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Comments

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Encrypted Social Network Vies For Disgruntled Facebook Users

santosh.k83 Re:It's the girls, stupid (162 comments)

Depends on what type of guys you're talking about. Usenet was (and is?) overwhelmingly male dominated.

about 8 months ago
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Encrypted Social Network Vies For Disgruntled Facebook Users

santosh.k83 Re:Will do nothing against government interception (162 comments)

+1 for this. Although that's not to say we shouldn't implement what can be done, but the real solution for this problem is at the social and political level rather than technological. No matter how neat a technological solution it can always be broken down through laws, bribes, threats and violence, and when the state itself does this, there's not much you can do through technology alone.

about 8 months ago
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UK Mobile ISP Blocks VPN, Citing Access To Porn

santosh.k83 Re:You can switch it off. (195 comments)

> I mean really, are you planning on sticking glue in the CDROM drive and USB ports to prevent them
> from booting a ubuntu live distro with TOR? Because that's all it takes.

Do you really think 10-12 year olds and younger have the know-how to find and download a live distro, flash/burn it, then configure TOR, and access porn!? Even if it were so, a properly locked down system would ask for a password before allowing boot from DVD or USB, and even writing DVD/USB can be turned off for child accounts. As for mobile, a solid netnanny type software on mobile should be even more difficult to circumvent as booting of alternate media and bypassing the OS wouldn't be possible with it.

As for your argument that an average parent doesn't themselves have the capability to install such measures, I tend to agree. But is it the proper strategy to deal with someone ignorant of X by forbidding Y or rather educating them on X?

Anyway by all means let the UK have its netnanny filter if it wants. I think time will show that it failed in its stated purpose. I just hope other countries don't follow this lead. Freedom on the Internet has been enough eroded as it is, without people who themselves search for porn in legislatures telling me I can't do this or that! At the very least such a filter should be opt-in, not opt-out.

about a year ago
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UK Mobile ISP Blocks VPN, Citing Access To Porn

santosh.k83 Re:You can switch it off. (195 comments)

Well I'm not saying children should be exposed to everything with no regard to age. My point is, this is more the domain of parents and teachers rather than a law codified by government and forced upon the whole of society. If I were a parent I'd start by installing software that blocks access to specified URLs. If properly done, then it ought to be impossible to circumvent without considerable technical knowledge or reinstalling the whole system, which a pre-teen or a young teen should be too inexperienced to do. Something like a community workshop for expectant parents could give them guidance in case they already do not know how to do this. And follow this up with education that frankly discusses our biological nature (and not hide it as dirty or taboo) and also a set of values and ethics which say such-and-such is healthy while such-and-such is not. Beyond that we can't control someone determined to do something... they'll do it even in spite of all the enforcements in place.

In my experience obsession with online porn happens only when real life relationships fail, and real life in general fails to enthuse. That's something that society will have to look into, as to how it can help youngsters to live meaningful lives. No one in a truly meaningful life will give porn more than brief passing interest, and they won't let it control and twist their psyche. On the contrary, when society is structured in such a manner that more and more youngsters are finding lesser and lesser lasting purpose in their lives, simply having a net filter is unlikely to keep in check their negative outpourings.

about a year ago
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UK Mobile ISP Blocks VPN, Citing Access To Porn

santosh.k83 Re:methods to bypass this? (195 comments)

Try tor with bridge relays. If that doesn't work too then you're stymied I'm afraid. Only way would be ask someone you know living outside the country to download what you want and have them emailed to you, but remember govts these days can read your mail, so ask your friend to encrypt it with PGP before sending it.

about a year ago
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UK Mobile ISP Blocks VPN, Citing Access To Porn

santosh.k83 Re: You can switch it off. (195 comments)

> All to opt out of censorship by a poxy mobile provider. Forget that - I'll just take my money elsewhere.

