Freedom Decrypted Show Zero: Plus interview with Ruben on Trisquel 8

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Chris

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While a lot of people here and in the free software community in general know me for my work on and in support of free software (ie CEO of ThinkPenguin here) I have another life as a liberty activist and as a co-host of a few major syndicated radio programs (Free Talk Live airs on 200 radio stations for instance and multiple satellites around the world). I also co-host Call to Freedom. It's been a great way to get the message of free software out there and issues of privacy- but one thing these shows don't target are the technically minded. Unfortunately we don't have a major "Linux" show where the hosts are freedom-conscious (yes I know there are a few free software shows- but they are haphazard and small).

So with that I've been working on setting up a proper TV studio, getting sponsors, and so on. It's not done so don't freak out! It's also not specifically a free software or GNU/Linux show. It's just openly biased in that direction. Initially it'll be an online-only stream although we will probably end up on a handful of radio stations in due time.

The first mini test episode in our half-finished studio (still with a lot of kinks to be worked out) has been published (was broadcast live online, and no, not via YouTube, but direct, but only a few people tuned in given it was unannounced). Fortunately there was a recording made so check it out:

http://www.freedomdecrypted.com/public_html/index.php/2018/06/13/first-post/

I know some of you are aware of my activism in New Hampshire and of an arrest for filming an unconscionable and suspiciousness police checkpoint in Manchester, New Hampshire so I thought I'd provide an update. Yes- it was near a year ago- but "justice" is slow and one gets punished regardless of "winning". In any event I did "win" both the criminal case (faced up to a year in prison) and the violation-level offense.

Actually there are a number of other criminal and violation charges against myself and others that have occurred as a result of peaceful activism and/or police accountability work I've partaken in. We're not talking civil disobedience here- but rather police abusing people's rights.

In one case an officer violated another fellow activist's rights whom was performing police accountability work on the city street. He was merely filming from a distance what was occurring during a routine stop of a car by police. He was assaulted by an officer and pushed to a distance in which he could no longer properly film the police's actions. All the while others whom were without cameras were permitted to pass freely near the stopped vehicle. A half dozen or so officers were then called to intimidate him despite being fully cooperative and moving as the officer illegally demanded. No arrest was made. Later he filed a complaint against the officer who has assaulted him and forced him to move. In retaliation the officer preceded to counter the complaint and make an arrest for filing a false complaint! Mind you the incident is on video. Fortunately the best civil rights attorney in New England took up the case and it set off a chain reaction that resulted in an investigation of not one but multiple officers. The police routinely abuse people and few are in a position to fight back. This time we won- and multiple officers were fired thanks to the efforts of myself and a fellow activist.

You can read about it here:

http://www.unionleader.com/public-safety/two-more-manchester-police-officers-fired-mayor-commends-chief-for-taking-action-20180411

To be clear I'm a peaceful activist and I do not make bigoted statements, curse at police, or otherwise interfere thereof in "legitimate" police activities.

You can read about some of the activism here (I won the criminal and violation part of the case that could have resulted in me spending up to a year in prison- and no I did not actually violate the law as crossing the street is not a crime and somewhat surprisingly neither did I violate the criminal part, the catch all disorderly conduct statute doesn't apply despite being so broad to encompass every situation):

https://freekeene.com/2017/04/28/video-cop-blocker-arrested-for-crossing-street-at-dui-checkpoint-in-manchester/

Robert Call (LibreCMC's lead developer) runs for mayor:

https://freekeene.com/2017/09/12/keene-mayoral-debate-set-for-sept-27/

I challenged two parking tickets and won:

https://freekeene.com/2018/05/25/local-business-owner-challenges-parking-tickets-wins-thanks-to-new-keene-judge/

But there actually is a lot more non-police-accountability activism I am involved in. I regularly speak at the state house on important civil rights and tyrannical government bills that get proposed (do you really want to give the government the power to enter your home without a warrant or even the suspicion of a crime? because the US supreme court has said this is OK! and without actions at state houses we would not be protected in NH from warranetless entry by government goods like is the case in a lot of other states). I've filmed numerous protests from 4/20 rallies (pro-marijuana) to pro gun protests at out of stater in-state anti-gun protests to criminal cases (driving without a license/license plate) to state house hearings (we got bills passed into law that have eliminated regulations on crypto currency businesses, marijuana decriminalization bills, and many others).

loldier
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What's wrong with paid parking, restricted parking and parking tickets?

