Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Necklace

She's calling it an octopus, but it's a squid.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered.

Posted on November 27, 2015 at 4:19 PM • 180 Comments

Comments

Leonidas W. SmileyNovember 27, 2015 5:21 PM

@steve - Feinstein: The Achilles heel in the internet is encryption?

I note that both Siegfried and Krishna both had Achilles heels, all three were bathed in divine protection, save an untouched part of their bodies, whereby wounded there, they met their demise. I suppose it should be the same for the internet, bathed in the protection of encryption, save a small patch, whereby all netizens succumb.

Alien JerkyNovember 27, 2015 5:49 PM

Here is a better use of computer technology.

http://xkcd.com/1608/

Note that tapping up arrow multiple times takes you higher, and the world is much larger than it appears. Follow the lines up and explore.

mbNovember 27, 2015 6:01 PM

Vendors have far too much access to our personal information, and that needs to be limited. Apple doesn't need to know my phone number and address to deliver software updates, yet they require it, Vtech certainly doesn't need to keep track of kid's home addresses and phone numbers. As major data breaches become common occurrences, is it time to step in with some heavy handed regulation that requires anonymous access to supportive services for devices we buy? Is it time to implement criminal charges for failure to secure data? How can we handle data security and privacy? There is certainly no incentive for corporations to do it now.

Dark Ages: News Reporters Encourage Data-MiningNovember 27, 2015 6:14 PM

With the shopping season in high gear several corporate news reports talk about using 'secret weapons' to get the best deal. They elaborate stating to 'just download the app” as it runs in the background (reporting your every move). It’s ‘free’ too. Kick me Biff!

Many ad-supported high-tech reviewers have also been clueless to invasive data-mining, being just as arrogant as Microsoft. However there's hope!
Its great seeing site HRGuru lead the charge against Vizio relentless tactics. Other reviewers admit their wrong-doing:
http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-tv/

CNet is the very last holdout still raving about Vizio. It makes one wonder what their ‘incentives’ are.

rNovember 27, 2015 6:51 PM

Glad I've been sympathetic to the victims of the OPM hack, I received the letter today.

I was certainly not expecting to be involved, seems it really is pretty far reaching.

hNovember 27, 2015 8:32 PM

@r, about time! I hope my adverse information permits foreign intelligence agencies to derive my honey-trap predilections. They should be perfectly clear. There's nothing more annoying than a generic, unimaginative honey trap.

Leonidas W. SmileyNovember 27, 2015 8:47 PM

@ Milo M. - So the union surveillance/OSINT/Delta Force response template they bought was packaged well in advance by Lockheed from Hoover playbook. Sad and scary. Divide and oppress. Soulless. We're just feeding on ourselves now, so I guess it doesn't matter.

Leonidas W. SmileyNovember 27, 2015 9:18 PM

Really is sad, they're supposed to be fighting terrorists not union busting. If you allow other nations to compete using their underpaid downtrodden labor/ no osha / rampant pollution etc, our manufacturing, of course dries up and agriculture (without both at the base you can't have a healthy economy) Spare me the designed in California made in wherever else nonsense. All we have are doctors, lawyers, business execs and retail associates and security forces. Import everything, produce nothing, and beef up the military-security complex is a poor model. But some folks need their yachts and private luxury jets and gold plumbing.

JustinNovember 28, 2015 3:09 AM

@r, about time! I hope my adverse information permits foreign intelligence agencies to derive my honey-trap predilections. They should be perfectly clear. There's nothing more annoying than a generic, unimaginative honey trap.

The subject of honey traps comes up a lot on this forum for some reason. Sometimes I wonder (a little facetiously) if people have Asperger's or symptoms of paranoia when they see an otherwise apparently desirable relationship as a honey trap.

But as for "a generic, unimaginative honey trap," there are plenty of those in any large city. Some local pimp (along with city hall) is in charge of that kind of business. It's depressing. A lot of females seem to either want sex or be available for sex, and even make pointed come-ons for that purpose, but it's fake, because they're just desperate for cash (or drugs or whatever) and willing to sell themselves.

But for a real honey trap, where it's sex for information, there is a lot more that goes into that. It involves ruining healthy relationships as well as setting up unhealthy relationships. The Stasi had perfected such techniques, and plain old pimps do it, too.

Usually it's some local female cop trying to chat me up. Never did figure that one out. Like I'm going to make a move on a cop. I don't care how receptive some lady seems to be. If she expects the guy to make all the moves and it's not really reciprocated, there's something a little off with it, and it's time to move on.

Some call me...TimNovember 28, 2015 4:20 AM

I thought honey traps were like the nearby WEP network whose security I audited with an opensource tool in passive mode. Apparently not secure, but I wouldn't dare go near it and test the output of the auditing tool :)

C U AnonNovember 28, 2015 4:36 AM

@ h,

I hope my adverse information permits foreign intelligence agencies...

Hmm looking down the list,

1, Welly boots - OK.
2, Warm Custard - OK.
3, Bottle of horse liniment -OK.
4, Sargaso eels live - Hmm.
5, Hessian sack - OK.
6, Three ferrets - Hmm.
7, Rhode Island Rooster - well..

I see you you haven't ticked the preference for blond / brunette / red head...

Come on now ticking a box can not be that hard, why do you people make life so difficult, I don't know, it's not as though we are asking you to select a tartan for the bed spread.

Windows Nightmare ContinuesNovember 28, 2015 9:22 AM

Latest Microsoft Update Blows Away User Privacy Settings then mass application feeding-frenzy steal your most private files and correspondence.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/26/microsoft_renamed_data_slurper_reinserted_windows_10/

Sneaky Microsoft renames their key-logger:
https://tweakhound.com/2015/11/18/win10-diagnostics-tracking-service-gone/

This is intentional psychopathic behavior. Windows 7 and 8.1 users also need to once-again take action.

hNovember 28, 2015 10:02 AM

@C U Anon, it is of cardinal importance that the ferrets be de-clawed. Are you from Mossad? The Russians would never make a mistake like that. And CIA just raids the elementary schools for nymphlets. Now that's what I call unimaginative.

steveNovember 28, 2015 12:08 PM

@Windows Nightmare Continues

If you believe the bad about MS, then you must believe the DELL certificate debacle was deliberate. The problem is, in all these cases, if it's a case of stupidity that spells trouble from a security standpoint. But if it's deliberate then that's a problem for security too. Nothing adds up. If it's deliberate, how long did they think it would take before someone discovered it? And then the fallout. For what? Are you implying there's a big conspiracy to steal credentials from users? Why? WTF

steveNovember 28, 2015 12:17 PM

Yahoo is a basket case and I don't know how long it can even survive. If it weren't for Alibaba they'd be toast. I kept wondering why so much spam is slipping through the spam filter the past couple months. Now I suspect it's because the spammers are paying Yahoo to let their stuff through. Is this unfair?

WaelNovember 28, 2015 12:21 PM

Grrrrrr

Now that we're dispossessed

Should be

Now that we're disposed

This was a "computer spell checker" change that I didn't catch.

I give up.

JustinNovember 28, 2015 12:30 PM

@steve

Yahoo is a basket case and I don't know how long it can even survive. If it weren't for Alibaba they'd be toast. I kept wondering why so much spam is slipping through the spam filter the past couple months. Now I suspect it's because the spammers are paying Yahoo to let their stuff through. Is this unfair?

I have no idea. They put former "Googirl" Marissa Mayer in charge. You'd have to ask her, but I imagine over time spammers get more adept at evading anti-spam filters, and Yahoo simply doesn't have enough resources (as compared to Google) to keep up with them.

Leonidas W. SmileyNovember 28, 2015 1:49 PM

@steve

"I can say this. [FBI] Director [James Comey] and, I think John Brennan, would agree, that the Achilles Heel in the internet is encryption. Because there are now... it's a black web! And there's no way of piercing it. And this is even in commercial products! PlayStation, John! Which our kids use. If the two ends communicate, that's encrypted. So terrorists can use PlayStation to be able to communication and there's nothing that can be done about it." - Feinstein

Ice cream, Mandrake? Children's ice cream?

Of course it's not about terrorism, but union busting and population control with Lockeed, IBM security products taken from FBI/NSA

Preston JenkinsNovember 28, 2015 2:06 PM

OPM data:

- yes, China or Russia or Iran will probably be sending armies of romeos & juliets of hot sexiness for all SF86 OPM victims.. (and they say OPM was not an intentional loss
- they probably are mapping out "where is the US hiring classified workers"
- "what qualifications do they have"

JustinNovember 28, 2015 3:17 PM

@ Preston Jenkins

OPM data:

- yes, China or Russia or Iran will probably be sending armies of romeos & juliets of hot sexiness for all SF86 OPM victims.. (and they say OPM was not an intentional loss
- they probably are mapping out "where is the US hiring classified workers"
- "what qualifications do they have"

Yes, all of that goes on. Plain old human trafficking, anybody's clue whether they are after SF-86 or not. But that's all through some local pimp, too. And if it's in a big city, like somebody mentioned on this forum, Baltimore, which happens within commuting distance of NSA, there's the chance that nobody in power wants to touch the local pimps because they're all customers, too, and certainly all that intelligence is sold off to China or Russia or Iran etc.

But when you think about it, there's no chance that plain old pimps aren't all over that SF-86 just for plain old sex work, even if they aren't looking for intelligence. Some of them are rather wealthy men, after all. Doxx him to his wife with some pretext or chance meeting or possibly altered photo or other evidence which may or may not be forged, and then, whether she confronts him or not, they're not getting along as well, so get a little bolder with the honey traps, and, well everybody knows how that game is played, and some men are going to be cheaters anyway.

Leonidas W. SmileyNovember 28, 2015 4:11 PM

I don't know about Baltimore, but John Waters did say you can get anything you want on good ol' Harford Rd, but I'm not sure that he or she will be drop dead gorgeous or full of hot sexiness. What will the spider do? Suspend its operations, Delay?

WaelNovember 28, 2015 4:16 PM

@CallMeLateForSupper,

Another huge PII breach [...] I don't know which is worse, the breach itself or Vtech's response to it.

Upon  discovering  the  breach,  we  immediately  made modifications to the security settings on the site to defend against any further attacks.

Completely unprofessional response. Made modifications? Yea! That'll fix it it. Against any further attacks? I guess they are completely immune now! :) In my view, their response is worse than the breach itself because:

I don't think the breach is that bad though! Children already volunteer a lot more PII information on social media. I am aware of even some adults that post pictures of their credit cards which, of course, include the name, the PAN (Primary Account Number), and expiration dates. Some even post usernames and passwords, I kid you not!

Leonhart231November 28, 2015 4:24 PM

@Who?

I'm not too familiar with SSL protocols, so forgive me if I'm asking dumb questions. My understanding is that if you (1) have an Intel Xeon CPU and (2) use Intel's encryption ISA when you encrypt SSL packets, then endorsement keys will be also be able to decrypt the connection? How is that implemented within the SSL packets? I trust this has no impact on local encryption of files.

This also seems fairly easy to avoid. Just don't buy Xeon CPUs and don't use the hardware AES instructions. Worrying, yes, but not too big of an issue unless you're running a closed operating system.

Mark MayerNovember 28, 2015 5:10 PM

@C U ANON

Was that shopping list for Amazon or Tindr? It matters because each will put you on a different list.

TroyNovember 28, 2015 7:24 PM

@Leonidas W. Smiley


FCC won't block dd-wrt, openwrt, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/11/free-router-software-not-crosshairs-fcc-clarifies

Unless said distros include free firmware for the radios:

... what mechanisms are provided by the manufacturer to permit integration of such functions while ensuring that the RF parameters of the device cannot be operated outside its authorization for operation in the U.S. In the description include what controls and/or agreements are in place with providers of third-party functionality to ensure the devices’ underlying RF parameters are unchanged and how the manufacturer verifies the functionality.

Leonidas W. SmileyNovember 28, 2015 8:21 PM

@Troy

For Ham RF: part 97 rules prohibit "messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning, except as otherwise provided herein;" is this outside authorization for all RF? But how do you get around the need for wireless router WPA2-PSK, etc to secure networks which uses TKIP: Encryption keys generated by passphrase and SSID unless they want to backdoor TKIP if not already.

Some call me...TimNovember 28, 2015 8:50 PM

Is ciphertext of copyrighted material copyrighted also? Is my public key copyrighted the moment I create it? It being text. Or does it all exist a priori?

No Such AgencyNovember 28, 2015 11:04 PM

Crypto is the achillies heel of the internet, because if the internet is perceived by the masses to be insecure, they will stop using it. That leaves three groups who will continue to use it:

1) those who can secure their own systems
2) those who have no clue
3) those who don't care

I suggest those in the first group will become much more visible, and it would enable better targetting of those people for who knows what purpose?

If nothing else, it is clear mass communication is increasingly viewed as a threat by our own Governments.

Leonidas W. SmileyNovember 29, 2015 3:44 AM

@tyr - Aaron Hillel Swartz

Academic articles behind the paywall are inconvenient inspirations for the playground of the mind, who would blame him, but 35 years, and some of that research funded with taxpayer dollars out of reach of the taxpayers. Unfortunate victim of the government's one handed prosecutorial overreach.

Sleepwalking Into Mass Surveillance StateNovember 29, 2015 4:48 AM

"If we do nothing, we sort of sleepwalk into a total surveillance state where we have both a super-state that has unlimited capacity to apply force with an unlimited ability to know (about the people it is targeting) – and that’s a very dangerous combination. That’s the dark future. The fact that they know everything about us and we know nothing about them – because they are secret, they are privileged, and they are a separate class… the elite class, the political class, the resource class – we don’t know where they live, we don’t know what they do, we don’t know who their friends are. They have the ability to know all that about us." – Ed

SmirkNovember 29, 2015 6:39 AM

Can anyone point me to a decent economics site/forum with decent discussion like here where you can learn something new and have a discussion with shit flinging? Thank you in advance

Clive RobinsonNovember 29, 2015 7:58 AM

@ Smirk,

Can anyone point me to a decent economics site/forum with decent discussion like here where you can learn something new and have a discussion with[out] shit flinging?

The simple answer is there are too many such sites. You need to narrow the scope of your enquiry.

Also some sites have a very distinct slant towards a particular "cult of personality", where overly deep meaning is given to some throw away comment "of the guru/godhead". This is usually when somebody has their own agender they want to push. Rather than let the argument stand or fall by it's own merit, they try to clock it with a distorted interpretation of some other economic giant from times past, irespective of if the proponent believes the "giant" to be a guru/godhead, the important thing is the "giant" has the respect and of others and is not around to defend themselves from such crass manipulation.

The advantage of "ICTsec" is it is sufficiently new that the "giants" are either still with us or those who worked with them closely still are so such manipulations are rather more difficult to achieve or get away with. Though like plagiarism when done in a language unknown to the practitioners in the field in general it's been tried and I suspect got away with. There are for instance rumblings to that effect coming out from the goings on in the geographic regions between the middle and far east with dodgy conferences and qualification award processes, that ineffect result in a black market with kickbacks in both directions with the poor students getting further fleeced to pay for it. Thus education rather than being an enabler is rapidly becoming a closed shop where due defrence is in very tangible and grubby brown envelopes...

John Galt IVNovember 29, 2015 8:07 AM


from the daily news compendium at NakedCapitalism

http://www.zdnet.com/article/the-internet-of-things-is-a-safety-issue-and-therefore-a-business-risk/

from another good website

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-27/he-lived-through-hyperinflation-devaluation-and-confiscation-his-advice
...
Nearly four months ago, when bitcoin was still languishing in the low $200s, we explained why in the post-Yuan devaluation regime, where all Chinese capital outflows are now scrutizined through a microscope, bitcoin will inevitably see substantial appreciation as the local population scrambles to transfer funds out of China and into more traditional end markets, such as the US, Canada and western Europe, using such still largely unregulated mediums as bitcoin and other digital currencies.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-28/bitcoin-universe-explained
As evidenced by the Greek, Chinese, and now Argentine 'jumps', the world remains increasingly aware of the inevitable worth of fiat currencies and fears the desperate acts of governments as the react to that reality (and is looking for alternatives).
...
So from miners to merchants, the Bitcoin universe continues to expand dramatically as we noted previously, "There are more people in the world who need a currency they can trust, than there are people in the world who can trust their currency."

ianfNovember 29, 2015 8:48 AM


OT, but hey! it's squid-free-for-all!

Long story short: Friday morning I read in the Guardian “Raspberry Pi's latest computer so cheap it comes free with magazine" about the #PIZERO, their new £6 offering. My hardware hacking days are way in the past (I no longer have anyone nearby to discuss things with), but maybe I'm still up to it when it comes to assembling …things into workable …shapes, esp. with "recipes" in a magazine. A cheap way to find that out. I go to the swag.raspberrypi.org site, there are 2 left in stock, but by the time I check out, it's Out of Stock. In fact practically every item there is sold out, and there is no indication if/when/ there will be any reprints. Also fulfillment is by some 3rd party without a forwarding address.

I look on the web, discover that Raspberry Pi Zero sold out within 24 hours, all 20,000 units of them, and of course neither there is there any mention of whether new batches of magazine + pcb are planned (the #pizero will be available separately later, though unsure in what combinations).

The article reminds me of the C.H.I.P. $9 computer (in a usable configuration more like $64-$98, but still within reason), with deliveries planned for May 2016. But it is NOW that I have single-board-CPU-munchies, not in some undefined future that may never come.

    So I begin to ask myself: WTF do I need one for, even though I already know the answer: onboard development of a novel biography-genealogical offline hypertext using programmable MicroEmacs macros with static and dynamic files to be served through resident http server to likewise present (presumably somewhat graphical, a notch above Lynx) HTML browser.

The only I/O that I consider is export of links and import of text snippets (into an entry web form) via BT, or perhaps WiFi. Right now the raw DB is ~350MB, but may come up to ~1.5GB. All (future/ end-user) text entry will be via HTML5 forms using an onscreen keyboard. After validation a JS routine will write it to a local storage and update the DB indices.

I imagine the end product to be the size of a (thick) smartphone, encased in own 3D-printed case with color LCD screen and with perhaps 8 edge buttons for function management and navigation (apart from the hardware on/off, all other button presses to be decoded via JavaScript in the HTML front-end).

My intention is to produce at most 5 identical, data-filled units, 4 of which will be presented (or more like bequeathed) to fairly young distant relatives with the hope of them continuing the expansion of the database project in the future. The unit won't be usable for anything else—I don't yet know how, but that's one of my objectives: put it away for 20 years, then power it up, it works as were it yesterday. For those reasons alone the onboard data storage must survive the next 50 years or so, and not deteriorate due to accumulated cosmic radiation or whatever (hence encoded in some self-correcting, redundant fashion).

    So what do you think? Fate saved me the bother of the #pizero (which probably would have required more customized hardware interfacing than the C.H.I.P. thing), but would the latter be up to what I have in mind?

Please look over the FAQ at the end of its Kickstarter page, and advise (also other potential embeddable single-board-Linux/ CPU-on-a-stick solutions.)

Eddie WillersNovember 29, 2015 8:49 AM

@John Galt - I want more money. I'm joining the union. I'm no longer satisfied with my station in life doing an honest days work for a meager wage, and being crushed by the captains of industry.

