Kevin Drum reports that cell phone companies are trying to rip people off and that the tobacco lobby is more powerful than the tweezer lobby. I already knew both these things, but the supporting anecdotes are pretty funny.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    Another typical non sequitur attack from that site.

    As his first commentator mentioned, if people use the wrong battery, it can explode and burn people. Now if Nokia did nothing about that, Kevin would say that they did not care about the safety of the little people. (see you CAN have it both ways.) I can see the lawyers warming up on that on.

    But the non sequitur kills me.

    When you read it, it sounds like they spend 100 times more on battery than the phone. BUT when you read it carefully it is compared to “communications security.”

    However, Nokia spent BILLIONS to make phones that operate in the gigahertz range and are digital. That is an inherently secure platform. You can’t pick that up on a scanner from radioshack. So the very nature of the design makes your “communications secure.”

    They don’t spend money to secure calls because that is already accomplished.

    As usual that site is long on blame but short on facts.

  2. John says:

    Boy, you don’t know your security then.

  3. Ross Judson says:

    Uh…the phone doesn’t shut OFF if it detects a third-party battery…it maximizes its consumption of electricity from that battery, thereby making it even hotter. So…nice try on assuming altruistic motives for Nokia, but it just ain’t so. They just plain don’t want people using third-party batteries.

    On comms security — agreed, this is a false comparison. The digital architecture is reasonably secure as is. Phone security can refer to both physical security (of the phone itself, such as locking), and networking security (packets back and forth).

  4. Paul says:

    Ross you make a point on the battery. (however I did not say it was altruistic only that it could be argued many ways.)

    My main point was that it was a complete non sequitur.


    And John if you think I don’t know much about security in the digital age, you are more than welcome to sit in on my “Introduction to Cryptography” class I teach if you are ever in town. I’d love to have you. Bring your calculator and LOTS of scratch paper.