NSA Reportedly Hijacks PCs to Install Spyware, Has Backdoor Access to iPhones

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MaximumMike

I'm pretty sure electric tooth brushes are mostly safe. :P

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The Mac

dont be too sure. maybe there is a camera in there counting your fillings...

lol

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dgrmouse

mbreslin said, "Build it yourself and all you have to worry about is keeping out intruders."

No offense, but that's a pretty naive view unless your notion of building it yourself relates to bare-metal hacking. What's to say that one or more components, or their drivers, aren't malfeasant? For example, how well do you really understand your system BIOS and its functionality? If there is a solution to be had, it must surely revolve around stringent legislation and punitive measures as well as tight import controls. Put a few unscrupulous traders of pre-installed cell-phone malware in prison and the (cell phone) problems will go away rather quickly, I think.

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Tar2004

your components are mostly manufactured or fabricated elsewhere, most came from China, we are spooked at what the NSA can do or allegedly can do, but it seems we're forgetting that in manufacturing/fabricating these electronic components, i.e., integrated circuits and CPUs or memory controllers, et. al., the Chinese or other foreign countries can 'urge' these manufacturers/fabrication plants to 'etch' a hardware-based tracking/spying system to such components. say for a CPU, the first few batches are what the specs are, and after passing inspection, they switch fabricating templates, with the added etched circuitry. just a thought, but it may never be far from being a reality.

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mbreslin

Let's be practical. I really don't think the NSA has gone to Taiwan and infiltrated each motherboard company, or bought off their executives, in order to cause them to ship infected or malicious BIOS.

If you think you're going to get our corrupt politicians to stop spying on us any way they can, you're the one being naive. Congress doesn't even know what the NSA budget it! It's secret even from Congress!!

The ONLY way to stop the spying is to cut or eliminate the NSA's budget. Anything short of that will have no effect, and that's not going to happen when the NSA has every phone call and every e-mail ever made or sent by every Congressman. Uh-uhh. Not gonna happen.

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EKRboi

"I really don't think the NSA has gone to Taiwan and infiltrated each motherboard company"

ROFLMFAO.. keep thinking that.

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MaximumMike

@EKRobi We already know they have something that allows them to infiltrate every iPhone in existence. What you find laughably absurd is nearly a reality already. And it's NOT funny.

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mbreslin

Let's don't get carried away here. We're not dealing with God, we're dealing with government bureaucrats, almost all of whom are below average intelligence and are not exactly hard workers. Neither do they have an unlimited budget, as secret as it is. The latest leak I've read says that the NSA's budget is in the neighborhood of $50 billion. While large, it's not enough to fund all their workers, huge data centers, buy off half the countries in the world, buy off all motherboard and BIOS suppliers around the world, including all Amazon and Newegg warehouse workers in the United States, and all the suppliers of all electronic gear in the world . . .

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MaximumMike

But.... It was enough to fund the capability to infiltrate every iPhone they please. I'd call that a pretty scary start. And if you don't find this offensive and over the line, I'd be willing to bet that you're the sort who will never "get carried away" until they march you off at gun point. At that point it's a little late.

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The Mac

Lets put this in perspective:

These ops are very expensive.

They are targeted at known individuals, not the average joe.

If you think the government gives a rats ass about your porn collection, you are an idiot.

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fung0

Maybe they don't give a rat's ass about the porn...

...until you join Occupy Wall Street, or the American Socialist Party... or a labor union. All of a sudden it's important. What are the chances you'll NEVER hold a politically unpopular opinion in your lifetime?

Maybe they don't give a rat's ass about the porn...

...but maybe they'll start giving a rat's ass about those movies or CDs you downloaded, just as soon as Hollywood asks them to help police all that "copyright terrorism."

Maybe they don't give a rat's ass about the porn...

...until another religious-right demagogue gets elected President.

Obviously, I could go on... Bottom line, only an "idiot" would wait until any of these eventualities comes to pass, before speaking up.

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MaximumMike

>>If you think the government gives a rats ass about your porn collection, you are an idiot.