Chris

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It's actually more or less a trivial issue overall given the significance of other abuses. However that said there are quite a few concerns around parking meters. As an example many newer parking meters demand a credit card, license plate number, or other information that the state or city has no business collecting. It's a privacy issue of a sort. It's one thing for someone to put up a security camera or film you on the street and another for the government to collect information about everybody. You might think it insignificant and maybe it is given all the data collection that goes on- but there are also other issues (and advantages depending on your particular objective that may not be apparent to the casual viewer) particularly with older drivers (and even young drivers really). Most people don't know what there license plate number is and for people who have physical and mental limitations it can be quite a chore to have to go back and forth between a parked vehicle and a parking meter. It's to such a degree that there is a significant loss in business in my town for business owners on the main street where these types of privacy invasive meters have been tested. People who are very much pro-big-government even are upset over the meters. And this is before we even get to the part about the cost of maintaining meter maids. There are already other systems in place to collect money for roads and things that don't involve a 30% added cost. It's a redundant unnecessary system that hurts local businesses. They also result in increased costs to tax payers from people fighting unjustly issued parking tickets in terms of court costs. Notice how much time it took from that video alone in my case. This was ONE ticket and not the TWO tickets I was fighting because one got thrown out right away. This also wasn't everything as there were multiple parts to the trial (pre-trail stuff) and city employees who had to file a complaint after the ticket was issued and a trial was demanded. Many hours from many city employees (two parking meter ladies for hours were taken off the street and paid for that time), a prosecutor, a judge, court employees, a balif, etc.

Why bother is probably more along the question you probably should ask. The reason to bother taking up this sort of an issue has nothing to do with the issue itself but rather it opens up the opportunity for attracting publicity and bringing attention to a movement (Free State Project) to other like-minded individuals (even cringe-worthy publicity can be good publicity for a cause where it drives the majority away if your objective is not the majority but a minority: see cringe worthy activism that led to publicity you could never afford to buy it would be so expensive - but is also hilarious and draws in attention of like-minded individuals who understand there is another objective and get the humor in it in this case https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vQ5h8iWa0Q ) and also for gaining experience as a citizen in the courtroom without actually having any consequences of significance to worry about. If you want to develop the skills necessary to defend yourself from abusive governments and this is particularly important for activists then taking a $5 parking ticket to trial is a valuable lesson in learning about that abusive system. How do you defend yourself against lying scum they'll put up on the stand? How do you object? How do you get evidence thrown out? I won those parking tickets on technicalities and not because I was in the "right" in any legal sense. You don't win court cases because you are in the right. You win court cases because you outplay the opponent. The government is weak in that they don't expect you to fight nor be experienced or capable of defending against there lies. If you can provide evidence they can't deny they frequently don't know how to respond. Recording video for instance of an interaction with a police officer is a very smart move. Because when you get charged with a crime its rare that there is anybody able to challenge an officers testimony (lies) that the courts will believe and video is a defense against these lies they absolutely will tell and if they don't know how to respond which they probably won't you win. Most prosecutions are malicious. Most arrests and prosecutions involve no victim. It's just the state vs you for a fabricated crime against the dignity of the state. Maybe you believe there should be crimes with no victims but I don't.

loldier
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In Finland, a city block has one parking slip box for all vehicles, usually out of view on the sidewalk somewhere away from the kerb.

No need to authenticate, pay with a coin and get a receipt that you put on the windshield inside your vehicle. One half of the receipt goes into your pocket that you can use to invalidate a parking ticket if wrongly ticketed, say you are on a motorcycle that can't be locked (someone stole the ticket or it was gone with the wind).

