When academics study e-commerce

“Supreme Court and Congressional action in this instance is in the traditional gradual long-term evolutionary change category. The punctuated equilibrium short-term evolutionary change system has been extremely active in pursuing substitute approaches to the more inactive traditional gradual long-term evolutionary change of federal government actions.”

-Conclusion of an academic paper on the cross-border taxation of e-commerce

He’s behind yoooooou!

“If you create encryption, it makes it harder for the American government to do its job — while protecting civil liberties — to make sure that evildoers aren’t in our midst. We need to find a new arrangement with Silicon Valley in this regard because I think this is a very dangerous kind of situation.”

-Jeb Bush

This is a full bingo card

“Suicidal people, missing children, kidnaps…those kinds of inquiries…all of those, if this judgement were to stay in place, would not be possible… I do think there is a risk here of giving succour to the paranoid liberal bourgeoisie, whose peculiar fears are placed ahead of the interests of people.”

Minister for Security John Hayes, a Conservative MP, speaking on Radio 4, on the High Court ruling that DRIPA surveillance is illegal.

Encryption kills Americans, apparently.

McCain: So suppose that we had legislation which required two keys. One for the user and one that, given a court order, requiring a court order, that you would be able to — with substantial reason and motivation for doing so — would want to go into that particular site. What’s the problem with that?

Comey: Well, a lot of smart people, smarter than I, certainly, say that would have a disastrous impact on broader security across the internet, which is also part of my responsibility.

McCain: Do you believe that?

Comey: I’m skeptical that we can’t find a solution that overcomes that harm. But a lot of serious people say “ah, you don’t realize, you’ll rush into something and it’ll be a disaster for your country. Because it’ll kill your innovation, it’ll kill the internet.” That causes me to at least pause and say “well, okay, let’s talk about it.”

McCain: But, we’ve just established the fact that ISIS is rushing in to trying… attempting… to harm America and kill Americans. Aren’t we?

Comey: They are.

McCain: So I say with respect to my colleagues, and their advocacy for our constitutional obligations and rights, that we’re facing a determined enemy who is, as we speak — according to you and the director of Homeland Security — seeking to attack America, destroy America and kill Americans. So it seems to me that the object should be here, is to find a way not only to protect Americans’ rights, but to protect American lives. And I hope that you will devote some of your efforts — and I hope that this Committee… and I hope the Congress will — understand the nature of this threat. And to say that we can’t protect Americans’ Constitutional rights in the same time protect America, is something that I, simply, won’t accept.

(More of this claptrap at https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150709/00065731595/two-most-ridiculous-statements-senators-yesterdays-encryption-hearings.shtml)

Dude. Chill out.

“Twitter? I’ve never sent an email to anybody. I believe in keeping the postman in work. It has resulted in a lot of letters not being sent. When I arrived [in parliament] I learnt how to do all the letters myself as I used to work in the pit and represent people at tribunals. With this ‘social media’, instead of letters you get emails. They’re all written in a hurry, with no punctuation, no paragraphs – it’s one continual stream, with spelling mistakes. Quite frankly I think it’s a world I don’t need. But I have to read them all because people say, ‘Did you get my letter?’ And it’s not even a letter! It’s a scrawl on a screen!”

-Dennis Skinner MP

Space Invaders

House of Commons Debate held on 20 May 1981:

“I have seen reports from all over the country of young people becoming so addicted to these machines that they resort to theft, blackmail and vice to obtain money to satisfy their addiction…That is what is happening to our young people. They play truant, miss meals, and give up other normal activity to play ‘space invaders’. They become crazed, with eyes glazed, oblivious to everything around them, as they play the machines…… It is interesting but worrying that it is often bright children who have never been in trouble before who become hooked on the ‘space invaders’….what should we do to control this menace?”

-Rt Hon George Foulkes MP, proposing the “Control of Space Invaders and Other Electronic Games” Act.

It works for Jack Bauer

“In most of the serious crimes [such as] child abduction, communications data, [including] who called who and when, and where was the telephone at the time – not the content, but the communications data – is absolutely vital…I love watching crime dramas on the television. There’s hardly a crime drama where a crime is solved without using the data of a mobile communications device. That’s not about the content.”

-David Cameron making the case for increased state surveillance, 31 January 2014

Who needs Freedom of Information when we have Google?

A Councillor discussing the rising number of freedom of information (FOI) requests being submitted to the council suggested people should stop wasting the authority’s time and search for what they’re looking for on Google.

“It seems like an easy way of doing research is just to do an FOI and get someone else to do all the spade work for you. There’s so much public information available and Google is such a good tool to use. I just want to confirm that it is the case that if information is asked for rather than it being gathered by the council it’s sign posted and there is a quick way to do that signposting. Could there be a standard answer that this information is publicly available and the subtext is go and find it yourself.”

-East Renfrewshire Councillor Mary Montague, 10 June 2015

“Sanctimonious claptrap”

“The noble Lord, Lord West, recently mentioned the phrase “snooper’s charter”, and referred to it as sanctimonious claptrap; I agree with him. In this amendment we have limited those who could exercise this kind of power to the security services and the police when investigating or preventing serious crime. They are not snoopers but lifesavers.”

-Lord Blair of Boughton, during the Snooper’s Charter debate, 26 January 2015