That's an interesting statement. Aren't you implying that the government can be trusted with our personal data and would never abuse it? If not, then please elaborate on what you do ACTUALLY mean?

If so, then that stands in stark contrast with your own belief that Snowden was a government employee who abused data collected by the government.

So which is it? Does the government sometimes abuse the data it collects, or doesn't it?

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The Mac

I have made no comment on abuse, only necessity.

Individuals are always motivated by agendas, so the possibility is always there. Oversight is necessary.

The porn comment was just a point of relativity.

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MaximumMike

>>Individuals are always motivated by agendas, so the possibility is always there. Oversight is necessary.

Wait a minute. So, you believe that it is necessary for the government to spy on us to keep us safe. You also admit that those who are spying on us (overseeing our actions) might abuse us. So, your solution is oversight for the oversight? I fail to see how if an overseer can be abusive, the overseer of the overseer might not also be abusive. So, it looks like you're saying its inevitable the government will abuse us, but that's a necessary evil that comes with all the good that comes from the security of having the government spy on us. Is that what you're saying?

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JusTalkin

So what's to keep some other hacker from exploiting these same vulnerabilities? How can you keep me, for instance, from getting into your iPhone, spamming your contacts, stealing your banking information, etc.? Make no mistake about it, this kind of thing is a vulnerability and is likely how some of the hacks that have taken place were successful. You only need know where the door is and how to open it.

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The Mac

absolutely nothing.

which is why people like Snowden and Asange need to be locked up in a deep dark hole at the center of the earth for the rest of their natural lives.

They are criminal enablers of the worst kind descising their treasonous acts as some deluded form of altruistic freedom fighting when all they are really accomplishing is giving the criminals more weapons for their arsenal.

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MaximumMike

Yes, because most of the American people are obviously criminal and undeserving of their Constitutional rights. Naturally, we should condemn anyone who exposes how those rights are being trampled on by the government. After all, they're criminals and we shouldn't be enabling them.

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The Mac

Glad we finally agree.

They are indeed criminals, they broke the law. period.

They will pay the price for the rest of their lives.

There is no statute of limitations on treason.

If i ever see one of those asshats in the open, ill be the first to put a bullet in their skull.

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MaximumMike

Wow! Your treasonous contempt for the American people really knows no bounds, does it?

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The Mac

Wow! Your continued contempt of federal law in support of traitorous revelation of state secrets really knows no dounds, does it?

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MaximumMike

Nice try. But when Federal law violates the Constitution, the Constitution wins.

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The Mac

There is no violation, therefore federal law stands.

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MaximumMike

That's an outright lie, as I've thoroughly proven on a previous thread. The truth is that the Law you believe justifies what they're doing says nothing about domestic spying, and the Supreme Court has not tried any domestic spying cases in regards to any of the federal domestic spying programs revealed by Snowden. The REAL truth is that none of these programs have been weighed by the Supreme Court. Furthermore, opinions issued by the Court strongly indicate that they do not support this level of intrusion into public privacy. The fact that you didn't have the spine to attempt to refute those facts doesn't give you the right to continue to peddle your lies.

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mbreslin

Look, the federal bureaucrats of the NSA and other branches of the central government violated the U.S. Constitution, the highest law in the land. They and everyone who supports what they did ought to be taken out and shot.

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The Mac

that has not been proven. see below.

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The Mac

i stated as such below.

The supreme court has not ruled it unconstitutional, therefore federal law stands until it chooses to do so.

The only lies being peddled here are your instance that the constitution is being violated when in truth nothing has been proven as such other than your perverse opinion.

I dont have to prove anything, YOU DO as the the one stating an offence has taken place.

This is how law works.

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MaximumMike

>>The supreme court has not ruled it unconstitutional, therefore federal law stands until it chooses to do so.

Your position up until this very moment has been that the Supreme Court has already ruled on these programs and found them Constitutional. Have you changed your mind? Are you now retracting your position in favor of the position that these programs have not been ruled on by the Supreme Court?

>> when in truth nothing has been proven as such other than your perverse opinion.

There is nothing perverse in reading that which has been plainly written and was intended to be understood by the common man.

