Another Scandal Resulting from E-mails Gone Public

A lot of Pennsylvania government officials are being hurt as a result of e-mails being made public. This is all the result of a political pressure to release the e-mails, and not an organizational doxing attack, but the effects are the same.

Our psychology of e-mail doesn't match the reality. We treat it as ephemeral, even though it's not. And the archival nature of e-mail -- or text messages, or Twitter chats, or Facebook conversations -- isn't salient.

Posted on December 30, 2015 at 6:29 AM • 58 Comments

Comments

Dr. I. Needtob AtheDecember 30, 2015 6:58 AM

That's true. I still have copies of Crypto-Gram going back to July of 1998 on my hard drive.

SteveDecember 30, 2015 7:06 AM

My rule of thumb is to email, tweet, text nothing I wouldn't want on the front page of The Washington Post. Has kept me out of trouble so far.

BystanderDecember 30, 2015 7:20 AM

New to the majority on the Internet, but probably not to those who were already active during the golden days of Usenet (usenet-archive).
Yes - don't write what you would be ashamed of to be published and when you need to discuss something beyond that, do it face to face over your preferred beverage in a café, restaurant, etc. without your personal bug...

The Penn State Nittany ChickenhawksDecember 30, 2015 8:46 AM

The crucial thing is that this dispute originates in the Penn State child trafficking case. The Post article is an amusing limited hangout: Corbett slow-rolled the investigation for Penn State supporters, Yeah, right. Corbett did it for CIA. Penn State is where they moved the domestic pedophile-blackmail ring when the Franklin Scandal blew. The general misogynist porn fracas provides a useful partisan diversion while making it clear that exposure of CIA crime will ruin it for everybody. Email has been optimized for kompromat ever since AOL hung out their shingle in, wait for it, the artificial Langley suburb of Dulles, Virginia.

Anonymous CowardDecember 30, 2015 9:56 AM

I think in general, we think of the internet like a Giant Squid that has come too close to shore. Our emails are obscured in the ink clouds of technology that very few understand, but they are always there. We need metaphorical dive-shop owners like Bruce to navigate us out of these dark and dangerous times.

Clive RobinsonDecember 30, 2015 10:26 AM

It's not just what you type or write it's what you say as well...

Anybody remember Watergate?

What is revealed in the WashPo article is unpleasant, I also suspect it is just a small part of what is actually going on.

That is I suspect it is the "low hanging fruit" of what is realy going on there. Those chumy emails between judges and prosecutors, tell a very chilling story. Look at it this way, how friendly and sure of your relationship do you have to be to risk sending that kind of inappropriate material? You have to be dam sure, which indicates that there are probably significant grounds to have cases re-heard.

That aside on a more personal level for all of us, we know that "collect it all" by the FiveEyes is very likely to be wider in scope than previously thought. Thus phone call contents are likely to be also squirreled away. The only question being "Who is playing Hoover?" these days and what dirt they have and on whom. That is think back to the last dodgy comment or so you made and to whom. What could recordings of those comments be used for?

I suspect that it won't be long before people stop exercising free speach even in private just in case somebody is recording on hiden technology... What will that do to society? I suggest it could cause much the same effect it did in East Germany and other "anti-american" behaviour. Which would be quite bad for all.

WinterDecember 30, 2015 11:21 AM

@Clive
I am just reading "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" about trolling.
https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/why-we-cant-have-nice-things

The point of the book is that trolls, and this kind of disclisures are just SOP in the media.

This is news because "we" want to read and hear it.

Private pornographic jokes of other people are none of my business. Nor are the private oppinions and behavior of other people. So I do not even want to know what other people discuss in private.