Roger WolffNovember 29, 2015 11:00 AM

Haha! Due to the opening, I "researched" octopus vs squid a little. Did you know that there are more species of octopuses than squids? 300 vs 298! :-)

JB24November 29, 2015 11:46 AM

For "semi-anonymous" usage of Apple hardware it may be possible to:

1) Regarding IOS, initialize the device without an apple id.

2) Regarding IOS, for free software, set up a Jane Doe account and email. Are there legal or other ramifications of doing this in the U.S.?

3) Regarding IOS, for paid software, use 2) and Itunes Prepaid Cards.

4) Regarding OSX, use similar techniques to 1-3 above.


Any thoughts on the above would be greatly appreciated.

Misc.

A) If an Apple device (IOS or OSX) has already been associated with an Apple ID, is it hopeless to strive for a "semi-anonymous" device after re-initializing it?

B) Is there any advantage to using an iphone without a phone carrier, but with wifi connectivity only from a privacy, or hardware hackability, perspective? For example, the Apple watch requires an iphone.

C) What might be good practices for OSX hardware. For example:

i) Run OSX virtualbox host with "little snitch" and most other stuff as virtualbox guests without guest additions enabled.

ii) Or run a PC-BSD, Qubes, or Debian host with OSX and/or other guests.

D) Is there a way to reinstall OSX hardware firmware?

E) Finally, it would be nice if Apple allowed users of its' "Support" and "Discussion" forums to at least read those forums while using Tor.

PrestonNovember 29, 2015 12:21 PM

@Justin

Well, I was joking with point one.

While it is possible some foreign powers are employing the massive unemployed population of Baltimore against the NSA... probably, not so much. Only the higher ups have much of anything useful, and honey trapping anyone domestically is far too easy to backfire against the foreign power and be turned around to be used as a counterintelligence project.

On OPM post I made:

I am disappointed no one elaborated on the many ways a foreign power could use the 22 plus million records to map out secret America. Literally decimating the secretness of "secret America". Which highlights the disasterous lack of concern the top echelon of intelligence actually have for their job duties, if their insidious and disturbing hyperfocus on destroying encryption capacities for the world was its' self not already making that very clear to everyone.

Privacy is security.

People can argue it is a right, or whatever, and by the 'golden rule' it most certainly is. But, it is most certainly security, as well, and critical security both for the populace and for the business and government that populace fills.

JustinNovember 29, 2015 12:42 PM

@Preston

Well, I was joking with point one.

While it is possible some foreign powers are employing the massive unemployed population of Baltimore against the NSA... probably, not so much.

You tell me any big city isn't full of hookers, and pimps that run that business, and guys that make good money (say at some government job) and patronize them...like it's not a good old boys' club that looks the other way...and they're actually going to report those "contacts." Oh yeah, "not so much."

JeromeNovember 29, 2015 12:45 PM

@ianf "So what do you think?"

- a custom hardware gadget doesn't help with long term maintainability/repairability, esp. by somebody else 20 years from now
- a complex software stack and custom database design doesn't help with long term maintainability/expandability, esp. by somebody else 20 years from now
- any wireless on today's single board computer is unlikely to interoperate with whatever will be 20 years from now.
- low cost very fine silicon geometry and IC packages, SoC, untold amounts of flashed firmare and the like don't help with long life
- cheap fine pitch multilayer boards often come with poorly registered and thermally stressed vias, no/incomplete cleaning after reflow, and other marginal pcb manufacturing issues meaning 20 years storage life is dubious
- with no I/O ability to export the entire database, the data will be lost as soon as the hardware fails

Assuming what you care most is to preserve and pass on your information, what is wrong with your content as plain html and pdf if you must, tiff/jpeg, wav/mp3, avi/mpeg, csv and dxf if needed, on a good quality flashcard (or perhaps 3 identical copies per each relative) formatted as fat32, together with one (or 3) USB flascard readers? Seal these together with some desiccant and a nice letter to your relatives.

More Human Than HumanNovember 29, 2015 1:14 PM

@Sleepwalking Into Mass Surveillance State

"If we do nothing, we sort of sleepwalk into a total surveillance state where we have both a super-state that has unlimited capacity to apply force with an unlimited ability to know (about the people it is targeting) – and that’s a very dangerous combination. That’s the dark future. The fact that they know everything about us and we know nothing about them – because they are secret, they are privileged, and they are a separate class… the elite class, the political class, the resource class – we don’t know where they live, we don’t know what they do, we don’t know who their friends are. They have the ability to know all that about us." – Ed

@Leonidas W. Smiley

"I can say this. [FBI] Director [James Comey] and, I think John Brennan, would agree, that the Achilles Heel in the internet is encryption. Because there are now... it's a black web! And there's no way of piercing it. And this is even in commercial products! PlayStation, John! Which our kids use. If the two ends communicate, that's encrypted. So terrorists can use PlayStation to be able to communication and there's nothing that can be done about it." - Feinstein

*Head in hands*. How mindless can these "leaders" be.

If she bothered to read *one* article on the subject, she would have discovered the "playstation" myth is utter crap -- even ps4 encryption is not 'end to end'. Would she even understand the difference between 'end to end' encryption and not?

Let us further point out: had these "authorities" won out in their earlier war against encryption well over a decade ago, there would be no modern internet as there is today.

This means no commerce as there is today, as encryption is required for the flourishing internet economy.

Let us face facts: terrorism is extremely rare. Paris was 130 victims. Of the 44 some odd million Muslims in Europe, just this extremely tiny group performed the attacks. The rest, clearly, are peaceful. This attack was similar in number to attacks performed by a variety of crazy mass murderers over the years.

What is five or ten from 44 million? And across how many years what is that incredibly insignificant number? Contrast that number against other violent crime. Contrast that number, for that matter, against the immense violent crimes taken upon those across the world which are ignored.

Now, combine the amount of money put towards "counter-terrorism" intelligence across these countries. What is it, tens of trillions of dollars?

For what?

While I can not say much about European crime, not studying it regularly, in Asia, in Africa, in the Americas, in the Middle East... violence is routine and epidemic. And entirely unaddressed by this massive intelligence system. Because no one gives a flying fuck about these people.

They do not even care, in the US, which has an exorbitant violent crime rate about their own country and people. If they did, then they would focus on that. Where the rape is, where the murder is, where the sexual slavery is, where the child molestation is...

For these matters, as everyone here should well know, the Obama administration certainly did one good thing in these things: they solicited a study of genuine experts who found that the encryption backdoor route was Very Bad. Why, then, are these "leaders" continuing to argue otherwise?

Contrast this with, for instance, the absolute silence about the OPM hack where literally 22 million Americans sensitive records were stolen -- records sensitive to their clearance. Records which provide the foreign power who stole them absolute visibility to every secret project in the country, down to the microscopic level of 'what qualifications do these people hired to each project' have.

What, for that matter, of such sensitive security in terms of supplanting the entire classified edifice? That is, how long have false OPM records been being put in there? How many have been put in there? After the theft, how many false applications will be made where the attacker knows with certainity the sort of resume to forge to get whatever job they want, wherever they want it?

Are foreign nations not the threat? At all?

As for the Paris terrorists, these guys were complete morons. The fact is they did not use encryption at all, and the "mastermind" had the "presence of mind" to not be wary that one of the terrorists had called his real number.

Never even matter just how unified these "leaders" have been in coming out against *encryption* as soon at the attack happened, showing just how clueless and how callous they truly are.

It is a deeply despicable stage show.

The Obama Administration would do the world justice by firing every one of these rebellious heads who are continuing to make fools of themselves... and replacing them with honest, decent, non-compromised folks.

Though, we can all consider the barbarity of the Obama Administration's other actions over the years... and conclude at the very least such wise course requiring such strength of character and commitment to truth and justice would never happen.

These remain human beings at the helm, and how corrupt and fallible they are!

@No Such Agency

Encryption is the fundamental bedrock of modern internet. I would hope that many end up 'not caring'. Polls show a great number of people do care.

However, everyone should be very disturbed at the unified voice of all these corrupt leaders across the so-called "free" world calling for a degradation of security of communications for everyone... because of such a intensely insignificant number of bad actors. What is the percentage of these terrorists in the free world? .000000000000000000000000001%? How many zeros before that 1? And even amongst Muslim population in the "free" world?

Fact is, whether they care or not, however, they are helpless to these sorts -- these sorts who are just a little too unified in their inexplicable demands.

CuriousNovember 29, 2015 1:39 PM

I am no expert in computer security, and I would love to see articles about that "essay" that "Who?" posted just above, about 'Linux UEFI TPM 2.0 security impacts'. That sounded like horrible stuff.

More Human Than HumanNovember 29, 2015 1:49 PM

@Justin

You tell me any big city isn't full of hookers, and pimps that run that business, and guys that make good money (say at some government job) and patronize them...like it's not a good old boys' club that looks the other way...and they're actually going to report those "contacts." Oh yeah, "not so much."

What does it matter? If these "leaders" have their way, the entire world would become subject to absolute insecurity to those with the capacity of a military of supertrained hackers? Decimating encryption and all software products encryption would decimate all security.

While some would estimate there may be millions of covert workers who were not affected by the OPM hack, such workers or agencies are entirely outside of the scope of these "leaders" anyway. They are entirely blackbook and may even be behind all of this. They could be running all these high visibility pundits for their own aim, and who else would have had a reason to perform such a visible attack on OPM anyway -- but some group who wanted all those records called into question and perhaps blamed on China.

When, in reality, it provides perfect cover for their own minute control of government and contractor workers records. After all, you can hardly infiltrate every level of government without having a strong system in place for disguise and the creation of false records.

Of course, "conspiracy theory"... because in the real world, human beings are incapable of anything truly long term, secretive, and powerful...

The larger a secret project, the more likely it would have failure... or so 'they say'.

(Perhaps this story would be a little less compelling if there were any records or memoirs of any deep cover agency in the US at all. China has deep cover. Russia has deep cover. But, "deep cover" for the US is just temporary? No permanent deep cover employees or agencies at all? Really?)

More to the point: considering the little care and concern put forth towards the OPM hack, and how absolutely naked this made the entirety of US secret infrastructure and every project, every employee... why does this matter?

Is it not kind of as futile and irrational as Scientology? Or the "war on drugs"?

All of that infrastructure designed to protect American secrets, after all, is useless, post-OPM, isn't it? All those systematic lie detector tests? All those careful observations of government metadata analysis against government employees? All those "secret" projects no longer secret?

Never even mind a multi-trillion dollar industry designed to protect against "terrorists", when terrorists comprise of such a minute amount of trouble for the world.

How can a handful of terrorists take down the world's democracies?

By exactly these means, and they are winning.

Or, so it appears.

They are winning because of the cowardice and greed of these "leaders", psychopaths whose qualifications for "leading" is their very psychopathy. That is what urged them to push ahead of everyone else in a futile grab for power, which is the very accurate label one can apply to any of their careers.

Hope to God they are not the ones really in power.

But, the idea of a superior "illuminati" really pulling the strings is beyond current human comprehension. How could they be manipulating all these corrupt "leaders" and why? If they are beneficial and their puppets clearly are so morally depraved? Mentally and emotionally depraved. Lacking. Could it be to show the world that this old way of leadership is entirely inadequate for a more bright future?

Or, is this simply the meaningless show, of sound and noise, and the illusion of importance, of "life" on a rock, rotating futilely in an entirely entropic system -- where the greatest myth of all, is the myth of the existence of the human soul?

If the later is true, then one might be wasting one's rationality and heart, worrying about crimes that are no more meaningful then one asteroid colliding with another's in a vast wilderness of billions of stars. Unseen and unheard.


Dirk PraetNovember 29, 2015 2:52 PM

@ JB24

If an Apple device (IOS or OSX) has already been associated with an Apple ID, is it hopeless to strive for a "semi-anonymous" device after re-initializing it?

Yes it is. You can reset or reinitialise your iDevice as much as you want, but there is a hard limit of maximum 3 different Apple id.'s you can associate it with. Unless you can convince Apple support to change that. It's an often occurring problem, especially with 2nd hand devices.

@ Leonidas W. Smiley

I can say this. [FBI] Director [James Comey] and, I think John Brennan, would agree, that the Achilles Heel in the internet is encryption.

Feinstein is a venemous old bat who has been in bed with the MIC for longer than anyone can remember. An ardent proponent of the extension of PA and FISA provisions, as chair and current vice-chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in charge of overviewing the the US IC, she did the exact opposite and instead is one of their most enthusiastic supporters. Do not expect anything even remotely sensible to come out of her mouth.

@ More Human Than Human

This attack was similar in number to attacks performed by a variety of crazy mass murderers over the years.

While this may be true from an accounting point of view, it would be most unwise to underestimate the destructive potential of a growing number of radicalised elements in Western Europe. That's what happened in Molenbeek.

Leonidas W. SmileyNovember 29, 2015 3:29 PM

@More Human Than Human - Well I think IS should be eradicated. The only thing sensible to come out of Mike Morell's mouth was that Assad may have to remain, Putin's move forced that. Bombing alone won't do it. Never has. What is there to soften up? The anti encryption policy was prepared well in advance. They tried to capitalize on Paris to vilify encryption, but the policy is solely to spy on our own citizens, apparently to make busting unions etc easier with security packages from Lockheed and the like. Plus there's a lot of money to be made in spyink. Quit behaving like the Stasi. I suspect the "war" on terror is a bit more cynical for Director Grumpy Cat and the higher ups, than it was for the wilderness of mirrors of the Cold War. They want their devils which are necessary for a cohesive population or at the very least for a cohesive army and civilian security workforce, as Eric Hoffer noted in the True Believer.

Dan Grossi & Manuel PerezNovember 29, 2015 3:31 PM

@curious for the time being, you can look in /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
for the string 'aesni-intel' which enables Intel's illegal backdoors. Communications with your bank are subject to illegal surveillance in breach of PL-97/2.2, whether or not you use hardware acceleration.

JustinNovember 29, 2015 4:31 PM

@More Human Than Human

There is soul-destroying evil all around us throughout the whole world, but there is always hope, and soon it will be Chistmastime:

For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: ...

@Leonidas W. Smiley

That's the alliance, isn't it? Assad, along with Russia, China, Iran. For now, we just keep appeasing that Axis, but meanwhile US Faces Nuclear War Threat Over South China Sea.

I believe in victory, as Isaiah has prophesied.

tyrNovember 29, 2015 5:43 PM


@Leonidas W. Smiley

Thanks for the correction. It was a really bad idea to kill
that kid. One of the principles of warfare and politics is
don't make enemies you don't need just because you can.

On a broader note human behaviors are all about appearances
and the grand tapestry of the spectacle. These can be used
to herd the population around like sheep with a few selected
barks from the pundits. Once in awhile the illusion breaks
and the media who incited the mess get fed to the guillotine.
That gives society a chance to reconstitute itself without
the shrill barkings interfering with the process.

Anyone who was actually illuminated would have to despair at
the inability of the common man to use his brains to think.
Ergo, the illuminati is not going to accept the blame for this
mess.

Leonidas W. SmileyNovember 29, 2015 6:45 PM

@tyr

I've always been amazed that The Beatles, working class louts, could write the song lyrics they could. I don't know about the school curriculum there now, but here I think we need to go back to the 3R's plus critical thinking, logic, and rhetoric (forewarned is forearmed), a little more literature without trigger warnings. A classical education. But need more order in the schools I guess. They had just started doing hippy-dippy stuff in my elementary school (an experiment), ridding us of A,B,C,D,F and replaced with 1,2,3,4. We were graded against our own potential, as opposed to being compared and ranked against each other. My schools still followed the Organization Man model none the less. The buildings are still standing. Don't get me wrong, I love hippies and bohemians. But each new fad theory of education to further some academic credential has ruined public education. Maybe that's somehow the intent of the evolution into a state where the masses are herded around and divided and easily angered and stampeded this way and that. So I've read the textbooks spin and revise this way and that, depending on state politics. What a mess.

I'll be happy as long as my DVI cable isn't illuminated. Unlikely. I'll just have to remain zen (what is the sound of one hand clapping? oohm) :)

More Human Than HumanNovember 29, 2015 7:58 PM

@Leonidas W. Smiley

Well I think IS should be eradicated. The only thing sensible to come out of Mike Morell's mouth was that Assad may have to remain, Putin's move forced that. Bombing alone won't do it. Never has. What is there to soften up? The anti encryption policy was prepared well in advance. They tried to capitalize on Paris to vilify encryption, but the policy is solely to spy on our own citizens, apparently to make busting unions etc easier with security packages from Lockheed and the like. Plus there's a lot of money to be made in spyink. Quit behaving like the Stasi. I suspect the "war" on terror is a bit more cynical for Director Grumpy Cat and the higher ups, than it was for the wilderness of mirrors of the Cold War. They want their devils which are necessary for a cohesive population or at the very least for a cohesive army and civilian security workforce, as Eric Hoffer noted in the True Believer.

I have no problem with eradicting IS, for that matter, I actually do not have much problem with Middle Eastern, Western Asian, North African policy at all -- except more,more, more. Not less.

To get that "more" means breaking a lotta eggs.

Cold War I find far more understandable, even in hindsight.

This is craziness. And it goes well beyond simply being ignorant of the technology or being ignorant of the history of totalitarianism, I would argue.

...

Assad removal was never really a choice. There are plenty of dictators and horrible situations nations could - but do not - "clean up". Assad maybe has some more interest to larger powers then a Sudan or Zimbwawe, though doubtful Europe or America is much invested.

Reason Assad was never a choice is because ... who would replace him?

It would be like Libya, Egypt, Iraq... remove the strong man who is a bad person and get crazed militants in return. And that on the border of Israel, who has nuclear weapons and deep Western ties... as well as deep psychological ties into both Shia and Sunni mindsets.

(Contrary to popular opinion, I would actually disagree that Afghanistan is now under good rule, as well. The militants there are savage pedophiles whose custom is to build large harems of sexually enslaved teenaged boys.*)

*
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/21/world/kandahar-journal-shh-it-s-an-open-secret-warlords-and-pedophilia.html

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/world/asia/us-soldiers-told-to-ignore-afghan-allies-abuse-of-boys.html?_r=0


It won't all end till lotsa 'fat boys' sing. And I mean by that the nuclear option(s).

Or something damned well equivalent.

More Human Than HumanNovember 29, 2015 8:03 PM

@Justin

There is soul-destroying evil all around us throughout the whole world, but there is always hope, and soon it will be Chistmastime

The end... is my only friend.

(J.M.)

I was going to say, looks like winds of a sort of global coup about. Possibly a bloodless one. If it has not already silently happened, and the thick, fat layer on top just has yet to be sizzled off, revealing what is really going on out there.

First there is the marines, AF, Navy... then in comes the big, giant Army sweeping up the dead.

Lotsa and lotsa "army" around these days.

What is described is very intense, but I view it more on the soul bending, mind bending level... the soul fire level. As opposed to the old ways of murder and enslavement.

Change is always very difficult.

Changing the times to a new heaven and earth must be terrifically difficult.


BenniNovember 29, 2015 8:39 PM

Could it be that the Russians have converted this program to a "modern" windows 3.1 PC and are still running it?