>>I dont have to prove anything, YOU DO as the the one stating an offence has taken place.

That is true. In order to change the law, you must prove an offence in court. However, courts don't decide facts, they decide legality. If they did decide facts it would be illogical to say that an acquitted OJ Simpson murdered his wife, as his acquittal would establish the FACT that he did not murder his wife. But we all know that he did in fact murder his wife, from his own public omission. So, legally he is not guilty of murdering his wife. But the fact remains that he did indeed murder his wife.

Likewise, the Federal government is violating the Constitution whether or not the Supreme Court rules that it is. That is a fact.

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The Mac

My position has NEVER been that it has been proven constitutional, only my opinion that it is not.

If and when the supreme court rules that it is not constitutional (it is my belief they will not do so, as i do not believe it is so) i will adjust my opinion accordingly.

Your OPINION is that the federal government has violated the consitution.

My OPINION is they have not.

Whose opinion is fact?

neither i would venture to say until it can be PROVEN.

You insist your opinion is fact where there is no proof of said fact other than your biased interpreation of the constitution.

My biased interpretation says otherwise, and i have NEVER implied it was a fact.

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MaximumMike

>>My position has NEVER been that it has been proven constitutional, only my opinion that it is not.

Do you ever stop lying? Let's examine some of your prior comments (I have removed some spacing and line breaks for clarity, but everything else remains the same):

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[TheMac] The patriot act has help up in supreme court. They are doing nothing illegal. end of story.

(further down the same thread)

[TheMac]
The legallity of the NSA's action is what is at task.

(next response)

[MaximumMike]
You weren't present when the Patriot Act was written either, and any opinion about what that document means would be just as biased. So, if you cannot be sure what they're doing violates the Constitution, how are you so sure the Patriot Act actually authorizes what they're doing?

(next response)

[TheMac]
Beacause ive read it, its pretty straight forward.
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From this thread it's absolutely clear that your position was that the Patriot Act was upheld by the Supreme Court and that these NSA programs were covered by the Patriot Act, and thus also upheld by the Supreme Court.

But wait, there's more on another thread:

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[MaximumMike]
How is it not egregious that the government is cataloging every email? Many sensitive documents that they would normally need a warrant to seize are now commonly transmitted via email. How do you think it's ok for them to completely ignore the 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America? How can you look at a blazen violation of any Amendment in the Bill of Rights, say it's not egregious, and claim to have a brain in your head? What the F would constitute as "egrigious" on the part of the federal government if the violation of your most basic Constitutional rights doesn't? Perhaps they have been spying for decades, but they have not been collecting emails for that long. And even if they have, that doesn't make it ok. I fail to see how anyone who isn't in on it can think this is ok.

[TheMac]
You can be as morally outraged as you wish but the bottom line is they are doing nothing illegal. Its held up to many challenges including the supreme court.

[MaximumMike]
That's an outright lie. You are making PRISM and the Patriot Act synonymous, which they are not. You believe that the Patriot Act authorizes PRISM. But there has been no Supreme Court Case in which the entire Patriot Act was tried, only some pieces. And nothing in relation to PRISM has been to court as the public only just now knew of it's existence. So, if the entire document you are espousing as the legal basis for PRISM hasn't been tried as a whole, and if the portions that authorize PRISM haven't been tried in regard to the actual practices of the PRISM program, how can you make these preposterous claims? If there is a Supreme Court Case you can reference that clearly shows that PRISM has passed the muster of that court, then please cite it and I'll retract my statement that you are lying. But while you search for that which does not exist, I submit to you the case, United States v. Antoine Jones for the second time (you ignored it the first time). If "your" interpretation of the Patriot Act has passed the Supreme Court, then please elaborate on the outcome of that case?

[TheMac]
PRISM is based mostly on title two of the patriot act: specifically roving wire taps, and John Doe warrants. Both of which have stood up to the supreme court. You may make whatever inferences you wish, but it wont change the fact that PRISM is perfectly legal. I have no need to cite specific cases related to PRISM, as it was a TOP SECRET program. Duh.

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So, your own words betray you. Do you care to retract that lie?

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The Mac

completely different discussion.

not sure why you are trying to combine the two.

