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Comment Re:Democracy (Score 1) 229

In America, the votes that really count are whoever has the most lobbyists with the biggest bags of money. We common citizens just can't afford to by a bunch of congresspeople like the media giants.

More like "We the common citizens don't care enough to get away from our reality TV shows on Election Day."

The *only* way to destroy a democracy from the inside is an apathetic electorate.

Comment Re:ASCII or Hash (Score 1) 291

I believe a lot of those are insensitive to case, so does that mean that are stored as text and not as a hash (is hash the right word)? If so, would typing your password in those fields make your password more vulnerable?

You are absolutely correct.

A hash, by definition, is a one way mathematical algorithm that can take any amount of data and convert it to a fixed size string. Unless the algorithm has been broken, looking at the hash can not tell you what the input text was. Breaking a password database involves running a dictionary file through the hash and whatever salt accompanied the program. This is why passwords normally are required to be over a certain length and include numbers and special characters.

HOWEVER, the security question answers are probably encrypted (a two way function) in the database, but any encryption is only as secure as how safe you keep your keys.

So the real question is "How secure are the keys that decrypt the answers to your password reset questions?"

Comment Re:Two Stupid People (Score 1) 291

Of course if I loose my file, I'm screwed, but that's what backups are for.

Store them all in a TrueCrypt volume and email it to yourself in a public email periodically. That way you only have to memorize one strong password, and not worry about losing it.

And even if someone gets into your email, good luck cracking a AES-Twofish-Serpent volume with a 30 character password.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 436

It's asshats like them that suck up all the bandwith in Tor.

Tor is meant for people that want to surf and post anonymously.

Thus, someone in China who is trying to research democracy and human rights is unable to connect because someone else really wants to catch up on old seasons of Lost without paying up $15 bucks for a netflix subscription.

Comment Unfortunatly ... (Score 1) 436

Most people don't act like you claim.

In most cases, if someone really wants to watch back seasons of Lost and they can't get it off the Pirate Bay, they'll spring the few bucks to rent it from the local Blockbuster or from Netflix.

Personally, I just don't see why the media corporations just don't release their own torrents. I think most people here would be willing to live with watching the same amount of advertisements you would get on TV in return for a high quality torrent of their favorite shows that was seeded the second the show ended on primetime TV.

Comment Re:An Opportunity (Score 2, Informative) 436

You do realize that your MAC address is lost at the layer 3 translation at the router, right?

Even if they pulled a list of MAC addresses from the router, there would be no way to tell which MAC address downloaded the material unless they caught you in the act.

People don't seem to realize that Bittorrent wasn't designed for anonymity or privacy. It was designed for the easy distribution of free *legal* content such as FOSS. Getting the tracker from the software's website removed the risk of downloading an infected fake.

Comment Economics (Score 1) 171

Economics watches the watchers.

An FBI agent's career is advanced by catching and successfully prosecuting criminals. The FBI has a limited budget, and by definition this kind of social networking is extremely human intensive. You have to detail a real person to go under cover and gather information. The FBI has a limited number of people, so they won't do something like this that, at best, gets secondary evidence to help tie up a conviction that would rely more heavily on traditional evidence.

An example would be a partial finger print found at a gang crime scene. The partial print might not be enough to convict on it's own, but the print, plus somehow nailing the gang to the crime, an eyewitness (also something not good enough on it's own) AND the social networking link that proves the accused was part of the gang's social circle might seal a conviction.

Comment Warrant (Score 1) 171

As long as the requirements for this observation include a warrant from a Judge similar to that needed for a wiretap, I don't see the issues with this. Good police work needs to keep in pace with the technology of the times. Cellphones, emails, and now social networks.

The critical issue is always judicial oversight and periodic independent review to prevent abuse.

And before anyone flames me for warrant-less wiretapping by the NSA, that was an illegal act and they got burned hard for it. Strong checks and balances in the system help prevent such acts, and if they do occur someone will blow the whistle on it.

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