At least it would perfectly explain their behavior. Probably you would panic if you are dumb enough to believe in the outputs of such a stupid computer application after you had fed it with data from the iraq war and nato enlargement...

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/11/wargames-for-real-how-one-1983-exercise-nearly-triggered-wwiii/

steveNovember 29, 2015 8:52 PM

I recommend Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow," especially The Illusion of Validity before ever again assessing statements made by a so-called "expert." The facts regarding any apparent expertise ESPECIALLY anything to do with topics such as Geopolitics, Finance, and yes, Information Security, are so staggering that most people simply cannot absorb them. The truth is, if the expert cannot, literally, predict the future, they are deluding themselves as well as their followers. Expertise is a compelling story built upon deluded recollection of past events and dressed up in a lot of irrelevant information.

steveNovember 29, 2015 9:01 PM

Go back and read SC Magazine, Network World, eWeek and any pop articles you can dredge up from just 3 years ago. You would have fared better with a deck of Tarot cards.

rLNovember 29, 2015 9:34 PM

Question for the assmebled experts: given sensitive info eg documentary proof of serious crimes of concern to the internatonal community including factual basis for command responsibility, what are the most reliable means of publication? N.B. the question is *not* how to export the evidence undetected to safe hands inn independent jurisdictions. Assuming that were effected, the queztion is how to irreversibly disseminate the infomation to the public. Hypotheticly speking.

KenNovember 29, 2015 10:48 PM

@ Clive Robinson

The simple answer is there are too many such sites. You need to narrow the scope of your enquiry.

For fruitful discussions to take place, throw away comments must be narrowly defined otherwise their contexts get on all tangents without purpose. Likewise, the runaway theories perpetuated by a "cult of personality" is in many ways self-serving if not self-centered. It's a common take place for web surfers fell prey to sockpuppets and their string masters on the web of works. If one studies for the sole benefit of self entertainment, then to read [the web] is to deceive. But the truth remains.

rNovember 29, 2015 11:39 PM

@rL,

Unfortunately for you, I do not have the answers... you seek a) someone without an agenda and b) bulk exposure and or capabilities.

rNovember 29, 2015 11:55 PM

@reportER,

Yanno what?
When it's someone going to release Russian FSB documents? Or Chinese ones? When is the dark underbelly of the entire sad sick little world going to be revealed? When are the banks or the bankers going to panic over their livelihoods being threatened by information security and artificial intelligence or data mining and automation? When?

Because I'd like to reserve a seat to that.

ianfNovember 30, 2015 12:41 AM


Thanks, Jerome, that's what I (sort of) figured out already, but had to start the discussion somewhere.

My intention for this is to be a kind of dynamic time capsule, which is why I just can not encode the contents on good quality (but static) flashcards + letters to future users, but have to make it into an instant-view (mature adolescent-and-up) gadget. Perhaps a cpu-on-a-stick with an USB port and onboard SD-card reader (and the card sort-of glued into it) would be a better technological solution, but not from a immersive handheld time-capsule point of view. I suspect that what I'd really need is an iPod Touch-class device jailbroken to suppress iOS in favor of just the browser front-end, with the battery manually removed (won't survive the projected life time of the device anyway), and replaced by a dummy with conduits from DC power socket to onboard terminals (doable). And then encased in a custom 3D-printed case anyway, to further cloak its iPod origins.

That said, I realize that there aren't many guaranteed to last "forever" digital memory media, so a flash card may not suffice either. BTW. probably the only medium that might be fairly indestructible by itself over time would be a ~0,3mm stainless steel plate with laser-cut high density QR codes & a simple opto-reader to go with it. An A4 size can hold up to 8k characters in a (printed) QR, probably much more if holes cut by laser.

    [My interest in the #pizero or the C.H.I.P card is secondary, mainly as a tryout/ data formatting platform under Linux, so I can run my API/ IDE of choice, MicroEmacs, on it. If I could do that on an iPad, I would, but I can't. I no longer use desktop/ laptop terminals due to bad sight issues… ]

ianfNovember 30, 2015 12:50 AM


@ JB24 [cc: Dirk Praet] For "semi-anonymous" iOS  usage, initialize the device without an apple id.

That may be possible, but, if it is an iPhone, it will require a (nano) SIM. Would a garden variety pay-as-you-go 2G SIM cut to size be sufficient? During initialization, Apple presumably records its IMEI#, so there already is a "forensic" trail to it.

3) for paid iOS software, use Itunes Gift Cards.

Just make sure you buy them for cash, not by credit card, and do not use immediately (in case the cashier's desk was videotaped). Also, when on public WiFi, make sure it's not from the same hotspot every time, nor one placed nearby where you live. Make a graphic map of hotspots around the city, then randomize their use in such a fashion that, when traced over time, it can't be used to define your abode in the "statistical center" of it. Otherwise carry it around powered down and encased in a metal container. A simple precaution.

B) Is there any advantage to using an iphone without a phone carrier, but with wifi connectivity only from a privacy, or hardware hackability, perspective?

Certainly, no automatic tracing of phone movements, also longer battery life. Disadvantages are: no SMS from non-Apple devices; and a flag raised by local spooks' e-surveillance software "why is the WiFi trace of this phone not accompanied by cell-tower trace, what is the owner hiding?"

WaelNovember 30, 2015 1:09 AM

@ianf,

Certainly, no automatic tracing of phone movements

Are you sure? Does the fact that you can make an emergency number call without an inserted SIM tell you something about this?

ianfNovember 30, 2015 1:48 AM


New OT short question:

I have received a 12m long voice memo recording (mono; format .amr; size 608kB; made on a Samsung phone) with quite a bit of background noise. Does anyone know of an iOS sound editor with progressive(?), interactive(?) digital filtering capabilities that could be used to clean it up? At least to dampen/ lower the background sound level while "lifting up" the distinct voice in the foreground. I don't care if the voice sounds like that of a Siamese cat's as long as it's intelligible without the current extra ear-brain-decoding effort. Or recommend some alternatives… I'm sure most music-making teenagers would know how to deal with it, but I just do not know of any…

ObMovieReference: Gene Hackman's DIY digital filtering of analog recordings in Francis Ford Coppola's “The Conversation” (1974).

ianfNovember 30, 2015 2:04 AM


No, Wael, I'm not sure, but since it's the device that (in normal conditions) periodically advertises its presence to cell towers in its vicinity, and not the other way around, I assume that a SIM-less one won't be doing it until the need for emergency call has arisen. Because without a SIM, what could it tell a tower, that a certain IMEI# is nearby… and then what?

BTW. I also assume that, when the device switched off or in Airplane mode, and in a shielded enclosure, it doesn't send out anything even when polled by "smurfs."

ChrisNovember 30, 2015 3:48 AM

Ianf and Wael
not sure if you have read this but its kindof related to the questions you have. Especially the part where its talking about "Baseband isolation" allthough for Android but a good read.

No, Wael, I'm not sure, but since it's the device that (in normal conditions) periodically advertises its presence to cell towers in its vicinity, and not the other way around, I assume that a SIM-less one won't be doing it until the need for emergency call has arisen

https://blog.torproject.org/blog/mission-impossible-hardening-android-security-and-privacy

Clive RobinsonNovember 30, 2015 4:07 AM

@ ianf, Wael,

Not only can a phone without a SIM function fully with the network local to it it can be fully tracked.

Logicaly all phones have two numbers one for the "physical connection" the other for the user connection we call "a phone number".

The phone number you dial is "looked up" in a database and the information returned is used to setup the circuit and for unit billing to a supplier, who then converts it to an agreed rate with other suppliers and pays them, oh and they in theory then bill their subscriber for their costs pluss profit model.

It is possible to set up a phone that "does not account" for engineers and others such as emergency services. That is a flat rate for the physical connection is paid for connectivity. They can work in both directions thus you have alarms, traffic lights, electronic signs and all sorts of other systems that don't require SIMs hanging of a service provider's mobile network using it as a WAN.

So don't make the mistake of thinking that they can not track it, or for that matter send software and other "updates" to the phone they can and from somethings I've heard do...

Some call me...TimNovember 30, 2015 4:38 AM

@ianf

iOS on Samsung phone? Noise reduction sounds like a fun project. Googling the memex:

https://www.macroplant.com/iexplorer/tutorials/how-to-access-voicemail-on-iphone
http://www.guidingtech.com/26498/free-tools-remove-background-noise-audio/

Done in Windows or Mac, uses iExplorer (to transfer iphone voicemail to computer) then Audacity (no iOS app or android app) tools (for noise reduction isolating section with just noise no voice then run filter) Don't know anything about iExplorer. Audacity works in linux. Get .amr speech codec file onto computer (archive the message on android phone then copy paste to computer). I have no idea, since I've no smart phone) Don't know the impact of all the noise being in the same bandwidth of the speech codec. Might end up removing the voice also with the noise. Probably easier if perfectly mathematical noise as opposed to street noise and other conversations etc. Having messed around with sound editors after digitizing obscure vinyl thru my sound card, sounds like an interesting task.

ianfNovember 30, 2015 4:42 AM


@ Chris, as fate would have it, I chose early on to go with the iPhoneOS, later iOS devices, and thus now have no need to occupy myself with the utter buggedness(?) of the other, Androineanderthal technology.


@ Clive, Wael “Not only can a phone without a SIM function fully with the network local to it [but it can also] be fully tracked.

Are you talking of the default GSM phone behavior, all automatically being tracked by their IMEI# IDs (in response to cell tower polling), or of some on-demand special-cased one?

I know that a phone without a SIM (i.e. never initialized with one) recognizes the presence and strength of a network signal, but does it happen in a passive manner, the phone's radio reacting to certain control frequencies in the air, or upon the phone explicitly announcing itself at certain intervals? I've read that a phone at rest only refreshes its position once every 4 hours, but maybe that was just some instance variable of some network's, not a GSM cell phone constant.

ianfNovember 30, 2015 5:35 AM


@ Some call you...Tim

I think you've read way too much from my post, or maybe I wrote too little: I have no difficulties moving the .amr file via USB from the Samsung (non-Android, one of these palm-sized mini-phones they have) to a desktop, and then (I presume) converting it online from .amr to any other audio format (but maybe I should wait with that). And then sending it to iOS via email, to be saved as so-and-so app's file. It is only then that I plan to clean it up under iOS - the only thing I have to play with. AppStore has 268 "audio editor" apps but most of them concern themselves with trimming files, not so much enhancement or noise suppression (this one does the latter, but unsure to what degree and it costs €12).

    Needless to say, I have neither the time for, nor the competence to evaluate and tinker with available free apps, so if I don't get a recommendation, I may have to find someone with the knowhow to do it… the Mechanical Turk, anyone?

InsiderNovember 30, 2015 6:01 AM

Anyone who tries to separate muslim population from ISIS is very very naive.

Those 44 millions of muslims living currently in Europe have a dream and this is taking the upper hand and gaining total political control over Europe. Next step is sharia law and here you are, a european version of the saudi regime without the oil dollars.

Decades ago some European bureaucrat called Calergi wrote a book about how the Europeans should be mixed with African and Asian population to produce a new human who can't think for himself. In case you wonder how important Calergi was, check for famous European politicians showing off their Calergi awards.

Who benefits from that? Bankers and industrialists who have an easier to handle population working for less.

For the time, we have millions of muslims coming into Europe. When ISIS incidents begin to unfold, the European bureaucrats will say something about beefing up security with biometrics and constant surveillance.

Leonidas W. SmileyNovember 30, 2015 6:25 AM

@Justin

I doubt there'll be a nuclear war, since no one could enjoy their wealth. Putin is loaded for instance, and all those Chinese billionaires etc and us, well... Of course anyone with a strong end of times narrative might go that route, or if they're insular and institutionally nuts might work themselves up into an incident. A cold war is better than a hot war. Equilibrium and Maverick flying upside down flipping the bird. The end ne'er approaches. We can work it out. Signs signs, everywhere a sign. What do the guitars say?

reportERNovember 30, 2015 6:57 AM

@r

When it's someone going to release Russian FSB documents? Or Chinese ones? When is the dark underbelly of the entire sad sick little world going to be revealed?
...etc...

LOL. Hey at least Wikileaks has always portrayed themselves as not being in bed with the US government. Maybe it's time to end that joke.

WaellNovember 30, 2015 7:09 AM

@iant, @Chris, @Clive Robinson,

I assume that a SIM-less one won't be doing it until the need for emergency call has arisen

Rather than assume, why don't you read the 3GPP and LTE specifications! They are under your fingertips. I don't remember, but I wouldn't rule it out with "certitude".

Because without a SIM, what could it tell a tower, that a certain IMEI# is nearby… and then what?

And then what? Then they know where your excellency are :) But I'll check for you if I get a chance, since you want to piggyback on others, work ;)

So don't make the mistake of thinking that they can not track it

That's right! Good security people are paranoid, and if you're not wearing a straight jacket, then you're not paranoid enough :)

AsIsNovember 30, 2015 7:56 AM

Actually the full name is Coudenhove-Kalergi and the related award was given to Angela Merkel and Van Rompuy. The book in question is probably "Praktischer Idealismus".

Dirk PraetNovember 30, 2015 8:19 AM

@ ianf, @ JB24, @ Wael

Disadvantages are: no SMS from non-Apple devices; and a flag raised by local spooks' e-surveillance software

No SMS from non-Apple devices is only a disadvantage from a convenience point of view, not from a security angle. The simplest setup is an iPod Touch 5/6, iOS 8 or higher, WiFi, VPN and Signal (which is available for Android too). No SIM or baseband security issues to worry about.

@ Insider

Anyone who tries to separate muslim population from ISIS is very very naive.

Can we pretty please STOP equating Da'esh (IS) to mainstream Islam? They are a Saudi-American creation in the pursuit of a number of strategic political goals, and considered an abomination by 99+% of all Muslims, Sunni and Shia alike. If that's really what you believe, then you're allowing yourself to be played.

Decades ago some European bureaucrat called Calergi wrote a book about how the Europeans should be mixed with African and Asian population to produce a new human who can't think for himself.

Richard Nikolaus Von Coudenhove-Kalergi was a pioneer of European integration whose philosophy was that of an ethnically heterogeneous and inclusive European nation based on a commonality of culture. What book are you talking about and what chapter would that silly idea of dumbing down the population by interbreeding be in?

DougNovember 30, 2015 8:29 AM

@ianf

I assume that a SIM-less one won't be doing it until the need for emergency call has arisen Because without a SIM, what could it tell a tower, that a certain IMEI# is nearby… and then what?

That's a kind of interesting question because I would assume it's the towers that polls neary devices and the obvious application for that is anti-tampering or discovery of rogue handsets. But from an engineering standpoint, you don't want to waste tower capacity on non-subscribers so you'd want that feature on the tower turned off and make it respond only to subscribers or emergency requests.

DougNovember 30, 2015 9:07 AM

@ Dirk Praet

Using a cellphone, that means calls, facetime, sms, email, social apps, and staying anonymous seem like oxymorons. The point of using a cellphone is so that you can be reached on the go. Asking software and hardware engineers to go against that principle is asking for unnecessary trouble. I carry a cellphone because I want to be reached.

Gerard van VoorenNovember 30, 2015 9:42 AM

@ ianf,

OT: When it comes to tv or movie "technical solutions", they are 99 in 100 times an insult to technology. From "It's UNIX" to hacking. The guys who perform the hacking most of the times not even resemble ordinary hackers. The movie "War Games" was a notable exception but that movie is over 30 years old. Even "Enemy of the State" was full of, let's say, fantasy.

SmirkNovember 30, 2015 9:51 AM

@Clive Robinson

That is why i am asking, but let me rephrase it: what economic site or forum would you recommend or do you enjoy reading?

Gerard van VoorenNovember 30, 2015 11:23 AM

@ reportER,

> Question:Why doesn't Wikileaks make all of the documents available in their database? Are
> they protecting the US government?

AFAIK Wikileaks doesn't have the Snowden documents. So there is nothing to report. If they did have the documents, they would publish.

More Human Than HumanNovember 30, 2015 11:26 AM

@Insider

Decades ago some European bureaucrat called Calergi wrote a book about how the Europeans should be mixed with African and Asian population to produce a new human who can't think for himself. In case you wonder how important Calergi was, check for famous European politicians showing off their Calergi awards.

Islam is a religion. It does not matter how influential Calergi was.

It also does not matter, as eugenics and other crazy racist theories were popular in the last century pre-WWII, all of which have well been disproven by genetics.

No difference between races. There are cultural differences, and there are minor differences such as 'how much vitamin D a race gets from the sun under how much time period'. So, Calergi's opinions here are also entirely irrelevant.

Islamic differences are cultural.

The number of terrorists per Muslims is incredibly miniscule, even in Muslim majority countries where Islamic oriented violence is far more common.

More Human Than HumanNovember 30, 2015 11:33 AM

@r

Yanno what?When it's someone going to release Russian FSB documents? Or Chinese ones? When is the dark underbelly of the entire sad sick little world going to be revealed? When are the banks or the bankers going to panic over their livelihoods being threatened by information security and artificial intelligence or data mining and automation? When?Because I'd like to reserve a seat to that.

FSB and China are not as America, there is not this foundation of documents where it is understood that it is patriotic, noble to be a whistleblower.

"Anonymous" did release some important "FSB" papers, from the Russian online trolling mills.

Banks, you can pretty well forget about. What could be worse then the behaviors leading to the financial crisis? Well, it can be worse. But, few lost their jobs. There was some spanking in the media they could happily ignore.

While Fight Club & Mr Robot are great cinema, their depictions of such attacks should be considered metaphorical. (I do understand how it can be very difficult to understand how "economy" and "credit debt" can be metaphorical, but people should be traversing that road. Their "unconscious" surely already does. Albeit, their "unconscious" speaks and listens to just that very sort of language.)

More Human Than HumanNovember 30, 2015 11:38 AM

@reportER, r

When it's someone going to release Russian FSB documents? Or Chinese ones? When is the dark underbelly of the entire sad sick little world going to be revealed?...etc...LOL. Hey at least Wikileaks has always portrayed themselves as not being in bed with the US government. Maybe it's time to end that joke.

Claiming wikileaks is a sophisticated American counterintelligence project is about as much a stretch as claiming JFK was assassinated by aliens escaped from Roswell.

There is zero evidence for such a thing, and unless you wish to reveal your in-depth reasoning behind "how this could even be the case" no one else would ever even begin to make such a connection.

The damage done to the authorities and powers by these releases has been enormous. Yes, it is good for the country. But very bad for the leadership. Because of that, it is very reasonable to argue - it does not even need to be argued - that wikileaks is not a sophisticated counterintelligence project of the US Government.

