“A Battle for the Soul of this Nation”

That’s what Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Hamlet’s poor relation Joe Biden, said we’re in as he opened his campaign.

We are in the battle for the soul of this nation[.] If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter….

Indeed, we are in a battle for our nation’s soul. It’s a battle between one party that actively tries to improve the situations of our nation’s citizens—whether we agree with those policies or not—and a party that has no aim for our people’s benefit, but is focused solely on anti-Trumpism.

Banning Violence and Extremism from Social Media

That’s what France and New Zealand want to do and want others to join them in doing, all in response to the terrorist murders in New Zealand.  The two intend to host a conference involving G-7 members’ IT chiefs and a separate “technology summit” aimed at getting commitments

to end the use of social media to organize and promote terrorism and extremist violence.

But whose definition of violence? Whose definition of extremism? We’re already seeing, in our nation, the Progressive-Democratic Party and their violence-oriented arms, Antifa and BLM, and their university management team associates, defining conservative speech as triggering, dangerous to mental health, violent.

Privacy in a Technological World

In a ruling rejecting an application for a search warrant, Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore, operating in the Northern District of California, had this remark in particular.

Citizens do not contemplate waiving their civil rights when using new technology, and the Supreme Court has concluded that, to find otherwise, would leave individuals “at the mercy of advancing technology.”

Encouragingly, this remark also cited (via the quote in the remark above) a Supreme Court ruling, Carpenter v United States [citations omitted]:

A Magistrate Judge Gets One Right

Of course, the Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore’s ruling can be overturned on appeal by a District judge in the Northern District of California in which she operates, or on appeal on the ruling’s way up the appellate chain.  Nevertheless, her ruling stands, for now.

In its essence Westmore ruled that, even with an otherwise valid search warrant, a person cannot be compelled to unlock a digital device like a cell phone with that person’s biometrics—a fingerprint, a face, or an iris, for example.

Italy and the EU

Recall Italy’s proposed budget, which defied Brussels by having a larger deficit relative to its GDP than EU budget rules allow.  I decried that budget then, and I stand by that disdain.

Now, however,

Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria has told the European Commission that Italy will raise its deficit to 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP), defying eurozone budget rules. In a letter sent to Brussels in response to a formal warning from the EU.

Brussels continues to not like the budget.

An Investigation

No, not that one.

Senator Lyndsey Graham (R, SC) said on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo that he’s going to investigate [the whole program is interesting, but skip ahead to 15:28 for the Graham interview, which lasts for a bit in its own right] who “destroyed Dr Ford’s trust” by outing her after she had requested anonymity when communicating her charge to her Congresswoman, Anna Eshoo (D, CA), and her Senator, Dianne Feinstein (D, CA).  Graham pointed out, too, that there were only three groups of people who knew about Dr Ford’s letter: Feinstein and her staff, Eshoo and her staff, and Dr Ford’s lawyers.  Someone or some ones from those groups are the only ones who could have leaked Dr Ford’s letter and outed her.  Yes, I’m omitting the obvious fourth—that Dr Ford outed herself.

Promise

The People’s Republic of China has been rolling out its system for spying on surveilling its citizens for a while now.  This is the system that develops social scores for every PRC citizen, and the system has bennies for achieving high scores:

…waived deposits on hotels and rental cars, VIP treatment at airports, discounted loans, priority job applications, and fast-tracking to the most prestigious universities.

Things that can detract from those high scores include

[j]aywalking, late payments on bills or taxes, buying too much alcohol, or speaking out against the government….
Other mooted punishable offences include spending too long playing video games, wasting money on frivolous purchases, and posting on social media….

Abuse and Disinformation

Facebook is claiming to be adding a new tool for fighting these on its platform.

The Ad Archive API will allow researchers, journalists, publishers, and watchdog groups to efficiently analyze and search for ads to determine if anything untoward is happening.

Who, though, are going to be authorized access to the databases—which researchers, journalists, publishers, and watchdog groups, and what selection criteria will be used?  We’ve already seen how Facebook, under the guise of identifying what it’s pleased to call fake news, has selected “fact checkers” almost exclusively from the Left (a few tokens from the right have been invited)—Associated Press, Snopes.com, ABC News, and Politifact—as a mechanism for making the identification and then deleting the allegedly fake material.

Business Models Don’t Create Business Rights

There’s a lot about which to criticize California, but in one case, early though it is, the State appears to be on the right track.  California passed a consumer privacy law, and businesses everywhere are in an uproar over it.  The bill

requires [businesses] to offer consumers options to opt out of sharing personal information, and it gives Californians the right to prohibit the sale of their personal data.

Business’ objections center on their premise that it

risked far-reaching damage to everything from retailers’ customer-loyalty programs to data gathering by Silicon Valley tech giants.

The Supremes Get One Right

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that authorities generally need a search warrant before they can obtain broad access to data that shows the location of cellphone users, a decision that sets privacy boundaries in the digital age.
The court, in a 5-4 opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, cited the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee to be free from unreasonable government searches.

And

We decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier’s database of physical location information[.]

Yewbetcha.