A Week in Review - March 4th, 2016

John McAfee, developer of the first commercial anti-virus software, published an eye-opening accusation about the risks of allowing government to introduce "back doors" into encryption software, based on documented hacks perpetrated by exploiting such back doors in Juniper Networks security software.  "The Internet underground knew of these back doors within weeks of their release," he wrote, "and so did the Chinese, and so did the Russians. And so did every hacker on the planet.... So, while the NSA was monitoring our perceived Middle Eastern enemies, the Chinese and Russians, and god knows who else, were making off with every important secret in the US, courtesy of the NSA’s back door. The NSA failed to notice that 50% of Jupiter Network users were American, and the majority of those were within the US Government."

Judge Clarence Thomas broke a decade-long silence from the bench by asking several pointed questions about the double standard applied to Second Amendment cases.  “Ms. Eisenstein, one question,” he started, according to a transcript released by the court. “This is a misdemeanor violation. It suspends a constitutional right. Can you give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right?” After some back and forth, Ms. Eisenstein said she could not think of one, though she added that First Amendment rights could be affected in comparable settings. “O.K.,” he said. “So, can you think of a First Amendment suspension or a suspension of a First Amendment right that is permanent?”

Unknown to many of us, it is now a crime to protest wherever the Secret Service is on duty. "Signed into law by President Obama, this supposed tweak of a pre-existing law effectively criminalized protest of any person under the protection of the Secret Service, a select group which includes both major parties' front-runners for the presidential nomination."