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Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 527

PFS would not help in this case. The FBI asserted that a pen register (which is not a warrant and merely requires the government to assert "relevance") is sufficient to obtain the SSL keys for an entire service, because they choose to implement it via an SSL interceptor. LavaBit argued the pen register does not grant such broad power, so then they went and got a search warrant for it instead.

Obviously if the FBI has the SSL key, they can impersonate LavaBit and intercept everything at that point. It helps only to prevent the NSA reading their old packet logs.

The news here is not change your crypto - it doesn't work in the face of the $5 wrench attack (more accurately, $1000 fine per day). The news is that the FBI believes (and the court agreed) that the only thing they have to do to obtain an SSL key is assert that it is "relevant" to an ongoing investigation, an extremely low standard that is almost meaningless.

Comment Re:Credible, unfortunately. (Score 5, Informative) 294

Nailed it.

Ulbricht called himself an "agorist". Agorism is a strong form of anarcho-capitalist politics, which believes the if the state were to disappear a peaceful utopia would result. It explicitly rejects the political process as a means to bring about this change. Instead agorists believe in "counter economics", i.e. engaging in illegal activity not in order to benefit from it per se but rather to undermine the state and bring about an agorist world.

Agorists are often inspired by the writings of a guy called Murray Rothbard, and Ulbricht was fond of quoting Rothbard in order to explain why he thought certain ways. Rothbard DID believe in voting as a means to bring about change, and was thus not strictly an agorist. However if you actually read Rothbards writings (he wrote a book), then you will find it relatively empty of insight - he is the kind of person who makes a statement that seems reasonable, and then repeatedly extrapolates it in steps, until it becomes something that is flatly contradicted by observable reality. You can read what he thought about cartels and monopolies for an example of this kind of thinking. He concludes based on a long and twisty argument that cartels are inherently unstable and monopolies aren't a problem (because eventually a competitor will arise ... somehow), which doesn't match how real markets seem to work.

DPR is thus a man who frequently quotes an overly simplistic book of philosophy that provides no evidence for its claims, and uses it to justify a quest to overthrow civilisation via crime in order to established a promised utopia. That description reminds me of another category of criminal that has occupied a lot of attention from western governments in the last decade.

Comment Re:just a note of clarification (Score 1) 620

yes, consider alcohol, and consider that the costs of prohibition are greater than the costs of the drug itself

then consider meth, and consider that the costs of the drug itself are greater than the costs of prohibition

each drug is different. each drug deserves its own legal status quo

to think the same drug policy can apply to all drugs is ignorant of the subject matter

Comment just a note of clarification (Score 1) 620

because some people don't get the difference between decriminalization and illegality

portugal is very much invested in the war on hard drugs, but with far better tactics than the usa: treat it as a healthcare problem, not a jail problem

In July 2001 a new law maintained the status of illegality for using or possessing any drug for personal use without authorization. The offense was changed from a criminal one, with prison a possible punishment, to an administrative one if the amount possessed was no more than ten days' supply of that substance.[1] This was in line with the de facto Portuguese drug policy before the reform. Drug addicts were then to be aggressively targeted with therapy or community service rather than fines or waivers.[7] Even if there are no criminal penalties, these changes did not legalize drug use in Portugal. Possession has remained prohibited by Portuguese law, and criminal penalties are still applied to drug growers, dealers and traffickers.[8][9]

hard drug addicts represent a cost on society and civilization will always be at war with hard drug abuse, forever, in an attempt to minimize this cost

it is merely a maintenance function of society, this war. you need to take the trash out ever thursday: this is your "war on trash." because "the war on trash" never ends, is that an argument to let trash accumulate in your apartment?

no, taking out the trash is merely a maintenance function of your apartment. just like minimizing drug addicts is a maintenance function of society

portugal is still at war with hard drugs, as is every functional society on earth. forever

portugal just has much better tactics in this maintenance function

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 620

i am for better tactics in the war/ maintenance function: healthcare, not prisons, for example

however, we can't even control oxycodone distribution and abuse, and that's a completely artificial substance for healthcare

and you really think the market for meth will be controlled if we regulate it and tax it?

