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Comment: Re:Truecrypt was the hardest thing for the NSA (Score 1) 566

by foreverdisillusioned (#47127561) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker
As bingoUV said, I was referring to hardware keyloggers (harder to install on a laptop, but not impossible), hardware network surveillance / MITM boxes, physical microphones or cameras planted in the room (not your webcam), etc. If you are somewhat delayed discovering evidence of a break-in, it won't be too late to take action as long as they haven't examined your hard drive a second time, but it would already be too late if the attacker leaves behind any physical devices that broadcast or phone home.

Comment: Re:my 2p conspiracy theory (Score 1) 566

by foreverdisillusioned (#47125043) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker
This is either a magnificent troll or the single most interesting thing I've thus far read this decade.

Dude, if you can say more, please go for it. Use public wifi (McDonald's, etc.) and if you're worried about lingual forensics use short, stubby sentences without any words an elementary school child couldn't grasp.

Comment: Re:Truecrypt was the hardest thing for the NSA (Score 1) 566

by foreverdisillusioned (#47123275) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker
Or just think of it this way: If they have physical access they can install keyloggers, MITM devices on your network, audio bugs and cameras, etc. Imaging your hard drive is comparatively minor--oh no, you you have evidence strongly suggesting the presence of a hidden container. Why on earth would you worry about that really, really minor annoyance instead of the potential for captured passwords or intercepted network traffic?

Comment: Re:Truecrypt was the hardest thing for the NSA (Score 1) 566

by foreverdisillusioned (#47123195) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker
Bios lock it to not boot from anything but the FDE bootloader, so they have to actually dismantle it to get a dump. I can think of a few ways to rig it so you know if it's been opened up or not. There's a bunch of other physical security measures you can take as well--hiding your laptop when not in use (maybe with a dummy lying around), surveillance cameras (they can disable them sure, but will they be able to quickly rig up a fake video feed that matches? Especially if you leave the TV on in the background or something.) Seriously, if you're actually worried people are sneaking into your damn house then, relative to *that* level of paranoia (justified or no), these measures are not that difficult to take.

Comment: Unanswered Questions (Score 1) 566

by foreverdisillusioned (#47119425) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker
This is the strongest argument I've seen against NSL theories, but if it's true why did they do this in such a sensationalistic way? Why not gently explain the situation? Why the over the top site defacement and source code warnings? Why not release all of the source (not decrypt only) under the GPL so a fork could develop? Why the laughable non-sequitur reference to XP's EOL? And why did they recommend Bitlocker over, say, the excellent GPL that is DiskCryptor? Or mention this might be a good time to migrate to Linux?

Comment: Re:Mesh internet / web of trust now! (Score 1) 397

And by non-RSA, I don't just mean elliptic curve. The encryption protocol needs to support stateful and nonstateful solutions. Symmetric-only with web of trust, asymmetric+symmetric (like we have now), changing-response symmetric signing as an alternative to asymmetric certs, even one time pads need to be supported. All of these have advantages and disadvantages. And it should never be obvious to an eavesdropper which is being used at any given time.

Comment: Re:Autogyros (Score 1) 49

by foreverdisillusioned (#44763907) Attached to: Ken Wallis Autogyro Pioneer Dies At 97
I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than myself will come along and correct you about autogyros being obsolete.

I'll get them started: they're simpler/cheaper and are arguably more reliable than helicopters in case of mechanical failure. Any lingering safety concerns are largely a result of pilots used to other craft not understanding the handling characteristics of autogyros. The only major disadvantages vs. helicopters are they can't hover (though they can fly much slower than airplanes) and they can't do a vertical takeoff without tip jets or some other sort of specialized launcher. Important features, sure, but not always worth the attendant disadvantages.

Comment: A more interesting question (Score 2) 117

It's not too hard to imagine a total extinction event. To my mind the interesting point here is that there is that Martian soil contains a known energy source. That's... spectecular. We already know there's plenty of oxygen tied up in the iron oxide in the soil, and now we know there's also energy for microbes. That's one step closer to terraforming. And hey, in the process they'll get rid of this pesky toxic stuff too, at least on the surface layers.

Comment: a good start but... (Score 3, Insightful) 130

by foreverdisillusioned (#43994367) Attached to: New Bill Would Declassify FISC Opinions
We need something more fundamental. Like it never being against the law to disclose information on crimes committed by intelligence agencies, and enforcement of existing laws once those crimes come to light: for example, Keith Alexander needs to be arrested for perjury. Perhaps we could bring back private prosecutions... that would certainly go a long way towards ensuring public officials are not above the law.

This more holistic approach is necessary because the usual suspects (CIA, NSA) and the usual frameworks (FISC) only capture a tiny fraction of what the intelligence community actually engages in. Take the NRO ( ) for example. It has a comparable budget to the more well known agencies and they were even caught by the CIA to be squirrelling away extra money, presumably to finance black projects. They started in spy satellites but these days they appear to devote a significant portion of the resources towards hacking. They really put the NSA to shame when it comes to blackhat and grayhat activities, though good luck finding anyone to confirm that for you. Let's just say they appear to enjoy inspiring awe and fear in their employees, to the point where though I've met several people who worked for them I had to do a considerable amount of detective work and deduction to figure it out. And even then there was no explicit confirmation I was right, just a wry smile and a "I can neither confirm nor deny..."

And that's just an agency we know about. Like the NSA before it, the NRO used to be secret. And there remain still more secret intelligence agencies today, probably even more fearsome and powerful than the public ones. And if you think these guys go through FISC every time they feel the urge to skim through someone's inbox...

So, back to my original point: what we really need here is a mechanism to permit the discovery and prosecution of people who conceal crimes, both for the original crime and for the act of covering it up by claiming state secrets. Crimes like lying to congress under oath. Or spying on American citizens, without judicial oversight, in ways that would be illegal if a private citizen did it (which does not necessarily apply to PRISM but most certainly applies to other programs.)

Comment: you joke, but... (Score 4, Insightful) 196

by foreverdisillusioned (#43991687) Attached to: Crowd-Funded Radio Beacon Will Message Aliens
This is at best a waste of money. I know he catches some flak for this, but Stephen Hawking has it right. There's no reason at all we should expect intelligent alien life forms to deal with us as respected equals, especially if they are considerably more advanced. At the same time, it would be too much to hope for them to ignore us. Our planet would be a treasure trove of scientific interest to them, and even practical interest in the same way rainforests are useful to biochemists or bacteria are useful to genetic engineers. The altruism argument ignores how very limited it is here on Earth. Forget intercultural conflict, how many people give/gave a shit enough about dead dolphins enough to boycott tuna? Or save the poor bonobos? Their intelligence is a lot closer to ours than ours would be to any life form advanced enough to travel the stars (unless they had some kind of taboo on both genetic and cybernetic enhancement.) Overall point being: altruism isn't a prerequisite for advanced spaceflight, but relentless pragmatism is.

Fortunately, what with the speed of light being what it is, this shouldn't be of any immediate concern.

Also, I think there's a recent 'obligatory' xkcd that's quite on-topic here if anyone wants to whore some karma. In the what if section.

Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you only have to climb it once.