That’s getting awfully close to extortion, Mr. Hogg

“Nice business ya got there. Be a shame if protestors shut it down. Your “protest insurance” premium is one million bucks.

“Wanna hear ’bout our arson policy, too?”

David Hogg targets Publix in gun-control push
David Hogg is trying to shake down Publix.
“I call on @Publix to donate double the money they gave to Putman [sic] to the Stoneman Douglas Victims fund, $1,000,000. And never support an A rated NRA politician again,” he wrote.
The monetary demand came a day after Mr. Hogg called for disruptive demonstrations Friday at all Publix stores, one of the biggest chains in the Southeast and especially Florida, where it is the largest private employer.

Right now, I think he’s skating on the edge of legality.


Alexa Spies: I have mixed feelings about this report

Woman says her Amazon device recorded private conversation, sent it out to random contact
A Portland family contacted Amazon to investigate after they say a private conversation in their home was recorded by Amazon’s Alexa — the voice-controlled smart speaker — and that the recorded audio was sent to the phone of a random person in Seattle, who was in the family’s contact list.

It certainly shouldn’t be doing that. Amazon has always claimed it can’t.

On the other hand,

“A husband and wife in the privacy of their home have conversations that they’re not expecting to be sent to someone (in) their address book,” she said.

I didn’t trust Alexa to begin with. Assorted reports of audio hacking, “accidental” orders, bizarre laughter, and plenty others made it clear that Alexa isn’t what it’s claimed.

I always said I would NOT have one of these in my home. I stand by that, and these folks should have known better.

Pranking Hackers Rejoice

If there’s a may for the “authorities” to do it, so can hackers.

What new digital driver’s licenses mean for motorists, police
But digital driver’s licenses have features that plastic licenses lack, notably a date-stamp to show when the license information was last updated and the ability to update the license on the spot via a cellular network — a boon for police officers during traffic stops.
What about the security of digital licenses in an age when it seems everything can be hacked? Digital licenses are protected by password, PINs and other security features in addition to the usual security built into phones, and state authorities can wipe a digital license remotely if a driver reports it lost to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

I seem to recall a fairly recent report of Minnesota having problems with their DMV system… Yep. Can’t issue or renews paltes and registration stickers. Screwed up titles. Imagine the computer decides your license is expired and updates/revokes it remotely and you never know.

Imagine hackers finding that same backchannel in. Swatters could take up a new hobby variant: revoking licenses and calling the driver in as a “drunk driver.”

(Of course, it works the other way, too. License really suspended? Hot then “dark net” and get a little help “renewing.”)

Yeah, this will go well.

This does not bode well for anyone

Judge rules Trump can’t block people from Twitter account
“This case requires us to consider whether a public official may, consistent with the First Amendment, ‘block’ a person from his Twitter account in response to the political views that person has expressed, and whether the analysis differs because that public official is the President of the United States,” the judge wrote in her ruling.

“The answer to both questions is no.”

I’m looking for the complete decision. If that story accurately portrays it, the ramifications are terrible.

First, the judge appears to turn a right to speak into a right that everyone listen. Not just on Twitter. Got troll commenting on your blog or forum? You may not be able to moderate them under this legal theory.

Second, it’s a lot worse than that. Remember CDA Section 230? That’s the one that gave web site owners some protection from liability for posts or comments made by other people.

Meet FOSTA, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act”Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.” It strips away many of those 230 protections, making web site owners responsible for things posted by users. Big outfits like Facebook like it because they can afford to comply, but it weeds out smaller competitors who can’t afford a 24/7 team of moderators and automatic filters.

So now I could be held responsible for libelous comments on my blog…

…and I may not be allowed to block offenders. I may not be able to block spammers and trolls.

Imagine getting busted for trafficking because a spammer posted an ad for cheap Chinese Fentanyl on your blog.

Imagine getting sued for defamation because some asshat posted lies about someone else.

With 230 gutted, I have to proactively block that stuff to cover my ass. By it sounds like this judge says I can’t proactively block it.

