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Comment Re:No back-doors to my personal devices (Score 1) 220

NSA, GCHQ and other US federal law enforcement agencies have had no issues with any US private sector devices sold or consumer grade crypto created and used over the decades.
Generations of satellite phones, cell phones, mobile computing devices got collected on without any effort as sold to the global public.
Now state and federal law enforcement want the same tech. The way in was never an issue. Presenting the product in open court was the real question. The NSA and GCHQ did not want that kind of skill set presented to the world. State and federal law enforcement just thought of the next case and did not want to know about the reality of global collection going dark thanks to methods been presented in open court.
All devices are open to different levels of the UK and US governments, just the cost of total collection is now so low that every sector of US law enforcement now expects the same network and per device access. When that method goes to open court, will users habits change to not having a cell phone on them and collection reverts to on site collection or following people with teams.
How many teams and shifts of 6 or 9 staff do most nations have per interesting person with the skills and cover stories to enter every part of a city to keep a person in sight?

Comment Re:No such thing as Apple-only backdoor (Score 1) 220

Re "Making encryption standards so weak so that the company/person writing the software, can bypass them, is the very definition of a back door."
A few nations lost their cell networks.
SISMI-Telecom scandal
Greek wiretapping case 2004–05–05
Weak crypto just allows a lot of different groups to get the same total network access that only law enforcement thought it had.
Every phone then becomes open and trackable to anyone with the skills or cash.

Comment Re:How were crimes solved before cell phones? (Score 1) 220

Informants, undercover work with large teams, making deals with people in jail, prison or who had been in the prison system still wanted to earn cash.
The budgets for overtime and the funding of undercover skill sets have now been offered to consultants and contractors renting phone tracking and data recovery systems.
The idea that every person of interest has a phone on, a live mic in range of all conversations, has a gps device near them, takes video and images of all their friends for real time collection or later examination has become sold to US law enforcement officials by contractors.
Track the all movements, listen in, review details into a shared federal, private sector and state database, build a case with with logs and recordings.
Contractors often have their origins in signals intelligence and that is what they are going to sell back to the US gov once in the private sector.
What interesting person would meet any one with any powered phone on them?
Who would drive a car or truck with gps collecting its location, a microphone built in by the private sector that can be turned on by law enforcement?
Having a gps and mic ready cell phone with a sealed in battery in an area understood to be under constant law enforcement surveillance?

Comment Re:Tor's fatal flaw (Score 1) 45

Nations can now afford to reconcile most of their users internet patterns over time. If that fails, just induce random network drops to see who falls off the network over a few 10's, hundred or 1000 interesting users per city and provider.
If most of a nations users are just surfing, using web 2.0, doing other tasks, getting a short list of people who went looking for software would not be too hard.

Comment Re:Wireless range (Score 2) 82

The device range is tested, tuned, looked for, amplified by another device to just outside the building.
Collection is then just a local device away e.g. UK spied on Russians with fake rock "contained electronic equipment and had been used by British diplomats to receive and transmit information".
Thats how the range problem is never an issue. The real trick is getting nations, people, groups to use and trust leaky fully imported wireless devices.

Comment Re:Can we ever really know? (Score 1) 671

A lot of ex staff, former staff are floating around will skill sets from their days with spoofing systems like QUANTUMSQUIRREL i.e. become any ip range globally.
Re "A good hacker wouldn't be found at all, and a really good hacker would cover their own tracks and leave a trail that makes it look like it came from" All the West is presenting to the media is existing traces of expected files, data sizes, IP addresses, timezones, code, a VPN service.. that any other interested nations experts could ensure got used and then left to be found by experts to mask their own access. Attribution due to expected tools used is great cover.
Changes to how US tax payers support and funding NATO, other 5 eye nations could have induced a new version of the classic British Security Coordination or any other advanced NATO nation could have attempted the same.
Most smarter nations would just use a very local front group, cult to ensure a domestic trail that ends with a left or right feel to the classic insider or person with local insight if they work on political actions in another nation. No trial back. A domestic issue, the press gets the results.

Comment Re:the phone may not always be in possession phone (Score 1) 147

Biometrics is just another big lump of code down a network that a brand hopes the consumer's hardware created and that no other party has, can recreate, or become, capture and use.
Still the same networks, a consumer OS that is wide open, a few extra trusted chips sold to anyone and some data set created by a user of interest.
A better way is for real world use would be
The change seems to be that the old idea was the that phone would be a text device that gets a message from a cell tower.
The phone is now the device requesting and using both messages on the same device or the via same network.
More data via a well understood biometric chip is just another set of data to capture, but for the user something they think is safer.
Once such data is captured, is been traded or sold, a user is left with few ways to just alter or create their own trusted, unique future access.

