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+ - What Does The NSA Think Of Cryptographers? ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "A recently declassified NSA house magazine, CryptoLog, reveals some interesting attitudes between the redactions. What is the NSA take on cryptography?
The article of interest is a report of a trip to the 1992 EuroCrypt conference by an NSA cryptographer whose name is redacted.We all get a little bored having to sit though presentations that are off topic, boring or even down right silly but we generally don't write our opinions down. In this case the criticisms are cutting and they reveal a lot about the attitude of the NSA cryptographers. You need to keep in mind as you read that this is intended for the NSA crypto community and as such the writer would have felt at home with what was being written.
Take for example:
Three of the last four sessions were of no value whatever, and indeed there was almost nothing at Eurocrypt to interest us (this is good news!). The scholarship was actually extremely good; it’s just that the directions which external cryptologic researchers have taken are remarkably far from our own lines of interest.
It seems that back in 1992 academic cryptographers were working on things that the NSA didn't consider of any importance. Could things be the same now?
The gulf between the two camps couldn't be better expressed than:
The conference again offered an interesting view into the thought processes of the world’s leading “cryptologists.” It is indeed remarkable how far the Agency has strayed from the True Path.
The ironic comment is clearly suggesting that the NSA is on the "true path" whatever that might be.
Clearly the gap between the NSA and the academic crypto community is probably as wide today with the different approaches to the problem being driven by what each wants to achieve. It is worth reading the rest of the article."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Wikipedia the vector (Score 1) 61

by Bruce Perens (#48386659) Attached to: Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

Like others I found the headline confusing. I read it as "Researchers are predicting the use of Wikipedia as a vector for the spread of disease". This may mean that:

  • Disinformation and ignorance are diseases.
  • Memes and computer viruses are diseases.
  • Wilipedia contains information that leads to depression.
  • Instructions on Wikipedia lead to substance abuse.
  • This is getting entertaining, fill in your own reason here.

Comment: Re:Not a good week... (Score 1) 445

by Bruce Perens (#48298059) Attached to: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

One of the definitions I found was:

One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.

I am sure that fits. While SpaceShip II is mainly intended for a non-exploration purpose, the program has resulted in some significant advances in rocketry and White Knight II has significant non-tourism use. These pilots have been involved in other space efforts, I remember the one who was injured from the Rotary Rocket test flights. There are lots of safer ways for these folks to make as much money as a test pilot is paid. They do what they do to advance our progress in aeronautics and space.

Comment: Re:I never ever commented on the SCO issue in any (Score 1) 187

We knew what was going on when you ran your anti-IBM campaign, sometimes even positioning yourself as arguing on behalf of our community. It was a way to lend credence to IBM and MS arguments during the SCO issue. To state otherwise is deceptive, perhaps even self-deceptive.

Florian, you would not be devoting all of this text to explaining yourself if you didn't feel the need to paint your actions in a positive light. That comes from guilt, whether you admit it to yourself or not.

Go write your app, and if you actually get to make any money with it you can give thanks, because it will happen despite what you worked for previously. Keep a low profile otherwise because your credibility is well and truly blown and you can only make things worse. And maybe someday you can really move past this part of your life. But I am not holding out much hope.

Comment: Re:These laws are hard to grasp (Score 1) 475

by Alsee (#48193299) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

There are clear indications that traditional porn serves as cathartic material and reduces the number of instances of rape and other acts inspired by sexual frustration. The same does not seem to hold for child pornography, where the opposite seems to be the case

When you say "seems" are you to referring to anecdotal comments rather than research?

For an earlier comment here I did a Google Scholar search on the rate of sex-crimes before and after countries changed pornography laws, and some of those studies included changes in the legality of child pornography. It seems that every scientific study found the same result - countries where child pornography became legal experiences a decrease in rates of child molestation, countries where child pornography became illegal experienced an increase in rates of child molestation.

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Comment: Re:Distasteful stuff, but should not be illegal (Score 2) 475

by Alsee (#48192981) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

The easiest way to tell might be to compare cultures where normal pornography is easy to get, to those where it is very difficult to get, and see if the rates of sexual attacks and deviant acts vary between the cultures. Does anyone know if such a study has been done?

Comparing different cultures with each other doesn't work, you can't determine weather differences are due to the availability of pornography or to a wide range of other cultural factors.