nevermind that this is a substance that does grave medical harm to people. you want us to freely sell such a substance?


we treat people for addiction rather than throwing them in prison, yes

but we also still crack down on the supply and demand. we don't regulate and tax a highly addictive and medically harmful substance: more people will simply be addicted and damaged, and society is not going to subsidize and tolerate this tragedy

we're going to do our best to make sure you don't get meth. and if you still get it, we'll treat you

we're not going to make it easier to get meth. that simply means easier medical harm and addiction

you say it is already easy to get meth? so this means we should make it even more easy?

Comment Re:Well... (Score 3, Insightful) 620

i'm attacking the notion that because the "war" goes on forever it is invalid. you also need to take the trash out every thursday. is that an argument to end "the war on trash"? no, some functions of society are just maintenance functions that never end

i'm not defending us drug policy, it's poor tactics. and some substances need to be legal. but i'm attacking the notion that just because there's demand and supply for something, therefore it needs to be accepted

example: something like meth has a lot of supply and demand. meth also creates horrible costs to individuals and society. such that attacking the meth supply and demand chain has direct costs, and secondary costs. but if meth use is minimized to some extent because of the "war", that pays dividends in the form of less overall costs for individuals and society in regards to the harm that meth does. such that fighting meth is worth it

it's a case-by-case basis. just because marijuana is legalized (and should be legalized) doesn't mean all drugs should be. each substance has to be evaluated individually

Comment Re:Tor compromised (Score 4, Interesting) 620

it seems that the Tor system is compromised by the snoops.


tor was MADE BY the snoops, FOR the snoops

it started as a us naval research lab project to allow spies and dissidents in hostile countries to communicate with the us spy network without fear of being spied on by hostile governments

let me repeat: tor was made by the american government

of course it's been decentralized since then, but you're an idiot if you don't think they still don't have their hooks in it

Submission + - Silk Road shut down, founder arrested (

u38cg writes: Ross William Ulbricht, known as "Dread Pirate Roberts," was arrested in San Francisco yesterday and has been charged with one count each of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, according to a court filing. Silk Road has been shut down and some $3.6m in Bitcoin seized.

The question is — how?

Comment Re:Now, also make it understandable (Score 1) 199

Actually solving a Rubics cube can be done the way most problems are solved, a piece at a time, and selecting a starting point to work from there.
  1. Pick a side to start with and get all the squares of that side the same. (e.g. put all the blue sides on one face of the cube.)
  2. Check the corners of each side and move them around until each corner is correct. (e.g. the blue side is put back intact, but now the two blue/red corners have red on the same side, the two blue/green corners have green on the same side, the two blue/yellow are together, and the blue/orange are together.)
  3. Now move around the edge pieces of the starting face are with the corner pieces just set. (e.g. blue/greens are together, blue/orange, blue/yellow and blue/red.)
  4. Move the centers coresponding to the four 'sides' as needed. (not going to explain moving green to green, etc.)
  5. Start solving the next layer of the cube. There are patterns of moves that allow you to move, and flip, pieces around, and when the piece is in place, the starting side is back to 'complete', which you will have to learn.
  6. Do the same for the four corners of the side opposite of your starting side, Again there are patterns of movements that allow you to move, and rotate, corners.
  7. More patterns allow you to move around the edges of the final side.

Alternatively you can 'solve' for all 8 corners first, then start filling in edge pieces on opposing layers, leaving the 'middle' layer to solve last.

Both of these are the methods used in the 80's for people to solve a cube in under a minute. I was doing that then. The methods used to solve the cube in under 15 seconds require significantly more processing power, and while there are people who can do so, I'm not one of them.

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We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn of a beautiful new world. We will see it when we believe it. -- Saul Alinsky