Comment Re:Tor's fatal flaw (Score 1) 45

Recall the origins and past funding of Onion routing i.e. US needed a system that would allow US backed and funded dissidents globally to network for color revolutions and other long term political NGO work.
5 eye nations did not seem to be very upset with its spread and use with systems like Tempora Federal funding at a police level in the US to track users goes from success to success even on low budgets per case.
For Onion routing to work well a lot of consumers need to be using the networks to hide the few "dissidents" globally.
Given all the low cost police work that makes it to court, tracking users is now less hard work. Collect it all is now in the hands of anyone or nation or cult or faith or brand with a limited federal police budget.

Comment Re:So is the bottom line... (Score 1) 45

AC "The program marks and tracks the IP addresses of those who search for 'tails' or 'Amnesiac Incognito Live System' along with 'linux', ' USB ',' CD ', 'secure desktop', ' IRC ', 'truecrypt' or ' tor '." as in collects details on all who look for such tools.
More at "NSA targets the privacy-conscious" (03.07.14)
with "Merely searching the web for the privacy-enhancing software tools outlined in the XKeyscore rules causes the NSA to mark and track the IP address of the person doing the search."

Comment Re:So, why? (Score 1) 190

Re " They are circumventing Constitutional rights with this type of behaviour"
Different groups have tried.
Vast domestic spying by the NSA, CIA and other 5 eye nations as helpers should have all been fixed with the back in the 1970's.

Color of law, rubber stamp courts for international collection are now been presented as useful for domestic spying.
Also remember that vast amounts of US private sector staff looking over their own hardware and software do not seem to even know what the US gov is installing.
Or generations are happy to help the US gov. Or mass collection is presented as a sub set of hardware via other domestic agencies with limited court paper work.
Data has to be decrypted for the "ads" and other sorting, backups and at that point the US gov collects all or demands access. Companies help or do not have the networking skills to understand the gov collect it all access to their own networks.
Long term different US state and federal officials want their own domestic and international version of XKeyscore
Tracking the origin and destination of any internet usage without any court order to build on domestic parallel construction. Less need to request the NSA via a Fusion centre, just go direct to all real time and short term US domestic networking logs.
For that different levels of the US gov need the same plain text access as the NSA to big US brands over decades with no domestic legal limits or any oversight.
Big brands have to consider the PR of been seen to be protecting their consumers rights or help design ever more US gov bandwidth deeper into their own networks.

Comment In praise of USB (Score 1) 527

As traditional as I tend to be regarding technology, I'm going to spend a few minutes singing USB's praises.

Wherever I go, I can find several different ways to charge my phone. I can buy a device to charge my phone at any gas station. I can piggy back on a random person's power bank. Most people own at least one nowadays. I can go into any restaurant and if I ask politely, I can probably get access to a free USB port. Many restaurants just have them for customers. Even basic motels costing $40/night offer USB charging. All computers have USB ports, with few exceptions. Nearly all cars made today have them. Every power strip at my employer has at least two USB ports. USB has fulfilled its promise of being universal. I remember quite clearly when charging your phone was an ordeal. That wasn't very long ago.

All external hard drives are now interchangeable. If you have a hard drive with data on it, you can share it with anybody, or you can plug it into most routers. Does anybody remember the bad old days before there was a standard for external hard drives? I do.

What I've seen recently is a further development in USB. Most small-to-medium sized electronics devices are beginning to either be powered by USB or offer USB charging, or both. The devices with USB are often cheaper than their counterparts, because the manufacturer can use cheaper, off-the-shelf components. Even my solar-chargeable camping lantern has a USB charging port, though I can't imagine ever needing it.

The idea here is that it is possible that in addition to all of the above uses of USB, we could eventually add all new headphones to the mix. They're going to be more expensive at first, but it won't be too long before Chinese manufacturers figure out how to make them for a couple of dollars. I do realize that the Type C connector has a different shape, but we're already accustomed to transitioning USB equipment. There is still a small amount of mini-USB equipment but the transition is nearly done. We'll have to do another one, and hopefully it will work out for the best.

I'll be waiting for equipment to start adopting Type C more commonly. I have no desire to be an early adopter, but I feel like this new style of headphones could work.

Comment Re:Don't travel to US. (Score 1) 317

+1 for "So now I travel with a burner phone and an old netbook. No big loss if they are confiscated."
In different nations passwords will be "requested", email, web 2.0 accounts can be requested to be looked at, searched.
Make sure any device is new with only work related software, work contacts, apps, docs or have new hardware just for been looked at.
In the many hours waiting for an interview expect a duplicator to be used and deep search of the hardware:
All contacts will be kept, facial recognition on any images, any gps data extracted, comparison of all files found to domestic and international databases, the drive will be scanned for accounts and contacts, passwords, any OS kept web use, quality data recovery software will look for any removed data, detection of any hidden encrypted volumes.

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