Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd Feb 2018 23:51 UTC

With Apple moving its Chinese iCloud data to a company partially owned by the Chinese government, it's natural to wonder what this means for the privacy of Chinese Apple users.

If Apple is storing user data on Chinese services, we have to at least accept the possibility that the Chinese government might wish to access it - and possibly without Appleā€™s permission. Is Apple saying that this is technically impossible?

This is a question, as you may have guessed, that boils down to encryption.

This article is from the middle of January of this year, but I missed it back then - it's a great insight into what all of this means, presented in an easy-to-grasp manner. Definitely recommended reading.

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Member since:


I agree. China was "loosening up" 10 years ago, but lately that trend has reversed with "closing the VPN loophole" as an example on the technical side and "no term limit for presidents" on the politicial side.

Things can change very quickly. Most people live their lives assuming that something like that can't happen and so don't worry about the fragility of democracy, but maybe we should be careful here too. Fortunately the US founders were wise enough to establish three branches of government, but just how vulnerable are they? Can a well orchestrated series of events significantly alter our democratic institutions? How many people would it actually take in top positions of authority to overthrow a country's major democratic protections?

It's not difficult to see how judicial&executive appointees might be selected due to their loyalty to a corrupt individual rather than the country. Congress is somewhat more difficult to control, but options can include: bribery, use allegations to get opponents fired, gaslighting to create uproar to divide&discredit opponents, create a state of emergency that defies normality, use executive orders to defy congress, etc.

Would it ever be possible to have too few good people left in positions of authority to combat a president whose goal is a dictatorship?

Reply Parent Score: 2

avgalen Member since:


Well, given the USA as the obvious example it should be obvious that all you need is a president with enough of a following that his supreme court nominations get approved and that the senate-candidates that he endorses get endorsed.
In reality I wouldn't have thought that was possible but Trump is trying.
Here are some of the serious flaws that seem to make this possible:
* electoral college instead of popular vote
* gerrymandering
* the above cross-contamination of the 3 branches
* the president choosing the vice-president

I never understood the reason to give 1 man (a president) such power. In most countries the king/emperor is now a purely symbolical function and the prime-minister doesn't have much power compared to other ministers. He is more like a spokesperson than a rule-maker.

Just for the record, I am Dutch and was never formally schooled in the USA political system.

My impression is that the influence of lobbyists and money in general has reached absurd levels and that the will of the people is simply ignored too often

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:

It suffices if large enough percentage of people is consistantly irrational enough with their voting/support decisions... you have a current example of that much closer to you, Poland. :/ (where "1 man holding power" doesn't even have any official position...)

Reply Parent Score: 2