Until all of them start doing this. Only a matter of time. The relevant laws need to be reappealed.

about a year ago
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UK Mobile ISP Blocks VPN, Citing Access To Porn

santosh.k83 Re:You can switch it off. (195 comments)

That's what parenting is for, and nothing can replace good parenting. Blocking all porn from teens won't really matter in the long run. They'll access it through proxies, and once you block proxies and have an impenetrable wall... well simply they'll start 'doing' it with their peers in the real world, and how're you gonna stop that? The biological drive cannot be stopped, only directed in the right direction and tools given to the children (in the form of value based education) to deal healthily with it, and also deal with whatever they encounter out there in the world. Blinkering their eyes to the reality of the world and protecting them behind the govt's apron isn't gonna really work. We can't really protect someone from seeing, hearing or thinking about something... somehow they'll find a way to do so. We can only teach them how to react sensibly to what they see, hear, and think.

about a year ago
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Linux health given the reveletion of NSA crypto-subverting attacks?

santosh.k83 Re:At this point (4 comments)

Well from what I see, the kernel itself is pretty heavily reviewed and inspected, but on the other hand it is also a HUGE code base, and many old code could be lurking without any recent review. Also lots of manufacturer provided binary blobs are accepted into the kernel, and these could conceivably be an easy route for NSA etc to infiltrate the kernel, by forcing the company providing the binary blob to insert their backdoor. There was also discussion recently how writable microcode on recent Intel chips can be another possible vector for malicious code, again by NSA forcing the microcode provider to include their payload.

And then there's the whole area of compromising the integrity of cryptographic code, both when the standards themselves were being framed, and also specific cryptographic implementations, by inserting a mole into the development team. Such types of "subtle compromises" would be very hard to detect except by an expert in that area, and presumably, for cryptography, such experts are few and far between, and more than a few of them could've been contacted by the NSA...

So while it is a bleak picture, at least the open nature of the code base gives a chance of auditing (not sure if that'll happen though. People seem to've pretty much given up at this point) and replacing suspect components, but again, it could always be compromised again, and the NSA has unlimited resources and patience on their side. How long can the community keep auditing, and stay vigilant? Eventually it'll erode mutual trust in the community, and people will get tired and give up.

about a year ago
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NSA Can Spy On Data From Smart Phones, Including Blackberry

santosh.k83 Re:And the saga continues.... (298 comments)

Reprisals would begin only when conditions get really bad. A nebulous invasion of privacy on digital networks is not something the average guy can either understand nor care. No, it'll take an economic, military or humanitarian disaster (not necessarily US based. Even a global disaster affecting the US) for the populace to really begin to rethink, and even then, as other parts of the world have demonstrated, most people will simply react in a knee-jerk manner and run towards the other extreme, and start the cycle again. In the long term, true education and building of values could do it, but once again the paradox of who will take the initiative, and how it is going to achieve critical mass are the questions. In short words, we are probably in for a very very horrible century of attrition, with positive values making only slow headway, against negative values built-up over millenia of our evolution. It's not just the US, it's the same everywhere.

about a year ago
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Time For X-No-Wiretap HTTP Header?

santosh.k83 Yea (202 comments)

It'll certainly flag the packets to NSA as deserving of extra long retention!

about a year ago
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Intel Rejects Supporting Ubuntu's XMir

santosh.k83 Re:Bloat? Client/server relationship? (205 comments)

> OpenGL and glx run many windows DirectX games under Wine FASTER than Windows running DirectX.
>
> Many games ported to use Linux and OpenGL natively show up FASTER than their Windows relation, either OpenGL
> (being faster on Windows than DirectX) or DirectX on Windows.

I can testify to this as well, having run Need for Speed Hot Pursuit as well as Roadrash under WINE.

about a year ago
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John Gilmore Analyzes NSA Obstruction of Crypto In IPSEC

santosh.k83 Re:Sounds like John Gilmore has called it accurate (362 comments)

No because enough people with the necessary level of mathematical expertise are not available here. Any such are busy now working for the US govt and companies in return for fat paycheck, and that happened because the government is made up of people who never even completed high school and are rouges, and don't know or care about the wider implications of science and technology for humanity, and are in general content with milking money of lucrative deals, securing their office and living their decadent lives. Not saying things couldn't improve, but I can't see who are what can kickstart this ground-up sea change that needs to happen.

about a year ago
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NSA Can Spy On Data From Smart Phones, Including Blackberry

santosh.k83 Re:Open Source Android (298 comments)

The mobile hardware can't be trusted, especially not in conjunction with the mobile carriers, and even one single piece of closed source software or firmware on such a phone could render it worthless. So, I suppose practically speaking Android can be assumed to be as compromised as everything else, although the scope to make it more resistant in future is better than with the closed source counterparts.

about a year ago
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NSA Can Spy On Data From Smart Phones, Including Blackberry

santosh.k83 Well really... (298 comments)

Not surprising given that the smartphone hardware and software are very much propreitary in nature, and allow for easier exploitation since third party auditing is practically impossible for the entire ecosystem.