Sexual preferences used to be the stuff of blackmail. That stopped in civilized countries because people stopped caring. The same should/will happen with such private conversations.

albertDecember 30, 2015 11:58 AM

@Clive,
By vacuuming up everything, 5-Eyes allows anyone in LE to "play Hoover". This extends to plaintiffs and defendants in lawsuits., where online communications often dominate other evidence.
.
I can understand when someone can blurt out something inappropriate in the heat of an argument, but I can't understand why they _type_ out the same thing. Surely anyone with at least two brain cells connected together realizes that -all- electronic communication is up for grabs. Even if the MSM is ones only news source.
.
Omniscient surveillance is the first phase in the creation of a police state. I hope researchers don't discover a way to translate brain activity into language.
.
Re: Good-Old_Boy networks. Almost any man in todays corporate workplaces works in a GOB environment. My personal experience dates back XX years, but it seems apparent that little has changed. Interestingly, attitudes toward women and sex are the one unifying force between men of different cultures and races.
.
Re: "Free speech".. Around here (US), I can call you a douchebag, because it's my opinion. It's protected speech. Across the Pond, many countries have feelz laws that prevent speech that offends someone, even if it's not an opinion, but established fact. Is it not the case that Germany has laws against denying the Holocaust?
.
If the World had laws against irrationality, there'd be no religion. Wish in one hand......
.
. .. . .. _ _ _ ....

WinterDecember 30, 2015 12:24 PM

@albert
"Is it not the case that Germany has laws against denying the Holocaust?"

The reason is not that people are offended by this "opinion" ("you are entitled to your own oppinion, but not your own facts"). Experience in Germany convinced the Germans that those denying the holocaust would band together to complete the job.

And everytime I hear someone denying the holocaust, I get get more convinced that the Germans are right.

AndyDecember 30, 2015 1:23 PM

Back in the early 1990s, when letterhead was still a thing, I taught a night class on IT in a MBA program. When discussing email, which was still moderately novel, I would tell my students "never put anything in an email that you wouldn't print out on letterhead and sign your name to. It's at least that permanent."

That remains good advice.

albertDecember 30, 2015 1:34 PM

@Winter,
I'm not sure what you mean by "...those denying the holocaust would band together to complete the job....". Do you mean the creation of another Jewish extermination program? If so, that doesn't logically follow from 'holocaust denial'.
.
I'm surprised with: "...And everytime I hear someone denying the holocaust...". I thought holocaust deniers were a very small group, not taken seriously by most folks. Please explain.
.
We (here in the US) have the right to make fools of ourselves. We also have the right to call lies factual and metaphysical truths (but not in personal attacks). The State shouldn't be the arbiter of truth. That's a dangerous slippery slope that leads to totalitarianism.
. .. . .. _ _ _ ....

WinterDecember 30, 2015 1:57 PM

@albert
"I thought holocaust deniers were a very small group, not taken seriously by most folks. Please explain."

Neo-nazis all deny the Holocaust. After WWII, old nazis were denying the Holocaust. Even the founder of France's Front National, biggest single party, belittles the Holocaust.

Obviously, the evil geniuses behind the conspiracy that gave the world the "myth" of the Holocaust, according to the deniers, are the Jewish Globalist bankers etc. The conclusion neo-nazis and other neo-fascists draw from this believe is that the problem of the Jews should be solved, now once and for all.

Which brings us back to square one.

As these fears if a neo-fascist uprising are not far fetched in Germany, I think I side with their caution and forbidding of denying.

AndrewDecember 30, 2015 2:14 PM

Online written communication shouldn't be treat as voice communication, although it is. Anyone could take over your computer and send an email or a message on your behalf...

GweihirDecember 30, 2015 3:50 PM

Quite frankly, I have always thought the biggest advantage of email was that, unlike a phone-call, they are not ephemeral, but give you a nice archivable history of what exactly was being said. Anybody that treats email as ephemeral has some troubles with reality-perception. Not that that would be rare. Skewed perception of reality is one of the things humans really excel at.

Coke canDecember 30, 2015 3:52 PM

"I wonder if 2017 will see a Supreme Court Justice impeached over an impolitic email?"

Oh yeah, flush that cesspool out. We're getting tired of having the world's most embarrassing apex court. Anons should go after Thomas first, he's a horny bastard:

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/03/talking_to_anita_hill_at_57_the_woman_who_stood_up_to_clarence_thomas_is.html

Imagine the pr0n cornucopia on his hard disk. He's certainly stupid enough to say what he thinks in email. But could be he can't figure out how to use a computer. He barely knows how to use a pencil.

