What’s good for the goose…

So Microsoft is being ordered to produce (C|Net, Ars Technica) email held aboard on computers outside of America at Microsoft’s Irish division in Dublin.

Let’s have a gander…

The logic being, a parent company / entity, doing business in the US, but storing client information overseas as part of a subsidiary’s business, because its physically closer to the subsidiary’s clients, still maintains control over that information and can be compelled to produce that information despite being physically outside the USA’s jurisdiction.

First that flies in the face of European privacy and data retention laws, and new laws, like in Russia, requiring that data of users be held on their home soil. If a government can compel a company to hand over any data the company has access to from any where in the world, then privacy and international borders mean nothing any more.

Second that argument will open American businesses with offices overseas to similar legal arguments in foreign countries. How would Americans feel about China issuing warrants for Microsoft user emails held in the US?

Or more interestingly, consider how the FBI (and CIA) have liaison offices around the globe, how would the US government feel about an FBI liaison office aboard being sued and issued a discovery order against computers they control on US soil?



Before The Internet

Today’s XKCD comic, while funny on the surface, is a little cynical. I was born just before the Internet (I’m a Star Trek baby), though not much before, but certainly before the Web took off in popularity in 1991 (I was already doing email in 1986).

Before the Internet, as a kid I kept myself busy inside with variety of things from assembling plastic models, model rockets, model trains, and board games, to actually playing outside with the neighbourhood kids, skiing, Judo, running.

Later as a teen in senior school we had lots of school sports options of which I competed in track events like 800m 1500m, 3000m, and cross-country and fun runs up to 22Km; I did rugby in winter, rowing, and later basketball in summer. Throughout my youth and university I cycled everywhere I could.

Before the Internet, I bought my first computer, an Exidy Sorcerer, when I was 13. I used an acoustic coupler modem to connect to BBS’s and FTP archives. I had Mattel hand-held electronic games and my brother an Atrai 2600 console. Despite home entertainment systems, we both went outside (without prompting from mum or dad) for activities with friends. I went to lots of movies (Ok, I had to go out to get downtown), my brother went surfing at Bondi.

And when all else failed, I often huddle quietly in a chair and immersed myself in a book, a real physical paper printed book, where I actually turned pages (and got the occasional paper cut).

“And you try and tell the young people today that and they won’t believe ya.” – Four Yorkshiremen, Monty Python

Les Voyageurs In Jackboots

The PQ (Parti Qu├ęb├ęcois) should really be called «Les Paysans Qu├ęb├ęcois», because they refuse to accept change and diversity, which is part of what living in a free democratic society built from a variety of cultures is about. They are still living in the past and seek to recreate the French Revolution, since they didn’t get to play in the last one.

The PQ’s proposed “Charter of Quebec Values” is a vile document and slap in the face of civil freedoms, eroding personal liberties and identity in the name of a secular state. I am no fan of religion, but that is my choice in belief or non-belief systems, and not something that was imposed on me by family, community, or State. I choose who, what, and how to be. I choose. Not the State. Letting the state tell the people how to dress, how to act, how to think is another aspect of what George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” warned us about.

A secular state is about actual governance outside of religion, not the appearance of governance or religion. The PQ do not know how to govern and address the real needs of people: homes, food, jobs, economic growth, health, education, sanitation, roads, and all that entails. The PQ attempt to distract the populace from their failures to really govern, by creating problems where none exist and shift blame from themselves.

All the PQ know is how to argue, pick fights, create imaginary problems, and prey on emotions, like school yard bullies. And as with all bullies and wanna be tyrants, they need a severe beat down, because if they have their way, then other freedoms will be eroded over time in the name of some impossible Quebec ideal.

Maybe the PQ’s next decree will be that you cannot marry outside of race, faith, or language. Or maybe that to be a Quebec-er we must dress like Voyageurs in jackboots, goosestepping to “Gens du Pays“.