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Comment Re:Where is deniability? (Score 1) 391

It's really only a matter of time before political enemies start throwing this around and we see random (read: republican) politicians eliminated. cf. Circle, The.

In Luxembourg this is already happening now. We had this "bomb layer" affair 30 years ago, where it quickly turned out that some state actors must have been involved (police looking for an excuse for more funding? NATO "stay behind" group gone wild? who knows). So, the inquiry back then quickly stalled and was shelved.

For the 20th anniversary, a radio station was doing a "flashback" about the events, this caused old witnesses to come forward again, and somehow kicked justice back into action, the file was re-opened. And low, and behold, some of these witnesses were being intimidated with bogus child pornography accusations. Of course, the judge in the "bomb layer" trial saw through this, and the witness did not actually get into serious trouble from these accusations.

Roughly at the same time, a building contractor proposed a project to construct a huge football field plus mall in an environmentally protected zone. Lots of corruption money flowed to get the environmentally protected status of said zone lifted, to get bank credits at better conditions, etc. To bolster his influence, the building contractor even sponsored a national cycling team to run at the Tour the France. His guys were good for a couple of years. Of course, there were still people concerned about nature who opposed his project, and these people created citizen's initiatives against it, and asked pointed questions during meetings. And despite all the influence of the buidling-contractor-who-became-Tour-de-France-sponsor, the citizens did manage to derail the project!

Unfortunately, revenge was on its way. While being active in cycling sponsorship, the building contractor met interesting people, including that judge who was also a member of the board of Tour du Luxembourg. And hop, they just nailed one of the citizen's initiative people for child pornography, causing him a great amount of anguish and forcing him to retire 6 months earlier than planned. Eventually he managed to get all penalties overturned on appeal, but he did pass a couple of miserable years until then.

O, btw, did I mention that the judge was the same in both cases (bomb layer, and building contractor critic)? Funny how she can play both sides without blinking an eye...

Comment Re:This can be a huge can of worms... (Score 1) 391

My coworker noticed a series of unusual file names — "xxxxx_xxxx_xxxxx.jpg" — during the transfer process that prompted his curiosity and the child pornography collection was found.

You know that some Slashdot readers will be foolish enough to not resist their curiosity, and google for that. And possibly a small percentage of those will be unlucky enough that it will come to the police's or whoever's attention. Hopefully, they will remember during their trial to cite where they got that file name from, so that you too can get a taste of what it's like to be on the receiving end of "I was just following procedure".

Comment Re:Where is deniability? (Score 1) 391

Which is why the appeals court exists.

Fortunately. Even though, at that stage, the damage to the victim's reputation will already have been done.

We all know the system isn't perfect, and it's easy to knock the odd case that misses, but I can't see how not reporting crime improves this system?

If the crime is just "being a computer professional", then yes, best is to not give in to the madness.

Comment Re:Where is deniability? (Score 2) 391

What happens in a courtroom and what gets reported are usually two vastly different things.

And sometimes, you get the occasion to go and watch such a trial first hand, and you see that the reality is actually much worse.

... and even if the law is written with a modicum of balance, a judge may still ignore/disregard those parts of it that she doesn't like.

Comment Re: Where is deniability? (Score 4, Interesting) 391

Yeah right. If someone goes around with pictures of child porn taped to their car, everyone who sees the car drive by is a criminal. If you think that is how it works you are a dumbass.

Unfortunately, in many places, this is indeed how it works. But fortunately, the car owner goes to jail too (and will get a higher penalty for being a distributor), discouraging any such "pranks".

But beware of cases where the owner of the metaphorical "car" cannot be easily determined. MAFIAA supporters has been know to booby trap music and movie files in peer-to-peer networks to contain child porn just in order to get downloaders into bigger trouble than mere copyright infringment...

Comment Re:Where is deniability? (Score 1) 391

Remember, potential jurors: no mens rea (guilty mind) no conviction, no matter what the law says. Just vote Not Guilty.

Not in Luxembourg. Even if the law explicitly says that it is only an offence if done "knowingly and deliberately" (sciemment), a crooked judge may disregard that requirement if she feels that just by being a computer professional, you know in intricate detail what goes on on all your computers.

Comment Re:Where is deniability? (Score 3, Insightful) 391

And sometimes even the "deliberate" part is stricken from the law if the judge fells like it... or if she has another reason to hate you (such as having successfully contributed to derailing a huge construction project to be developed by one of her good friends)

Case in point, I know a guy who ended up with "something" on his computer (he never actually was officially informed about what exactly that "something" was supposed to be, even after the trial). He ended up being convicted, despite our child porn law saying that it is an offence only if you knowingly and deliberately possess it, which was not the case. As proof for the "knowing and deliberate" part, the judge simply used the fact that the guy was a computer professional, and a professional just knows whatever is going on in his computer...

Comment Re:Where is deniability? (Score 1) 391

I was under the impression that it was wrong to dig through a customer's files without reason, and possibly in-itself illegal to do so, even if it is a widespread practice.

... and in this particular case, it would not only be against privacy protection laws but also against other parts of child pornography laws.

Indeed, while digging through customer's files for this reason would be knowingly searching for child pornography which is itself illegal...

So, do that to a customer who knows the judge better than you, and it would be you, the PC repair technician, that would be doing jailtime for child pornography, and "they" sure as hell would make sure that your jailmates would know about your fondness for child pornography.

Comment Re:Where is deniability? (Score 4, Insightful) 391

why would anyone NOT want to report it?

Maybe for the same reason why they wouldn't want to report evidence of witchcraft if they encountered that?

Personally, I'd only report it if the owner was a right-wing politician, a judge in bed with shady building contractors, or a forensic expert bragging on facebook about his fondness for the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit.

Comment Re:Question (Score 5, Informative) 85

Why does the kernel need to store login info, certificates, and the like?

While the question is legit, it has nothing to do with the bug.

The bug is a reference counting issue, where an attacker can trick the kernel to release a buffer and reallocate it to another purpose, while the original process still holds a reference to it. That process can then abuse its reference (from the old purpose) to mess with the buffer (in its new purpose) in such a way that it obtains root privileges.

It just happens that the original purpose was indeed about key management. But the bug would work just the same way if that purpose was something else. And the vulnerability even exists if this kernel feature is not used at all. It is not about disclosure of keys or anything like this.

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