VetchDecember 30, 2015 4:04 PM

@winter
Personally, I find the idea of making opinions (however illogical) illegal to be hilarious.

albertDecember 30, 2015 4:38 PM

@Winter,
I don't agree with you, but thanks for expanding your point. Sadly, anti-Muslim sentiment and the refugee crisis in the EU are causing a swing towards right-wing parties. It's happening here as well, and we a very small Muslim population, 0.5% in 2011 Gallup poll, by far the smallest of any major religion.

@Vetch,
Opinions are one thing, but facts are quite another. Laws against statements of facts should not be allowed. That a convicted child molester (a matter of public record) can sue someone for saying he is a convicted child molester is insanity at its peak.

. .. . .. _ _ _ ....

BuckDecember 30, 2015 5:43 PM

Sexual preferences used to be the stuff of blackmail. That stopped in civilized countries because people stopped caring. The same should/will happen with such private conversations.
Indeed! At some point in the near-future, a critical mass of civilized citizens will realize that they are in no position to cast the first stone, and those who actually presume themselves to be will increasingly be looked upon with suspicion...


Of course, in instances of official records such as this, there is currently a unique opportunity to right serious wrongs with the use of FOIA requests. The immediate result of which will likely be more public officials using more private channels to voice their most controversial opinions.

Fine by me! Except for the clear abuses of power or organized corruption... As we all well know, there are certain - ummm how do you say - extrajudicial methods for obtaining evidence of these crimes.

After one or a few examples of especially egregious cases being dropped with prejudice due to the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine, some real changes will be called for. Whether this means further legal codification of evidence laundering, or increased transparency into intelligence gathering, it's still too early for me to say...

Different StrokesDecember 30, 2015 5:53 PM

This is all the result of a political pressure to release the emails, and not an organizational doxing attack, but the effects are the same.

That sounds like two things that differ precisely by how much they represent a path to justice (correcting and mitigating past injustices).

And for the record, I chalk 'doxing' up there with 'IoT' as bullshit terms meant to confuse. Releasing a gathered list of otherwise publicly known names and addresses (organizational doxing?) is an entirely different thing from hacking into an organization and publishing non public communications (organizational doxing?). I tend to feel like the word 'doxing' is being used propagandistically to confuse and blur the line between such things. To the point that eventually the public goes numb to the next Snowden-like disclosure of wrongdoing, instead of being revolted by a breaking of an 'expectation of privacy'. There are very bad people out there working very hard to set our expectations very low. Trump 2016!

Chronic Irrational ParanoiaDecember 30, 2015 6:45 PM

Another reason for the pathetic delusional hypocrites to foam at the mouth.

rDecember 30, 2015 7:15 PM

@different strokes,

'Doxing', in case you've not been paying close attention its more akin to hazing and shaming in a public space. I don't believe the term itself detracts from offensive hacks as the way the term IoT may. I'm not sure publishing emails in the context of this is doxing in the sense it was coined in if-so-applied. Even with the Ashley Madison hack the application of the term doxing would've been to name, shame and frame(picture) the participants of such activities - not so much too bring the activities to light but the participants thereof?

@all,
On the earlier off-topic remarks to denial - and not to invite an attack hint hint - but let's not forget Turkey vs Kurds and or the Armenians.
Although I wasn't there so I don't really know.

rDecember 30, 2015 7:20 PM

Doxing though, from the example served by the original onion site I saw was a free for all information receptacle though... but I still think the point was mainly to name/identify though but necessarily shame.

Dirk PraetDecember 30, 2015 7:29 PM

@ Vetch, @winter, @ albert

Personally, I find the idea of making opinions (however illogical) illegal to be hilarious.

As said before, there's a huge difference between an opinion and a fact. I personally believe you also need to bring intent into the equation: if an opinion - especially one that is contrary to proven facts (i.e. a lie) - serves to incite to hatred or violence, to wilfully manipulate or deceive, then it is nothing but common sense to hold fully responsible and accountable the person stating that opinion for any and all consequences and results thereof.

rDecember 30, 2015 7:37 PM

@different strokes,
Sony is a good example of why I may be wrong, but that like Ashley madison was under the threat of blackmail.

