faces the Scrapheap

Marilyn Monroe, JFK and the Mona Lisa all enjoyed the luxurious Atlantic crossing provided by the Titanic-sized SS United States.

But the famed liner, which still holds the speed record for a crossing between the US and Britain by a passenger ship, now faces its final journey – to the scrapyard.

The SS United States Conservancy organisation can no longer afford the $60,000 a month it costs to dock the ship on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, where it rests, empty and rusting.

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