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Comment: Re:That doesn't really explain it (Score 3, Informative) 203

by Kohath (#46795435) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

That's not the enlightened view. Everything that goes wrong is always someone else's fault. It's the #1 Truth of progressive thinking. Poor people are poor because someone else made them poor. If socialist policies don't fix everything, it's because someone else interfered. If all the someone elses could just be burned or imprisoned or gassed or reeducated, society's problems could finally be solved and progressive paradise would be achieved.

Comment: How could this be? (Score 0) 203

by Kohath (#46794931) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

Cuba is a huge tropical island with a well educated population. North Korea is strategically located between the vibrant state of South Korea and China, soon to be the world's largest economy. Both Cuba and North Korea are in prime locations for international trade and commerce.

In addition to all that, they have the most progressive socialist governments in the world. While the rest of the world has been wasting their time with free enterprise and capitalism, these guys took the progressive, enlightened approach.

So why can't they pay their bills?

Comment: Re:Also Disturbing (Score 1) 128

by danheskett (#46771699) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

Well you are right. Thanks for that. I think that I have improperly cement Section I as the only one establishing courts because it is the one most cited in research, Section II being well settled by this point.

I was not originally suggesting the Court seek out cases or controversies, or have a police power (like in, say, France).

I do suggest that they need to actively distrust in hearings and rulings the claim that the Government will do what it says. In the case, Lavabit, the Government says matter of factly that it will not use the SSL keys to do anything to the other 400,000 customers of Lavabit's service, but that is (a) not binding and (b) not believable. It would be ideal if a Judge, hearing such a claim, pro-actively took steps to either force the Government to adhere to that (i.e. consent agree) or to in some other way hold it harmless. It is really in a way too bad that the Government can't usually be forced to post a bond. Levinson was fairly clearly concerned that the Government would overstep their authority, leaving his customers damaged and himself without recourse. This was the nature of his request to provide the data after the fact (after he could verify it was only targeted to one customer who under investigation). The Judge immediately dismissed his concern because the Government stated - in a non-binding, non-policy specific way - that they would only tap one customer.

Comment: Re:Also Disturbing (Score 2) 128

by danheskett (#46770895) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

Judges should NOT start being proactive.

I suppose I should have said "in their rulings". Meaning, they should be defacto skeptical of Government claims, and defacto assume that Government shall not be trusted. Currently, they take the Government's claims at face value. I.E. the Government says they wont use any data they are not allowed to, so we trust them. They should be proactive in assuming that the Government lies.

n the US, at least, judges are - per the US constitution - reactive.

Really? Where is that? Article III establishes the Judicary, but does not in any way circumscribe the power of the Courts, or make them reactive in nature. There is nothing even suggesting that a suit must be made - only that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction.

The entire concept of a reactive, ex-post facto review based Court is entirely based on statue and tradition (Marbury v. Madison et all). There is nothing inherently anti-Constitutional about, for example, the Court being given, by Congress, an ad-hoc review power of any government action. Or a pre-enactment review authority over all legislation.

At very least, allowing judges to be proactive would require a massive rewriting of laws, starting with the constitution and working your way down.

I disagree. Most of it is all stacked precedent and not black letter law.

Comment: Re:The problem is that too much of it is state bas (Score 1) 135

by the gnat (#46770379) Attached to: U.S. Biomedical Research 'Unsustainable' Prominent Researchers Warn

This is the thing. Its like the abortion debate. MY body.

Again, you're not understanding my point. I'm not arguing with patient choice, I'm against companies marketing snake oil, which is one of the specific reasons that the FDA exists. The difference between these drugs and most other phony cures is that the drugs can actually kill you. I feel the same way about tobacco - I think people should be allowed to do anything they want as long as they don't harm anyone else, but I'm totally in favor of bans on cigarette ads. The distinction is between allowing potentially unsafe behavior, versus encouraging it.

Comment: Re:A remarkable order. (Score 3, Insightful) 128

by danheskett (#46770139) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

The cogent and accurate description of public key cryptography a

Disagree. The "padlock" analogy was garbage. In PKI, anyone cannot simply "lock the padlock" as the author of the ruling states. For any key-set, exactly 1 key can "lock", and exactly 1 key can "unlock". The brief claimed that anyone could come by and lock it, and that's not true. And it's relevant since, as Levinson stated, with the keys, the Government could impersonate his service to any of his 400,000 users.

As we know, they government routinely uses deception. The DEA creates fake histories of evidence and plants it on local law enforcement.

Comment: Also Disturbing (Score 4, Insightful) 128

by danheskett (#46770093) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

I think one thing we need to be aware of is that the Court defers to the Government's claim that, once decrypted, the Government will not view anything but the "metadata" of the communication, not it's "content", and not for anyone but the target.

Every legal case, every Court hearing, from here forever, the Government must never be given the benefit of the doubt. Any time they have the capability to abuse that claim, we must assume that they will, and Judges should start factoring that assumption into their discussions. We know, only through illicit disclosures, the government will abuse the legal theories that are plainly written in black letter law (Section 215 for example), and will simply declare that the domestic law doesn't not apply for any number of novel theories outside the review of anyone.

Judges must start being proactive. I think it's fairly clear that Levinson was skeptical that the Government would only target one user, and that the Government would never use any of that data that they were not permitted to have. In that regard, he was 100% right that forcing mass decryption is in fact "a general warrant", the precise protection that the 4th Amendment's specific language was intended for.

