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John Dolva

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Haven't used windows and afaik google now for months. and it's ok. There are many distros to choose from

Generally you download an iso and burn it and use that as installation disk. Because it is different from windows it will take some time to get everything good enough.


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Guest Tom Scully


I just noticed your thread. I've been using Ubuntu off and on since 2009. I am very impressed with what it offers, especially the disk partitioning tools which are much more advanced and flexible than Windows provides. Partitioning has permitted me to confine my set up to a dual boot system, I have not attempted to move solely to Ubuntu because

of issues of a lack of drivers from some of my hardware, especially wireless lan USB devices I have been slow to replace.

I self assembled a personal computer for the first time at the end of 2009 and had no choice other than buying a Windows 7 Pro disk for about $100 after a discount. This purchase allowed me the privilege to install Windows 7 only once and only on one computer. Microsoft requires a new purchase of Windows if installation detects a different motherboard and it seems there is no exception if a motherboard in the same computer is replaced due to failure of a desired upgrade.

These restrictions on self builds steer computer owners to Ubuntu and other versions of Linux based operating systems and since I expect that the average computer user is not inclined to burn an ISO image and do a self install of Ubuntu, the geeks who build their own boxes are probably the majority of the Ubuntu user community, along with those who buy through Dell and other builders who offer discounts on Windowless computers and do ship with only Ubuntu OS installed.

I've set up at least four dual boot computers of my own and it appears Windows controls the boot menu and I've had problems on every computer with sudden loss of the boot menu, sometimes recovering it through telnet session Ubuntu command strings. I have not stuck with Ubuntu although I am an enthusiastic supporter and a consequence is that the laptop I am typing this on has a HD partition with only 3gJohnb available in the Windows partition now, and 97gb available in the Ubuntu partition with the dual boot menu currently lost. I should probably be spending the time to attempt to restore the dual boot menu instead of typing this post.

I appreciate your activity in other areas of the Ed forum. If you or others are interested, and I expect this is timely with more than 8 million people in nine U.S. states currently without electric power resulting from hurricane damage and flooding, I recently started a project of replacing part of my home electric power needs with solar power.

I was interested in lowering my electric bill and having a back up system in case of a power supply interruption that did not involve using a noisy petroleum or city gas powered generator. Even a generator that provides about a third off normal home power needs uses six gallons of gasoline per day running at half load, expensive in addition to the cost of purchasing and maintaining the generator.

There is a program here encouraging building a home "on grid" solar system and selling the power generated to the local electric utility. The drawback is that this type of system automatically shuts down during a daytime power interruption to prevent the small solar supply from going into the power grid while utility workers are possibly working on distribution lines in the grid no longer powered by the utility due to the interruption. Such a system must be installed by licensed electricians and inspected by local government inspectors and the utility provider. Permits must be purchased and the improvements adjusted into the assessed value of the property and taxed accordingly.

The professional installers want to install only what they select and sell to the homeowner and mark up for addditional profit above installation fees.

This choice results in an opportunity for the installation and sales businesses and a tiny savings for the homeowner many years after investment of $15 to $25000 in such a system, yet this is the widely promoted and chosen "upgrade" with little benefit, not even providing limited back up power during interruption.

I researched and taught myself to select and assemble components for an "off grid" home solar power system and it should come together and begin to generate power and provide a back up in the next week. I'll do a "how to" thread on this project on the Ed Forum if I find an appropriate spot, or maybe begin it as a temporary thread in the JFK Debate forum, first. (Disclaimer: The end of the last sentence in this post was meant only as a joke.)

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That's be great. I know someone locally who has a solar system and sells surplus to the grid so that effectively there ends up being no el bills. Others are off the grid completely with a storage. Unlike those who stay connected and sell surplus, blackouts don't affect them.


At the moment I'm slowly learning about the guts of Linux and its apps. I use things like trying to control builtin object tokens and certificates. Haven't found enough on this yet but the exercise should teach a lot about how to take charge of a Linux based computer.

edit typo

Edited by John Dolva
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The FSF :



The GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) is a complete implementation of the OpenPGP Internet standard as described by RFC4880 (formerly RFC2440). It is used for digital encryption and signing of data and mainly useful for offline communication (email) and data storage. Version 2 also provides support for the S/MIME standard and includes an integrated implementation of the Secure Shell Agent.


