I'm a Pacific Northwest native who builds things at @amazon. Formerly at @gtcomputing, @uwcse, @intel, and @whrrl. Opinions are my own.
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Policing by consent

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In light of the ongoing policing situation in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the shooting of an unarmed man by a police officer and how the response to the community protests is highlighting the militarization of US police departments since 9/11, it's instructive to look at one of the first and most successful attempts at the formation of a professional police force.

The UK Parliament passed the first Metropolitan Police Act in 1829. The act was introduced by Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel, who undertook a study of crime and policing, which resulted in his belief that the keys to building an effective police force were to 1) make it professional (most prior policing had been volunteer in nature); 2) organize as a civilian force, not as a paramilitary force; and 3) make the police accountable to the public. The Metropolitan Police, whose officers were referred to as "bobbies" after Peel, was extremely successful and became the model for the modern urban police force, both in the UK and around the world, including in the United States.

At the heart of the Metropolitan Police's charter were a set of rules either written by Peel or drawn up at some later date by the two founding Commissioners: The Nine Principles of Policing. They are as follows:

1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.

3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.

4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.

5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.

6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.

7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.

9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

As police historian Charles Reith noted in 1956, this philosophy was radical when implemented in London in the 1830s and "unique in history and throughout the world because it derived not from fear but almost exclusively from public co-operation with the police, induced by them designedly by behaviour which secures and maintains for them the approval, respect and affection of the public". Apparently, it remains radical in the United States in 2014. (thx, peter)

Tags: Ferguson   London   Robert Peel   UK   crime   legal   lists
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sunilgarg
2257 days ago
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1 public comment
cinebot
2256 days ago
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As police historian Charles Reith noted in 1956, this philosophy was radical when implemented in London in the 1830s and "unique in history and throughout the world because it derived not from fear but almost exclusively from public co-operation with the police, induced by them designedly by behaviour which secures and maintains for them the approval, respect and affection of the public". Apparently, it remains radical in the United States in 2014.
toronto.

Burying the URL

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Great piece by Allen Pike:

I realize that URLs are ugly to look at, hard to remember, and a nightmare for security. Still, they are the entire point of the web.

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sunilgarg
2367 days ago
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Reuters: RSA Security Took $10M From NSA to Push Weaker Encryption

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Joseph Menn, reporting for Reuters:

As a key part of a campaign to embed encryption software that it could crack into widely used computer products, the U.S. National Security Agency arranged a secret $10 million contract with RSA, one of the most influential firms in the computer security industry, Reuters has learned. […]

Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the BSafe software, according to two sources familiar with the contract. Although that sum might seem paltry, it represented more than a third of the revenue that the relevant division at RSA had taken in during the entire previous year, securities filings show.

If this is true, RSA might as well just shut their doors and turn out the lights, because no one will ever trust them again.

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sunilgarg
2498 days ago
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5 public comments
jbaldas
2489 days ago
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Jjbaldasano@me.com
garethdavis
2498 days ago
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One job RSA, you had one purpose in the world
I can't remember
cherjr
2498 days ago
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Да ладно?!
48.840867,2.324885
motto
2498 days ago
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Сумма какая-то маленькая, кмк
Moscow, Russia
bogorad
2498 days ago
В том, что я читал, пишут - 2/3 бюджета этого подразделения.
rafeco
2498 days ago
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Just another example of Snowden awaking the media from its torpor.
trekkie
2497 days ago
Dudes a freaking hero.

Nelson Mandela, South African Icon of Peaceful Resistance, Is Dead

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Mr. Mandela’s decades in prison and insistence on forgiveness over vengeance made him a potent symbol of the struggle to end his country’s system of racial domination.
    






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sunilgarg
2513 days ago
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U.S. Loses Voting Rights at Unesco

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The move came because Washington stopped paying dues two years ago in protest over admission of the Palestinians as a full member of the United Nations body.
    






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sunilgarg
2541 days ago
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NSA Harvesting Contact Lists

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A new Snowden document shows that the NSA is harvesting contact lists -- e-mail address books, IM buddy lists, etc. -- from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, and others.

Unlike PRISM, this unnamed program collects the data from the Internet . This is similar to how the NSA identifies Tor users. They get direct access to the Internet backbone, either through secret agreements with companies like AT&T, or surreptitiously, by doing things like tapping undersea cables. Once they have the data, they have powerful packet inspectors -- code names include TUMULT, TURBULENCE, and TURMOIL -- that run a bunch of different identification and copying systems. One of them, code name unknown, searches for these contact lists and copies them. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc., have no idea that this is happening, nor have they consented to their data being harvested in this way.

These contact lists provide the NSA with the same sort of broad surveillance that the Verizon (and others) phone-record "metadata" collection programs provide: information about who are our friends, lovers, confidants, associates. This is incredibly intimate information, all collected without any warrant or due process. Metadata equals surveillance; always remember that.

The quantities are interesting:

During a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers....

Note that Gmail, which uses SSL by default, provides the NSA with much less data than Yahoo, which doesn't, despite the fact that Gmail has many more users than Yahoo does. (It's actually kind of amazing how small that Gmail number is.) This implies that, despite BULLRUN, encryption works. Ubiquitous use of SSL can foil NSA eavesdropping. This is the same lesson we learned from the NSA's attempts to break Tor: encryption works.

In response to this story, Yahoo has finally decided to enable SSL by default: by January 2014.

One more amusing bit: the NSA has a spam problem.

Spam has proven to be a significant problem for the NSA -- clogging databases with information that holds no foreign intelligence value. The majority of all e-mails, one NSA document says, "are SPAM from 'fake addresses and never 'delivered' to targets."

The Washington Post published three NSA documents to support this article.

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sunilgarg
2565 days ago
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