BuckDecember 30, 2015 7:58 PM

@Dirk Praet

Hmmm... The way you say that somewhat implies there's an ultimate arbiter of what has been proven to be factual, does it not..? On the other hand, if you are referring to provably deliberate lies, I would probably be in full agreement - depending on our definitions of hatred, deception, and manipulation (violence being more commonly understood)...

tyrDecember 30, 2015 9:43 PM


A lot of the debates revolve around the understanding of
the Net and its utilities. naming something email was a
way to obfuscate the real nature of stored comp comms,
instead of conflating it with postal mail with legal
protections it should be understood as computer stored
records which may or may not be purged. Since they are
also copyrighted under the blundering recent legal set
of regimes that have been put in place email is a bomb
inside the legal regime waiting to go off ruining the
whole corporate surveillance scheme of routinely using
your copyrighted materials for their own scams without
your permissions. They can't have this both ways, either
making copy without permission is wrong (publishers
model) or it is OK for datamining (social media model).
It is the toughest catch 22 the law has ever created
but like the elephant in the room no one wants to see
it is still there. Sancrosanct ownership cannot be
delegated away by default or the whole concept of
property falls apart.

If you see your life as a long pink/tan worm through time
in the Norns web the idea that your past is still there
makes a lot more sense than thinking you are a new
creature every moment with no record left in time.
The only real question is whether the past should be a
way to poison the future (the lawyers view) or you are
free from the past (educators view) or if others have
a better picture of you than your own mirror (Googles
view).

Wilhelm Reich correctly identified fascism as rising out
of the ordinary community. That means the way to avoid
a repeat of the genocidal past is to understand where
it comes from. The fringe element right wing isn't the
problem, the problem comes when the community feels a
threat from strangers, then they join with the fringe
and try to emo the threat away with violence. Nobody is
going to rationally manufacture death camps. Emotionally
they are quite capable of horrors to shame the wildest
rabid beast.

Like Clive has pointed out bad ideas can be implemented
around the world before good ideas can get their boots
on (shameless steal from PTerry), history is full of the
examples of how bad ideas have become policy in the
hands of the porkstuffers of high governance.

FM RadioDecember 30, 2015 11:40 PM

Wilhelm Reich was an idiot who escaped fascism to die under dubious circumstances in free democratic America.

Concerning holocaust, if you were to profit from exaggerating, politically or else, of course you would. I don't see why the holocaust has more value than the extermination of native Americans.

Hmm...December 31, 2015 12:45 AM

A lot of Pennsylvania government officials are being hurt as a result of e-mails being made public.

Really? Another way to look at it is that some pieces of shit are probably rightfully worried about losing their jobs, but a vastly greater number of employees are thanking god that those pieces of shit may actually finally lose their jobs like they should have long ago. Your way of looking at it Bruce is really kind of creepy.

Clive RobinsonDecember 31, 2015 1:23 AM

@ Buck,

The way you say that somewhat implies there's an ultimate arbiter of what has been proven to be factual, does it not..?

Actualy the law and society require no "ultimate arbiter" of what may or may not be historicaly factual.

There are a few people who have some kind of syndrome whereby they give voice apparently without concious control to their inner thoughts and feelings, and occasionaly the rest of us will whilst overly emotional or under the influence of chemicals that suppress the concious mind do likewise.

The rest of the time our conscious mind controls what we say. Thus in general it can be said that saying things that we know to be untrue is a concious act and as such can also be considered a premeditated act as well.

Outside of the "social niceties" sometimes called "white lies" there are usuall four reasons that people say things they know to be untrue. The first is to knowingly avoid responsability for an act. The second is to knowingly assist others avoid responsability for an act. The third to knowingly bring harm to another person. The fourth to knowingly gain some benifit to which they would otherwise not be entitled.

You will find that these four classes of knowingly saying things that are not true are all considered to be crimes under most jurisdictions. Normaly the only defence of which is to show that either there is some factual basis for what you have said and thus a reasonable person would consider that you have not knowingly lied, or that as with authors of fiction you have created some character that has unfortunately a passing relationship to a living person.

In either case it is usually left to a "jury of your peers" to decide the truth of the matter based on the evidence placed before them.

In recent years it has been felt there is a need for new sub classifications of knowingly saying things to bring harm to others and they are often called "hate crimes" and by and large they are usually uncontroversial in their intent and implementation. Where you hear otherwise there is usually a political or religious element to the argument raised by those with a very conservative or other extream outlook on life.