Please visit the project pages to find out more about GnuPG. The current stable versions are 1.4.11 and 2.0.18.

Due to former U.S. export restrictions on cryptographic software, the program is not distributed via the standard GNU archives but from an European FTP site and its mirrors.

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‘Innate need for privacy’: Rick Falkvinge talks freedom and surveillance


Rick Falkvinge is the founder of the first Pirate Party and campaigns for sensible information policy.

Published time: September 29, 2013 04:06

The difference between privacy and anonymity, Internet freedom and NSA surveillance, and the future of the web - at RT’s Google Hangout, Rick Falkvinge answers the most pressing questions that concern all Internet users in their everyday lives.

Stacy Herbert: Can you explain the difference between privacy and anonymity?

Rick Falkvinge: This is a very relevant question. This session for instance is public and so I see a lot of people complaining about us using Google Hangout for a session about NSA spying and privacy because this is a US company, because this is certainly wiretapped.

But then again this is a public session. We’re not trying to hide anything. It might be wiretapped but it does not cause damage, in this particular moment. If we were trying to hold a secret meeting, we would and should not be doing that in an unencrypted forum. So privacy is when you’re trying to hide something and that is closely connected to your individual.

At some point you might want to publish something without tying it to yourself individually. Our freedom of the press is closely, closely connected to people's ability to blow the whistle anonymously on government scandals, on corruption and so on and so forth. So as a source to the press, for instance, you may want to be anonymous and publish something. At that point it is obviously not privacy because you’re trying to publish something but you’re still very much dependent on your anonymity to remain protected.

Tiago Neves: Do you not find that governments like Brazil invest little in people with new ideas and open source?

RF: To be honest, I’m finding the exact opposite. While these economies are small compared to US and Europe, in my experience they invest disproportionately in liberating technologies. This is a strategically wise decision. We’ve seen Microsoft handing over security vulnerabilities to the NSA before they hatched the computers of their customers. This is essentially handing the world to the NSA. So if you want to be free, if you want to have some semblance of privacy, any semblance of private communications, then I think you cannot run software from an American company.

For instance countries in the global north, in Europe, Canada and Asia are talking about national security and at the same time they are running software from Microsoft. Seriously, you are running a country and you’re giving them the switch from entire administration to corporation to a foreign power. What were you thinking?

There is a reason why I’m running the different flavors of new Linux on my computers. There may be arguable security vulnerabilities in new Linux as well, the difference is that we can find them and patch them and they are definitely not placed there by an adversary with alternative motives to have a master switch of our system. So I would say that Brazil is wisely investing in an open source and free software as are other parts of the global south.

This was particularly visible when Gilberto Gil was a minister of culture in Brazil, in terms of understanding how technology reshapes society. So overall I’m very optimistic how the global South and the BRICS countries invest in open source and free software and for a very good reason – national security and availability of IT to people who otherwise could not afford it.

Brent Harding: Are the BRICS nations creating their own Internet? I would imagine that they are creating an Internet that would be free from any northern security group, so what you’re saying that we, here in the North would just have to use these encrypted ways of communicating with each other. Is it possible to start a forum like Google or Facebook that is not watched by the security forces?

RF: There are new communities that are still watched by the security agencies but are resilient to wiretapping, resilient to eavesdropping. One of the most important aspect of such systems is that they are what we call federated, meaning that they are not centralized. For instance, right here on my balcony is my mail server. The fact that I’m running my own mail server means that nobody else can walk in and take that data away from me; it is encrypted, people can safely send me mail knowing that there’s a third party that they need to trust. And that is the key we need to solve. That is the one puzzle we need to solve. An Internet system that requires trust in the third party be it Facebook, Google, Microsoft, whatever is broken by design, because that third party can be compromised.

As for the BRICS cable, you can look at bricscable.com, I think, it is less than an entirely new Internet. What it is, is an underwater cable going from Florida to Brazil around South Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope, up to Madagascar, around India, China and up to Russia covering all the BRICS countries. What it gives them is the ability not to send all traffic through the US where it is wiretapped. The Internet is a huge mesh of wires of fibers and traffic simply takes the closest route, the technically cheapest route not necessarily the closest one. As of today, that route more often than not goes through the US and London, giving them the golden opportunity to wiretap everything.

