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Comment Please,sir, will you root my PC? (Score 2) 349

The laundry list of what you can and can't do with Windows 10 is so noxious and Windows control so pervasive, someone with a new Windows 10 installation needs to effectively root the machine. Some URLs (MS telemetry) cannot be blocked by firewall. The administrator/user will not have access to the hosts file. (Boot under Linux and edit hosts file? Maybe or maybe not.) The owner/administrator needs a further level of root privilege (or just REAL root status in the first place) to prevent MS and its corporate industry partners from setting non-modifiable advertising and and hosts.ini to default settings via hardware-- if Intel were on board even running Linux could be subject to mandatory privileges blocking no one could avoid. We have to realize what is happening- MS is turning into Verizon and intel PCs are locked-down Verizon phones. Do we want to have to root each new PC we set up, or go en masse to Apple? That may be how it is lining up. Is there anything at all we can do? At this point with the Win10 handwriting on the wall I see nothing but converting to Linux or Apple as a group. MS is apparently getting ready to sign its own death warrant. We need to get really angry and DO something? (It's Apple with VMs for me.)

Submission + - FBI Seeks to Legally Hack You If You're Connected to TOR or a VPN (fee.org)

SonicSpike writes: The investigative arm of the Department of Justice is attempting to short-circuit the legal checks of the Fourth Amendment by requesting a change in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. These procedural rules dictate how law enforcement agencies must conduct criminal prosecutions, from investigation to trial. Any deviations from the rules can have serious consequences, including dismissal of a case. The specific rule the FBI is targeting outlines the terms for obtaining a search warrant.

It’s called Federal Rule 41(b), and the requested change would allow law enforcement to obtain a warrant to search electronic data without providing any specific details as long as the target computer location has been hidden through a technical tool like Tor or a virtual private network. It would also allow nonspecific search warrants where computers have been intentionally damaged (such as through botnets, but also through common malware and viruses) and are in five or more separate federal judicial districts. Furthermore, the provision would allow investigators to seize electronically stored information regardless of whether that information is stored inside or outside the court’s jurisdiction.

Comment P.S. (Score 1) 308

This is a Post Scriptum

A downside of having internet service be a public utility may be NO ONE wants to spend more than the absolute minimum to get into the business. It would be kind of like agreeing to buy a rent-controlled apartment, as an investment, to rent it out.

The government will have to figure some way to reward contribution of infrastructure so there are still some inducements for capitalist investors to create exciting new things.

Comment Re:Net Neutrality is not the reason (Score 1) 308

As a consumer, not seeing much downside in that one. Can only mean we get rates that resemble the rest of the world. The tellcos have a long history of being money grabbing douche bags--at least here in the US. They got slapped for this with the Ma Bell breakup. They didn't learn. An intervention is long overdue.

Agree 200%. From our (the consumers') standpoint, having internet service as a public utility, and regulated as one, is the bees knees. I guess my comment was meant to express surprise that Big Cable says net neutrality is the reason for "pausing" gigabit rollout when their being ruled a public utility is vastly worse (for them).

Comment The NSA TrueCrypt Ploy Again? (Score 1) 61

How can we ever be sure Tor has not morphed into an eviscerated TrueCrypt and that at some point, after achieving their means of compromise, the NSA won't force a version they can easily backdoor on the public?

They like to compromise software and then put it back, so it becomes an intelligence asset. In my understanding only a legal technicality allowed TrueCrypt to issue a cryptic public announcement which effectively let the public know TrueCrypt was potentially compromised. I wonder whether the NSA will even allow Tor to recommend a transparently ineffective alternative.

How can strategies be drawn so if Tor is easily, possibly undetectably breached, the public will have some inkling of it?

Comment About time! (Score 1) 1

About time the motion-picture media really started to look at the rich, rich work of PKD. Though he may have had temporal lobe epilepsy with consequent hypergraphia, he managed to put down some of his own mind's fascinating dreamlike states. Whatever made him unique, we're lucky to have had him. The Man in the High Castle is one of his more grounded stories; a good first chance to get the reader to know him without anything too exotic to frighten him off. (I am reminded of Baudelaire's piece in Paris Spleen, "The Dog and the Scent Bottle", in which he asserts the public should never be given "delicate perfumes to infuriate them".) What I wouldn't give to see The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" in the cinema!

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: After TrueCrypt (slashdot.org)

TechForensics writes: (Resubmitted because was not identified as "Ask Slashdot"

We all know the TrueCrypt story-- a fine, effective encryption program beginning to achieve wide use. When you see how the national security agency modified this tool so they could easily overcome it, you'll probably understand why they don't complain about PGP anymore. The slip that showed what was happening was the information that NSA "were really ticked about TrueCrypt" either because they couldn't circumvent it or found it too difficult. From the standpoint of privacy advocates, NSA's dislike for TrueCrypt was evidence it was effective.

