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Comment: Re:Reads like a "Modest Proposal" to me (Score 1) 250

by Sloppy (#47581327) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

I think the reasoning is fine, because of these words: "...if the behaviour which is currently criminal is to remain criminal..."

Your example is a simple crime, where the victim had an experience related to the crime (so there's a body to be found by the police, or a surviving victim who says "ouch, someone shot me"). They are talking about certain types of crimes where neither the victim nor anyone closely watching the victim would never have any idea that a crime happened. All the evidence is completely disconnected from the victim.

I publish a magnet link. You read it, and use it to acquire a file. Someone who isn't there and sees absolutely no effect on their life, is defined as a victim because the action is "currently criminal." Maybe it's because they hold a copyright on the contents of the file, or because the file contains a picture of them without clothes (taken by hidden camera when they were 17 years and 364 days old), or because the file contains some other information related to them.

You can't detect these kinds of things.

The House of Lords is saying that if these are going to remain crimes, then the laws should be enforced, and if we ass/u/me that getting laws enforced is far more valuable to our society than liberty, efficiency, etc then it's important that the watchers know about every transaction that is happening and who is involved. They need to know that I transmitted information to you (and who both of us are) and what that information was. Until they have all that information, they can't even begin to guess whether or not a crime occurred. Maybe the file contained a picture of my dog rather than a 17-year-old human, and they need to know who took the dog picture and that I sent it to you, so that they know it wasn't a copyright violation.

Of course it's absurd, but that's because the premise is absurd. Their reaction to it, is quite rational. But that's my point: it almost looks like (especially in the paragraph that I quoted) they might be calling the bluff, pointing out the inevitable consequences of having externally un-detectable things be crimes. If they weren't that clever and didn't mean to do that, too bad, but even if it's an accident, they did it.

It's not an accident, though. Look at it (emphasis mine): "if it's to remain criminal" (see the wiggle room there?) and "currently criminal" and "there is little point in [doing this] at the same time [as doing that]" and "difficult question."

I'm not saying this is ingenious, but it really is a fairly well-crafted.

Comment: Reads like a "Modest Proposal" to me (Score 1) 250

by Sloppy (#47578135) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

The techdirt article quotes this delicious excerpt:

From our perspective in the United Kingdom, if the behaviour which is currently criminal is to remain criminal and also capable of prosecution, we consider that it would be proportionate to require the operators of websites first to establish the identity of people opening accounts but that it is also proportionate to allow people thereafter to use websites using pseudonyms or anonymously. There is little point in criminalising certain behaviour and at the same time legitimately making that same behaviour impossible to detect. We recognise that this is a difficult question, especially as it relates to jurisdiction and enforcement.

I can't even say I really disagree with that reasoning. Can't you see how there are two completely different ways to reach a conclusion from that paragraph?

Comment: Why use public CA an internal server? (Score 4, Insightful) 91

by Sloppy (#47533267) Attached to: New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

Who are these people, that would give a damn about this change?

You don't need an intermediary not-you authority for this job. And in fact, using one can only possibly decrease the security, in the best case scenario. Even the worst most incompetent company in the world, would make a better CA for its internal servers, than the best, most trustworthy public CA.

Comment: Re:Is there an SWA Twitter police? (Score 1) 891

Whoa there. This was no mere bad judgement call. Having him thrown off the plane was over-the-top malicious, totally beyond what I ever expect from anyone who is "having a bad day." I sincerely believe such a person really shouldn't be in any sort of position where they might have that amount of power over other people.

Put a hundred random people in the same sort of bad-day position, and I don't expect one of them to behave like this one did. This one is truly exceptional, and does not merely "have bad days." This is the kind of person whose news stories are usually headlined something like "gunman kills five then self."

I might be willing to excuse them, if say, their psychiatrist were to explain how this was anomalous for their character and that their medication was defective, or something like that. OTOH that can be handled in their lawsuit against the medication manufacturer, and then this psycho will never need a job where they exercise power over other people again.

Comment: Please let me explain this (Score 1, Funny) 891

I happen to be the executive who works at Southwest and made the decision, upon seeing the tweet, to call the gate and have him kicked off. Please allow me to explain my decision.

I work in the PR department, and managing publicity is my job. When I saw the tweet, I realized it was bad publicity. I don't like my company getting bad publicity, and I seek to avoid it, or replace it with good publicity.

So I threw our tweeting customer off, thereby solving the bad publicity problem! See? Now do you get it?

...

(Why is everyone looking at me like I'm a idiot?)

Comment: Re:Let's sell child porn to The Netherlands (Score 1) 109

by Sloppy (#47523689) Attached to: Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

..the sale is criminalized in The Netherlands.

My point is that the court's recent decision suggests the above is an outdated, quaint law which no longer reflects the society that The People wish to have, nor which reflects the new way of thinking about reponsibility and the relationship between demand and the victimizing acts which serve that demand.

Thus, I'm sure the Dutch people will soon be revising their kiddie porn laws. Huh? Whaddya mean, "no?" Why not? ;-)

Comment: Re:Why do we bother? (Score 1) 109

by Sloppy (#47522481) Attached to: Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

Look, just install the telescreens in our homes already.

Be patient. We're still in the voluntary phase of that, right now. If enough people say no to the unauditable smartphones and smart TVs, we can eventually get to compulsory installation, but for right now, what's the hurry? People are doing it without even being told to.