With little doubt people from all walks of life can have extream views, and they will tend to congregate with others of a similar view. At some point society has to decide when those views have crossed a line and become harmfull to parts of society or society in general. What remains is the issue of how to deal with those that outwardly express those views or in otherways act on them to the detriment of others.

You may or may not be aware that in the UK the subject of denying an entry visa to Donald Trump has come up for some of his Republican "tub thumping" comments. However it soon became clear that his "Anti Muslim" comments were just a tipping point, many of his other comments are just as unacceptable to many people in the UK. However the issue arises of if his views are sufficiently acceptable to the near 200million voters in the US. If they are then we may have a situation where the UK with about one fifth the number of voters decides that the democraticaly elected US President is "Person non Grata"... Which considering the other despots and tyrant heads of state we have let in for political reasons over the years is going to look a bit odd to put it mildly.

So there are quite a few UK Politico's (especialy in Scotland) rather hoping that "Dear Donald" would suffer some misfortune in his political aspirations, so the issue never arises...

Suffice it to say that some UK comedians have lept on the US expression "... put lipstick on a pig" and changed it to "... put a wig on a pig" to tie in Donald Trump with the "alleged past" porcine proclivities of the UK Prime Minister David Cameron, adding "I'll never look at a sausage the same way again" to reinforce the idea.

Whilst I don't think it counts as a hate crime, it's certainly pushing at some boundaries... The point being that in many countries it would be illegal to say such things about ordinary Politicians let alone Presidents. Does such legislation appear better or worse than The German law? How about laws banning the burning of national flags?

WaelDecember 31, 2015 2:28 AM

And we need to remember, whenever we type and send, we're being watched.

The good news is they™ reduced user' "friction". The requirements were relaxed a little during the last 9 years. "Send" is no longer a mandatory step, it's optional. Better be careful what you type on your personal device; "Casual note-taking, R.I.P."

Clive RobinsonDecember 31, 2015 3:38 AM

@ Wael,

"Send" is no longer a mandatory step...

I guess you might have forgoton CarrierIQ, making life easier for all snoopers, putting all your keypress including deletes, app usage, finger on the screen position and geolocation data onto the Internet effectivly in clear text for all to see, so even pressing the enter key is not a mandatory step,

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2011/12/carrier_iq_spyw.html

With "support software" like that who needs probable cause, warrants, NSLs or access to "business records", you just read it of an upstream point for the CarrierIQ data collector servers...

AndrewDecember 31, 2015 3:38 AM

@Wael
I very much agree, I think that the INPUT is the weakest link in the chain, if I was NSA I would store somewhere every key typed on every device.... its just too easy to backdoor something all along the way controllers - operating system - software etc. with maximum profit.
If I have to make something safe, I would build a safe keyboard that deliver encrypted text to software (passwords, communications etc).

WinterDecember 31, 2015 3:45 AM

@ Buck,
"The way you say that somewhat implies there's an ultimate arbiter of what has been proven to be factual, does it not..?"

We have such arbiters. They are called the "courts".

In the case of the holocaust, as Clive already explained, this is not about opinions, but about facts and manipulation.

There is a lot you can say in Germany, it has exemplary freedom of the press. However, trying to resurrect the nazi horrors is not part of that freedom. Holocaust deniers are almost without exception people who are involved in organizations whose aims are to expell jews from public life, the country, and often, the world of the living.

On the other hand, there is very little freedom lost when you are forbidden to express explicit lies. Especially as this law is itself exceptional in Germany (no slippery slope in 70 years).

WaelDecember 31, 2015 4:31 AM

@Clive Robinson,

I guess you might have forgoton ...

I have not! How could I, It was implicit in these specifications ;)

so even pressing the enter key is not a mandatory step

True in some cases.

@Andrew,

I would build a safe keyboard that deliver encrypted text to software (passwords, communications etc).

Yes! Keyboard and screen. Secure I/O with end to end confidentiality protection (integrity and authenticity if needed.) The footnote is the important part! You may skip the rest. I need to stop making promises...

The Ghost of Samuel ChaseDecember 31, 2015 5:54 AM

@hideous, @coke can

For those who do not know, there jas only been one US Supreme Court Justice impeached. It was in 1804 and they failed to remove him from office. Instead, it set the precedent that no one would ever again impeach a Supreme Court justice and impeachment against federal judges is rare.