The devil is in the details; I need to see that decision, not just some ABC reporter’s take.

ETA: Still no complete decision, but some more detail that seems to confirm my fears.

The judge agreed but said that even considering the president’s First Amendment rights, preventing users from interacting directly with him on Twitter represented a violation of a “real, albeit narrow, slice of speech.”

You can’t stop users: “preventing users from interacting directly”.

ETA 2: I have the order (PDF, 75pp). It’s going to take a while to go through it.

ETA 3: This is a mess.

It’s not quite as bad as I feared, in one respect. The decision is limited to the @realDonaldTrump account, and not Twitter itself as a public forum.

@realDonaldTrump is legally a public forum because of something of which I was unaware: Trump uses government resources in the form of the White House Communications Director to manage the account and do some tweets. In Trump’s place, I would have kept it to myself as a personal venting venue. He didn’t. That eliminates my worst fears.

This part still bugs me:

We hold that portions of the @realDonaldTrump account — the “interactive space” where Twitter users may directly engage with the content of the President’s tweets — are properly analyzed under the “public forum” doctrines set forth by the Supreme Court, that such space is a designated public forum, and that the blocking of the plaintiffs based on their political speech constitutes viewpoint discrimination that violates the First Amendment.

That’s the troubling part. The “injury” of the plaintiffs that the judges found to real isn’t that they can’t read Trump’s tweets. They can by using another account, or simply by being logged out (which how I see the occasional tweet). The “injury” isn’t that they can’t tweet themselves, which they can.

The injury is that they can’t post reply tweets directly to Trump’s timeline. They can’t use Trump’s account to voice their opinions.

Imagine if you will: A county commissioner is giving an official statement on television. Joe Citizen disagrees with something said, and demands the mike.

And basically the TV station will have to let him rant, even if it runs past the scheduled timeslot. The station can’t merely offer Joe his own airtime the next day; he’s entitled to comments during the commissioner’s scheduled time, because it would an “injury” not to exercise his free speech as the commissioner speaks, to reach the same people who tuned in to hear what the commissioner had to say whether they like it or not.

Everyone is entitled to the mike.

You can’t “block” them — require them to rant on the own show/Twitter feed/blog — so long as they aren’t slandering, spouting obscenties, or indulging in other “unprotected” speech. Joe — and Mike, Mitzy, Jorge, Abdul, and everyone else — can commandeer the microphone to rant about voting rights for voles, while the commissioner wants to explain the proposed bond issue.

Free speech is great. But this is a new right to be heard. By everyone, not just the public official.

Damned NRA terrorists

They struck again.

Cops: Kids threw rocks at men, chased them, waved gun on Atlanta Beltline
The children, believed to be a 6-year-old and 12-year-old, asked the men Sunday if they could play on the swing at Adair Park near the Beltline’s westside trail, Atlanta police told Channel 2.

The men said yes, but the kids threw baseball-sized rocks at them, hitting them. One of the men sustained a minor injury, Channel 2 reported. At some point, the juveniles allegedly waved a gun at the men.

I’m sure that universal background checks would end the scourge of heavily armed tweens.

More proof that “gun violence” is down

“Gun violence” is a solved problem. It’s been dropping for decades. The major turning point was civilian concealed carry. Even with the recent uptick caused by the Clinton Archipelago residents, the national rate is still well below that of the early ’90s.

“Gun violence” reporting, on the other hand…

Local gun violence prevention groups host awareness-raising events June 1-2
The Asheville [North Carolina] chapters of Students Demand Action (SDA) and Moms Demand Action (MDA) — the groups responsible for the 6,000-person March for Our Lives, which took place downtown on March 24 — are planning a weekend of events in honor of National Wear Orange Day/Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 1 and 2, 2018.

If there’s so much “gun violence” (and why aren’t they worried about other kinfds, too?), why do they need rallies to make us aware of all that violence?

If you’re in North Carolina, you might want to drop by the freak shows and ask them just that.