This discussion is about constitutional interpretation.

If you wish to discuss the patriot act itself again, then sure, as of right now, it is my opinion that it is perfectly legal, and portions of it have held up to judicial review.

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MaximumMike

HAHAHAHAHA! Are you really that logically deficient? Anyone can read that discussion and see that it is about your support for government domestic spying. YOU are the person who tied it to the Patriot Act. It was my insistence that what the NSA is doing is separate from the Patriot Act and YOUR insistence that this was all covered under the Patriot Act, which you held to be Constitutional. YOU are the one who made it about the Patriot Act, not me. And in direct reference to PRISM and the government domestic spying, you said that the Supreme Court upheld those things as Constitutional. It's in black and white in the thread above for anyone to see. You're not squirming your way out of this one. Your statement that "My position has NEVER been that it has been proven constitutional, only my opinion that it is not," is an outright fabrication. Really it's ok to change your position. But why lie about it?

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The Mac

we are having a discussion about the NSAs data gathering techniques and how it applies to the 4th amendment in this article.

If you were discussing the patriot act itself, then we were having two different discussions.

1. The patriot act is legal.

2. I do not believe the NSA is violating the 4th amendment with its data gathering and retention policies.

There they both are.

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MaximumMike

Yes, I got that this was your current stance much earlier in thread. Position 2 above represents a change in your stance on the NSA's domestic spying, whether you are willing to admit it or not. I have already shown clearly what your previous stance was. Nice to see you have backed off of that stance. But for the current record, I have the understanding that you no longer believe that the Supreme Court has ruled on the NSA's domestic spying practices. We can build on that.

Additionally, I was never discussing the Patriot Act at any point. The thread I posted above was to show your previous position on the NSA's domestic spying. Mention of the Patriot Act in that thread was introduced by you in defense of your position at the time. Any mention of it by me was only as necessary in refutation of your position.

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mbreslin

It doesn't matter what the Supreme Court has or has not yet decided. Since when does the Central government get to rule on the limits, if any, on its actions? The Constitution was written for the people, to hold their government accountable. They clearly broke the law, they conducted massive, warrantless searches upon the entire population! Just like Lincoln arrested people and held them without charges, violating habeus corpus, which was ruled uncontsitutional after the fact, after the war. But it was still illegal at the time, despite the Supreme Court not trying to put a stop to it.

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The Mac

Then they need to be held accountable in a court of law, just like everyone else

Hense the supreme court.

since when does your personal interpretation of the constitution constitute a definitive view?

i dont believe they have violated the constitution. Thats my interpretation.

Is my interpretation of lesser value because YOU say so?

i think not...

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MaximumMike

>>Is my interpretation of lesser value because YOU say so?

No, it's of lesser value because it directly contradicts what is plainly written in the Constitution for everyone to see. Furthermore, you have offered nothing in support of the opinion other than your blind dedication to catching terrorists "by whatever means necessary". And I would assume that would include trampling the Constitution, based on many other remarks you have made. So, no logical person would consider your opinion because you have made it apparent that the pursuit of security is more important to you than our Constitutional rights, and that you would willingly compromise those rights in the interest of said pursuit. Your willingness to compromise the Constitution is what degrades the value of your opinion of what the Constitution says.

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The Mac

In that case, your opinion is of lesser value than mine.

Because your opinion directly contradicts what is plainly written in the constitution for everyone to see.

Do you see the problem here?

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MaximumMike

Really? Yea, I see the problem. You're being an outright prick and liar. What kind of childish games are you playing? Anyone can read what is plainly written in the Constitution, and here it is for everyone:

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Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
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The NSA is making warrantless seizures of electronic documents, no different than the "papers, and effects" specifically mentioned in the Constitution, and obviously covered by the Constitution.

Your interpretation is that these documents somehow are not covered by the Constitution. It's is your asinine opinion which contradicts that which is plainly written. And it is YOUR worthless opinion that needs explanation if anyone is to take you seriously.

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The Mac

So now you resort to ad hominim attacks? Seriously?

childish.

my opinion is just as valid as yours.