You could start with pointing out one CI project which ever was even remotely similar, or reason with us how that could be a "win" for anyone, at all.

ianfNovember 30, 2015 3:21 PM


@ Insider

First, congratulations on gaining access to the Internet from inside the asylum… must be a mighty liberal kind of place. So hold onto it, don't make unnecessary waves, as you could end up in a worse place! You wrote:

    […] Those 44 millions of muslims living currently in Europe have a dream and this is taking the upper hand and gaining total political control over Europe. Next step is sharia law…

Assuming for a mo, that that 44MM figure of yours is right—I haven't counted them myself, so I couldn't say—what exactly does it tell us? 44MM out of roughly 600MM total Euro population makes ~7.3% which is clearly under the median 10-12% foreign-born in most large EU countries. Of that 44MM probably no more than half, 22MM are of working age, and half again of that, 11MM are males (of all ages). Let's further say that they are predominantly young, hence perhaps 6MM Muslims (or 1% of 600MM Euro population spread over 30 countries) that might—observe the conditional tense—easily be susceptible to jihadi slogans.

Only, where are these ECHELONS of Salafist Muslims wielding AK47s and lesser DIY assault weapons while sporting the latest in suicide-bomber vest attire? All that can be seen are isolated incidents of gangs that couldn't think straight and thus are only capable of inflicting stupid and self-defeating violence that appeal to the likes of you, the true insiders in some asylum, bent on sowing fear of Muslims for its own sake.

Because, clearly, in your mindset^H^H^Hlet, all those 44MM Muslims constitute an ethnic, ideological and cultural Monolith, all thinking alike, praying alike, shitting alike, and in a coordinated West-adverse fashion. After all, that's what they came here for (alt. chose to be born in situ): to undermine and pervert the democratic Europe, so that they may institute the same sharia laws that at least half of them previously tried to escape from. Because Allah's pull is stronger than any push of freedom. This logick enough for you, or would you like me to repost it all in upper case?

Who benefits from that? Bankers and industrialists who have an easier to handle population working for less.

Say "Jews" and be done with it (also a 4-letter word).

ianfNovember 30, 2015 5:58 PM


@ Dougwould assume it's the towers that poll near devices and the obvious application for that is anti-tampering or discovery of rogue handsets.

Cell towers can not poll individual (yet unknown) devices, at best they can broadcast their presence, and listen to responses. First when a communication channel between a named device and a tower has been established, can the latter potentially poll the known device. As for your "obvious application" for that, what "tampering" would that be, and what would signify a "rogue" device?

from an engineering standpoint, you don't want to waste tower capacity on non-subscribers so you'd want that feature on the tower turned off and make it respond only to subscribers or emergency requests.

I don't get it… cell towers do belong to specific providers, but aren't all providers' handsets, whether subscribers or not, potential customers/ users of the network?

    That said, acc. to Wael-with-an-l, you shouldn't be piggybacking on the knowledge (backs) of others, but instead immerse yourself in the 3GPP and LTE specifications to arrive at an understanding of this, that, and everything else.

@ Gerard van Vooren states the obvious:,“TV/ movie "technical solutions", are 99 in 100 times an insult to technology.

FTR the item I referenced, “The Conversation” from 1974, was the first movie (that I recall), the first time that I even heard of digital audio filters, which were there portrayed correctly, and without superfluous glamourization of the nitty-gritty. Though dealing with industrial (non-governmental) espionage, the focus of the story is not on technicalities of that, but on accumulating moral quandaries of the protagonist. I didn't thought much of it when I saw it in the 80s, but came to appreciate it more and more as time went by (that's another movie).

WaelNovember 30, 2015 7:15 PM

@ianf,

That said, acc. to Wael-with-an-l, you shouldn't be piggybacking on the knowledge (backs) of others, but instead immerse yourself in the 3GPP and LTE specifications to arrive at an understanding of this, that, and everything else.

No, that's not the message I am trying to get across! I'm saying one must be careful not to dismiss a potential threat without looking at some references (some call it due diligence.) If I remembered the answer, I would have shared it. At the same time, I shared a link with the specs that may answer many other questions.

Markus OttelaDecember 1, 2015 12:34 AM

@ Nick P, Thoth, Figureitout et. al.

I started working on a version of TFC that uses PyNaCl for encryption (hence the working title). Although I'm considering calling it Monel -- metal material for hats that goes well with salt ;)

Last time I tried Diffie-Hellman it was insecure both implementation and bit-strength wise. DJB's Curve25519 should do it. The wonderful benefit is, compared to classical DHE, public key length is much sorter (64 hex chars instead of 768): having to spend two minutes to type a key is a lot more convenient than 25 minutes.

It's much harder to hide malicious functionality into such short key (visual cues on TxM imply the proper length too). I then do my best to sanitize the public key input.

I'm salting the shared key with public keys and transmitting symmetric keys directly from TxM to RxM over third data diode, that only needs to be connected during delivery of keys, including local ones. So no more thumbdrives. All commands are still transmitted via NH, encrypted and signed.

I'm also looking into using bcrypt as KDF to strengthen forward secrecy between rotated keys.

I uploaded some secreenshots on current statek.

WaelDecember 1, 2015 1:05 AM

@ianf, @JB24, @Dirk Praet, @Clive Robinson,

Otherwise carry it around powered down and encased in a metal container

If you want to play Hide-and-seek, the sardines variant, and you are the one hiding, then leave the Smartsnitch behind. Why would you want to carry it along if it's powered down and "shielded" anyway?

When you play Hide-and-seek with the big boys, there will be another sub-variant of the game: If you get caught with the setup you describe, you'll likely be the one ending up encased in a metal container ;) Better have a good explanation to them what you're trying to hide!

FigureitoutDecember 1, 2015 1:34 AM

obsidian
--Someone suggested it's a silent protest...https://github.com/http2/http2-spec/commit/ac468f3fab9f7092a430eedfd69ee1fb2e23c944

Markus Ottela
--Looks good! Keep making it stronger and more options! More diverse means more targets attackers must hit, simple truth. I can't really offer crypto advice w/ confidence, can only implement a few ciphers. :p I have a separate project in mind that should be nice for at least encrypted key backups.

I guess I should update my work (w/ no pictures, I need to sanitize some... :( ), got main functionality working of physical detector and then transmitting that via nRF24L01+. Have quite a few more tests to run before initial release. Now I'm still thinking about what security features to add and how to do it. I haven't tried yet, but I believe to change channels can't really be done as is as it's a "const" I believe, so I think I can add a bunch of #ifdefs for around 100 channels that get added based off a PRNG at startup, and to make more secure to restart frequently. This is to counter simple sniffers on preset channels, they gotta step their game up now. Ideally, I want counter detection, which is essentially "attacking the attackers", but that needs more devices. I also want to get off 2.4GHz for future devices.

Of course AES library I want to use had an issue and I had to tweak it (add "const" to some variable/function, I forget right now but will point out later, but it compiled). It's still not playing nice w/ RF, I may delay it in initial release. Transmitting and receiving the data cleanly is still a slight problem (there's a little garbage getting included and I don't know what it is). I think I can definitely have XTEA crypto and TDES/DES. I'll probably have separate programs for each, but I'd like to have a choice on the "serial monitor" for the user.

The pairing aspect I was worried about, I think it's better than what I was thinking since I can have an either 40-bit or 64-bit variable (the datasheets and code are confusing...) that opens a "pipe" and I can add in a check for other devices trying to connect; so it's still a risk that someone could get lucky or brute-force search that address space quickly enough to warrant an attack that destroys the security. I want to be able to detect such attacks somehow and warn user.

I'll mention it again when I release first revision, but main (strong) security benefits I see in my product is being able to write logs to internal EEPROM of device that could be hidden in a lot of places. Using RF means no wire for physical attackers to follow. So initial attack needs to find a pretty crazy hiding spot, assuming a clean starting point (attackers haven't bugged your home already), means they need to interrogate and sniff out those devices; but I'm planning on no "heartbeats" and only receiving devices, no re-transmitting (there may still be some in the lower-level protocol which concerns me).

I think I can make a few "branch-off" products from this, in particular, a chat program is my next target, I just am concerned about "buffers" and such (I don't want to limit the user to typing too many characters etc., want protocol to handle it and slice up data and transmit cleanly). If you're interested in collaborating on a RF-version of TFC let me know. Probably be best to wait and let you see this first; my code won't be hard at all to read, but library code slightly (still not that hard actually...author did a good job of some real nice usable code). I want to make a hardware "shield" for clean 3.3V for nRF and potentially a HWPRNG if my entropy is found to have hold and design a nice case too which will take time.

Clive RobinsonDecember 1, 2015 4:14 AM

@ Wael,

When you play Hide-and-seek with the big boys, there will be another sub-variant of the game:

The sub-variant is just the entrance to a labyrinth of pain and hurt. You've already guilty ad charged as far as the big boys are concerned, your protestations of innocence is at best entertainment for them, and a way for you to be charged with more crimes.

The only time protestations of innocence works in such a rigged system is in front of a jury of your peers. But as you will have nodoubt noticed both the US and UK legal systems are set up to prevent you getting in front of a jury, or if you can have the charges so numerous that you can not beat them all, and thus in both the jury and judges mind "smoke and mirrors are seen as fire" so the result is a heavy sentance for having the temerity to make the prosecuters lives difficult.

But if people want to go that way, I would suggest a small but heavy metal toolbox with a lock. Obviously it needs to have tools in it and you must have a reason for having them in your car etc. The reason for "locking it up" is that you are following the police "Lock it out of sight" advice to motorists.

But as I don't drive I'll have to think of another way/reason if I'm ever daft enough to get into that sort of situation ;-)

winstoneDecember 1, 2015 5:52 AM

@ Wael: When you play Hide-and-seek with the big boys, there will be another sub-variant of the game:....

So what you're saying is if you have nothing to fear, you have nothing to hide? (or is is 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear' it all comes to the same either way)

CuriousDecember 1, 2015 8:03 AM

'Privacy International' takes UK's GCHQ to court.

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-12/01/gchq-hacking-court-privacy-international

"The charity is today taking GCHQ to court over the suggested development and deployment of malware, created alongside the US National Security Agency (NSA)."

"The security boss defended GCHQ's hacking powers by saying that while they were "highly intrusive" they were "not in general any more intrusive than other operations," such as those where listening devices are put into the homes of residents."

"If made law, this would set a dark precedent globally and green-light similar practices in nations both friendly and unfriendly to the United Kingdom." (A quotation or perhaps paraphrase in the article.)

Dirk PraetDecember 1, 2015 8:46 AM

@ Wael, @ Clive

If you get caught with the setup you describe, you'll likely be the one ending up encased in a metal container ;) Better have a good explanation to them what you're trying to hide!

I also don't quite see the point of carrying around a cellphone with its battery removed or encased in some metal container. It will raise red flags everywhere, unless of course you can convincingly argue that you are a Belgian IT security professional with a mild paranoid personality disorder and some paperwork to back that up. In which case the average LEO might just shrug his shoulders, roll his eyes and give you a "Carry on, Sir".

CallMeLateForSupperDecember 1, 2015 10:00 AM

"[Department of Homeland Security] Giving Firms Free Penetration Tests", reports Krebs on Security.
http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/12/dhs-giving-firms-free-penetration-tests/

As is often the case, the devil is in the details. Lots of details here, so lots of devil.

I wonder if "partners" (why not "clients"??) get the benefit of NSA's stash of zero-days during pen tests. Probably not.

Only "critical infrastructure" entities are eligible for this freebie. Doesn't that encompass every stick-screw *except* most small businesses?

More Human Than HumanDecember 1, 2015 10:53 AM

@CallMeLateForSupper

I wonder if "partners" (why not "clients"??) get the benefit of NSA's stash of zero-days during pen tests. Probably not.

etc...

A few things:

1) Krebs quotes Dave Aitel, without noting that Aitel started out in the NSA, and so did his wife. Just like a number of other early luminaries. He also had, for awhile, a closed session zero day selling service. I am not sure if he still has that. In fact, his firm was one of the first contracting firms for selling zero days.

From interactions with him 'in the day', I do not believe he is actually any kind of spy or undercover agent. He was fired from the NSA for improper behavior, and I do not believe that was some clever distancing setup. But, just to point out these sorts of facts.

Not everyone, everywhere, is trying to spy or is spying.

Fact is a lot of the earliest computer security workers got their start from intelligence or military. The fact is, that is just where the first serious employable focus came from.

2) Not until recently has it been said that the NSA's code review program is actually keeping vulnerabilities. They have been performing code reviews for a very long time now on any sensitive code that touches or runs on DoD systems.

Frankly, on that, I am actually skeptical the NSA always does keep back some bugs or has been doing that forever, or does it all the time.

One process is defense and very defense minded, and at total contrary aims to offense.

Problem is, however, that keeping back some bugs can aid in counterintelligence systems that are well devised for watching for exploitation of such bugs which should be 'hard to find' and 'critical'.

These sorts of systems are fallible and really only in the past five years has the fallibility of them been significantly decreased. That is, so you have a special IDS type system which has rules for specific zero day you have, problem is catching every possible obfuscation of exploitation accurately. If you do not, well, the systems you are protecting would be hacked by the very bugs you did not fix. And those would be the very systems your group was charged with protecting, such as DoD systems and worse. There is worse.

3) DHS is very, very removed from NSA. NSA, CIA, FBI maybe get together, but even those agencies are all very different. Secret Service is very removed from those three, yet deal with computer crimes. Difference being, unlike the FBI there is no real intelligence or counterintelligence focus.

Whereas the FBI has been and is very intelligence and counterintelligence focused.

DHS does have some groups not as removed from intelligence as others, for instance, they have a division that performs an actual sort of counterintelligence which is very sophisticated -- for instance, their division which tries to prevent arms and technology proliferation.

Controlled technology proliferation.

But, much of the DHS, including that division, is ultimately far more law enforcement then intelligence.

Much of intelligence is about breaking laws, being sneaky, really the very opposite of law enforcement. The mindset and cultures are entirely different. I would be surprised if the DHS was literally okay with circumventing security of their clients.

But, intelligence can infilitrate and take over anything, so who knows. But if this were the case, it would be deeply against the aims and goals of the workers there, I would think.

WaelDecember 1, 2015 10:56 AM

@winstone,

So what you're saying is if you have nothing to fear [...] it all comes to the same either way)

Not at all! I'm saying try to play a game that's winnable. You have to understand why you're shielding the phone. Is it because you don't want your biometrics (steps, walking, running,...) tracked? Is it because you're concerned that someone can remotely turn on the microphone and capture a confidential conversation? Perhaps you want to obscure your geolocation from others? Unless you know the reason and validate that your "OPSEC" steps actually achieve what you want, then you're potentially raising red flags and at the same time you may not be "mitigating" your risk of concern. For example, if there is spyware on the phone that records your conversations then send them when the phone has connectivity, then what have you accomplished? If you're trying to obscure your geolocation, then why are you carrying the phone along, do you plan to use it when you reach your destination?

Clive RobinsonDecember 1, 2015 11:16 AM

Blackberry are pulling out of Pakistan over state spying, a month later than expected.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-34962361

They claim that the Pakistan Government want full access to the Blackberry in state servers, and are not prepared to allow it. Thus the Pakistan Government has told them to remove the servers, but for some reason has extended the deadline by a month.

This suggests that the game of chicken between the two is still in progress. As I noted some time ago Pakistan has more to lose than Blackberry on this, and I just wish Blackberry would pull the plug on the Pakistani Government and have done with them. The more companies that pull the plug on the likes of Pakistan the better.

Further which ever companies stay there or move into bed with the Pakastani Government are ones we will then know are untrustworthy and thus a must to avoid.

Clive RobinsonDecember 1, 2015 11:44 AM

And now for a new UI for your mobile "MineCraft"...

http://verizoncraft.github.io/

Just remember Micro$haft own MineCraft these days so it's bound to have a massive back door pit in to keep The USG DoJ, NSA, FBI, uncle Tom Cobbly and all sweet...

Gerard van VoorenDecember 1, 2015 12:43 PM

@ Clive Robinson about the NSL,

From the arstechnica page:

> The FBI subsequently dropped demands for the information on one of Merrill's customers, but
> he fought the gag order in what turned out to be an 11-year legal odyssey just to expose
> what the FBI was seeking.

This is the part that worries me. If the FBI has a case, then why dropping demands? Is the guy they are following suddenly not a suspect or something? The ease of it all. They want everything and if someone press charges they just drop it as if nothing has happened. Same with Thomas Drake. They charged him with everything they have and then dropped all charges the day before court. What are these guys?

JustinDecember 1, 2015 1:22 PM

@ ianf

Who benefits from that? Bankers and industrialists who have an easier to handle population working for less.

Say "Jews" and be done with it (also a 4-letter word).

Now I don't agree with Insider's comment, but that's a big leap to make, and you're the one that made it, so.... For one thing, I'm guessing that Jews are as well represented as any other minority among the poor and subjugated population.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_antisemitism

Is Criticism Of Goldman Really Anti-Semitism?

Norwegian bank offended Jews with ‘anti-Semitic’ credit card

Whole can of worms. And yeah, well, also plenty of powerful wealthy folks with an attitude like Henry Ford's, for example, although nowadays, of course they tend to keep quiet in public about it.

CuriousDecember 1, 2015 1:23 PM

Complementary article to the one I posted above, about 'Privacy International' said to be suing UK's GCHQ.

"GCHQ accused of 'persistent' illegal hacking at security tribunal"
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/dec/01/gchq-accused-of-persistent-illegal-hacking-at-security-tribunal

I don't understand. The Guardian has no information about when or where these things are happening. Where did The Guardian get this information from at all? How come The Guardian is reporting on this anyway?

Dirk PraetDecember 1, 2015 5:46 PM

@ Justin, @ ianf

Now I don't agree with Insider's comment, but that's a big leap to make, and you're the one that made it, so ...

Given @Insider's disposition towards Muslims, I don't think it's a big leap to assume that he meant Jews indeed. But which is a lot less salonfähig to say out loud than villifying Muslims.

@ Curious

Where did The Guardian get this information from at all? How come The Guardian is reporting on this anyway?

Unlike most Western mainstream media, some exceptions like The Guardian still practice the ancient trade of journalism, bringing to light inconvenient truths governments and other powers that be rather keep in the dark.

@ Gerard van Vooren

They charged him with everything they have and then dropped all charges the day before court. What are these guys?

Weasels. When they know they are on thin constitutional ice, they will from time to time drop charges rather than drawing to much media attention to specific cases, especially when there isn't much of a case or the origin of their evidence somehow questionable.

@ Clive

Thanks to the legal fight of an ISP owner and a judge, and it's worse than you probably guessed...

Like many other things, it was exactly as bad as we had assumed it was. But now at least we have it black on white.

I just wish Blackberry would pull the plug on the Pakistani Government and have done with them.

So do I. But it is kinda weird that they previously did bend over for the Indian government. Which leads me to believe it's just a price issue.

@ winstone

So what you're saying is if you have nothing to fear [...] it all comes to the same either way)

It has nothing to do with that. It's about everyone's personal threat model and the corresponding OPSEC.

L. W. SmileyDecember 1, 2015 6:36 PM

The secret courts, NSL's etc are a moat around the Supreme Court to prevent 4th Amendment and 1st Amendment chilling effect challenges to 9/11 law. What judge, what Constitutional Law Professor could confuse an NSL with a lawful warrant? How is a search based on an NSL not warrantless? From the ars article

"In response to the President’s new direction, the FBI will now presumptively terminate National Security Letter nondisclosure orders at the earlier of three years after the opening of a fully predicated investigation or the investigation’s close.