Chris

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Yea- we have those here in the US in some cities. The city of Keene here basically responded to there loss of revenue that was the result of protesters feeding other people's coin operated meters who were about to expire which prevented them from collecting revenue from ticketing people (where most of the money is made) by implementing meters that required a license plate number. The city brought a lawsuit against protesters of the parking meters and lost at every court all the way to our New Hampshire supreme court. This is basically the city retaliating against protesters who aren't even performing this sort of activism any more. It's quite humorous. In the process they are ticking everybody in town off. The majority of people here don't want the parking meters- but the city refuses to get rid of them. City bureaucrats in particular tend to dislike the protesters and so its a game of city refuses to do what the people want because the people in power are angry at the protesters. And actually most of the people doing this sort of protest aren't even living in the city of Keene any more. There are people who are in the same political belief system though here and I think that in a way they are trying to punish a certain political group rather than the people who did the thing they didn't like. Humorous. Really though the whole thing wasn't even about the parking meters. It was rather a statement and a publicity seeking endeavor to draw attention to a movement. Which it was wildly successful at doing.

strypey
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Chris:
> This time we won- and multiple officers were fired thanks to the efforts of myself and a fellow activist.

Great effort! It's inspiring to hear of an example showing that although there are corrupt people in the system, they don't always get away with abusing their powers. Thanks for using any privilege* you may have to stand up for yourself, and by extension for others who have less privilege.

* this is in *no* way meant as any kind of subtle dig at you. I just mean that a) some of us are born into social categories that tend to get less scrutiny and more respect than others by default and/or b) have constructed our lives in such as way as to have very little to lose, or a strong support network of other people willing and able to speak truth to power, or both. For these reasons (among others), it can be possible for us to rock the boat in pursuit of a just cause, and risk being labelled a troublemaker or marked for retaliation, in ways that are too risky for others.

Chris

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Yea- I agree. I was absolutely born with certain advantages even ignoring all other more significant advantages I may have or had early on. I was born in the US. Full stop. While there are people who are disadvantaged here almost everybody has got it better off than a large percentage of people around the world who are similarly disadvantaged. The reality is even someone begging on the street here has it better than the equivalent in a great many places around the world. For at least here there are people with the resources to provide to those without (and do) that do not exist elsewhere.

If I had it my way I'd end taxation or near to it as is remotely possible and open the boarders. There is nothing wrong with healthy competition from the third world when governments don't disadvantage some for the benefit others and by that I mean what is generally sold to us as being for the benefit of one group we might think "that's good- we're helping the poor" generally means in practice the funneling of money to another private wealthy interest. Or for that matter safety. Governments frequently mandate things over "safety" in spite of the costs far outweighing the benefits but all the while they do it anyway because some private interest benefits.

Right now what happens is the good paying jobs move overseas if you limit immigration and from there you really are just infringing on one population or anothers right to travel. I also don't like the idea of boarders in that these polices are in a sense racist towards people of other regions and bigoted toward those less fortunate. Regardless of the increase in immigration the vast majority of Americans would still be in a better position to compete given the standards and investment in education and for those that don't it's probably largely ones own undoing or an otherwise failed or failing education system. Evaluate opportunities, pick paths that pay, save, and learn to adapt to change. It's going to happen regardless. You might as well prepare and if you don't you probably have had too much of advance in life relative to others around the world. And in a capitalist society your kids may not do as well as you did. That's the price of capitalism.

We're better off coming up with technical solutions to problems than implementing legal solutions as the legal ones frequently don't do much of anything other than take money from one group (taxpayers) and put it in the hands of another (lawyers/government employees of one sort or another) without actual benefit or maybe minimal benefit (ie if you fund a police force and the resulting arrests don't result in reduced crime then whats the point? I bring this up because criminals tend not to think about the consequence of the crimes they are committing so increasing police when police sort of clean up rather than stop crime and then do that really poorly you have to ask yourself if it makes any sense at all to fund a police force of any significant size- there may be a solution to reducing crime- but it probably is not in policing).