Comment: Let's sell child porn to The Netherlands (Score 2) 109

by Sloppy (#47522331) Attached to: Dutch Court Says Government Can Receive Bulk Data from NSA

Though we'll face some risks from our own governments, it's a relief to know at the Dutch government would have no problem with me selling kiddie porn (as long as it was made in America) to Dutch citizens. "No crime happened here, within our jurisdiction," they'd say.

In fact, the Dutch government should tolerate our new businesses even more than this NSA thing, since the victims (whereever their rights were violated) won't even be Dutch citizens. No Netherlander will have any reason to say their government let them down.

Comment: Re:New SSL root certificate authority (Score 1) 129

by Sloppy (#47508375) Attached to: Snowden Seeks To Develop Anti-Surveillance Technologies

Thanks for the insult. It hardly stung.

Unless you worked at Netscape in the mid-1990s, no insult was intended.

All I meant is that by the very early 1990s, we (and by "we" I mean people smarter than me; I was clueless at the time) had a pretty good idea that CAs wouldn't work well outside of real power hierarchies (e.g. corporate intranets). But then a few years later the web browser people came along and adopted X.509's crap, blowing off the more recent PKI improvements, in spite of the fact that it looked like it wouldn't work well for situations like the WWW.

Unsurprisingly, it didn't work well. Organizing certificate trust differently than how real people handle trust, 1) allows bad CAs to do real damage, and 2) undermines peoples' confidence in the system.

A very nice way of saying this, is that in hindsight, the predicted problems are turning out to be more important than we thought most people would care about. ;-) It's almost as though now (no fair! you changed the requirements!!) people want SSL to be secure.

Keeping the same organization but with new faceless unaccountable trust-em-completely-or-not-at-all root CAs won't fix the problem. Having "root CAs" is the problem, and PRZ solved it, over 20 years ago.

I expect you to start the project shortly.

It's a little late to start, but I do happen to still be running an awful lot of applications (web browser being the most important one) which aren't using it yet.

Comment: Re:Secure pairing is hard (Score 1) 131

by Sloppy (#47507817) Attached to: The "Rickmote Controller" Can Hijack Any Google Chromecast

How does Diffie-Hellman key exchange provide identification of the other party? .. It is not possible to determine who the other party is

It's possible. It requires an extra piece beyond the DH, but that extra piece isn't PKI. The user is the trusted introducer. The user looks around and says "Yep, these are the only two devices physically here that I have ordered to peer, right now." They are identified by being in the right place at the right time, triggered by the user saying "Now." That's a pretty good way to do things unless you're just totally surrounded by spies.

Comment: Re:Technology is only a small part of the problem (Score 1) 129

by Sloppy (#47500695) Attached to: Snowden Seeks To Develop Anti-Surveillance Technologies

It's a small part, but it's a part. I think Snowden has done his fair share of trying to inform laymen and stir up giving-a-fuck. If he wants to switch to working on tech, he could accomplish nothing and still come out far ahead of the rest of us. ;-)

The existence of a decent open-source router can't do much against a U.S. National Security Letter.

While we certain should care enough to force our government to stop being our adversary, there will always nevertheless be adversaries. You have to work on the tech, too. Even if you totally fixed the US government, Americans would still have to worry about other governments (and non-government parties, such as common criminals, nosey snoops, etc), where you have no vote at all. You will never, ever have a total social/civic solution which relies on, say, 4th Amendment enforcement to keep your privacy. I'm not saying your chances are slim; I'm saying they're literally 0%.

Furthermore, getting our tech more acceptable to layment acually would correct some of the problems inherent with NSLs, improving the situation even in a we-still-don't-give-a-fuck society. If you do things right, then the person they send the NSL to, is the surveillance target. The reason NSLs (coercion with silence) works is that people unnecessarily put too much trust into the wrong places.

For example, Bob sends plaintext love letters to Alice, so anyone who delivers or stores the love letters, can be coerced into giving up the contents. OTOH if they did email right, then if someone wanted to read the email Bob sent to Alice, they'd have to visit Bob or Alice. That squashes the most egregious part of NSLs, where the victim doesn't even get to know they're under attack.

That's true whether we're talking about email, or even if Bob and Alice get secure routers and VPN to each other. One of them gets the NSL ordering them to install malware on their router.

Comment: Re:New SSL root certificate authority (Score 2) 129

by Sloppy (#47500451) Attached to: Snowden Seeks To Develop Anti-Surveillance Technologies

A nice step ahead would be the establishment of a new set of root certificates...

The lesson of CA failure is that there shouldn't be root authorities. Users (or the people who set things up for them, in the case of novices) should be deciding whom they trust and how much, and certificates should be signed by many different parties, in the hopes that some of them are trusted by the person who uses it.

If you want to catch up to ~1990 tech, then you need to remove the "A" in "CA."

Comment: Lame article (Score 1) 192

by Sloppy (#47500367) Attached to: The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000

Clicked (thought submitter screwed up the link and linked to a page that links to the article, rather than linking to the article), expecting to find a story about a forgotten A2000: maybe someone walked into an office in 2014 and saw that one was in use. Or someone knocked down a wall in 2014 and found one bricked up but still powered up. Instead, found a page telling everyone what A2000s are. Duh. Where's the "forgotten" part? All that I can tell that was forgotten, is that the writer forgot his elementary school spelling and punctuation lessons.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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