Continued nondisclosures orders beyond this period are permitted only if a Special Agent in Charge or a Deputy Assistant Director determines that the statutory standards for nondisclosure continue to be satisfied and that the case agent has justified, in writing, why continued nondisclosure is appropriate."

That second paragraph - wha? Isn't that allowing indefinite extensions based solely on an agent's signature, the same authority used to issue it in the first place?

The FBI and the Justice department can bring flimsy cases and investigate simply to turn a target's life upside down as retribution for insubordinate behavior. Exact tremendous economic penalty for legal defense. The NSL search, a fishing expedition for any useful stick with which to beat the target into submission. Drop the case just before trial. Far worse than any SLAPP.

Nota DingoDecember 1, 2015 7:39 PM

Australia gov just got massive hack via BOM which is connected to defence and other gov system. Sources point finger at China.

ianfDecember 1, 2015 9:10 PM


@ Wael says one must be careful not to dismiss a potential threat without looking at some references (some call it due diligence.) Had he remembered the answer, he'd have shared it. Instead, he shared a link with the specs that may answer many other questions.

Face it, it's you & Clive (& some LESSER GODS—you know who you are ;-)) who are our references, and posting here is our due diligence. You assuming each of us capable of correctly weeding out and evaluating what we asked for from voluminous specs containing "answers to many other questions" is wishful thinking. But even when you do respond in somewhat narrowed-down fashion, we're just as likely to get open-ended answers, or parables in Clive's case. When all we need to know is the precise, preferably integer, value of (π + π).

Otherwise carry [a device] around powered down and encased in a metal container

    If you get caught with the setup you describe, you'll likely be the one ending up encased in a metal container

I don't remember how we got there, but think the context was whether a non-SIM phone kept advertising its IMEI# presence to cell towers, or the cell towers polled devices in their vicinity by default (and for the fun in it). I don't think either of us got any definitive, usable answer to that.

Better have a good explanation to [the police] what you're trying to hide!

I do, though would not disclose it until accompanied by a lawyer just to be sure: "WHAT GRAVE TRANSGRESSIONS AM I SUSPECTED OF that you need to collect metadata of my cell tower whereabouts?" (Let the prosecutor in charge of police daily errands argue the need to hold me anyway in front of a judge knowing full well that another complaint will be inserted into her file and glanced over in the future when she's being considered for a higher office.)

    In fact, when doing errands in the neighborhood etc, I no longer carry the iPhone, but a simple flip phone WITHOUT a SIM for emergency use. Should I be questioned about that setup, I will say that as I don't want to flash a $1000 phone in public for fear of being robbed (which happens here now and then, usually teens doing the grab-and-run thing), so why would I carry it around with me anyway? Then watch them lick their lips in vain.

ianfDecember 1, 2015 9:18 PM


@ Justin, Dirk Praet

Deranged stipulations require hyperbolic refutations. @Insider's "bankers and industrialists" as those directly benefitting from the current migrant influx crisis, hence presumably also directing or at lest "behind it", are a typical euphemism for "the Jews," who—as we all know since "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" times—are plotting against humanity for their own private enrichment. Enough?
(Justin, put your analytical powers to better use than attempts to explain anti-Semitism in post-Holocaust times.)

[…] plenty of powerful wealthy folks like Henry Ford, although nowadays, of course they tend to keep quiet in public about it.

    Not only that, but, faced with non-Euro immigration (necessary for nation-survival that's threatened by low native procreation rates) the Jews of past times have suddenly became nostalgia-laden, salonfähig, with traditionally chauvinistic right-wing parties actually striving to have white Jewish "talking heads" in their executive bodies (as a legitimizing factor; bonus points if also a woman or a person of vague ethnic origin).

JustinDecember 1, 2015 10:26 PM

@ ianf

I've never understood the "Protocols of Zion" which apparently Henry Ford was distributing. Bunch of deranged mumbo-jumbo about supposedly Jewish plans to take over the "goyim" which its author claims means "cattle" in Hebrew.

I'd say more about it, but sometimes, the less said, the better.

WaelDecember 1, 2015 11:12 PM

@ianf,

Face it, it's you & Clive (& some LESSER GODS—you know who you are

Nonsense! I'm a nobody -- a small fish on a big ocean.

or parables in Clive's case.

Oh, @Clive Robinson operates at a different level. I'm sure Captain Picard feels your pain in Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra -- lol.

When all we need to know is the precise, preferably integer, value of (π + π)

Oh, why didn't you say so from the beginning! It's τ, @ianf! It's τ!

But even when you do respond in somewhat narrowed-down fashion, we're just as likely to get open-ended answers

Because the idea is to think together :) Want a closed-ended answer? Here it is: MNOs don't follow the latest 3GPP specifications. It's too expensive to update their infrastructure, so you have to find out what specification level they're at for starters. Forget the specs now. Get an Android phone and put it in "development mode", then connect it to computer with the Android SDK then do this from a command line (or use Eclipse / ADT)..., Remove the SIM from the phone, of course.

adb logcat -b radio and see what it spits out. Move around with the phone between cell towers and check the output, which you may want to dump into a file. There are more specialized software and hardware tools, but you probably won't be able to get your hands on them. Like I said, I'll check with one of my NAS engineer buddies to find out for sure, but this may take a lot of time. Until then, assume that a SIM-less phone is just as "leaky" regardless of the pull / broadcast method. In other words, I'm too lazy to look at the specs right now. Remember that the SIM is just a Subscriber Identity Module. There are other identifiers bound to the phone itself like an IMEI or an ECN (Electronic Serial Number) among other things. So removing the SIM doesn't necessarily mean the phone can't be tracked. I would say the SIM can't be tracked in this case ;)

I'm also a bit curious... You're one of the few people who use "access" as a noun and don't use it as a verb, hence you say "gain access". Are you an English Major or something? :)


winstoneDecember 2, 2015 5:13 AM

@Wael
I guess to be more specific, "Better have a good explanation to them what you're trying to hide" sounds like you're saying we need a reason for privacy. My point is that nobody needs to explain why they use security.

Clive RobinsonDecember 2, 2015 6:00 AM

@ Winstone,

My point is that nobody needs to explain why they use security.

Actually they do, in the UK and quite a few other places.

In many jurisdictions the legislation allows a "warranted officer" to have "reasonable suspicion" and to act on it. Thus you can be arrested for "going equipped" to commit an offence, or "to be carrying" an object or objects an officer might have reasonable suspicion is going to be used or can be used by others as a weapon, or might be goods to which the person carrying has no ownership, entitlement or permission.

Keeping such items concealed can perversely be considered "reasonable suspicion" thus any attempt to keep things hidden / out of sight / concealed / hidden is sufficient grounds for reasonable suspicion in a public place, even though it might be the obvious thing to do to "your peers" on a jury but not to an officer of the law (police/bailiff/etc) or court (counsel/magistrate/judge/etc)...

Reasonable suspicion also varies a lot so keeping documents locked up in a briefcase, draw or safe is not grounds on private property unless the officer has sufficient articulable suspicion he can present to a judge for a warrant that the documents are not yours etc.

Unfortunately as many are finding the likes of the US DoJ are pushing realy very hard to reduce the level of suspicion or definition of "plain sight" to the point they are meaningless protections under law. Which obviously has significant implications for privacy.

You only have to look at how much money various police officers and departments have taken off of people in the US to see where things are going, ie back to the bad old days of the King and his appointed few over a thousand years ago...

Clive RobinsonDecember 2, 2015 7:11 AM

@ Curious,

The idea is simple, the cost and loss of privacy and freedom an individual bares when a functionary of the military is forced on them is unjust, and should not happen.

The military not just the NSA are talking up "cyber", the question is thus, "Is a cyber functionary equivalent in effects on the individual to a biological functionary?"

Well if you consider cost, the question to ask is it equivalent to a uniform tax or to a non uniform fine or imposition. The answer to which is it's nonuniform, so it's a burden on the individual not a uniform tax on the population.

The same argument applies to the loss of privacy and freedom.

Finally there is the question of imposition, did the individual request or agree to have the Military/NSA functionaries open their private corespondance or papers? I suspect not.

Whilst I can see the logic, despite what the legal proffession claim case law as well as legislative law only have nominal logic, at best it is opinion which opens a massive gulf between logic and law and allows the wild horses of emotion to be driven through without let or hindrance.

Which allows another problem, that of "Authoritarian Following" of the "My Flag Right or Wrong" mentality found in those of a conservative approach to life. Which appears to afflict the current Supreme Court in large amounts.

Authoritarian following is a serious problem for society, at best it's an anchor on freedom at worst it's the "Only Following Orders" reasoning that makes any crime excusable, rape, murder, genocide, torture, if it's bad it finds refuge in the Authoritarian follower excuse of "only following orders". The US were at one point very anti "Only Following Orders" as the war crimes trials at the end of WWII, but not any longer, "Might is Right" and the faux "Godhead of Kings" is back to the drumbeat of those who profit most from such behaviour.

So untill the US gets it's moral compass pointing in the right direction the argument will not get a fair hearing.

WaelDecember 2, 2015 10:20 AM

@Winstone,

sounds like you're saying we need a reason for privacy.

I'm not saying that. They are, and that's the reality of the situation. It's actually a little worse; they say you don't need privacy -- full stop.

My point is that nobody needs to explain why they use security

I agree. Privacy is a basic human right. Can you imagine having to explain why you eat, drink, or breath? What I'm saying is you need to explain what you mean by "Security" to yourself (not to me) so that you understand what it is you're trying to accomplish. Then look at the mechanism you chose (DuckDuckGo, noscript, air gaps, firewalls, etc...) and see what you gave up to achieve your "Security" goals, and if indeed the tradeoffs you made are sensible.

trsm.mckayDecember 2, 2015 5:41 PM

@Who > An interesting essay by Guido Stepken on the Linux UEFI TPM 2.0 security impacts.

Don't bother reading the link for a technical argument, but it is kind of fun (in the sense of watching car crash footage) to read the slammed together mashup of news events and various conspiracy theories. The author has no idea of how these things actually work, and separate components are all muddled together. Here is my favorite excerpt, explaining the consequences of having a "security chain" in the TPM being signed something that is "higher in the key hierarchy" (most likely the nefarious Microsoft, which BTW is the same as the NSA):

Hardware encryption on newer INTEL Xeon machines, at boot, load those key rings from UEFI tables into processor buffer. From then on, the CPU hardware encrypts everything with Microsoft and U.S. authorities keys being enclosed in the key ring, independent of used operating system!

And not even software encryption will save you!

Using software encryption sometimes does not help, since a "secure tunnel" (e.g. to your bank) is built up with help of your own key ring and the bank's key ring. Since your bank's key ring always is "signed" by U.S. authorities, they automatically can decode all your SSL traffic.

I was tempted (https://xkcd.com/386/) to unravel the real from the imagined with carefully written posts; but decided it was too much effort; and so I am reduced to jeering from the sidelines.

tyrDecember 3, 2015 12:23 AM


Today's winner of the InterNets.

"too much effort; and so I am reduced to jeering from the sidelines"

AsIsDecember 3, 2015 3:26 AM

@trsm.mckay

The essay has some valid points: those processors employ hardware encryption of running code so that this code is a big black box (for the end user).

Who can tell that this will not be taken advantage of the same way Windows-EFI interaction was?


@Dirk Praet

According to Wikipedia, you are wrong about that "silly idea":


In his book Praktischer Idealismus (Practical Idealism), he wrote:[42]
“ The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today's races and classes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future, similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals. ”
“ Instead of destroying European Jewry, Europe, against its own will, refined and educated this people into a future leader-nation through this artificial selection process. No wonder that this people, that escaped Ghetto-Prison, developed into a spiritual nobility of Europe. Therefore a gracious Providence provided Europe with a new race of nobility by the Grace of Spirit. This happened at the moment when Europe's feudal aristocracy became dilapidated, and thanks to Jewish emancipation.

L. W. SmileyDecember 3, 2015 4:14 AM

EFF article: Google’s Student Tracking Isn’t Limited to Chrome Sync:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/12/googles-student-tracking-isnt-limited-chrome-sync

I think I remember hearing on Frontline that Larry and Sergey said that it's not surveillance (not an invasion of privacy) if a "robot" watches (and profiles) you, kinda like the gov saying it's not a search, data hasn't been collected until a human looks at it. I guess they forgot to tell the robot to stop looking when students used non-educational google apps. Automation is great.

Dirk PraetDecember 3, 2015 4:57 AM

@ AsIs

According to Wikipedia, you are wrong about that "silly idea":

But how do these quotes in any way relate to the "dumbing down" of that new mixed race? That's the silly part I was refering to.

More Human Than HumanDecember 3, 2015 12:11 PM

@Dirk Praet

This attack was similar in number to attacks performed by a variety of crazy mass murderers over the years.

While this may be true from an accounting point of view, it would be most unwise to underestimate the destructive potential of a growing number of radicalised elements in Western Europe. That's what happened in Molenbeek.

Sorry, I missed this one...

I am and have been very long concerned about the problem of Islam. I was deeply posting far before 9/11 on Usenet Islam, right up there against Neo-Nazism.

I do work in security, and unfortunately, much of my work focus in terms of 'nation based threats' over the years however has been with China and Russia.

But China and Russia are not really "threats", except ultimately as they are tied up in Muslim majority nation interests contrary to the best interests for the long term stability of the world.

The reason why there are so many forced engagements in that sector of the world is most certainly because of "US" actions. The region was already deeply destabilized, however. The advances of Shia in Lebanon, and extremism in Israel was inexcusable. That this destabalization meant very hard times in much of the region (except, so far, for Israel, practically) has been difficult to stomach. But, that is the short term. Much of this works requires 'breaking some eggs to make omelets'. The long term is what matters.

As you mention, there is also the very serious problem of, frankly, Islam in the West, which has at its' core a philosophy of violence and subjection in its' teachings.

Critics love to argue that Christians have done worse, or say "Islam is peace". But, this is wrong, to be entirely political incorrect. While both Moses and Muhommad were very warlike people, there is a distinct contrast between how Moses operated and how Muhommad operated. Which is exactly why you do not see this same philosophy of "kill and call it God" from Jews. With Christians, it was an anomaly, Jesus clearly was very far from warlike.

That gets more complicated. But, these are the realities of the underlining religions.

Still, it is critical to treat immigrants kindly and fairly. And this sort of commentary I do not normally bring out. Instead, I prefer to praise the significant good behavior of most Muslims - even the vast majority - though I am well aware that for them to be this way, they are actually going against their own religious background.

I will also state this is not a crusade. I do not care how people believe. What I care about is how people treat other people. And frankly, when in power, Islam is terrifically horrible, all unreasonable legends about middle ages Spain contrasted against middle ages Christianity aside. Reality is Islam has consistent horrible behavior of treating others badly, in their regions controlled by Islam today and over the past.

Some isolated examples aside.

While certainly there does remain middle ages like Christians, in the "fundie" portion, they are the extreme minority and are way against their own teachings when they go the way of narrow mindedness and intolerance. The vast majority are strong liberals, as Jesus clearly was. Likewise, with Judaism.

Obviously, the solution is not as with it was with Communism. Communism was really all 'top down'. You change the leadership, the people follow. Islam is distributed and not top down. Regime change just means another baddy comes into power. This is not something new, and was well known even under the consideration of toppling Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Egypt.

Operations, physical doctoring operations, are ugly and bloody, but that has to be done. Normally the patient is asleep, but this is not always the case. It is clear, however, much of "the patient" is asleep and blind to what is going on.

Change has to happen, and it will happen. It is certainly not democratic, there is no poll solicited. Debate is meaningless. People will just lie about these things, as they do on some many intense topics.

tyrDecember 3, 2015 8:38 PM


@More Human Than Human

There's a real problem of smearing across a historical
record when those who wrote it had very little in the
way of understanding their own records.

When Krakatoa Knocked down the romans in 535 it ruined
the continuity of society until about 900. What was then
pieced together claimed continuity with the past and it
re-assembled from the shattered mess something that it
thought worked well enough to start recording again.

If you notice those dates overlap the spread of the two
Abrahamic cults across parts of Europe in a situation
when mere survival was more important than finely logic
chopping over who was nicer to others.

This re-assembled mess began to spin a narrative of the
connection with the past triumphant empires, basically
a fairy tale about origins which was elaborated as the
ability to read and write spread.

Everybody wants to wrap the holy narrative of the past
golden age around them as they stand on the locally
perceived moral high ground. This used to work fine as a
mechanism to limit the influence of strangers with their
dangerous foreign ideas.

Once that mindset gets loose in a world with no effective
frontiers against ideas it can have no other effect than
to create the mess you see around you. There is no one
problem that can be named that is without a human part,
that makes all of the worlds problems human problems.

We cannot continue to assume that what was workable in
the tribal world of goat turd fires and sheets for the
stylish clothing is the solution to any of our modern
problems. What makes this worse is we haven't bothered
to find out where we got those ideas from.

If you blindly insist that religion is immune to critical
examinations which need to be acted upon then you remain
in the traps of the past. By the same token you cannot
blindly assume that the versions of the past peddled by
cultures are somehow valid and above suspicion. That's
the way they are framed in far too many cases which is
the problem with a lot of the world.

I'm not advocating discarding anything that is valid from
the past record, but none of it should be accepted at face
value from any source.

Genghis Khans people deliberately shattered and decimated
Moslem civilization so euros are not the only one with a
few tattered scraps for the basis of their cultural fairy
tale.

The best definition for a culture I ever heard was that the
members think the members of other cultures are insane due
to their inability to see that the way they do things is
not the right way to do them. You can't fix that problem
with a bomb, doesn't matter if it falls from a B-52 or is
strapped around a dumbass.

It's easy to get the moral high ground, your behavior has
to embody it. If your actions don't it is just another lie
in the sea of lies.


Dirk PraetDecember 3, 2015 8:56 PM

@ tyr

You can't fix that problem with a bomb, doesn't matter if it falls from a B-52 or is strapped around a dumbass.

Brilliantly said!

FM RadioDecember 3, 2015 9:25 PM

To start with, Old Testament is full of violent attacks of Jews against other nations. So goes the argument about "you do not see this same philosophy of "kill and call it God" from Jews".

The same with Islam, the religion was born using violence as a doctrine for expansion.

However, they can practice whatever they like as long as they stay home.

To put it another way: They may like brutal punishment of thieves and so on. Though we view it as insane, they think this is the right thing to do. After all, the same is said about the death penalty here in the States.

The problem starts when someone forces them or encourages them to move into other territories. Of course they will try to have their own way of how things should be. Soros convinced Europeans that open borders was a good idea, let them have the consequences. Some generals decided that changing the situation in Syria to promote radical Islam was a good idea, let them have the consequences by having to go to war. Just don't mix other people into this mess.

WaelDecember 3, 2015 10:11 PM

@tyr, @Dirk Praet,

Brilliantly said!

Yep!

You can't fix that problem with a bomb, doesn't matter if it falls from a B-52 or is strapped around a dumbass.

I stand in awe, mate! Shock and awe, that is :)

More Human Than HumanDecember 3, 2015 11:16 PM

@FM Radio

To start with, Old Testament is full of violent attacks of Jews against other nations. So goes the argument about "you do not see this same philosophy of "kill and call it God" from Jews".