Next, NSA directly wrapped up the makers of TrueCrypt in legal webs that made them insert an NSA backdoor and forbade them from revealing it was there. It's only because of the cleverness of the TrueCrypt makers the world was able to determine for itself that TrueCrypt was now compromised. (Among other things, though formerly staunch privacy advocates, the makers discontinued development of TrueCrypt and recommended something like Microsoft Bitlocker, which no one with any sense believes could be NSA – hostile. It then became logically defensible, since NSA was not complaining about PGP or other encryption programs, to posit they had already been compromised.

This is the situation we have: all of the main are important encryption programs are compromised at least in use against the federal government. Whether NSA tools are made available to local law enforcement is not known. This all begs the question:

Does the public now have *any* encryption that works? Even if we can see the source code of the encryption algorithm the source code of the program employing that algorithm must be considered false. (TrueCrypt was the only program NSA complained about.) In the case of other software, it becomes believable the NSA has allowed to be published only source code that hides their changes, and the only way around that may be to check and compile the published code yourself. Half the public probably doesn't bother.

Okay, Slashdot, what do you think? Where do we stand? And what ought we to do about it?We all know the TrueCrypt story-- a fine, effective encryption program beginning to achieve wide use. When you see how the national security agency modified this tool so they could easily overcome it, you'll probably understand why they don't complain about PGP anymore. The slip that showed what was happening was the information that NSA "were really ticked about TrueCrypt" either because they couldn't circumvent it or found it too difficult. From the standpoint of privacy advocates, NSA's dislike for TrueCrypt was evidence it was effective.

Next, NSA directly wrapped up the makers of TrueCrypt in legal webs that made them insert an NSA backdoor and forbade them from revealing it was there. It's only because of the cleverness of the TrueCrypt makers the world was able to determine for itself that TrueCrypt was now compromised. (Among other things, though formerly staunch privacy advocates, the makers discontinued development of TrueCrypt and recommended something like Microsoft Bitlocker, which no one with any sense believes could be NSA–hostile. It then became logically defensible, since NSA was not complaining about PGP or other encryption programs, to posit they had already been vitiated.

This is the situation we have: all of the main or important encryption programs are compromised at least in use against the federal government. Whether NSA tools are made available to local law enforcement is not known. This all begs the question:

Does the public now have *any* encryption that works? Even if we can see the source code of the encryption algorithm the source code of the program employing that algorithm must be considered tainted. (TrueCrypt was the only program NSA complained about.) In the case of other software, it becomes believable the NSA has allowed to be published only source code that hides their changes, and the only way around that may be to check and compile the published code yourself. Half the public probably doesn't bother. (Would it not be possible for the NSA to create a second TrueCrypt that has the same hash value as the original?)

Okay, Slashdot, what do you think? Where do we stand? And what ought we to do about it?

Submission + - Is encryption for the public now a myth?

TechForensics writes: We all know the TrueCrypt story-- a fine, effective encryption program beginning to achieve wide use. When you see how the national security agency modified this tool so they could easily overcome it, you'll probably understand why they don't complain about PGP anymore. The slip that showed what was happening was the information that NSA "were really ticked about TrueCrypt" either because they couldn't circumvent it or found it too difficult. From the standpoint of privacy advocates, NSA's dislike for TrueCrypt was evidence it was effective.

Next, NSA directly wrapped up the makers of TrueCrypt in legal webs that made them insert an NSA backdoor and forbade them from revealing it was there. It's only because of the cleverness of the TrueCrypt makers the world was able to determine for itself that TrueCrypt was now compromised. (Among other things, though formerly staunch privacy advocates, the makers discontinued development of TrueCrypt and recommended something like Microsoft Bitlocker, which no one with any sense believes could be NSA – hostile. It then became logically defensible, since NSA was not complaining about PGP or other encryption programs, to posit they had already been vitiated.

This is the situation we have: all of the main are important encryption programs are compromised at least in use against the federal government. Whether NSA tools are made available to local law enforcement is not known. This all begs the question:

Does the public now have *any* encryption that works? Even if we can see the source code of the encryption algorithm the source code of the program employing that algorithm must be considered false. (TrueCrypt was the only program NSA complained about.) In the case of other software, it becomes believable the NSA has allowed to be published only source code that hides their changes, and the only way around that may be to check and compile the published code yourself. Half the public probably doesn't bother.

Okay, Slashdot, what do you think? Where do we stand? And what ought we to do about it?

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