The fact that you dont accept that shows the contempt you harbor for free speech and the basic tennants of our founding fathers.

"Only my opinion is right" please...get some perspective already.

the NSA is NOT makeing warrentless seisures, as there is no expectation of privacy in these cases as has been pointed out by the supreme court therefore not covered by the 4th amendment.

If you cannot continue this discussion without inflammatory remarks, i am not interested in going furthur.

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MaximumMike

>>So now you resort to ad hominim attacks? Seriously? ... If you cannot continue this discussion without inflammatory remarks, i am not interested in going furthur.

That's you're typical way out of a debate when you're cornered. Go ahead and run away once again. I'm merely expressing my contempt for the kind of fecal slime that would attempt to suck my rights down the toilet bowl. I'm sorry, but I find you and your beliefs repulsive and I will remind you every time I get the chance. There's a plenty of other content in my writing for you to sink your teeth into if you would bother. But lets face it. The best you've ever been able to manage in an intellectual debate is crying "ad hominem" and running away. It's rather pathetic.

>>my opinion is just as valid as yours.

Not all opinions are valid. But then again you wouldn't know a valid argument if it bit you in the ass. You certainly are only on rare occasions even capable of making one.

>>The fact that you dont accept that shows the contempt you harbor for free speech and the basic tennants of our founding fathers.

It baffles me how someone like you ever managed to work a keyboard. My disdain for your ridiculously stupid opinion has no bearing on my support for your freedom to be as big of a moron in public as you like. You're more than free to say what you like, but I don't have to respect your opinion - ever. Thomas Jefferson was shot by a simpleton who was many times your superior because he publicly berated him in writing. You might say that the spirit of Thomas Jefferson is alive and well in me.

>>"Only my opinion is right" please...get some perspective already.

In this case there are only possibly two opinions. And yours is absurd.

>>the NSA is NOT makeing warrentless seisures, as there is no expectation of privacy in these cases as has been pointed out by the supreme court therefore not covered by the 4th amendment.

And yet another lie. You're on a role today. I have already submitted to you on a prior thread a Supreme Court Case where every sitting Justice concurred that the American people have an expectation of privacy in their email. I spelled it out for you in great detail on another thread. But you have a serious comprehension problem and were unable to muster a response. Then of course you spew this lying garbage on this thread. But since you have made the claim that, "there is no expectation of privacy in these cases as has been pointed out by the supreme court," please submit the Supreme Court Case and the names of the Justices whose opinions concurred with your lie.

But there is another way to prove you're a liar. Simply poll the MaximumPC community here and ask how many people here have an expectation of privacy in their email. We're a cynical bunch here, and many like myself will tell you we don't believe our emails are kept private. But that doesn't mean that we don't have an expectation that our emails "should" be private, which is what Supreme Court Justices would be considering. The truth is that most people have an expectation of privacy in their email. If not, then explain why email accounts have passwords.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

What a great fucking country we live in.

As long as they can bribe and extort federal judges....

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mbreslin

We're not much different from your typical banana republic, except our politicians cost more and we don't grow bananas here.

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LatiosXT

"such as computer monitor cables designed to record what's being typed across the screen"

Last I heard, keyboard information doesn't go across the display interface.

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MaximumMike

Ummmm..... Pretty sure you saw the text as you typed your comment there.

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LatiosXT

"Whats being typed" implies it's intercepting my keyboard commands.

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The Mac

why intercept the keyboard when you can see everything on the screen? so much more information than just some ascii characters.

I think it was just a wording issue, they just meant screen capture device.

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MaximumMike

Maybe, but OCR technology has come a long way. It's possible they have an embedded OCR chip that strips the text out of the image. Also, they may have technology that can strip the ascii characters out of the video signal (not quite the same thing as OCR). But its all speculation without details on how the tech works.

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The Mac

true.

probably wouldn't be very helpful for passwords however, they tend to be covered up onscreen.

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MaximumMike

I'm just waiting to hear TheMac explain to us all how this is Constitutional.

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The Mac

Already had that discussion, not interested in rehashing it other than to say: learn to live with it, its not going anywhere no matter what anyone says.