That is a very confident statement for someone who has clearly not read the book, and is not even very familiar with the content.

I would suggest to avoid many general life problems, to set your bar for confidence far, far higher. If you get that confident on everything with such a low bar of evidence, you must have some severe life problems. And certainly will in the future when your confidence gets crashed by reality.

1. Excepting the takeover of the land of Israel, the Jews were the victim almost invariably, not the aggressor.
2. You can not separate the miraculous from those aggressions without entirely undermining the entire account. For instance, if the ten plagues did not happen, then Egypt was not leveled by the Hebrews. You simply can not have one without the other.

But, more importantly, the virtue of the heroes and heroines in the Judeo-Christian scriptures was personified, ultimately, through the person of Jesus. That system of virtue is relayed through modern Western fiction, including cinema.

If you have ever admired any fictional character from Western nations, you have effectively admired Jesus with another face and another name.

This is why Western fiction dominates the world.

Propagation by "parable", or metaphor.

Needless to say, you can divorce the divine from the story of Muhommad. The teachings encourage taking up the claim, with zero miracle.

And, so it is, people have unconsciously soaked in that Western understanding of virtue, of morality, by Western fiction. Which does not include individuals like what you see in Al Qaeda or ISIS, but as the "bad guys".

They don't see it, because they abhor Western fiction, and rightly so. If they soaked it in, it would make them like us. As horrible as our lives are.

As good as their lives are.

Very obviously, those last two statements are deeply sarcastic.

However, they can practice whatever they like as long as they stay home.

... and etc, related...

I even said that. I go even further and welcome anyone with open arms whatever their belief system, as long as it does not preach violence against others.

This, btw, is the way it is in the US. It is not it is in France.

In France, they can not touch a group even if it openly preaches violence.

In the US, and numerous other Western nations, this is a strict limit of free speech no one disagrees with. Certainly not even anyone here on this very pro-privacy and pro-free speech and human rights forum.

You mention Soros and his opinions. And that is a perfect good example. Soros is a man with some opinions, and very limited power. He certainly is not part of the power structure in the West which has been systematically ripping apart that section of the world.

The brutal reality is: his opinions do not matter.

The death penalty will go away. So will the general problem the US has with over incarceration. We can all be very sure of that.

Just a matter of time.

But, you can also be sure that the world is changing, and changing hard, and the way things are done in Muslim majority nations are going to change as well.

Few are visibly calling for that. Each incident has had its' own reasons for happening entirely apart from this.

It might only be noted that the carrot here was first offered and continually offered.

So, this is the stick.

But, in such manipulation, the stick never wins out. The carrot always does.

And that? Is actually exactly what was said in the Old Testament, specifically when Israel was ordered to attack, or when enemies of Israel were ordered to attack them.

In the later cased, it was specifically pointed out that those sent to take over Israel had one idea in mind. But, the one was really behind the attacks had another idea entirely.

Weapons do not have minds of their own. They are just weapons. They can not even make a single move without someone's head commanding their arm to pick it up and use it.

This is exactly what has been happening, and it will continue to happen.

And, frankly, on a deeper level of understanding, I would dare say, I think everyone watching it happens understands this.

More Human Than HumanDecember 3, 2015 11:52 PM

@tyr

If you blindly insist that religion is immune to critical examinations which need to be acted upon then you remain in the traps of the past.

You are missing my points, what I was saying. That is getting preconceived notions in the way, which is understandable. This is the main reason why I actually do not usually explicitly discuss religion. Because people will assume they know my religion without knowing me.

This is why I prefer metaphor, implicit communication. So, for instance, my understanding of virtue is in agreement with modern Western fiction I like. This is why I often state that the propagation of my moral system, of my view of virtues and vices, is very well done by Western powers. I feel zero reason to preach. Because everyone watches the very same person in their cinema, and admires them. Jesus with an infinite number of faces and names.

You may have your fictional heroes and heroines. I have mine. Maybe you do not like superheroes from Marvel or DC, maybe you dislike the Star Wars saga. Maybe you hate anything from Tolkien - or Poe, or Lovecraft.

Maybe you liked the heroes of sixties Westerns.

Or the Snowden like, Mitnick like hero in "Three Days of the Condor".

Fact is, fiction, metaphor, parable... is the way people really take in influences. It bypasses all conscious defenses and goes right to their core.

For the hacker nation, who else is the heroic? Fight Club. The Matrix. Wargames. Mr Robot.

Heck, even with the significant Japanese anime influence on modern hacker culture, what do you have? Western virtue soaked through Japanese perspectives. Which only highlights that very virtue all the better!

Because it is Heavenly. More alien then alien. And what better way to see that then through the prism of a very distant culture of Japan, who has soaked in our heroes and heroines and shoots them out from their alien perspective to Westerners.

And, if any of this is oblivious to you, my nick is from Philip K Dick. The slogan for the engineering company that made lifelike androids, from his short story, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep". Made into movie "Blade Runner". Who I would also argue is the father of much of modern "mind bending" cinema, including Fight Club and the Matrix.

...

So, why ever not speak in metaphor of actual beliefs? Did you know it was literally stated that "[Jesus] always spoke in parable and never spoke otherwise". Literally. How many people remember that was said there? So, it is useless to go to the texts with people. They simply do not know it.

All of this evades my central point:

What is happening will happen, and no one can stop it. No reason to even bother with contrary opinions. Specifically, all old systems are going away, from fundamentalist Christianity to extremist Islam. That is not the future, and you know it.

Tyranny is the old way.


A far more controversial point was simply that the Koran and Muslim religion is incompatible with the future.

This is happening sooner rather then later. This will not happen over a million years. And, I think everyone, deep down, suspects this.


You simply can not take down such a wide swathe of nations in such a short period of time without people getting some kind of clue.


Seriously? Look at the swathe of Muslim dominated nations: from the North Western part of Africa to Afghanistan. Then, a bit in Pakistan. A hop skip to Bangladesh. And then you have Indonesia, a very fat skip away.

From Libya to Afghanistan you have regimes taken down in just over ten years.

Taking down the regimes is nothing, obviously.

Extremist, militant chaos has ensued.

Which will certainly mean much more will have to follow.

Not less. More.


It could all be simply a pattern of complete chaos in a totally entropic system. Which means the universe and human life its' self.

No human soul. Nothing.

Just rocks in outer space hitting each others and exploding.

Maybe they dream of space rock sheep, who Knows. Who cares.

Or, there is order to what is happening. And not everyone is in the dark.

If I were not a cynical person, I do not think I could express both views so clearly.

If you do not believe in angels and Heaven, smoke some pot, get laid, get drunk, and blow it all off. Why care.

Have some fun with the illusion of consciousness and ignore the meaningless sounds of fury in distant countries.

You aren't going to live forever, and once you are dead everything is seen as meaningless as it all really was.

Which, actually, is a pre-existentialist quote. Solomon said exactly that.

Dirk PraetDecember 4, 2015 8:26 AM

@ More Human Than Human

1. Excepting the takeover of the land of Israel, the Jews were the victim almost invariably, not the aggressor.

Historically, the Jews settled in Palestine because that was the promised land their God had given them. Which makes for a really lousy case in any modern day court. Some 3,200+ years after the facts, the matter still hasn't been settled because these pesky Philistines are still around. In diaspora times, they were persecuted over and over again whenever "Christian" rulers either needed a scapegoat for stuff that went wrong or just wanted to take their money.

But, more importantly, the virtue of the heroes and heroines in the Judeo-Christian scriptures was personified, ultimately, through the person of Jesus. That system of virtue is relayed through modern Western fiction, including cinema.

Wishful thinking, mate. Jesus of Nazareth, if nothing else, was a typical anti-hero who probably wouldn't even have made the footnotes of history if it hadn't been for his resurrection. Or at least that's what the Bible is telling us.

In France, they can not touch a group even if it openly preaches violence.

Hate speech, racism and inciting to violence are criminal offenses under most European penal codes. For (way too) long, it was not consistently enforced because it was not politically expedient to do so, especially when done under the cover of freedom of speech or religion. This is now slowly changing.

What is happening will happen, and no one can stop it.

I beg to differ. We may not be able to prevent an ELE like an asteroid crashing into Earth, but there's a lot of other things we can do to take the future of this planet and everything on it into our own hands.

A far more controversial point was simply that the Koran and Muslim religion is incompatible with the future.

No, it isn't. Have you actually ever read the Quran, preferably an annotated version?

More Human Than HumanDecember 4, 2015 12:37 PM

@Dirk Praet

Historically, the Jews settled in Palestine because that was the promised land their God had given them. Which makes for a really lousy case in any modern day court. Some 3,200+ years after the facts, the matter still hasn't been settled because these pesky Philistines are still around. In diaspora times, they were persecuted over and over again whenever "Christian" rulers either needed a scapegoat for stuff that went wrong or just wanted to take their money.

Yeah, and well needed to be put quotes there around "Christian". Because I could be from any one of the countless branches of Christianity, as could you. Yet, you could have confidence that is an authoritative statement which anyone who considers the Christian text authoritative, and who is honest, would take as authoritative.

There was a time when such anti-semitic sentiment was accepted. However, it has to be noted that such times, truly, were before people even had access to the text. You see it start to fade away with the rise of the printing press. Literally, and no pun intended, the text was not popularly available, so "Christian" could be slapped on anything and everything. And it most certainly was.

For this matter, going back to the metaphoric, what popular hero or heroine of fiction would be or was a Jew hater or persecutor of Jews? Not from modern, Western fiction. Nor from any fictional source strongly influenced by it, such as Japanese sources.

There certainly are anti-semitic cultures in the world. And where is their fiction? Where are their true heroes, for that matter? I can not even imagine how horrible their understanding of heroics must be.

On modern Israel and the Jewish reclamation? Frankly, the land was zilch before they got there, and this is very provable. There are extensive photographs. There are reports. The literal reality is the Jews came there, cherished the land, and built it up. Only then did it suddenly become so popular.

Yes, it was popular, obviously, in the early middle ages. For religious fights between nations not Jewish. And then? It was effectively abandoned.

From a nationalist viewpoint, Israel is a stable nation for Western ideals. Even with the significant Christian populations in Armenia, Lebanon, Egypt... you can not find stability there. But, you can rest assured that there will be that foothold in the region with Israel.

No joke, as is well attested by Westerners who travel to these regions. Traveling in Muslim dominant regions is significantly risky. Simply because of your nationality, even of your race.

That sword does not go both ways. Nor should it.

For this matter, much of Africa, Asia, the Americas below the US are not diverse nations, with some exceptions. And if it is not Muslim dominant, you can travel there with expectation of safety and welcome. You can move there without the threat of getting brutally treated because of your race or belief system.

Obviously, everyday crime aside, which knows no such boundaries. And this does not mean there are not forms of racism in extremely non-diverse nations and regions, certainly.

Really, only two notable exceptions. Zimbabwe and North Korea.

Generic statements on such topics can seem ironic, even hypocritical. Yet, it is painfully true.

And this certainly does mean the regional religious and cultural influences on those areas simply are not endemically sick against outsiders on the whole. You are hard pressed to condemn much of African folklore on such standards, Hinduism, Confucianism, Buddhism... Shintoism, sure. And that is gone. And we saw what the substance of that was, and condemn it, rightly. It, like Nazism, was a temporary relic.

Hate speech, racism and inciting to violence are criminal offenses under most European penal codes. For (way too) long, it was not consistently enforced because it was not politically expedient to do so, especially when done under the cover of freedom of speech or religion. This is now slowly changing.

I am sure it will. My statement was actually from new found enlightenment on the issue, via a peer who pointed out they have a friend who works in the prison system in France. That individual complained they can not investigate in anyway a group that is "religious", even if they are focused on preaching violence.

That was news to me.

And it should be frontpage news under discussion. Because that very same prison official pointed out - no surprise to any American - that the prison system is a heavy recruiting and fertile growing ground for radical, violent Islam in France. Yet, they know this, but can not touch it, as they certainly can even here in the States.

I beg to differ. We may not be able to prevent an ELE like an asteroid crashing into Earth, but there's a lot of other things we can do to take the future of this planet and everything on it into our own hands.

On my statement: What is happening will happen, and no one can stop it.

But, what am I really talking about there? It is certainly a vague statement, and intentionally so, is it not. "What is happening will happen"? Well, what is happening? That could be nearly anything, even if I provided some vague context.

Likewise, "no one can stop it" only reiterates the vagueness of the statement. What is "it"?

I simply do not say. I only color around the edges. And that in a very abstract manner.

Fact is: I do not know.

If you look at the stated reasons for these regime changes and military and intelligence actions, they range the gamut. Yet, step away from the stated reasons, and there does seem to be a significant pattern there.

Some explain this away, as simply dismissive towards general postures or attitudes. I find such dismissive postures as irrelevant and certainly inaccurate in the larger, longer scheme of things.

Faddish thinking, soon to become archaic.

This does not mean I view war nor violence as "the solution". Far from it. What can that give you but dead people. Pain and injury. Even argument for the bad sides.

Sadly, it can be a solution for protection, which we can reason from individual assessments: how often is a bully or attacker stopped by scaring the hell out of them and confirming in their mind that they should fear and stop their course of behavior.

It is a grim, human reality.

But, it certainly does not provide any manner of lasting solution.

A lasting solution requires deep, individual and corporate level change.

It is surely very related to the problem of violent offenders. You can lock them up, but you can certainly not enforce them to change and discover true regret, true remorse for their negative behavior.

For the time being, then, we have the band aid of locking them up indefinitely.

That, like with the approach of dealing with these problems by war, is only a temporary band aid.

In either case, it can be justifiably argued that it creates new problems. It certainly does. But so does a tourniquet.

And that is exactly what is happening. A tourniquet.

The body is saved, but the limb is lost.

Clearly, a temporary solution, out of desperation and lack of better options. (Perhaps. Or there may be another answer in mind which simply is not provided for people's inspection yet to be revealed. One never knows.)


More Human Than HumanDecember 4, 2015 1:22 PM

@Dirk Praet

A far more controversial point was simply that the Koran and Muslim religion is incompatible with the future.
No, it isn't. Have you actually ever read the Quran, preferably an annotated version?

I have read the Koran, studying religions was one of my first priorities in life. :P

Truth be told: my honest, blunt opinion decades later remains roughly the same. That is it is mush. Where the real scary stuff is, however, is in the Hadith.

And in the general histories which are very authoritative for Sunni, Shia, and other branches. Where, frankly, of them? I see only Sufi, and some other deeply watered down offshoots as being anywhere near "okay" in terms of being "a system of doctrines and beliefs that encourages being nice to strangers and kin and kind alike". Just as we do not bring in feral animals into our homes, I do believe - shockingly - that human beings can actually become "domesticated" for society.

Who here, however, actually does not? Why? Because why else would anyone here post here, except that they are very concerned about the ever possible pallor of encroaching totalitarianism/tyranny as was the norm for nations of old?

There certainly has been progress against the old norm of large states trending towards tyranny.

If there were not, no one would be concerned. There would be nothing to lose. There is something to lose if surveillance systems go out of control.

Tied to that intrinsically is the problem of "terrorism", and of extreme anti-social belief systems, whatever their color or ilk.

The meek must inherit the earth, because anyone else participates in destroying it.

Just as you do not bring in truly feral animals into your home. You bring in animals which have been bred down to domestication and friendliness, and that even over well proven demonstrably decades. Not millenia. Not centuries.

Absolutely not talking literal breeding, obviously. Talking breeding of belief systems. Belief systems, not humans.

Humans are like computers. Their software can be uninstalled, or updated.

trsm.mckayDecember 4, 2015 4:27 PM

@AsIs • December 3, 2015 3:26 AM

> The essay has some valid points: those processors employ hardware encryption of running code so that this code is a big black box (for the end user).

I did not say there were no valid concerns mentioned in the essay (determining if some crypto has backdoors, or being concerned about who gets to define a valid OS during secure boot are valid concerns). The problem is that the essay, from a technical standpoint, is gibberish.

Not to be tempted all the way back into that long explanation, but suffice to say the biggest problem is probably the author has confused certificate signing with encryption (and the term "key rings" are used to handwave lots of different crypto operations). On top of that is the mashing together of different crypto operations that occur at different times on different hardware components. The UEFI keys that started the essay are signing keys, the private keys of which are not even placed into the TPM. Secure boot is a complicated multi-stage process that spans lots of hardware and has its own sets of concerns; but it has almost nothing to do with the types of attacks discussed (backdoors in Intel's crypto, or a bank's SSL keys being compromised because magical "key ring" reference).

Sancho_PDecember 4, 2015 6:11 PM


Re: Islam and terrorism

From the BKA Autumn Conference (Nov. 18-19) 2015,
Prof. Dr. Oliver Roy:

What is the driving force behind jihadist terrorism?
https://life.eui.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/OLIVIER-ROY-what-is-a-radical-islamist.pdf

“There is no theological dimension. Their knowledge of Islam is minimum (“Islam for the Dummies”) and they don’t care, although the religious myth plays an emotional role. We tend too much to identify religion with theology (what does Islam say about jihad?); while there is certainly an important religious dimension in the way they experience their struggle, it is not an ideological rationalisation of Islamic theology.

“Religiosity” not theology is the key.”


More Human Than HumanDecember 4, 2015 11:29 PM

@Sancho_P

“There is no theological dimension. Their knowledge of Islam is minimum (“Islam for the Dummies”) and they don’t care, although the religious myth plays an emotional role. We tend too much to identify religion with theology (what does Islam say about jihad?); while there is certainly an important religious dimension in the way they experience their struggle, it is not an ideological rationalisation of Islamic theology.“Religiosity” not theology is the key.”

The way people work is actually quite strange. The best terminology there is today is that there is a "conscious" mind and an "unconscious" mind. We have "explicit" communication (sending & receiving) & "implicit" communication (sending & receiving).

Not theory, fact.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-bursley/neuroscience-and-consciousness_b_3468999.html
http://scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/8/845.full
http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2009/10/sci-brief.aspx

Point being that, I am not saying "theology" is what is the driver. If one means by that literalism.

"Theology" operates primarily on the conscious level. But the two are distinctly at odds with each other.

So, I pointed this out, with Christianity: Jesus as a person is the model that is most effectively propagated across society, and that through society's definition of the "heroic", otherwise as set as "set of virtues", and even "moral system".

And I pointed out how people actually tend to not know very much of what he actually said, even though there is just four really short books of that. And much of the material is repeated.

What they get is the person and the conflicts and way these conflicts were approached. While this is very different with Jesus who spoke metaphorically all the time (which, in fact, is exactly the level the "unconscious" favors to accept, reference, for instance, Ericksonian therapy)... the same constants generally apply to all role models.

This is very observable if you ask people about the specifics of their heroes and heroines. Unless they have sat down and performed rigorous literary level analysis, they will tend to not have a clue. Because it is not conscious.

So, with Judeo-Christian tradition, the real "feeds" are the heroes and heroines in the text: Samson, Moses, Elijah, David, Esther, Sarah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and so on. With Islamic tradition, the real "feeds" are Muhommad and his authoritative followers.

Main difference there is, with the Judeo-Christian tradition, you really can not separate the miraculous from the person, and certainly not from any of their aggressive actions.

