Not that you want any more than Microsoft will no doubt leave, but I’ve just seem it reported on Slashdot that the UK Home Office is working with Microsoft about the possibility of putting in backdoors to the encryption systems in Windows Vista so that they can bypass it during criminal investigations, getting around the fact that people can conveniently “forget” the password and render any incriminating data lost.
It’s an obvious concern with all the terrorism investigations and the stuff that certain people probably have filling their hard drives but it’s incredibly pointless to encrypt the data and build in a backdoor so that it can be bypassed easily. The vast majority of people who use it will only have the innocent aim of protecting themselves from things like identity theft. It’s yet another draconian anti-terrorism measure; a thing that’s getting worryingly common. Like the news story says, they can let refusal to give the passwords count against them just life the refusal to answer a question does at the moment.
Besides, it’s not like this will solve anything. Criminals who want to keep their data safe can still encrypt individual files and OS X still has support for AES-128 encryption built-in. I doubt a serious cyberterrorist would be stupid enough to rely on nothing but the protection included with Windows anyway, and this is just a major security issue in case a hacker finds out the backdoor.
Another day, another group calling for GTA to be banned. This time it’s those wholesome folks at the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA calling for someone to halt the decline of the fabric of society.
I’m going to ignore the fact that it’s prostitutes worrying about their reputation being harmed by the role models in GTA, because there’s something else bothering me about the constant calls to ban or censor it, whether it’s from prostitutes, Haitians, Australians, or random politicians looking for column inches.
That concern is this – is there actually anyone in GTA who you’re not encouraged to kill? As a member of the perennially oppressed young, white, middle class male demographic I’ve seen plenty of missions that require the wanton slaughter of my ilk. I don’t recall ever being told to kill a hooker (in fact there are several missions where you have to help them), but the majority require you to kill some crass white stereotype.
For this reason I’m announcing my campaign to ban GTA on the basis that Rockstar hate and encourage the killing of white people. Whiteboys Against Nazi Killers (WANK) will not tolerate this kind of bigotry.
Off topic it may be, but yay to our MPs for approving a total ban on smoking in public places in England. Now I get to go out at the weekends without me and my clothes stinking like an ashtray when I get home, and I don’t have to join in with the dirty habit whenever I go into a restaurant or bar. Other places have done it without a problem (Ireland and New York, for example) and it’s been a long time coming here. I’ll be glad when it finally happens.