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Comment Re:Well Duh! (Score 1) 127

And it wasn't that either..

It was more like, we "accidentally" found out some information about an employee, can we use it in a disciplinary. - Answer yes.
It sounds like some chat logs or similar were saved on the work PC and came up in an investigation, seems fair enough.

This isn't the mega ruling it seems.


Comment Re:PIC flashers (Score 1) 190

Yes, it is easy now. It used to be harder. The PIC16F84? was the start of it getting easier, but it always used to require some pretty weird voltages. The pin-outs and programming routines were different for each device, so it was a right old mess. The adaptors and so on used to often be the most expensive part of a programmer.. These were essential when it wasn't possible to program in-system. So yes, anyway, it was expensive and a hobby itself to create a programmer.


Comment Re:revolutionary technology (Score 3, Informative) 172

Dunno how things are done in the US, but ballot boxes are sealed here (with actual lead / hard to change seals). The boxes are then couriered (with several different people accompanying the box) to a central location. There are various different registers that show who has attended the vote, what papers have been used. ie. Double Entry. with different people responsible for each register. Usually with a completely separate observer overseeing the ballot box.

At the count all the politicians and representatives can watch the boxes opened and counted. The teams responsible for counting boxes will not know ahead of time which box(es) they are counting. There are careful initial checks to count the papers, to ensure they tally with the registers. There are usually teams of about 8-9 people per box, with an overseer. The room is sealed / guarded. Politicians and representatives can ask for a recount. It is done then and there.

Any deviation from an X in one box on the voting paper, is carefully considered by a team of very senior well trained staff, with a very comprehensive manual to consider all the various ways that a vote can be considered valid or spoiled.

It would take an amazing level of conspiracy and corruption to rig a count in the UK. There are no volunteers, these people are usually paid (and paid well enough) for their role in the ballot and count. Consequences for interfering with the vote in any way are harsh and will include criminal charges as well as most likely loss of employment (staff typically are Local Government staff).

All these protocols would expose fraud or deception quite easily. It'd be simpler to put a gun to people on the way in to the count and tell them who to vote for and check they do this, than to actually create a convincing scenario where the count itself is corrupted.

I know techies often think traditional paper counts are more open to abuse, absolutely no way. If you've ever been at a count or worked with the people at the polling stations you would understand. The only problem is that a vote is expensive with all the oversight and double checking.


Comment Brilliant - This means... (Score 4, Interesting) 115

That the Gov cannot gain access to modern Apple and Microsoft devices. This legislation wouldn't be necessary otherwise. Microsoft and Apple have genuinely closed the encryption / key loopholes that would allow the authorities to force them to unlock these devices.

This is excellent news, now just to get this bill junked.


Comment Re:Can Apple push extra software on the device? (Score 2) 225

Yes sure, you can enroll an iOS device in MDM and then send it an unlock command. The end-user has to agree and approve this first of all of course.

Apple have built the system so that it is immune to a direct unlock. Apple and Microsoft have been giving clear signals that they no longer want to be stuck in the middle of international legal / court disputes requiring them to unlock under court order. So they've re-engineered their encryption and unlock protocols so that they no longer hold any master keys / unlocks etc. This also makes these devices useless when stolen.

The only slightly questionable part is wether they can access any cloud backups. Although that might not be what the court asked.


Comment Re:What's the point of "shaming"? (Score 1) 70

I disagree with your analysis. It's all about knowing the level below which people might pay without involving the authorities. 50 BTC is at the point that pretty much any business might find it in their interests to pay, rather than involving the authorities, expensive IT consultants or down-time. I've been holiday mugged twice - both times the attacker deliberately demanded such an insignificant amount that I never bothered reporting it or fighting it.


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