CalmStorm

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You have far more patience then I could with regard to police.

I feel like they are no better than, common criminals, and I am not even a minority skin color.

Which shouldn't matter, white or not, everyone should be treated the same sort of way with regard to justice...

Alas that is not how things work currently with agent orange.

I appreicate though that you are fighting the good fight. We need you around for a long time to come and not even just because of the eoma68 libre laptop.

There are many reasons, and one of which is you are a kind contributor to free libre software.

strypey
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Oh and FYI, I just noticed you posted your OP in trisquel-users, so if I reply to the fascinating discussion of macro-politics you've opened up, it will go through the associated mailing list. To avoid inserting off-topic noise into trisquel-users, I'll reply (once I've reflected on what you've shared) by opening up a macro-politics thread in the troll lounge (or you could?). Although it was relevant to Trisquel due to the interview with Reuben, your OP may have been more on-topic in the software freedom board?
https://trisquel.info/en/forum/general-free-software-talk

I really love that we now have these two boards separate, so we can feel free to wax lyrical about any and all issues, problems, and tips, related to software freedom, without flooding out people who are looking for (or wanting to provide) Trisquel helpdesk! Thanks again for all the fantastic work you do for software freedom, and for liberty and justice for all, and for sharing about it in the Trisquel forums :)

SuperTramp83

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Long time no see, Chris. It's nice to read from you and knowing you are doing fine. Don't let the porky bring you down and keep up the good fight. o/

strypey
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A couple of quick things:

1) NoScript tells me this site has dependencies on goOgle and the birdsite. Was this a strategic choice, or inadvertent?
http://www.freedomdecrypted.com/public_html/index.php/2018/06/13/first-post/

2) I'm downloading the show and my browser is telling me the file is 1.5GB, is that correct? This is massive, even a video file. I can watch 2 hour blockbuster movies at reasonable quality for a file size of about 1.5GB.

3) I notice the file is mp4. I know all the patents have now expire on mp3, so I'm guessing this is also true of mp4, but is this really the best compression format to use for audio-visual quality to file size ratio? If it's a strategic choice based on the assumption that better encoding formats are less widely supported, and wanting to avoid preaching to the choir (fair call), perhaps two download options could be made available?

Magic Banana

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Here is an Ogg Vorbis encoding encoding of the audio track: http://dcc.ufmg.br/~lcerf/2018-06-12_21-30-06.ogg (95 MB).

strypey
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Also 4) would it be possible to put up magnet links as well (one for each file if there are more than one)? I am having a lot of trouble downloading this large a file through HTTP. There's a reason why FTP used to be a thing, and why BitTorrent is a thing now.

calher

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It is not true of MP4.  GNOME Videos won't play YouTube videos in
Fedora, because whoever worked on Videos decided it was a good idea to
only fetch MP4 and provide no way of fetching WebM.

J.B. Nicholson-Owens
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name at domain wrote:
> The first mini test episode in our half-finished studio (still with a lot
> of kinks to be worked out) has been published (was broadcast live online,
> and no, not via YouTube, but direct, but only a few people tuned in given
> it was unannounced). Fortunately there was a recording made so check it out:
>
> http://www.freedomdecrypted.com/public_html/index.php/2018/06/13/first-post/

Thanks for putting the date in the show filename, and I'll try to see the show.

I suggest:

- making the site work without JS. Right now, if one doesn't run JS,
nothing comes up but a centered blue circle that pulses.

- publish the media in formats that favor free software. You can offer
alternate encodings in a HTML5 video element. Right now
http://www.freedomdecrypted.com/public_html/shows/2018-06-12%2021-30-06.mp4
appears to be the only media file available and this file appears to be an
MP4 file with an AVC video track and an AAC audio track. I suggest adding
copy in WebM.