This is not the case with Muhammad, discussion with an angel aside. And it is not the case with his followers. His authoritative followers.

It is certainly not the case with many "Christian" leaders of old, whom any sincere Christian would say only with quotes. That is, they are not authoritative today to almost anyone, even to the vast remnants of the Roman Catholic Church.

For instance, you can not separate the action of Moses devastating Egypt, that is for sure, because it was actually not Moses who did it. Either both are true and reliable, or neither is. Likewise, down the line, even with figures like Samson who did seem to just run out and kill people. But, it is humanly impossible to do that as he did it.

Or, with the core point of aggression people think of, the ascendance into the land of Israel, as led by Joshua. That was started with a mysterious figure coming before him and claiming to be "the commander of the armies of Heaven". Whatever that means. And this person stopped the sun from going down. Which is as impossible as a miracle can get. Literally.

Never even mind that Joshua bowed down to this man.

And this is the way through the entire works.

All of these people were shown as individuals following mysterious orders from mysterious powers "not of this earth".

Nothing was ever their idea, invariably they were always only following orders.

With ISIS, Al Qaeda, and so on, you see the principles of that line's people of old. They just go out and do stuff and assume that because they are getting away with it, that "it must be God".

This is not, however, how things really work.

Wesley ParishDecember 5, 2015 4:56 AM

@More Human Than Human et alii

Re: Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc, the land of Palestine/Israel, etc.

The interesting thing about archeology in said land of Israel/Palestine, is that it doesn't support the Biblical narrative. Likewise in the lands of the Fertile Crescent - the records of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Hittites, etc, don't support the Biblical narrative.

Ergo, said Biblical narrative is a national myth built on various traditions, etc, cobbled together to support various political moves at various times.

For example, there was no Exodus out of Egypt. The Egyptian records show no such mass movement. The only explanation I can think of for such a stirring narrative was the fall from power of one Pharoah Akhenaton, who attempted to supplant the Egyptian pantheon with worship of the Sun - one of his worship songs is preserved in the Book of Psalms practically word-for-word. For what it's worth, the Book of Psalms is a collection of the songs sung by the Tribe of Levi in the First Temple - some people have therefore concluded that the Tribe of Levi is in fact Akhenaton's family and hangers-on, and the Exodus is the story of their arrival in the former Egyptian Empire's former Canaanite possessions.

And as far as mass brutality goes, kindly read the story of the reduction of the Tribe of Benjamin in the Book of Judges. This makes the reduction of the Banu Qurayzah in Yathrib aka Medina following their abortive attempt at seizing power from Muhammed, look like child's play. To fill you in - only Banu Qurayzah was destroyed; the other two Jewish tribes were left in peace. If Mohammed had operated on the same principle as the assembled elders of the Hebrew tribes in the Book of Judges, they also would've been wiped out to a man.

The morality of the "historical" books of the Jewish Bible is very much retaliatory. The morality of the prophetic books - the writings of people who actually cared for something other than power - are, not surprisingly, not retaliatory - except for a few dealing with the resident evil, the superpowers, of their times.

As a matter of fact, there is not much to choose between the various branches of the Abrahamic faith when it comes to the depths of conduct and abuse they can reach. Likewise for the heights.

As far as the more modern times - Palestine before the arrival of European Jewish settlers. Palestine was exporting oranges to Europe well before the first aliayah. I presume that means, since Palestine was "a land without a people for a people without a land", those oranges were cultivated and harvested by angels? Or demons? And much to my surprise, having swallowed said "land without a people for a people without a land" hook line and sinker to have discovered that the non-existent people living in Jerusalem were massacred by the Crusaders following a seige of relatively massive proportions - all in the Crusaders' minds, of course, since the people they massacred were non-existent and Palestine was "a land without a people for a people without a land" ...

You, @More Human Than Human, have some explaining to do.

Officially MIADecember 5, 2015 5:42 AM

@Wesley Parish

The interesting thing about archeology in said land of Israel/Palestine, is that it doesn't support the Biblical narrative. Likewise in the lands of the Fertile Crescent - the records of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Hittites, etc, don't support the Biblical narrative.

One opinion, which there is quite a bit of contrary evidence to....

Ergo, said Biblical narrative is a national myth built on various traditions, etc, cobbled together to support various political moves at various times.

Of course, anyone could have written these things. It is totally normal for a nation to hold as sacred books that are so deeply critical of their ancestors, and even of the heroes who wrote them.

Totally unrealistic. In fact, I was drunk once and just wrote up my own version of Revelation. Once I was on acid and totally wrote up my own fictional version equivalent of the Book of John. Another time, I was in a masturbation frenzy, after many nights of insomania from playing too much Dark Souls and just penned out a better fake version of the Torah.

I am sure you could duplicate the quality of Ecclesiates in your underwear.

Hell Sarte and Camus said it all better, just with a little more words...

F[...]

[Remainder of comment deleted. Too much profanity.]

Officially MIADecember 5, 2015 5:48 AM

C0rrec68990j:

"Go and stab your enemies in the face with a godd damned sppon!! "

I meant "spoon".

I mean, so I am in some jail or something, and know the human arterial system, cause that was my training in high school. And would stab an adversary with a spoon in a main artery, though I have a choice: one way to stab them, you can lobotomize them. Or you can have them bleed out thinking you stabbed them in the dick. But mostly you have to be wary, because you can get their artery and it will shoot out fifteen feet at each heartbeat.

Most people don't learn that kind of thing in HS, but I did.

But, spy.

You know.

WaelDecember 5, 2015 11:16 AM

@ianf, @et all,

But even when you do respond in somewhat narrowed-down fashion

Ok, took a quick glance at the spec and checked with someone who's actively familiar with the specifications. I didn't see anything in the spec (and neither did he) that says anything about tracking a device without a SIM, keeping in mind that CDMA devices use no SIM (details omitted, but can be checked with a quick search.) -- this is inconclusive as we may have missed it. However, as I said previously:

The technology and functionality for a cell tower to communicate and track a SIM-less device is there. The only missing thing is a "motive" or a valid use case warranting an effort to support this "functionality". I can list one way of doing it for the sake of illustration:

A TLA -- say GCHQ :) -- needs, for some reason -- bogus or otherwise, to be able to track phones without a SIM card. They ask (coerce) MNOs to implement a feature that enables a "special case" protocol to facilitate this functionality -- call it a "backdoor", for lack of better terms...

The OEM of the mobile device is also "asked nicely" to include additional functionality in the modem stack to facilitate this special case communication path. The RIL (Radio Interface Layer) -- the component that ties the radio stack and CPU to the HLOS (High Level OS) running on the ACPU (Application CPU) will also have to be modified so the behavior of the phone doesn't alert the user to what's going on. For example if you remove a SIM from a phone, on some models, the phone will display the message "searching" for some time before it displays "no service". So when a SIM- less phone "camps" on a particular MNO's network, and an active communication channel is established, you wouldn't want to alert the user to this fact, and just do Business as Usual messaging (searching, no service, no indication of an MNO icon or signal strength bar display)

As to how the data connectivity can function properly without a SIM -- there are many ways, including spawning a Software SIM with known characteristics (maybe IMEI derived SIM parameters) and capabilities that define the enciphering algorithm and traceability parameters.) This is just one way.

My conclusion is it's doable; the technology is there, be careful.

Do you understand, and "ahem" would you still extend your explicit approval that a SIM-less phone is "certainly untraceable" :)

WaelDecember 5, 2015 1:47 PM

Speaking of angels...

Two men were sitting at a bar, one told the other: My wife is an angel. The other replied: Oh, you're lucky... Mine is still alive.

Dirk PraetDecember 5, 2015 3:35 PM

@ More Human Than Human

Where the real scary stuff is, however, is in the Hadith. And in the general histories which are very authoritative for Sunni, Shia, and other branches.

It's not different in other religions or ideologies. They generally start out with some core beliefs and scriptures, which are then interpreted and built upon by followers and usurpers until these additions become a formal part of the belief system too. Different branches in Islam refer to different collections of Hadith, with Qur'anists actually rejecting their religious authority.

The meek must inherit the earth

The meek invariably get slaughtered.

Humans are like computers. Their software can be uninstalled, or updated.

Vulcans perhaps. Humans no. You cannot take emotion out of the equation.

tyrDecember 5, 2015 4:44 PM


You have to assume scripture is like modern media,
Not even close to what actual events mean. Once
you realize that the horizon of the author was so
close he could see it, you no longer expect them
to apply to the world beyond that horizon. Same
goes for the insular nation state view of provincial
clodhoppery that passes for media in certain nations.

As to cell phone and wifi any radio transmission has
to be secured before you put it on the transmitter
and unsecured after you get it from the receiver.

Build a gadget that clips on the phone to do the
scrambling and unscrambling. Then all you have left
is the problem of making the transmission appear to
be coming from a different physical location.

Wesley ParishDecember 6, 2015 3:56 AM

@Officially MIA

Really? You're from Comedy Central or some such show, amiright? You do stand-up comedy for a living? I haven't laughed so hard for ages. Thank you.

You never actually answered any of my points. Now I'm going to have nightmares over what you do to yourself with your goddamm sppons.

ianfDecember 6, 2015 4:06 AM


[A list of 17 previous comments in this “does a SIM-less phone advertise its IMEI# to cell towers, or do cell towers poll(?) also such unidentified devices in their vicinity BY DEFAULT” thread is at the end of this summary, the 18th comment]

@ Waeltook a quick glance at the [cell phone] spec… nothing about tracking a device without a SIM, keeping in mind that CDMA devices use no SIM

[… Wael's hypothetical case] “A TLA -- say GCHQ :) -- needs, for some reason -- bogus or otherwise, to be able to track phones without a SIM card. They ask (coerce) MNOs to implement a feature that enables a "special case" protocol to facilitate this functionality -- call it a "backdoor", for lack of better terms...


You're such a reality distortion out-fielder… for starters, GCHQ is not a TLA, but a FLA! However, making a MNO [neither that a TLA, but an ACRNM for "Mobile Network Operator"] start tracking a SIM-less device (without it explicitly first establishing a connection with any one tower and leaving its IMEI-credentials there) may not be as simple as you make it sound.

That's the gist of my consultation with someone who used to work "on the operative side" (maintaining network infrastructure) of an MNO, now in administration there. Though his duties never stretched down to this granular level, he's quite familiar with how changes in the network are undertaken. One word: molasses. Even when obvious bugs in something critical have been found and flagged down from high-up, no changes are implemented until after a thorough testing to ensure that plugging old hasn't created new holes. This may take weeks, definitely not something done overnight even with greater manpower.

Of that follows that, if a mechanism to do something this specific isn't already in given MNO's system and lying dormant until "needed", there's no way to direct tower nodes to continuously poll "silent" devices around them – devices that may or may not be susceptible to such "pokes" (there apparently are units that will ACK such, but used chiefly for industrial process control and remote vehicle diagnosis). Asked whether a TLA/FLA could force a MNO to do this quickly by, say, supplying some ready-debugged plug-in code, “he laffed heartily.” If anything, that would delay the deployment of it. Even if that code written by someone previously in the employ of that MNO, and thus trusted there? “Even then.”

[…] “My conclusion is it's doable; the technology is there, be careful.

Stating the obvious, are we? What next: “the truth is out there?” (from your other fave TV series, “The ET Files”). You don't have to tell me that, I've k.n.o.w.n all that ever since we landed on the Moon on the backlot studio in Burbank, Ca, your home tract (take Exit 48 off the northbound Desolation Highway).


Another thread, another bucket of ice-cold seawater:

@ Waelwalked on that [Malmö] pier and… wouldn't dare jump in cold water in winter or go to a sauna then cold water a few times as some do there.

Nevertheless, some people up North, Finns, Russians, Swedes, Germans, Poles (plus that deranged Saga from The Bridge, naked) practice it perennially, and not only survive, but so prolong their lives. So it definitely should be on your (ice-cold seawater) bucket list. Alternatively a quick way to kick the bucket—IF YOU'RE LUCKY. (“Are YOU lucky, punk?”)

    [In a parallel universe, a blog might have a thread-within-topic tagging option available to each individual commenter, which would permit automagic generation of filtered conversation-flow views like the manually created one below].
Does a SIM-less phone advertise its IMEI# to cell towers, or do cell towers BY DEFAULT poll unidentified devices in their vicinity


JB24 • November 29, 2015 11:46 AM
Dirk Praet • November 29, 2015 2:52 PM
ianf • November 30, 2015 12:50 AM
Wael • November 30, 2015 1:09 AM
ianf • November 30, 2015 2:04 AM
Chris • November 30, 2015 3:48 AM
Clive Robinson • November 30, 2015 4:07 AM
ianf • November 30, 2015 4:42 AM
Waell • November 30, 2015 7:09 AM
Dirk Praet • November 30, 2015 8:19 AM
Doug • November 30, 2015 8:29 AM
ianf • November 30, 2015 5:58 PM
Wael • December 1, 2015 1:05 AM
Clive Robinson • December 1, 2015 4:14 AM
ianf • December 1, 2015 9:10 PM
Wael • December 1, 2015 11:12 PM
Wael • December 5, 2015 11:16 AM

ianfDecember 6, 2015 6:59 AM


@ Justinnever understood the "Protocols of Zion" which apparently Henry Ford was distributing. Bunch of deranged mumbo-jumbo…

It's an apocryph concocted by the Tsarist Okhrana in order to discredit the by and large German- and French-Jewish bankers lending money to the Tsar, and redirect the ire of the downtrodden towards the Jews, getting rid of them via pogroms, the original form of "ethnic cleansing" (which started to happen soon after their original 1903 publication, and indirectly contributed to the establishment of the Jewish Yishuv [proto community] in the Ottoman Palestine).

But that's history. What is surprising is the continuing appeal of these "Protocols" not only in supposedly developed Muslim countries such as Jordan, Egypt and Iran (can you imagine the Protocols as a soap opera? Apparently Egyptians could), but also as far away as Korea and Japan—where nobody has ever seen a Jew. I suppose that vouches for the appeal of that kooky Euro export.


@ Wael has attended an evening class in false modesty: “I'm a nobody -- a small fish in a big ocean.

That's not a winning strategy, not even for the yellow-mellow Califlowernia. Go get your chakras cleaned (recycled organic lemon-based fluid of course!) Then you had better adopt a strategy akin to that of the developer of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque: “[It's Manhattan real estate.] Either one is a player, or one is on the menu.” Small fishes qualify mainly for the latter, ask Cate Blanchett.

[…] I'm also a bit curious... You're one of the few people who use "access" as a noun and don't use it as a verb, hence you say "gain access". Are you an English Major or something? :)

Oh, I definitely am Or Something. As to my rank, not telling until we're at the "it coughs up name, rank, serial number, or it gets the water board again" stage. Could my usage have something [else(sic!)] to do with the fact that, as so many other English words "access” is both a verb and a noun? (tricky thing this, English). Just as any real number can both be a value and a "string" (and more besides).


@ tyr

[…] When Krakatoa knocked down the romans in 535 it ruined the continuity of society until about 900. […] If you notice those dates overlap the spread of the two Abrahamic cults across parts of Europe in a situation when mere survival was more important than finely logic chopping over who was nicer to others.

Is this Wikipedia alleged Krakatoa 535 AD eruption article the basis for your fantastic claim of the ensuing "nuclear winter" (as we now refer to potential such ELEs) in Roman-times Eurasia, or maybe this? I'm asking because despite lifetime reading on the history of Europe and the world, this particular life-table-turning theory IS NEWS TO ME. Do you have any particular source you could point me to, preferably in some peer-reviewed journal, from where I could fill the potholes in my knowledge?

Clive RobinsonDecember 6, 2015 9:03 AM

@ ianf,

Just to go over it again,

1, A phone does not require a SIM to function as a phone the electronic serial number is all that is required to set up a circuit.

2, When a phone is abroad it does still work with another operators network to "exchange credentials" with it's home network.

3, When a phone is turned on it checks for a SIM prior to scanning for the control towers, not having a SIM does not stop it scanning and associating with a cell (otherwise emergancy calls could not be made see 1 above).

4, Not all asspects of the phone standards are available openly, some are only available on NDA to trusted parties.

You now have enough information to work out the answer to the original question.

Oh one aditional piece of information, SS7 over which the communication of the electronic serial number happens is rather more "open" than people think and both the SIM serial number and the phone serial number travel across it and can easily be seen not just by the network operator but anybody connected to their SS7 control network as it's not encrypted. Usually the mobile phone operator does not own the cables over which their SS7 network is built, they simply rent it from a Spook Friendly National Operator.

All of the above including the "Spook Friendlyness" can be found in various documents that you can find on the Internet or buy from International Standards bodies without having to sign an NDA.

So by now you have all the pieces you require to come to a conclusion. All you need to do to confirm whatever you have concluded correctly is to be in the right place from the right organisation and ask the right people after you sign an aporopriate NDA (remember that "NDA" is a broad concept and includes "national secrets" documents). But of course if you do you would not be able to say would you as you would be "disclosing" so Catch 22, unless you wanted to become an itinerant whistleblower.

That as they say "draws the conversation to a close".

ianfDecember 6, 2015 11:43 AM


@ Wesley Parish forsakes no opportunity to undermine the idea of Jewish legitimacy in what first used to be called the Holy Land, alleged birthplace of possibly mythical Jewish heretic named Jesus; in time the Ottoman Palestine, then the British Protectorate of…; and finally the states of Israel and Transjordan (or something… let's not forget who occupied parts of the land from 1948 to 1967, which, however, never led to any protests that I could find in world press archives).

[…] “The interesting thing about archeology in said land of Israel/ Palestine, is that it doesn't support the Biblical narrative. Likewise in the lands of the Fertile Crescent - the records of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Hittites, etc, don't support the Biblical narrative.

Yes,… AND? Even if there was "archeological support" for something, at some other place there would be another sample countering that, from the same or different époques. And who is to say that one archeological record supplants another simply because of the beholder's native confirmation biases?

Ergo, said Biblical narrative is a national myth built on various traditions, etc, cobbled together to support various political moves at various times.

Said "Old Testament narrative" is a purely intellectual construction that anyone can choose to believe or disbelieve in. Just as is the Christian Bible, and the mythical Jesus' unrequited dying on the cross for our sins (WHAT SINS?), so that we may be saved(?)—or something. Both foundation myths floating around, that with time acquired the patina of Received Truths.

    But it is not any such myth that makes up the basis for the existence of the state of Israel, but a democratic 1948 UN vote. Besides, in Israel of today there are ultra-orthodox communities that deny the state because it didn't come about in the expected return of the Messiah manner. So?

[…] “As far as the more modern times - Palestine before the arrival of European Jewish settlers. Palestine was exporting oranges to Europe well before the first aliya.

Sources please, preferably with statistics on the extent and destination of that Turkish, or maybe Lebanese/ Syrian, trade. I don't doubt that some crates of oranges that were harvested in "Palestine," made it to nearby lands, complete with Palestinian-flagged Certificates of Origin, and individual fruit stickers complete with growers' URLs. Oh, wait! I was thinking of plums née in Oregon.

