[ExI] question for it hipsters

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Wed Oct 15 19:34:42 UTC 2014

On Oct 15, 2014 10:36 AM, "spike" <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> The reason I have a hard time with that is that if the only copy of email
is on a hard disk, then the user with that disk can access it and modify it
in any way she wants.  If that is the case, the email on that disk is
useless as evidence anyway.

This is a problem with most computer-based evidence: it is more modifiable
than accepted-as-equivalent physical evidence.

How do you know this email wasn't spoofed?

> Can the IRS take any e-filing, modify it to make you a tax cheat, then
confiscate your bank account at their whim?

Preventing this is why you are supposed to keep hardcopy of each filing you
make.  Besides, what about outsiders who crack into the IRS's databases and
try to make it look like you're a cheat, or that the IRS edited your
files?  What about people who do that to hack themselves enough tax refund
to retire on?

> We must assume guilt in any case which starts out with the phrase “So far
as can be determined” if the suspect pleads the fifth.

No.  The primary purpose of the Fifth Amendment is not to allow the guilty
to invoke it, though that is an easy mistake to make.  The primary purpose
is to require evidence instead of confession.

People - in authority and otherwise - can be convinced that someone is
guilty, but not actually have evidence, so the obvious method is to get the
guilty to confess.  Is that not the position you are in regarding the IRS
director right now?

But in far too many cases, it turned out the supposedly obviously guilty
party was in fact innocent...and this could only be determined after
extensive review of the evidence turned up surprising information.

That is why we never presume guilt in cases like this in our legal system.
Yes, it lets some of the guilty get away...but it was judged better, based
on centuries of evidence, to do that than to damn the innocent.  That's
"better" as in "the magnitude of abuses that can be gotten away with are

Imagine these ne'er-do-wells you are angry at if, instead of at least
having to yell "terrorist" or the like to jail someone, they merely had to
accuse in a handwavey manner.  Say, claim all third parties are witchcraft
organizations and thereby sentence all who vote non-Democrat-or-Republican
to death?  This isn't too far from what actually happened in Salem - and
many of us on this list would risk being targeted within a decade or two if
that were to pass.
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