Robert Pitman, federal district judge, has issued an order for Texas’s social media law to be enforced. In this episode, the ruling sparks a fight between me and Nate Jones that ranges from how much weight should be given to the speech rights of social media to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict imposed by Facebook when it decided he was guilty and wouldn’t let anyone disagree. We agreed on the merits that Obama’s appointee had a solid foundation (for the moment) when he applied the Tornillo case line that states that publishers should not be subject to government regulation. However, the judge’s decision on transparency and due process of the law indicates to me that the judge wasn’t ready to give it a fair shot. Also, expect a competing appeal to the subject and perhaps a petition for certiorari that is more competitive. We must stop beating the horse. He has no right to defend himself.
Megan Stifel is given a simpler task: explaining cybersecurity recommendations to rail companies and other surface transport businesses. We both marvel at the resistance to the advice, which is basically the same as what could have been given in the 1990s. Perhaps it is the 24-hour notification requirement by TSA to inform them of cyber incidents. However, I offer reasons for industry not being as concerned about this deadline than a similar one for data breaches notifications.
Nate and me explore the Biden administration’s proposals to gather a group like-minded nations in a campaign against surveillance equipment sales to autoritarian regimes. The news that U.S. State Department phones had been hacked and exported spyware to Israel reinforced the idea.. The project is doomed for one simple reason. Authoritarian governments are able to buy surveillance equipment from China and they will happily sell it. Without credible enforcement, international efforts to ban such sales are empty virtue signaling.
An absurdly ridiculous story by the Markup claims PredPol crime prediction tool is racist. The software urges police officers to patrol less populated areas of poor black neighborhoods than more populated ones. Without asking whether this might help with crime concentration. The authors then suddenly declare that PredPol’s prediction software cannot be trusted because it produces the exact same results without having to make as many arrests in both neighborhoods and those recommended for high patrolling.
Megan, speaking of stupidity, describes how hackers were able to steal $31,000,000 in digital coins from a smart contract. How does the hacker’s achievement differ from good lawyers?
Nate and me look at Russia’s efforts to bring down Twitter with a slowdown on mobile. While Twitter isn’t yet broken, it is clear that Silicon Valley’s authoritarians are gradually winning the battle against them.
Megan shares a story about Ubiquiti’s cybersecurity specialist who chose to take up riding with the Fox instead of with the Hounds. It was a bad choice. We know the end of fox hunts for the fox and we are not surprised by this tale.
Updates remind me of Jeff Bezos’ elaborate gas-lighting scheme. He tried to blame both the National Enquirer and Saudis for the leak of private text messages from his brother-in law. This was deeply embarrassing for him as CEO. Bezos has trumped up all the hacking, extortion and other investigations and now the verdict is in: It wasn’t done by the Saudis.
Megan and me also note an article in the Wall Street Journal about how difficult it can be to spy in today’s world of universal surveillance cameras, smartphones and biometrics. We reacted: Yes.
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