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Comment Re:Unequal treatment (Score 1) 243

You clearly don't understand the US civil forfeiture laws then. Yes they can and yes they do.

There are certainly corrupt uses of the civil forfeiture laws but this is not one of them. The coins were seized from a rig operating a market for illegal drugs.

There are cases where the cops have performed seizures on no evidence at all and no indictment.

Comment Re:Seize (Score 2) 243

I suspect the bitcoins in question were 'live' on the servers during the raid.

Running a marketplace means that the servers have to be able to move money about. So the servers have to have access to keys for spending to perform some operations. So the keys have to be accessible to the machine just like pretty much every web server with SSL has a private key that is effectively unencrypted. Sure it might be encrypted under a password but the password is no the same machine.

If he has $30m on the live systems I suspect he had even more stashed away offline. Begging for his money back is probably more of a ploy to try to throw the investigators off the chase for the rest of his cash.

The problem he is gonna have is that he is facing a 20-40 year jail term without parole. So the chance that he will be able to actually cash out his wallets before the bitcoin bubble bursts is essentially zero.

The fed have been shutting these schemes down continuously. Bitcoin is merely the latest incarnation of the old 'gold backed currency' that has been running for 15 years. The feds let them run for three years on average before they shut them down.

And before folk explain why bitcoin is different, all the previous schemes claimed to be different as well. And they all claimed to be beyond the reach of the law.

Comment Re:We did it wrong, let's do it wronger still. (Score 1) 80

The problem with ID based encryption is revocation. If someone loses their key the best you can do is to tell people that it is bad. And any mechanism that could tell you the key status could be used for key binding.

So the only applications where it really works is in low level device type schemes where the crypto is installed during manufacture.

Comment Re:End of certificates, please? (Score 2) 80

The CA model was never designed to do more than support Internet commerce. It was designed to be secure enough to exchange credit card information.

CAs are not useless against defending against intelligence services, they are only vulnerable to being suborned by a limited number of such agencies, the ones that they have plant in. And any defection is visible on the Internet. Hence the use of schemes such as Comodo CertSentry and Google's Certificate Transparency which are designed to prevent covert subornation of a CA by making the results of the attack visible.

One of the many reasons security is hard is that you have to defend against all the attacks, not just one particular one that someone is obsessing about. Nobody has proposed a replacement for the CA model that works as well within the existing constraints.

Peter Eckersley proposed a scheme 'Sovereign Keys' that solves the hard problems of PKI by pretending that the system administrator will never ever make a mistake. Moxie's 'Convergence' is three years old now and we are still waiting for an actual written specification. The problem with Convergence is that it depends on a notary infrastructure that doesn't have a business model. So it is hard to see how the world of commerce is going to be keen on moving to an infrastructure that we know will have scaling issues.

The CA model isn't prefect but it is the only part of the Internet security apparatus that fails rarely enough for the failures to still be news. McAfee fails to spot viruses on an hourly basis. There are serious security fixes for Windows, OSX and Linux every single month. Those don't make the news because they aren't news any more.

The market for the proposals that are 'stronger' is essentially the same as the constituency that use PGP every day and use Tor and keep their money in BitCoin. It is not a negligible constituency but the people who are in it have to spend about a quarter of their waking moments managing their security.

Web of Trust isn't perfect either. Choosing between the two is pointless because neither meets every need that the other meets. So instead of having the argument over which one to pick we should work on ways that let people use both in a seamless connected fashion.

Comment Re:I understand most of the acronyms but (Score 1) 80

Comment Re:no you just have lots and lots of stabbings and (Score 0, Troll) 894

Newtown took place in the heart of gun-nut country, not the inner cities.

The number of gun deaths in rural America are way higher than in Europe.

The typical gun murder is of a family member. Those happen just as often in rural America, in fact they are rather more frequent because guns are easier to come by.

Comment Re:police arive within 'minutes' (Score 2, Insightful) 894

Most countries that regulate guns also regulate sales of ammonium nitrate fertilizers which is by far the next most popular tool for mass murder.

The US does not regulate ammonium nitrate particularly well which is why that factory in Texas was located next to two schools and the likely perpetrator could not even be prosecuted for the murders despite having made two pipe bombs.

Very few firearms deaths are caused by career criminals. The vast majority are suicides and accidental shootings. Making guns illegal would practically eliminate those causes of death. Only criminals would have guns to leave round the house for the kids to use.

The UK does not have idiotic mandatory sentences for low level drug possession or peddling. But carry a firearm during a crime and you get ten years almost automatically. Fire the gun and its fifteen. Anyone involved in the crime kills someone and its a whole life sentence.

Its just a hobby, you folk don't have the right to cause 50,000 deaths a year for your hobby. Moreover I don't think the general public is impressed by the NRA attempting to save their hobby at all costs by attempting to persuade the politicians to ban video games instead.

Comment Re: Rule #1 (Score 0) 894

Actually its only 99.995%

And the issue is not the 99.995% of owners who don't commit murder, its the 0.005% who do.

And given that the total number of firearms deaths is three times the number of murders, the number of 'responsible' owners is far smaller. There is a child under 5 killed with a firearm every week in the US.

Any gun that is accessible enough to be used in 'self-defense' within 1 minute 20 seconds is going to be accessible to a child.

Comment Re:no you just have lots and lots of stabbings and (Score 3, Insightful) 894

Schools are only gun free to the extent that there are no guns brought in from outside.

Europe has roughly the same population as the US and the murder rate is actually identical - if you exclude firearms deaths. The number of Americans murdered with knives etc. is pretty much the same as the number of Europeans.

The higher US murder rate is entirely due to the NRA and the politicians who are to weak in the spine to stand up to them.

The UK gun murder rate is essentially zero because it is almost impossible for a criminal to get a gun.

We need a war on guns. Make drugs legal and guns illegal. Shut down the manufacturers and the death merchants. It won't take every gun off the street but it will eliminate most of them within a few years.

Its only a matter of time before this happens.

Comment Re:police arive within 'minutes' (Score 0, Flamebait) 894

Every time we have yet another NRA sponsored massacre we have the gun nuts round to say the answer is more nuts with guns.

You are worse than pedophiles in my view.

Where were these slef styles defenders of liberty when Bush was setting up the gulag in Gitmo and using torture? They were cheering him on. If there ever was a fascist takeover of the US, the NRA would be there in their jackboots and pillowcases rounding up opponents to help the new regime.

Take the guns away, every damn one.

Comment Re:Waiver of rights (Score 3, Informative) 249

Oh and there is an eight:

The claim to be rated by the better business bureau has been shown to be false. KlearGear makes several such claims that have been shown to be false for the purpose of gaining business. That meets the legal definition of fraud. In addition to creating the possibility of criminal sanctions, fraud voids a contract.

Comment Re:Waiver of rights (Score 2) 249

The Bill of rights is also enforceable on state governments.

KlearGear is attempting to enforce a purported contract term, guess what regulates contracts, oh yes, its the courts. And guess what the courts are part of, oh yes they are part of the government.

One of the sources of the Bill of Rights was precisely a concern about the government 'privatizing' censorship. That is how the British libel laws came into being, the purposes were to reduce the number of duels by providing an alternative dispute resolution process and to enable the rich and powerful to suppress their critics. It is no coincidence that in the 20th century the UK libel laws were used by a long series of corrupt bastards to suppress legitimate criticism, from John Major, the adulterer suing the New Statesman over an allegation of adultery, to Robert Maxwell the guy who stole almost a billion dollars worth of pension funds, to Jeffrey Archer and John Aitken who went to jail for perjury after making fraudulent libel claims.

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