So this BRICS cable is less than an entirely new Internet and more of a way for these countries to send traffic, confidential correspondence on a route that does not go through the United States. I think it is very logical for them to do so.

RT’s Darya Lunina: A lot of my friends are leaving Facebook and Google because of the NSA spying revelations. Where is this all heading? Will people abandon the Internet or look for new ways of communicating? Or chose small social networks where you can keep your identity and privacy?

RF: The activists who are protesting the possibilities of wiretapping, we have been talking about this for years. We have been talking about this for two decades, roughly when Phil Zimmermann launched PGP, which is a really good privacy encrypted mail. At that point the NSA tried to prohibit encryption if they could not break it. Would you believe that? France tried to ban encryption if it was not in the hands of private individuals. But at that point the crypto community won, even though the US Congress tried to classify the encryption software as ammunition that could not be exported.

Unfortunately since then, the technical people who have been understanding the capabilities of these spying agencies have been classified as tin-foiled hats. Mail encryption did not really take off for the masses needed for mass adoption. I’m using PGP, everybody else should be using PGP. What is really striking now that we see what is really happening with Edwards Snowden’s revelations is that we who were privacy advocates and warning about wiretapping, we have been called tin-foiled hats. It turns out that we were severely underestimating what was going on.

Yes, new communities are forming. New communities have been building that have had these goals for a long time. Diaspora is one example. Freenet is one example. You have Facebook's replacement being built with these ideals in mind – anonymity, privacy and at least some resistance to wiretapping and ears dropping. But before the Edward Snowden’s revelations no one was interested in them, because they were being built by tin-foiled hats who could not possibly be right in the extent of government violation, US violation of people’s trust in them.

So we’re starting to see these communities take off still on the smaller scale but I believe that they do have a future. I believe that smaller scale communities that are resilient to wiretapping do have a future and we’re already seeing them grow, much as a result of Edward Snowden's revelations, causing everyone to understand that this stuff is actually happening. And b. that technical people have been preparing for this scale of wiretapping going on. It is right that people are leaving these wire-tapped communications.

I would personally recommend three ways of doing that. When you’re using mail use PGP or GPG, that does not protect the wiretapping who you’re communicating with, so it does not protect you at the source of the press but it does protect the content. It is essentially an envelope. When you’re talking on the phone, it is easy to determine today if your phone has been wiretapped. Did you make a phone call? If the answer is yes then your phone was wiretapped. It is easy to determine if you’re being tracked on the streets in the same way. If you’re carrying this device [smartphone] than you’re being tracked. But there are some ways we can mitigate this. If you’re running Android, than I would suggest moving to text secure, which is an encrypted SMS solution for all your text messaging and red phone which is end to end encrypted phone calls, when you’re making a phone call that needs to be secret. Red phone has end to end encryption, meaning that the phone is encrypted and another phone is decrypted in your phone, so no one can listen in even if they wiretap it midway, they will only see an encrypted conversation. This is in contrast with GSM crypto where it is encrypted to the cell phone tower but then it moves in clear text on telecom wires, so anybody in the telecom network can wiretap your phone call.

Javier Creus: Do you envision citizens organizing personal data cooperatives that maintain their data anonymous and share their benefits of their commercial exploitation?

RF: From what I can see this is already happening. There’re a lot of technical enthusiasts and technical privacy advocates that are creating such cooperatives that enable you more or less to make the data safe from wiretapping. You can look at Freenet, you can look at Tor which is one example, it is anonymizing network but it also helps you hide your data. So this is not a theoretical probability. This is already happening on quite a large scale.

Tiago Neves: But what would you have to hide?

RF: This is a very good question in terms of a saying that “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,” and why that is wrong. And second why do you need privacy in the first place?

Let’s take a look at that. What is privacy good for anyway? Why is mass surveillance bad? I’d say there’re four reasons for this. They go from more apparent and less important to more apparent and less important.

The first reason is that once surveillance is in place, the rules may change. A lot of you may agree perfectly with and may be used to justify surveillance. Another is that after next election you might have a government that you might not agree with at all, who might use that surveillance in a way you absolutely do not approve off, but at that point it is much too late to protest the surveillance. First reason- the rules may change.