At this point nothing except a ground-up freshly designed and built system and either written from scratch software or highly trusted ones like OpenBSD (without installing anything except base system) can be regarded as tentatively safe, and even this security is gone once such system connects to the Internet since once data is beyond the system, NSA can still intercept and crack it.

We need clean engineered hardware, and software, and that's not going to happen anytime soon, so we have to make do with open source software and best security practices and air-gapping sensitive stuff, or not storing it in digital systems in the first place

about a year ago
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Linux health given the reveletion of NSA crypto-subverting attacks?

santosh.k83 At this point (4 comments)

We can say that while the open source based Linux/BSD ecosystems are without a doubt safer security wise, and better privacy wise, from non-state crackers and blackhats, it is probably at best only marginally more difficult for state players like the NSA to infiltrate. NSA is primarily exploiting the human weakness angle in it's efforts towards surveillance, and that human element is as weak in the open source community as in the commercial sectors. The one real advantage is the "many eyes" effect, which still allows for potential backdoors and weaknesses to be spotted and corrected, which would be hopelessly impossible within a closed source codebase who's parent company is in the NSA's pocket.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Fight Usage Caps?

santosh.k83 Re:My mother married a farmer (353 comments)

Indeed. Urbanisation is destroying the social fabric of India here, leading to chaotic urban nightmares while villages like languishing. These days there's really no excuse for tech to not reach every area, except for the most inhospitable 5%. It's just that our leaders and planners are too lazy, indifferent, or maliciously plan to divide-and-rule, or perhaps they smell money in cities.

about a year ago
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John Gilmore Analyzes NSA Obstruction of Crypto In IPSEC

santosh.k83 Re:From Yesterday. (362 comments)

Why should you give yourself a need to tap into the codes of others when militarily you are and economically you were, untouchable? Why not simply devote yourselves to building your country to greater and greater heights while acting only in defense against any aggressors (which you'd have had precious little off if you hadn't started so many wars in the first place)? The end of the Cold War and collapse of USSR could really have been used by the US to advance leaps and bounds in terms of science, tech and human standards, but instead, year after year it's shoving itself onto every piece of hell on earth, getting caught up in costly and messy quagmires, embarrassing itself...

The NSA could have acted far more ethically had the policy of the USA been one of just defense when needed, but no, the policy happens to be one of offense at every turn, preemptive offense in fact, and hence the necessity to turn yourself slowly into one big military camp

about a year ago
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John Gilmore Analyzes NSA Obstruction of Crypto In IPSEC

santosh.k83 Re:Sounds like John Gilmore has called it accurate (362 comments)

While China is doing a lot of research lately, until now the US has been the main place for research and development and commercialisation of computing systems, so any standards of such would have a preponderance of US influence through individuals and processes.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can Creating New Online Accounts Reduce Privacy Risks?

santosh.k83 Re:No they know your browser machine and ISP info (164 comments)

Good perspectives, and I agree with the need for security and privacy for everyone, but I disagree that an interview at Google would dehumanise you. Just know that you won't allow anyone else to define your humanity, and that all of us are essentially in the same boat. It's just that while he (your Google interviewer) might have some dirt on you, you don't have any on him, but you can rest assured he too has visited porn sites and done much the same blunders as all of us. If you're doing wrong stuff you've to be ashamed of it yourself, even if not even one person in the world knows you do it. On the other hand, if you truly believe you've not done any serious wrong, or have made up for any, and have basic self respect, you wouldn't let the fact that someone knows about it stop you from holding your head high. I know, not as easy as in words yet...

Concentration camps are whole different league to online privacy, at least several orders of magnitude difference between the two.