What you do is compare a single culture with itself, before and after a major change in the availability and content-range of porn. In fact a substantial number of such studies have been done, across a substantial number of countries. The results are consistent. Increases in the availability and content-range of pornography are generally followed by a decrease in rape and other sex crimes, or at worst no change in those rates. This result also extends to a smaller number of country-cases that included child pornography becoming legal. In every such case rape, other sex crimes, and child molestation always decreased. Countries where child pornography changed from legal-to-illegal had increases in child molestation rates.

A Google Scholar search can turn up a variety of such studies. Here are links to one two of them.

Abstract one:
The Danish liberalization of legal prosecution and of laws concerning pornography and the ensuing high availability of such materials present a unique opportunity of testing hypotheses concerning the relationship between pornography and sex offenses. It is shown that concurrently with the increasing availability of pornography there was a significant decrease in the number of sex offenses registered by the police in Copenhagen. On the basis of various investigations, including a survey of public attitudes and studies of the police, it was established that at least in one type of offense (child molestation) the decrease represents a real reduction in the number of offenses committed. Various factors suggest that the availability of pornography was the direct cause of this decrease.

Abstract two:
Pornography continues to be a contentious matter with those on the one side arguing it detrimental to society while others argue it is pleasurable to many and a feature of free speech. The advent of the Internet with the ready availability of sexually explicit materials thereon particularly has seemed to raise questions of its influence. Following the effects of a new law in the Czech Republic that allowed pornography to a society previously having forbidden it allowed us to monitor the change in sex related crime that followed the change. As found in all other countries in which the phenomenon has been studied, rape and other sex crimes did not increase. Of particular note is that this country, like Denmark and Japan, had a prolonged interval during which possession of child pornography was not illegal and, like those other countries, showed a significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.

I wonder what the world would look like if we had legislators who legislated on the basis of evidence and reality rather than ideologies and soundbites.

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Comment: Re:Deletionists (Score 1) 98

by Alsee (#48192739) Attached to: Python-LMDB In a High-Performance Environment

Sure sure, verifiable is important. But even with something to verify the information on the page, you still get those deletionists that will claim notability, and fast-track the page for deletion.

If you were paying attention, I explained exactly how to prevent an article from being deleted. Include a couple of independent Reliable Sources talking about the topic, saying things that can be used to build an article. Once you have that then primary sources can help expand the article if used properly, but we have rules against articles built solely with primary sources because primary-source-only articles raise a shitton of problems.

But no, you're high and mighty and you just don't give a fuck about how many pokemon there are.

What the hell are you ranting about? Not only does Wikipedia have an article on Pokemon, we've got literally hundreds of Pokemon articles. That includes a list of SEVEN HUNDRED AND NINETEEN pokemon running up to Number 719: Diancie.

Hey man, you want to trim down Wikipedia of random meaningless shit nobody cares about? Try taking on football.

I would personally be delighted if the world got over it's nutty fascination with football. However the fact is that the world does treat football as important, and there does exist an crazy amount of Published sources Taking Note of every minute facet of football. As a Wikipedia Editor I accept it's not my place to delete other people's football contributions based on my opinion of football's level of "importance". If someone complies with Wikipedia policies, if their article satisfies sourcing requirements etc., then I'll either leave the article alone or I'll work to improve it. Hell, some of my most resent edits were fixes to professional Wrestling articles, which I consider about 42 level lower than football in stupidity. Football is a genuine idiotic violent sport, Wrestling is a fake idiotic violent sport. ~~~~

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Comment: Re:Bruce, I know why u r disappointed. Let me expl (Score 1) 187

So, I see this as rationalization.

The fact is, you took a leadership position, and later turned your coat for reasons that perhaps made sense to you. But they don't really make sense to anyone else. So, yes, everyone who supported you then is going to feel burned.

You also made yourself a paid voice that was often hostile to Free Software, all the way back to the SCO issue. Anyone could have told you that was bound to be a losing side and you would be forever tarred with their brush.

So nobody is going to believe you had any reason but cash, whatever rationalization you cook up after the fact. So, the bottom line is that you joined a list of people who we're never going to be able to trust or put the slightest amount of credibility in.

And ultimately it was for nothing. I've consistently tried to take the high road and it's led to a pretty good income, I would hazard a guess better than yours, not just being able to feel good about myself.

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