The second reason is that it leads to self-censorship. Once surveillance is in place you start to think less of whether you’re doing something right and more whether or not you’re setting up red flags in the system because at the end of the day it is not you who determines whether you have something to hide. It is faceless bureaucrats who are looking for things in the system, who are looking for patterns that look suspicious.

The third reason is that laws must be broken for society to progress. A lot of people who are criminals, just two human lifetimes ago turned out actually to be in the moral right and today they are not a criminal anymore. If we had had today’s surveillance level in the 1940’s and 1950’s, the civil rights movement would have never been able to take off. We would still have racial discrimination. Sometimes laws must be broken for society to progress.

And the fourth and the most important reason is that we have an innate need for privacy. When I go to the men’s room, I lock the door. Not because there is something happening when I take a dump. I don’t lock the door because I have a need to do criminal activity behind the locked door. I lock the door simply because I feel the need and the right to have some things to myself, as simple as that. And we can easily observe this in any society throughout history when people have been denied this private space. They have created it out of reach from cameras, out of reach from listening ears, out of reach of prying eyes. This need for privacy has been in every society throughout history and denying that is denying human nature. That is not how you create a successful legislature.

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http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130910/10470024468/flying-pig-nsa-is-running-man-middle-attacks-imitating-googles-servers.shtml FLYING PIG: The NSA Is Running Man In The Middle Attacks Imitating Google's Servers from the doubtful-that-google-is-happy-about-that dept
Glyn mentioned this in his post yesterday about the NSA leaks showing direct economic espionage, but with so many other important points in that story, it got a little buried. One of the key revelations was about a GCHQ program called "FLYING PIG" which is the first time I can recall it being clearly stated that the NSA or GCHQ has been running man-in-the-middle attacks on internet services like Google. This slide makes it quite clear that GCHQ or NSA impersonates Google servers:
p. 1

There have been rumors of the NSA and others using those kinds of MITM attacks, but to have it confirmed that they're doing them against the likes of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft is a big deal -- and something I would imagine does not make any of those three companies particularly happy. As Ryan Gallagher notes in the Slate article linked above:

in some cases GCHQ and the NSA appear to have taken a more aggressive and controversial route—on at least one occasion bypassing the need to approach Google directly by performing a man-in-the-middle attack to impersonate Google security certificates. One document published by Fantastico, apparently taken from an NSA presentation that also contains some GCHQ slides, describes “how the attack was done” to apparently snoop on SSL traffic. The document illustrates with a diagram how one of the agencies appears to have hacked into a target’s Internet router and covertly redirected targeted Google traffic using a fake security certificate so it could intercept the information in unencrypted format.

Documents from GCHQ’s “network exploitation” unit show that it operates a program called “FLYING PIG” that was started up in response to an increasing use of SSL encryption by email providers like Yahoo, Google, and Hotmail. The FLYING PIG system appears to allow it to identify information related to use of the anonymity browser Tor (it has the option to query “Tor events”) and also allows spies to collect information about specific SSL encryption certificates.

While some may not be surprised by this, it's yet more confirmation as to how far the NSA is going and how the tech companies aren't always "willing participants" in the NSA's efforts here. Of course, the real question now is how the NSA is impersonating the security certificates to make these attacks work.

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Newsgroups: sci.crypt

From: pgut1@cs.aukuni.ac.nz (Peter Gutmann)

Subject: Norton's InDiskreet

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1993 12:37:43 GMT

Message-ID: <1993Nov11.123743.1701@cs.aukuni.ac.nz>

Summary: Don't delete your copy of PGP yet

People have mentioned Norton's [In]Diskreet here recently and I thought I'd

have a look at it to see how good (or bad) its DES implementation really is (I

didn't bother with the "fast, proprietary method", by all indications it's

worthless). As the summary line in the header says, don't throw away your copy

of PGP yet. For those of you who have a copy and would like a quick look at

the sort of security you're buying, try the following:

- Create a test file, I used 128 zeroes.

- Encrypt it with the password 'xxxxxx'

- Decrypt it with the password 'xxxxxx'

- Decrypt it with the password 'xxxxyy'

- Decrypt it with the password 'yyyyxx'

The DES routines themselves seem to be taken from a DES library rather than

being written by Symantec/Norton. Symantec provide the front-end, and Peter

Norton provides the picture of himself wearing a pastel shirt and silly smirk

for the cover of the box. This seemed to be a good indication - perhaps the

DES implementation was by someone vaguely competent, which meant Symantec would

have little chance of screwing it up.