Having said all this, yes, I do agree the Internet in it's early days afforded us the ability to be at least psuedo-anonymous from everyone except government and law enforcement, and now it's too bad that any old company can store data on you, while both companies and governments are increasingly eroding the little shreds of privacy still left by things like mandating real name, blocking proxies, and so on.

about a year ago

Submissions

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UK Mobile Internet provider starts blocking VPN citing access to porn.

santosh.k83 santosh.k83 writes  |  about a year ago

santosh.k83 (2442182) writes ""In the UK mobile Internet providers are required to block content that may be considered “harmful” to children. The filter mainly targets adult oriented content, but one provider now says that VPN services also fall into this category as they allow kids to bypass age restrictions. All mobile Internet providers are currently complying with a voluntary code of practice to make adult content inaccessible on their networks by default. Subscribers then have the option to lift the block if they can verify that they are at least 18 years old. However, mobile filtering alone is not enough to protect the children. Last month Prime Minister David Cameron announced a default filter for all Internet connections. This means that in the near future UK Internet subscribers will be required to opt-in if they want to view adult content online.

TorrentFreak has learned that VPN provider iPredator is already blocked under the “adult filter” of some, if not all, mobile providers. TorrentFreak has seen communication between the mobile provider GiffGaff and iPredator which makes it clear that the VPN’s website is blocked because it allows kids to bypass the age restrictions. Based on the above it is safe to say that censorship is a slippery slope, especially without any oversight. VPNs are used for numerous purposes and bypassing age restrictions is certainly not the most popular one. If this holds up then proxy services and even Google’s cache may soon be banned under the same guise.""
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How humanity may trigger its own extinction

santosh.k83 santosh.k83 writes  |  about a year ago

santosh.k83 (2442182) writes ""An international team of scientists, mathematicians and philosophers at Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute is investigating the biggest dangers. And they argue in a research paper, Existential Risk as a Global Priority, that international policymakers must pay serious attention to the reality of species-obliterating risks.

First the good news. Pandemics and natural disasters might cause colossal and catastrophic loss of life, but Dr Bostrom believes humanity would be likely to survive. And in the time frame of a century, he says the risk of extinction from asteroid impacts and super-volcanic eruptions remains "extremely small." Nuclear war might cause appalling destruction, but enough individuals could survive to allow the species to continue.

Experiments in areas such as synthetic biology, nanotechnology and machine intelligence are hurtling forward into the territory of the unintended and unpredictable. Synthetic biology, where biology meets engineering, promises great medical benefits. But Dr Bostrom is concerned about unforeseen consequences in manipulating the boundaries of human biology. Nanotechnology, working at a molecular or atomic level, could also become highly destructive if used for warfare, he argues. There are also fears about how artificial or machine intelligence interact with the external world.

The Future of Humanity project at Oxford is part of a trend towards focusing research on such big questions. The institute was launched by the Oxford Martin School, which brings together academics from across different fields with the aim of tackling the most "pressing global challenges". Lord Rees, the Astronomer Royal and former president of the Royal Society, is backing plans for a Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. "This is the first century in the world's history when the biggest threat is from humanity," says Lord Rees. Dr Bostrom says there is a real gap between the speed of technological advance and our understanding of its implications. "We're at the level of infants in moral responsibility, but with the technological capability of adults," he says. As such, the significance of existential risk is "not on people's radars". But he argues that change is coming whether or not we're ready for it. "There is a bottleneck in human history. The human condition is going to change. It could be that we end in a catastrophe or that we are transformed by taking much greater control over our biology.""
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A quantum access network moves towards reality

santosh.k83 santosh.k83 writes  |  about a year ago

santosh.k83 (2442182) writes ""A system that allows electronic messages to be sent with complete secrecy could be on the verge of expanding beyond niche applications. A team of British scientists has discovered a way to build communications networks with quantum cryptography at a larger scale than ever before. Quantum cryptography has the potential to transform the way sensitive data is protected. Details appear in Nature journal. The system is based on a communication system, where information is carried by individual photons — single particles of light. Once these single photons of light are observed, they change. That is, they cannot be intercepted by an "eavesdropper" without leaving a detectable trace.""

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