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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

Steve B Re:If they break into people's homes.... (392 comments)

That's another advantage of forcing the snoops back to "direct access" methods -- every so often one of them will get caught red-handed snooping on the wrong (i.e. clearly innocent and rich/influential) target, re-focusing attention on them and forcing another round of retrenchment until it blows over.

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

Steve B Re:Cost/benefit ratio (392 comments)

Now, if a backdoor is found by the bad guys, it will be used almost immediately to destroy a company.

If it's found by really bad guys (e.g. North Korea on a day when Dear Supreme Grand High Panjandrum is feeling especially trollish), it can be publicly circulated to destroy every company.

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

Steve B Re:Translation ... (392 comments)

Anybody can yell "Police" or wear a jacket reading "Police". I recall reading about at least one home-invasion gang doing just that.

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

Steve B Re:And is this a bad thing? (392 comments)

Forcing them to switch to "direct access" methods puts pressure on them to follow the law. First, as I noted in my earlier comment, the non-scaling time and manpower costs (each tail, bug, etc requires significant additional resources) forces careful selection of targets. Second, "direct access" methods put the snoops at a nontrivial risk of getting caught and/or leaving recoverable evidence each time they use them illegally.

4 days ago
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Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

Steve B That's Exactly What They SHOULD Be Doing (392 comments)

"Direct access" methods (tailing people, planting surveillance devices, etc) do not scale anywhere near as easily as network surveillance -- each "direct access" target requires a significant fixed cost in resources and manpower. This imposes discipline on the snoops and forces them to pick and choose actual suspects instead of trying to scoop up everything.

4 days ago
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Washington DC's Public Library Will Teach People How To Avoid the NSA

Steve B Re:tag the participants for surveilance (81 comments)

Hey, Bob, attend this class, make a list of attendees. Oh man, this is too easy!

It was easy; the instructor gave me a copy of the list. Now, we just need to pull up the physical and e-mail addresses of Mr. Dover, Mr. Jass, Mr. Jablome....

about two weeks ago
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Designing the Best Board Game

Steve B Cooperative Game... With Possible Exceptions (155 comments)

That's one advantage of mostly cooperative board games where there might be a hidden "traitor" among the players who wins if the group loses (e.g. Shadows Over Camelot, Battlestar Galactica). With that possibility on the table, players can't just trust somebody else to make decisions and have to pay attention to what everyone else is doing (usually in these games, exposing the traitor has some reward, at least insofar as it curtails his ability to continue undermining the group).

about a month ago
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Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

Steve B Re:It's a TRAP! (175 comments)

webmail kinda implies that the provider will either be storing the key or at the very least be able to access it

Obviously they need access to the PUBLIC keys in order to encrypt messages to the designated recipient. The whole point of public-key cryptography is that revealing the public key doesn't compromise security.

about 6 months ago
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Auditors Release Verified Repositories of TrueCrypt

Steve B Re: Sublime irony (146 comments)

"secret 3G/4G reception inside of the CPU"

Ruh roh! I'd better put my CPU in the middle of a metal box or something....

about 8 months ago
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Rethinking How Congress Pushes Copyright Laws

Steve B Re:I for one (228 comments)

Maybe the MAIFAA already did that "study", and makes sure to remind him about "those pictures of you and the goat" when handing him the latest bill he is instructed to introduce on their behalf.

more than 2 years ago
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Feds: We Need Priority Access To Cloud Resources

Steve B That Gets Back To Their Definition Of "Emergency" (183 comments)

A state trooper needs the description of a gunman recently seen in the area? OK.

A state trooper needs to get his quote of parking tickets filled ASAP? Not so much.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Sustainable Power Is Unsustainable

Steve B The "Known Reserves" Fallacy (1108 comments)

If the companies that sell X have access to a 15-year supply, they aren't going to spend money looking for more. As a result, anybody who looks at known reserves and doesn't understand the reality described in the previous sentence is going to run around yelling "ONOZ WE'RE GONNA RUN OUT OF X IN 15 YEARS OMG!!!1!"

more than 5 years ago
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Taser International Wins Lawsuit to Change Cause of Death

Steve B Soverign Immunity (577 comments)

This is one of those cases where the government should assert its prerogative and tell Taser International to go piss up a rope.

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Steve B Steve B writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Steve B (42864) writes "The Senate Democratic leadership has just written a letter to the president of Disney complaining about alleged misrepresentation of history in an upcoming 9/11 "docudrama". You don't have to look very hard between the lines to read a "Nice broadcast license ya got there... shame if something was to happen to it..." message. Somebody might also notice that it's also a nice bunch of extra copyright privileges and extensions they got there...."

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