The whole affair also shows how badly the Stored Communications Act and the Pen/Trap statue's are drafted and how out of date they are. The Law must finally realize that there is no such thing as "meta-data" anymore. It's a label without meaning. The message is the message, including the routing information. "Content" versus "Meta-data" is a garbage distinction with email. The entire layer 7 message - headers and all, is the content.

Comment: Demonstrates the futility of opposition.. (Score 5, Informative) 128

by danheskett (#46769715) Attached to: Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

I think that the ruling and the case demonstrate the futility and the problems with attempting to defend yourself or your clients against the government. It seems clear to me that Lavabit suspected that the order was overbroad, but had no idea what to do about it. The contempt charge was probably inevitable as he searched for a legal basis and representation to do what was quite obviously "the right thing".

The ruling also has a powerful, and sad, commentary on our system of government as it stands today:

"Because of the nature of the underlying criminal investigation, portions of the record, including the target’s identity, are sealed."

We are right back at Star Chambers and secret courts and hidden rulings and anonymous witnesses. We've devolved back to a legal system which is only concerned with secrecy.

Comment: Expand your peripherals (Score 1) 1578

by Bodero (#46768503) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Why, when analyzing the 2nd Amendment, do these so-called "scholars" mince commas and words explicitly in the text as written in the Constitution to derive the intent of the authors?

Why do they not read the Federalist papers, in which the founding fathers mention an individual right numerous times? (28, 29, 46, which I won't quote because you can find a much better summary here.)

Why do they not read the state constitutions written around the time, that reflect, in similar language, also an individual right?

1776 Pennsylvania: That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination, to, and governed by, the civil power.

1777 Vermont: That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State -- and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

1792 Kentucky: That the right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

See the entire timeline here.

Listen, I get it. Stevens wants to amend the Constitution to revoke the explicit ordained right to possess firearms. Why lie about it and claim that it was never intended for individual protection?

Comment: Re:Two things to note (Score 1) 580

by danheskett (#46763203) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

The reason is understandable and explained in the above paragraph - the vast majority of software developers out there are probably not able to contribute meaningfully to a project such as OpenSSL.

You got it big time, right on the nose. The power of Open Source is that it attracts professionals and experts from across the world to contribute. Do we really think that there is a big concentration of the best and most skilled crypto experts in the world all centered around Redmond Washington USA? Money will only go so far. There are likely exploits in Microsoft's SSL stack that are so subtle that their small team of experts are not even aware that they exist. Assuming they were not paid for by the NSA or other agency.

Comment: Re:The bug was found because it was open source.. (Score 1) 580

by danheskett (#46763183) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Agree. OpenBSD and folks like Theo are integral to pushing the world forward on this stuff. You have my point exactly which is it is statistically unlikely that there isn't an SSL exploit, in the wild today, that is undetectable, undisclosed, unknown. We don't even know what we don't know. For all we know, the NSA and Microsoft collobrated to weaken the standard, make an implementation fault, and suppress it from being discovered, patched, and closed. Literally, MS can deny it, the NSA can deny, but it's all based on trust. And trust is a crappy plan.

With OpenSSL, it's not based on only on trust, it's based on verification.

Was I annoyed that I had to spend 2 hours investigating and answering client questions? You betcha. Is it a heck of a lot better than the alternative? It's not even close.

Comment: Re:It doesn't. (Score 1) 580

by danheskett (#46763165) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Right, and I agree. However, for example in case of Heartbleed, I run a fairly sophisticated IDS platform, and do my own random log reviews, and all that, (turns out I was never at risk on any of my networks), but it still didn't turn up evidence of Heartbleed, nor would it even if I was actively exploited.

You do what you can, but it's never enough.

Comment: Also (Score 3, Informative) 580

by danheskett (#46761341) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

I would like to just point out this is a huge win in my book for Debian. Those of us running an all Debian oldstable environment, getting backported security patches, and sticking with the tried and true version of OpenSSL instead of that newfangled 1.0 code release got to write nice letters to our customers saying we still don't use Windows and we were never vulernable.

LONG LIVE OLDSTATBLE.

Comment: Re:It doesn't. (Score 1) 580

by danheskett (#46761313) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

And we know this happens - researchers learn about zero-day exploits in the field everyday. Whats the odds that we learn about all of them? Zero, I'd wager.

People who do really deep audits of a system after a breach know what this is like. When you get that feeling that you are up against something new, or something unreported.

Comment: This was positive (Score 4, Interesting) 580

by danheskett (#46761289) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Heartbleed was positive for the world. The bug was found by code review, twice independently in a short period of days. It was patched rapidly across a hundred different versions and platforms, and now the world is vastly more safe. The system worked exactly as it should.

It is entirely likely that Heartbleed is out there for a closed platform. Or worse. And it's likely that it is being exploited right now by not only our own Government in the US, but our foreign rivals for economic and political gain. And what's worse, there is probably code out there that is defunct, full of Heartbleeds, bleeding exploits into the wild uncontrollably.

The only downside it exposed is that some projects have a lock on what they do. OpenSSL is so good that everyone uses it, and no one is seriously interested in forking it or doing a new implementation.

Small is beautiful.

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