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mmasnick80 karma

Hey! Yes, actually. I don't think a day has gone by when I haven't thought about what other agencies may have secret games. Of course, with this one, the CIA chose to reveal the existence of the games themselves at SXSW, which made it a lot easier. But once this campaign is over, I may shoot off some random FOIAs to random agencies. I mean, do you think the Copyright Office has internal games?

mmasnick77 karma

Let me echo Daniel's point about "investor-state dispute resolution" mechanisms. It SOUNDS boring on purpose. It's designed to make people think it's boring so they don't recognize what it is. What it really is is corporate sovereignty. It's an attempt to give companies extra-special rights to go above and beyond the laws of other countries.

An incredible example of this in current practice (under NAFTA) is Eli Lilly suing Canada for rejecting one of its patents. Eli Lilly is claiming that Canada rejecting one of its patents is a form of taking Eli Lilly's expected profits. Think about that for a second and you realize that this effectively eliminates the ability of countries to set their own laws -- so long as a foreign company can argue that any adverse law (not just IP, but health, safety, environmental, etc.) somehow takes away expected profits.

edit: correcting stupid typo.

mmasnick72 karma

What will it take to get politicians in DC to recognize that copyright is not a mere business issue for some companies, but something that actually impacts everyone, every single day?

mmasnick56 karma

Ugh. You're probably right. And, yes, it's probably depressing. Though, honestly, I bet the CDC guys just sit around and play Pandemic all the time. I know that's what I'd do if I worked there.

mmasnick51 karma

Other commenters may (likely will) disagree with this, but I think that putting privacy on a "sliding scale" is a little misleading. When privacy is done right it's about tradeoffs that you get to make.

Here's an extreme example: when you leave your house to go to the store, you are giving up a tiny bit of your privacy (someone can see you walking down the street, they might see where you live, or what store you shopped in and what you bought). But you consider that tradeoff to be worth it to get some food/take a walk/get some fresh air/whatever. But, at least in that case, you understand the basic tradeoffs and are making a conscious decision of "this is worth it for the little privacy I'm losing."

So I have trouble with the idea of "total privacy" because basically no one really wants total privacy. But what people do tend to want is both a knowledgeable understanding of what the tradeoffs they're facing are, and to be able to make the decisions themselves if they're worth it.

The problem we're seeing with things like ECPA and the NSA stuff is that we aren't given the information, we have no way to make the choice, and the "tradeoff" we're being given is a terrible deal. So rather than trying to get to "total privacy" I think we need to be getting towards greater knowledge, transparency, oversight and the ability for individuals to make reasonable decisions about their own privacy.

And, while I'm not a huge fan of Christmas music generally (sorry!), to keep the theme going, I think it's gotta be "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" for this particular AMA. "They know when you are sleeping. They know when you're awake. They know if you've been bad or good... so encrypt for goodness sake."