Political pressure to resign is still a thing, but it's pretty unusual to force out a judge who is unwilling to resign. I believe only seven judges have been impeached and convicted.

ianfDecember 31, 2015 7:48 AM


email is at least as permanent as were it printed on a letterhead… that remains good advice.

Andy, this is academic, but while your advice may have been sound from a purely business-legalistic, future deposition preventive point of view, it is patently false where every other, and especially archival, factors of email are concerned. Paper-/ analog physical substrate-borne correspondence and administrative/ commercial, etc. records have so far proved much more permanent than any electronic media, but, because they are not digital/ or digitized, are harder to discover, search through, and publish when appropriate (or willy-nilly when "needed").

That all we hear of are unwanted disclosures of electronic records is not because these are of more permanent nature, but because of breaches in their safekeeping (for which the CEOs and CTOs of the affected/ hence offending/ organizations should be held to account), and due to their ubiquity. So let's not confuse the issues… rightly managed, selectively and consequently purged ALREADY IMPERMANENT email can easily lose its potential future "damaging sting." I know of at least one instance, where (paper copies of) emails were found inadmissible in an industrial insurance damages case because of missing, and to the plaintiffs' unknown, greater context. So let us remember the difference between the courts of law and those of "public opinion."

Jim ADecember 31, 2015 8:44 AM

Andy: I would argue that in some circles, "letterhead" is still a "thing." And I'm not sure that it was ever a good idea. Really are we to believe that Soviet spies didn't have access to printers for letterhead?

rDecember 31, 2015 9:24 AM

@Clive,

"Put a wig on a pig", nice.
He is rather abrasive isn't he? The good thing about Mr trump is he betrays his underlying feelings publicly: allowing the public to make a truly informed decision in stark contrast to the behind the scenes topic of this thread.

@different strokes,
My apologies for being both an idiot and as crass as I was with my statement to you. :)

BuckDecember 31, 2015 9:55 AM

@Clive, Winter

Right. We're talking about the courts/juries making the decision of whether or not one has knowingly told a lie for some personal gain... That seems totally reasonable. It's also completely distinct from a law that would ban factually incorrect speech. People can genuinely hold beliefs that their peers would disagree with. It happens all the time, and I don't suppose that will (or should) change anytime soon.

However, if we're just referring to the one explicit example of Holocaust denial, then yes, I agree that there should be a very limited (if not nonexistent) chilling-effect on unrelated controversial opinions.

WinterDecember 31, 2015 10:44 AM

@Buck
"We're talking about the courts/juries making the decision of whether or not one has knowingly told a lie for some personal gain... That seems totally reasonable"

The courts have already made the facts around the holocaust perfectly clear long ago. It is also next to impossible to live in Germany et al. and not know this.

It is allowed to deny the holocaust in private, but not in public. And if someone really believes it never happened, there is always the insanity clause.

@Buck
"However, if we're just referring to the one explicit example of Holocaust denial, then yes, I agree that there should be a very limited (if not nonexistent) chilling-effect on unrelated controversial opinions."

As far as I know, this is a totally isolated law in Germany (and a few other countries) against a specific instance of "speech". But it often extends towards Mein Kampf. However that censorship is increasingly contested.

BuckDecember 31, 2015 12:14 PM

@Winter

Ha, that's a pretty good point! Any German who truly believed that the holocaust never happened could probably make quite a compelling case for an insanity plea at trial... Good thing for them that their more sane countrymen would most definitely agree that purging the mentally infirm isn't actually a good idea!

The Mein Kampf censorship is indeed interesting, if only because I imagine some lessons could be learned from that in order to avoid repeating past mistakes.

albertDecember 31, 2015 1:27 PM

@Clive,

It's my understanding that US citizens in the UK aren't bound by UK 'freedom' of speech laws (which is why Max Keiser gets away with his damning of certain UK public figures).

If that's the case then, I can easily see why they don't want The Donald over there.

I really would like to see Trump jump on UK politicos. Unlike here in the US, he could really cut loose. It's hard to imagine, but Trump is somewhat constrained here.

FUn times!