    Let's say that, for the sake of argument, I'd agree with you that the state of Israel, based to some degree on religious dogmas, should not have come into being, nor in this particular rocky desert-with-scorpions place (Jews taking over Bavaria after WWII would be my choice, make the Germans curse Hitler forever). But it happened well before I was born, and it isn't going anywhere, a fait accompli. You want to fight wind mills as some latter-day Don Quijote, go right ahead.

But then I could just as easily make a case for the illegitimacy of the Palestinian Arabs' claim to the sole ownership of "Palestine," or indeed for there being a distinct Palestinian, as opposed to regional Arab, nationality… the basis for statehood.

The entire near Middle East is a paper construct with borders and realms of influence drawn up by an Englishman and a Frenchman, spoils of war in the wake of collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Hence hardly a "natural" conglomeration of nation-states.

You must've heard the term "Nakba" (catastrophe) that's often used to sum up the Arab states' defeat in the war for Israel's independence of 1948-1949, and the beginning of the still-going-strong Palestinian Arab refugee problem. Acc. to Steven Plaut of Haifa University, it turns out that the original use of "nakba" constitutes a proof of the 1920s "Palestinians" considering themselves to be Syrians, with then-"catastrophe" being that their mother country was assigned to French, rather than to the same British sphere of interests. But of course, we cherry-pick such arguments that will shore up, rather than weaken, our respective cases.

(Cable back when you've had enough; plenty more of such where it came from).

WaelDecember 6, 2015 12:15 PM

@ianf,

(can you imagine the Protocols as a soap opera? Apparently Egyptians could)

I like this one! Watch how the Maestro handles a rowdy crowd :)

Either one is a player, or one is on the menu.

I'm a chef, a really good one too! Perhaps I'll share a recipe or two with you later when your English improves so you don't fu#k it up and come blame me in public ;)

ask Cate Blanchett

Judging by the cover (and your recommendation of course,) I'll add it to my list.

... that, as so many other English words "access” is both a verb and a noun? (tricky thing this, English)

Apparently so! As with everything else, examine several references before you come to a conclusion. I wasn't necessarily debating the Noun vs. Verb thing. I just noticed that you used it "correctly", which made me a bit curious. You indirectly answered my question, though :)

ianfDecember 6, 2015 12:16 PM


@ Dirk Praet in defense of Islam's compatibility with… Western Human Operating Systems:

the Koran and Muslim religion is incompatible with the future.

    No, it isn't. Have you actually ever read the Quran, preferably an annotated version?
What has actual reading of, or even studying Quran immersively, have to do with whether Islam—as it generally is being practiced—is compatible with, ready for the Western future? A reading is just that, an occasion for interpretation, which may or may not be "true," "right," or "correct" one; it's not a certificate of attaining wisdom.

Without having read it (nor the Bible for that matter), let me point out ONE BASIC INCOMPATIBILITY that I can see: unlike the evolved Western tradition of questioning received AND perceived truths (which is how our societies cumulatively progress), Islam presupposes unquestionable submission to those in the "holy book" (as expanded upon by an imam). That alone makes (the static religious principles of) Islam into a bad foundation on which to build the future, that, clearly, requires a dynamic, fluid approach to problem solving.

This may not be a very deep insight into how religion and prosperity fit together, but there's no denying that anywhere where the first is given precedence, the second suffers—and that it is most visible in Muslim countries (with Indonesia as the sole exception, unless it only appears to be that when viewed from afar…)

    Now tell me I've got it ALL WRONG, and that I should go read Quran.

[As an aside, listening to reports from several latest incidents of "Islamic-inspired" violence in the West the only common denominator that stands out is incomprehension. Our Western, rational minds can not understand what drives individuals to extract murderous revenge, or whatever, on the v. society that has fed one and given one shelter from religious and cultural persecution (as we see it, and of course we're blind to possibly similar oppression of our own design.) As Westerners, we s.t.r.u.g.g.l.e to comprehend the reasons, so that we may learn from them, and be forewarned the next time. Only we're always coming up short, because, outside of their shallow "Islamic patina," there really are no common factors in all these violent anger eruptions. So in the end I fear that "the West" may come to realize that the only way to defeat the incomprehensible is by turning the tables on "Islam," and teaching it some hardy lessons that it assumes the Occidentals to be incapable of.]

(Incidentally, Dirk, did this passed you by?)

Dirk PraetDecember 6, 2015 2:11 PM

@ ianf

Islam presupposes unquestionable submission to those in the "holy book" (as expanded upon by an imam).

Wasn't that exactly the same in Christianity until the dawn of Enlightenment? The only way forward for Islam in our western societies is to evolve into some type of Euro-Islam, embracing fundamental concepts like the separation of state and religion, and disassociating itself from Saudi Arabia. This will require a lot of integration and assimilation, a lot of good will of all parties involved and the forced removal of jihadists, but the only alternative is a clash between cultures only the usual suspects will gain from.

Incidentally, Dirk, did this passed you by?

But I did answer that.

JustinDecember 6, 2015 2:24 PM

@ianf

“never understood the "Protocols of Zion" which apparently Henry Ford was distributing. Bunch of deranged mumbo-jumbo…”

It's an apocryph concocted by the Tsarist Okhrana in order to discredit the by and large German- and French-Jewish bankers lending money to the Tsar,

That's the rumor. The claim is that parts of it were plagiarized from this document (English translation), which itself appears to me to have been somewhat suppressed until very recently, because I could not find it online or in a bookstore or library anywhere.

their original 1903 publication,

That's pretty sketchy. Then later on, according to the rumor, "The Protocols" were supposed to have shown up in France somewhere, in the ownership of some lady with some tenuous connections to nobility...

The whole story of the origins of the Protocols of Zion seems a bit too fanciful and full of intrigue to me to likely be true. According to an early article in The Times https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/TheTimes_exposes_TheProtocols_as_a_forgery.jpg

The "Protocols" attracted little attention until after the Russian Revolution of 1917...

I actually have serious doubts that the work even existed before then.

Clive RobinsonDecember 6, 2015 3:24 PM

@ ianf,

    Our Western, rational minds can not understand what drives individuals to extract murderous revenge, or whatever, on the v. society that has fed one and given one shelter from religious and cultural persecution

Actually that is not realy true, although you might want to read about a "nut job" in a London Underground booking hall yesterday, the news reporting of will give you confirmation bias.

The problem has been known for some time and it's not just muslim young men so afflicted.

It's to do with the individuals failing in life and their belief in nonsense stories about the West similar to the old "streets are paved with gold". Even Western Politicians "spin these stories" for the home audiance whilst actually doing everthing their paymasters want, which is in effect the reverse.

What makes it worse is that many of the young men come from societies where there is a very strong patriarchal force, which tells them what to do from dawn to dusk. With the result they have not actually developed a sense of self presevation or moral compass of their own, and likewise do not see their failings as being their own.

To makes it even worse there is a basic cognative dissonance, in the way much of Europe behaves. In that European nations appear from the distance to offer a future, but close up although providing many immigrants with the basic essentials in life such as food and shelter, there are no jobs and no opportunities and the "natives appear hostile" or at best indiferent.

Thus young men feel as though they are in a prison, serving a life sentance for a crime they have not committed. Much like a pet dog with an indiferent master but the servant hates and spits in the dogs food and kicks at it whilst the master is looking the other way.

Such is the fertile breeding ground for crime, racism, civil unrest and terrorism. We've seen the riots, many have felt the crime, and those in the margins of immigrant enclaves feel the racism. Ask a poor white kid what it's like to live in a poor black neighborhood and you will hear stories that are every bit as nasty as you will here from the other direction. These kids join gangs for their own safety, likewise they carry weapons racism is reflective and goes both ways. There are three basic types of racist,

1, Those who are looking to blaim their failure in life on others, rather than themselves. Thus blaim anyone not of their tribe / class / place.

2, Those who have suffered at the hands of those in the first group who have learned to hate.

3, Those who exploit the other two groups for their own reasons, be it power, politics, money or just for entertainment.

Criminal gangs and Terrorists occur because of the third type of racist. They find those of the first and second groups that have little or no moral compass and exploit them. In the first case it's by apparently offering money and status. In the second it's by exploiting the lack of paternal guidence as well as faux status or fame, in that the world will remember their name.

It is this second case where the patina of faux religious zeal comes from. Those who radicalize them actualy care not a jot about them, it's all about the radicalizers gaining power or status from others. All they care about is getting the young men to imolate themselves and are not around to realise they have been conned.

However there is a small group, that for some reason get rejected or fail to be found and used by the radicalizers. Possibly because of their lack of mental ability, stability or their status is suspicious for some reason. They do however do self radicalize off of the recruiting propaganda they find or hear about.

It is difficult to say what the solution is because some of the third type of racists are actually politicians, who gain by the disorder. One thing however is becoming clearer and clearer every day, mass invasion of privacy via eavesdropping on electronic communications is not working.

To see this, think just how many have gone off to either fight with ISIS or become jihadie brides. They arive and almost immediately get exploited in one way or another as the likes of "canon fodder" or "camp followers", that is ISIS realy do not want them polluting their world.

From past figures presented by the media it appears many European States have contributed around the same percentage of their second and subsiquent generation muslim immigrants to ISIS, irrespective of the surveillance policy in place.

What I have not been able to determine is the basis for these figures, the press reports generaly don't give references.

However the point stands, that in a heavily surveillanced nation like the UK the numbers are not in the tens or twenties, but in the hundreds and thousands depending on who's figures you belive. The fact that all these people have no real connection with each other in the UK, but follow very similar covert routes to ISIS in the Middle East is highly suggestive that they were in electronic communication with ISIS in the Middle East either in plain text or poor KeyMat, something GCHQ is supposed to specialise in finding, monitoring and exploiting both via traffic analysis and content. What ever the cause of the authorities not stopping the likes of young girls going to ISIS is, the fact is senior politicians are either covering it up for reasons they are likewise keeping quiet about or the IC is not following oversight rules.

Dirk PraetDecember 6, 2015 7:31 PM

@ Clive

What ever the cause of the authorities not stopping the likes of young girls going to ISIS is, the fact is senior politicians are either covering it up for reasons they are likewise keeping quiet about or the IC is not following oversight rules.

Over here, we have the example of 15-year old who has already been stopped three times on his way to Syria. Three times he has been set free by a juvenile court judge. In France, there are about 20,000 so-called "S" files on persons considered dangerous, half of which Islamists. Both the IC and local authorities know where recruiting is going on and who is behind it. I'm sure it's not any different in the UK or Germany.

So yes, I too regularly wonder what the plan is. Applying Occam's razor, I'm actually starting to think that our politicians genuinely have no clue whatsoever how to deal with the situation. As was the case in Molenbeek, they completely, and for years, underestimated and ignored a very real societal problem they're only now starting to come to terms with. We don't need more surveillance and counter-propaganda campaigns. We need direct and targeted action against known jihadis, Syria returnees, hate preachers, recruiters and sympathisers and put these people on notice that they are as welcome here as a Catholic priest in Saudi Arabia.

Wesley ParishDecember 7, 2015 3:14 AM

@ianf

But it is not any such myth that makes up the basis for the existence of the state of Israel, but a democratic 1948 UN vote
I think you stretch the meaning of democracy here. Were the Palestinians ever consulted? Considering that they were over half the population of Mandatory Palestine in 1947, and even the proposed "Jewish" state whose borders the UN General Assembly voted on, contained a 50% Arab population.

No, my major objection to Israel lies with the fact that Zionism is an unregenerate nineteenth century European nationalism, with all the bigotry towards the "other" that has been such a feature of both said forms of nationalism and the resultant empires.

Ditto the claim to a (European) Jewish right of self-determination that entails dispossessing another people from the land they have had (admittedly much-disturbed) possession of since the collapse of the exclusive Jewish claim to said land following the Bar Kokhba revolt in CE 132-195.

What makes it even worse is the belatedly realized fact that prior to the disparities of power that developed with Europe's industrialization, massive transfers of population weren't practical. So apart from mass die-outs due to plague and the like, people stayed pretty much where they were. So most of the Palestinians are descended from the Jewish villagers who lost interest in Judaism due to its leaders' discrediting themselves with the Great Revolt and the Bar Kokhba Revolt. (Ha'aretz in either 2002-2004 or thenabouts had a very interesting article where they discussed "Jewishness" and mentioned a rabbinic point of view that if once you have Jewishness in your family, you don't ever lose it. So that makes Israel anti-Semitic. Hardly a recipe for legitimacy, I think.)

Modern Israel resembles both Tsarist Russia and the (Crusader) Kingdom of Jerusalem much too closely for my comfort. The foundation of the state of Israel follows the script of the Expulsion of the Sephardim and the Muslims from Catholic Spain rather too closely for me to grant Israel legitimacy. Need I add that Israel's behaviour in the Lavon Affair imperiling the Egyptian Jewish population for petty advantage, also conspires against Israel's legitimacy.

As far as the relevance of archeology to this matter goes, might I point you to this comment by Israeli Uri Avneri:

The Zionist claim to Palestine was solely based on the Biblical history of the Exodus, the conquest of Canaan, the kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon and the events of those times. Since almost all the founding fathers were avowed atheists, they could hardly base themselves on the “fact” the God had personally promised the land to the seed of Abraham.

And the result? Nada. Zilch. Koretanga.

I think I have said enough. I would never have raised the issue myself, but @More Human Than Human appears to think it legitimate.

Wesley ParishDecember 7, 2015 3:17 AM

corrigendum est:
s/ the Bar Kokhba revolt in CE 132-195/ the Bar Kokhba revolt in CE 132-135/g

Mea Culpa for not re-reading it more closely and correcting it before submitting it.

Clive RobinsonDecember 7, 2015 7:13 AM

@ Wesley Parish,

Ive been known to refere to Israel as a "terrorist state from inception onwards". It's fairly safe to assume that this state like the leopard is not going to change it's spots any time soon.

If you look back through this blog you will find that people have occasionaly tried suggesting that I am wrong. However they have not sofar done as I have "invited them to do" which is go to the UK National Archives in Kew West London and look at the records of the time which I have seen, then we can discuss it again.

Interestingly every year a little more comes out for public view at Kew, so only part of the story is known, which has given --and still does-- historians latitude in what they conclude and publish (so treat their older works with a pinch of salt, the size of Lot's Wife).

Thus there is way to much disprovable myth about the formation of Israel and many of it's subsiquent actions, and still much in the way of smoke and mirrors for some to hide behind.

And as always when I say Israel I do not mean it's people in general --who are mainly kept in the dark--, but the "state". Or more precisely those in government and other state positions, who have "acted in the states name" or the "formation of the state" to carry out such acts against others and wish for them not to become known.

ianfDecember 7, 2015 10:24 AM


ADMINISTRIVIA @ Justin

I'll have to recuse myself from further discussion over provenance of “The Protocols…” until I find the book I read some 20 years ago, a historian's monograph about it which examined all those traces that you mention, and more. I have it here somewhere, remember neither the author nor the title, but the yellowish-green colors of the book jacket, plus that I was impressed with its reasoning. It included the entire text of the (most common?) edition of the Ps—though I don't think that I've read them, as the commentary was more than enough. Besides, this is hardly a "meerkat-worthy" topic.


ADMINISTRIVIA @ Clive Robinson

You debate a tweet-and-half-sized (210 chars) statement of mine with a 5k chars long treatise that contains at least 50 different (and very much disputable) claims of yours. How do you expect me to respond to that, concur with or refute each one in turn, or just those that can be debunked beyond reasonable doubt with succinct "wishful thinking" ?

Clearly, much as I like to be confronted with end product of your Deep Thought Dept., my life is not long enough to debate them all. So please be aware of that v. much pragmatic dimension of online discussions. Or, as they used to say @ the Oxford Union: “Be brief, or the audience will be brief with you.” (=669 chars)

WaelDecember 10, 2015 11:02 PM

@ianf,

You're such a reality distortion out-fielder… for starters, GCHQ is not a TLA, but a FLA!

No sh#t! Let's do a quick multiple choice pop-quiz: I claimed that "GCHQ" is a "TLA" because:

  1. I don't know how to count till 11 with my clothes on
  2. I haphazardly sprinkle "smilies" at the end because I think they look cute
  3. I start my counts from "0"
  4. I haven't adapted to your sense of humor yet (this is an "out" for you.)
Stating the obvious, are we?

Stating the obvious often helps. To bring this to a closure, I'll emphasize what @Clive Robinson stated: Basing your decisions on unknowns is bad practice. From a security perspective (threat modeling,) this is a risk -- and you're just dismissing it because: You you don't believe such a solution is already deployed, or you don't understand (oops) how such a backdoor would work (I make it easier than it is.)

Alternatively a quick way to kick the bucket—IF YOU'RE LUCKY. (“Are YOU lucky, punk?”)

At least use the correct quote! If you want to state it in one question, then It should be: "Do you feel lucky, punk?"... No, I don't believe in luck. Engineers and mathematicians don't!

What next: “the truth is out there?” (from your other fave TV series, “The ET Files”)

Not quite! That's preceding! You should follow it by "Trust no one"... And it's the X-Files, Capisce? Learn some goddamn academic integrity! Sheeesh...

ianfDecember 14, 2015 7:29 PM


@ Wael, this may be a minor point to your grand rebuttal:

[…] To bring this to a closure, I'll emphasize what @Clive Robinson stated: Basing your decisions on unknowns is bad practice. From a security perspective (threat modeling,) this is a risk -- and you're just dismissing it because: You you don't believe such a solution is already deployed, or you don't understand (oops) how such a backdoor would work (I make it easier than it is.) (bold emphasis yours).

… but I need to remind you that what I originally posted was a simple assumption (labeled as such) “that a SIM-less phone won't be [advertising its presence to cell-towers] until the need for emergency call has arisen. Because without a SIM, what could it tell a tower, that a certain IMEI# is nearby… and then what?

From that single statement, a multi-voice debate ensued. Nowhere did I say that I dismissed something out of hand, or pooh-poohed some threat models, merely sought a clarification to that my assumption. Which you ultimately countered with that the threat vector is out there, so beware. Fine. Perhaps I was being naïve expecting a [Yes/No] answer, but then listening to the chatter here I hear that many of you have "dabbled with" phone etc technologies at such low technical levels that I could only dream of (or, rather, dread of having to rewrite assembly instructions for a wider audience, that which the engineers themselves seldom are capable of).

[…] If you want to state it in one question, then it should be: "Do you feel lucky, punk?"...

Let's make a deal: I won't be telling you how to assemble whatever it is that you assemble for a living, and you'll stay away from giving me literary paraphrase instructions. How's that sound?

[…] it's the X-Files, [not ET-Files], Capisce? Learn some goddamn academic integrity! Sheeesh...

Sheesh yourself… as that OBVIOUSLY was a sneaky-snaky trial balloon to judge your mental age by non-invasive asynchronous remote control (do you feel controlled now, punk?)

WaelDecember 14, 2015 9:51 PM

@ianf,

Let's make a deal: I won't be telling you how to assemble whatever it is that you assemble for a living, and you'll stay away from giving me literary paraphrase instructions. How's that sound?

Not a problem.

do you feel controlled now, punk?

I don't!

Leave a comment

Allowed HTML: <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre>

Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.

Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of IBM Resilient.