Elderly couple win case against council who tried to stop them going on holiday together | Mail Online

Unusually, I’m inclined to defend the nanny state on this occasion. Why?

Had Peggy Ross been living at home, and thus fending for herself, I would have been as exercised as the faux outrage of the Mail headline suggests their readers ought to be.

But, on this occasion, the state had genuinely stepped into the breach as a literal “nanny”. The woman was living, at the expense of the state, in a state run nursing home. In which case they had a major “duty of care” and were obliged to make risk assessments on behalf of their resident. They may or may not, on this occasion, have got their assessment wrong. It is understandable that they would be much more risk averse than the normal citizen might be. But they can’t be faulted for their intent…

It’s an interesting contrast to the story, in the same edition of the paper, about Laura Dekker, the 16 year old Dutch girl who’s just become the youngest to sail around the planet single handed.

Her state – the Netherlands – tried a very heavy handed and distinctly authoritarian “nanny state” approach when they tried to prevent her adventure by taking her away from her family and into state care against the will of all parties. Many states give themselves the legal rights to bully their citizens this way, but none are legitimate without informed consent or reputable medical evidence that informed consent is not possible.

Their argument amounts to a paternalistic dictat that below an arbitrary age unsupported by any scientific research, people are incapable of informed consent. That worries me, on this occasion, far more than an over-cautious local council.

Elderly couple win case against council who tried to stop them going on holiday together | Mail Online.

Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover – Rotten Tomatoes

I s’pose you’re wondering why I called you here tonight…

I’ve long argued that J Edgar Hoover is the king of Corrupt Insiders and, as such my “poster child” for Trusted Surveillance. It’s public servants like him that make Trusted Surveillance so necessary.

So it’s no surprise that I have just dragged my wife along to see “J Edgar”. I wanted to see how much of his corruption they would dare to reveal. I was pleasantly surprised. No one should leave the theatre thinking he was any kind of hero. Yes he does deserve credit for his persistence in pursuit of the disciplined collection and use of fingerprint data and the formalisation of evidence gathering techniques.

But from day 1 he was a law unto himself and grossly abused the power that came with his surveillance authority. His criminal blackmail of a succession of presidents is unprecedented in human history.

When we got home, I knew I had a lo res copy of the movie “Secret Files of J Edgar Hoover” and wanted to revisit it straight after watching the new movie. Disaster! It’s only the first 39 minutes!!!

Coulda sworn I had the whole thing. Mais non. So I’ll try and download it again. No trace. OK, bugger it, I’ll buy it on DVD. It’s that important.

Try it!

If you succeed, please let me know how and where ‘cos I can’t find it. I can only find it on VHS. So Last Century…

Doesn’t that strike you as strange?

I’m not aware of any legal challenge to the veracity of the facts revealed by that movie. And I cannot believe that I’m the only one who’d want to buy a copy. I know of a couple of million who’d want to watch it. And I’d bet that 10% of those would be prepared to pay for a copy.

So how on earth does a product with such an obvious market, disappear without trace?

Let’s see what kind of reviews the movie got…

Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover – Rotten Tomatoes.

Can You Hear Me, Mao?: Say Protest in China and Your Call Drops – Culture – GOOD

it is worth pointing out that the Chinese authoritarians are still a couple of steps ahead of the American authoritarians. But only a couple of steps, and they don’t have anything like the technological surveillance skills. Yet…

Can You Hear Me, Mao?: Say Protest in China and Your Call Drops – Culture – GOOD.

Thieves plunder apartment for Facebook booty • The Register

classic example of how Privacy maintains Security…

Thieves plunder apartment for Facebook booty • The Register.

DVLA sells your data for £2.50 a go ‘to pretty dodgy characters’, says MP | Mail Online

DVLA sells your data for £2.50 a go 'to pretty dodgy characters', says MP | Mail Online.

the mere fact that a Government could allow the sale of private data which it coerces citizens into providing tells you all you need to know about why governments must never be allowed to own our data and should only be allowed access to it under the strict supervision of Trusted Surveillance…

Full disk encryption is too good, says US intelligence agency | ExtremeTech

Full disk encryption is too good, says US intelligence agency | ExtremeTech.

which is why I routinely truecrypt all the laptops and external drives I have responsibility for. I don’t want ANY attackers, be they thieving opportunists or commercial or government spies getting access to anything of interest to me or mine without my uncoerced and informed consent. Essential requirements for privacy and liberty. And as I’ve argued elsewhere, those are the prerequisites for good security…

A beautiful but creepy vision of the “smart glass” future

A beautiful but creepy vision of the “smart glass” future.

We’re already seeing some of these (version 1 at least) and I’m betting we’ll see about half of them at street level within the next decade.

Note that Corning, at least, still think it’s an attractive proposition to wander off the street into a shop and have the damn thing recognise you by name (a la Minority Report). It CAN be, but only when we invite it. We must also remain perfectly free to wander the world in anonymity whenever it suits us. Our ability to resist tyranny both depends on it and is a measured by what level of such liberty we retain…