. .. . .. _ _ _ ....

Thomas_HJanuary 1, 2016 5:45 AM

@albert:

The amount of programmes on British telly involving jokes at the expense of various public figures seems to suggest "damning public figures" is not actually illegal in the UK...

And if it was, then surely a song like the Sex Pistols' "God save the queen" would have been outright banned:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Save_the_Queen_%28Sex_Pistols_song%29

AFAIK, US laws of freedom of expression (or otherwise) are valid in the US and its overseas territories, military bases, embassies, etc. Unlike what many Americans wish for, they do not extend to other sovereign countries, and breaking local laws in those countries can get Americans in legal trouble or lead to their expulsion. The (wrong) perception by Americans that their laws are valid anywhere anytime (but of course not the opposite, that would be unacceptable) is one of the reasons America is often perceived as "arrogant"...

albertJanuary 1, 2016 10:47 AM

@Thomas_H,
I didn't mean to suggest that I think US laws applied in other countries. Kaiser uses hyperbole on occasion, but his statements about individuals are not jokes, and his show is not satire, it's financial commentary. Have a look:
https://www.rt.com/shows/keiser-report/
...............
P.S. On the geo-political stage, our laws DO apply everywhere (we're immune to international law you know), and if they don't, we MAKE 'em apply:)
. .. . .. _ _ _ ....

FoobarJanuary 1, 2016 7:02 PM

This kind of situation being dragged out in the media is a bad thing. The reaction from the state is easy -- update the retention policy, and delete everything in 90-120 days.

IanJanuary 2, 2016 9:20 PM

"A lot of Pennsylvania government officials are being hurt"

so? that's reason to celebrate.

ianfJanuary 3, 2016 6:22 AM


@ Neo – tell me how would that work in any corporate setting: “listen up, from now on, for the sake of potential future need for total deniability of our AFTER ALL FULLY LEGAL activities, we'll be using only self-destructing email and messaging networks, with any and all of us claiming no recollection of when, by whom, and for what purpose this decision has been taken.”

That is, tell me if you believe that all comms are like such between you and your Butt-head buddy, conspiring to forage for food at White Castle rather than at the upmarket Wimpy's that you've told your parentheses about.

Clive RobinsonJanuary 3, 2016 9:30 AM

@ ianf,

Your above to Neo, have you posted it in the wrong thread, ot got the name wrong?

I, can not see a Neo on it's own in this thread (just neo-nazis/fascists). Maybe the @Moderator has removed it.

@ Moderator,

If there was a post by a Neo, and it's been moderated out, can you remove this post and I guess ianf's as it would be redundant.

ianfJanuary 3, 2016 11:15 AM


Clive, there indeed was a post by a Neo (of January 3, 2016 5:55 AM), which I so rudely sarcasmised.

#its‌athankless‌job‌but‌somebodys‌gotto‌doit

    I don't know why it was deleted… it represented the same kind of intellect as that nameless commenter's, who, in the wake of 2001/9/11, and with the USA announcing a $$$ Dead or Alive Reward for Osama Bin Laden, seriously proposed in a forum that Afghanistan be carpet-parachute-sprinkled/ bombed with cheap burner mobile phones (with the CIA's # already pre-programmed) for a quick OBL capture. That's the kind of forward thinkers that America produces. Oops, sounding unreasonably sarcastic again.

PeteRepeatJanuary 10, 2016 10:24 PM

Albert wrote : " Surely anyone with at least two brain cells connected together realizes that -all- electronic communication is up for grabs. "

Trust me, even people with A LOT more inter-connected brain-cells don't get it .
They think the amount of data is to large and would fill all HDD's ever made, every day!

And people even write under their own, real, names these days .
This was unthinkable when I started using "the internet", a black box you hooked up to .. never mind ...

Bong-Smoking Primitive Monkey-Brained ZombieJanuary 10, 2016 10:49 PM

@PeteRepeat,

And people even write under their own, real, names these days .

Anyone who "can fog a mirror" knows that whatever you post can be traced back to you regardless of the name you choose. You might as well tell us your real name, Peter ;)

PeteRepeatJanuary 11, 2016 1:14 PM

Nah, there has to be something left for the spooks to do, now that they have given up on catching any actual terrorists ..

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