- adding the URL for each episode's media file to the show's RSS feed
http://www.freedomdecrypted.com/public_html/index.php/feed/ as an
attachment to that feed entry. This will let people download episodes of
the show via a feed reader.

- adding the URL for each episode's audio to the show's RSS feed as well,
also in a format that favors free software. Opus is a great choice
bandwidth-wise and quality-wise. I understand that patents which once
restricted free software from making and playing MP3s are now expired, so
MP3 may be acceptable.

- considering doing without the video if you're not going to do anything
that doesn't actually need video.

J.B. Nicholson-Owens
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I wrote:
> - adding the URL for each episode's media file to the show's RSS feed
> http://www.freedomdecrypted.com/public_html/index.php/feed/ as an
> attachment to that feed entry. This will let people download episodes of
> the show via a feed reader.

I also recommend uploading a copy of each media file to other hosts, hosts
that don't require JS (or at least don't require nonfree JS) to download
the show files. I suggest getting an archive.org account and hosting copies
there, for instance. Mirror copies can and should be added to the RSS feed
as well as enclosures (I should have said enclosures, not attachments, above).

This benefits your audience and it helps them get copies of the show in a
way that can increase their privacy. If you don't want to pay to host media
files, you can also help reduce your costs with mirror copies.

And on the same ground I recommend licensing your show to share at least
verbatim copies.

Thanks for considering these suggestions.

quantumgravity
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Amazing, really. You seem to already have experience in being a host?
Very smooth and natural flow of conversation between you two.

You can become a better version of the linux action show... without the bullshit content. I would watch it and cheer for it.

I know this is a controversial topic, but did you ever consider uploading to youtube? It's not a very freedom-loving platform, but in order to make people aware of freedom issues, I think it would be very beneficial to upload it anyway.

Good it example: I myself become conscious about freedom in software when I found a video of RMS on youtube.

calher

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On Sun, 2018-06-17 at 05:41 +0200, name at domain wrote:
> You can become a better version of the linux action show... without
> the  
> bullshit content. I would watch it and cheer for it.

This.

> I know this is a controversial topic, but did you ever consider
> uploading to  
> youtube? It's not a very freedom-loving platform, but in order to
> make people  
> aware of freedom issues, I think it would be very beneficial to
> upload it  
> anyway.

People I know who make videos don't upload to YouTube, but they do
license their videos in such a way that others upload to YouTube of
their own accord.

> Good it example: I myself become conscious about freedom in software
> when I  
> found a video of RMS on youtube.

Me too.  LAS 200, Alex Jones and RT.

I'm not sure how to solve the problem of the rift between the networks
used by the general population and the networks used by us.

All I have is:
* telephone
* SMS
* MAYBE email (if the person isn't too young)

calher

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It's not available in WebM, and Fedora can't ship with MP4 support.

chaosmonk

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> It's not available in WebM, and Fedora can't ship with MP4 support.

If you add the rpmfusion repository[1] (only the free one, of course) you'll be able to install free software that Red Hat can't ship due to patent restrictions. I'm not sure whether or not this includes media players built with mp4 support, but at minimum you should be able to install ffmpeg, download the video, and convert it to webm.

$ wget http://www.freedomdecrypted.com/public_html/shows/2018-06-12%2021-30-06.mp4
$ ffmpeg -i 2018-06-12\ 21-30-06.mp4 2018-06-12\ 21-30-06.webm

[1] https://rpmfusion.org/Configuration

chaosmonk

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To clarify, I'm only suggesting this as a workaround, not defending proprietary formats. I agree with J.B. Nicholson's suggestions above.

calher

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My point is that nobody should have to.

Magic Banana

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My Ogg Vorbis encoding of the audio track is still there: http://dcc.ufmg.br/~lcerf/2018-06-12_21-30-06.ogg (95 MB).

I doubt there is much to see. But maybe I am wrong.

calher

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Why does that MP4 take so long to download?

Do you not have a nice, small WebM?