Edward Snowden proposes a two-step response to begin dealing with the dystopia promised by the Pegasus Project: "ban the commercial trade in intrusion software," and hold corporations liable for investing or producing it. If you make it illegal, after all, you can hold people liable for making it. If we do these things, we won't eradicate spyware like Pegasus -- which, as you may recall, can turn on your iPhone's microphones remotely and listen in on what you say -- but we will make it a lot harder for spyware to do damage. As Mr. Snowden suggests, this is the same logic that operates behind vaccination.
In a peripherally-related note, Sara Morrison at Vox explains "how police can get your data -- even if you aren't suspected of a crime." Long story short: they can get it from a third-party data broker (the Fourth Amendment is Not for Sale Act would fix that), or they can use "reverse search warrants," which should be illegal. Should we be "happy" that our police don't have access to Pegasus yet? This sorry state of affairs is yet another reason we don't leave important questions to corporations. Trouble is, our legislators think only corporations know anything about anything!
From the "Nobody Could Have Predicted!" file: ISIS supporters have glommed on to the Trump-friendly social network GETTR, posting videos of beheadings and the like. Well, they always said ISIS understood the social media landscape better than anyone! And they'll find plenty of sympathetic souls among the whiners who've left Facebook and Twitter because their friends shame them for saying obnoxious crap. GETTR's guru shrugs off the ISIS influence, but "free speech" still doesn't cover terroristic threats, nor does a private media corporation have any obligation to publish literally anything.
ICU doctor confesses that what her unvaccinated COVID patients tell her leaves her "surprised, disheartened, but most of all, angry," and who can blame her? You risk death taking care of COVID patients, you endure all the loneliness and all the supply chain shortages, you update your own living will, and now some YouTube University graduate lectures you about how intubation is the real killer? I'd slap a pimp if they did that -- which is yet another reason why I'm not a doctor. My patience with the unvaccinated is short, and I don't even encounter very many of them in my travels.
In a related note, Dartmouth University sociology professor Brooke Harrington writes about the "anti-vaccine con job" and reminds us that folks who've been so thoroughly conned can't just switch on a dime. And I would say the con is significantly longer than "anti-vaccine con job" suggests -- almost 20 years ago, for example, the same damn people all fell for the Iraq War Con Job. Apparently only other right-wingers can reach them, which I guess is good in the short run if it helps us get the upper hand on COVID again, but can they even reach them? Or have decades of right-wing yelling and screaming created a group of Americans who won't listen to anything that doesn't diddle their rage gland?/p>
Finally, California restauranteur Tony Roman hangs sign outside restaurant demanding that potential customers show "proof of being unvaccinated." In that spirit, I'd like some proof that Tony Roman hasn't fucked a goat. I mean, I don't want to associate with goat-fuckers, so I'm entitled to demand official documentation about that fact from other people. See how easy this game is? In the meantime, I urge folks to avoid dining at Basilico's Pasta e Vino in Huntington Beach, not least because for all you know you might run into a goat-fucker.