Unfortunately, as the above test shows, it isn't. The front-end gets a

password in the range of 6..40 characters, and converts it to all-uppercase

(red neon sign lights up and flashes "MISTAKE. MISTAKE. MISTAKE"). Then it

packs it into a struct along with a collection of other information and passes

it to the DES library. The DES library then takes the password and reduces it

to 64 bits by cyclically xor-ing in the full-length password into an 8-byte

buffer initially set to all zeroes, ie:

for( index = 0; *password; index++ )

buffer[ index % 8 ] = *password++;

Finally, the top 32 bits of this buffer is passed to the key schedule routines

and some of it used for the key schedule (this is what the sample en/decryption

shows up). They seemed to be doing a DES key schedule, but I didn't bother

verifying its correctness - there didn't seem much point really. Note that the

first mistake was made by the front-end, but the second two were made in the

DES library itself, meaning that both parts are incompetently implemented. Oh

well, at least Peter Norton's contribution to the whole affair doesn't weaken

it's security. Usually I check DES implementations against the NBS test data,

but I couldn't be bothered ripping out the code, and the key handling provides

holes big enough to drive a bus through anyway. Note that it doesn't even use

a proper 56-bit key as per the FIPS docs (although, admittedly, it's in good

company there), or check for the weak keys which are possible with the key

setup they're using.

The encryption itself uses DES in CBC mode with a fixed IV. This means that,

in combination with the tiny key space, it's possible to create a precomputed

collection of plaintext/ciphertext pairs and "break" most encrypted files by

reading the results out of a table. Since the whole-disk encryption always

begins with a fixed DOS FAT (file allocation table), this instant decryption is

entirely feasible. When encrypting files, [In]Diskreet stores the file name,

date, and various other pieces of information at the start of the data and a

key check sequence at the end, allowing a quick and easy check for correct


In summary, there may be a possibly-correct DES implementation in there

somewhere, but it doesn't help much. [In]Diskreet will stop a casual browser,

but won't give you any protection at all against any serious attack.


Newsgroups: sci.crypt,comp.security.misc

From: pgut1@cs.aukuni.ac.nz (Peter Gutmann)

Subject: Norton's [In]Diskreet: An update

Date: 13 Jul 1994 17:21:57 GMT

Message-ID: <3017rl$8j4@ccu2.auckland.ac.nz>

Last November I picked apart part of the Diskreet encryption program and posted

what I found to this group. By some miracle I had a bit of spare time this

afternoon, so I've had another quick look at it. The result is some more

information on the proprietary encryption algorithm and the file format it

uses. First, a recap of what I presented last time:

The key setup process is very badly done. The front-end gets a password in the

range of 6..40 characters, and converts it to all-uppercase. Then it packs it

into a struct along with a collection of other information and passes it to the

DES library used by Diskreet. The first thing this does is take the password

and reduce it to 64 bits by cyclically xor-ing the full-length password into an

8-byte buffer initially set to all zeroes, ie:

for( index = 0; password[ index ]; index++ )

buffer[ index % 8 ] = password[ index ];

It then performs what looks like a standard DES key schedule with the 64-bit

output from this operation. This creates 128 bytes of subkeys for encryption

and 128 bytes of subkeys for decryption. These are either used for the

proprietary encryption method or for DES encryption. Here's a rundown of the

proprietary method:

All operations are performed on 16-bit words. byteSwap() performs an

endianness-reversal on a word. Chaining is performed by xor-ing in the

previous ciphertext word. The keyTable is the 256-byte array of DES subkeys,

treated as an array of words.

data[ -1 ] = 0x1234;

index = sectorNo % 128;

index = keyTable[ index ] % 128;

for( i = 0; i < SECTOR_SIZE / 2; i++ )


value = keyTable[ index++ ] + data[ i ];

byteSwap( value );

value ^= data[ i - 1 ];

data[ i ] = value;

index %= 128;


As can be seen, a known-plaintext attack will recover the (expanded) encryption

key without too much trouble - it's just a repeated addition of a 128-word

array to the data, with the previous word xor'd in for chaining purposes. The

xor and byteSwap are basically nop's and can be stripped off without any

problems, revealing the key stream used to encrypt the data. Since encryption

is done by sectors, the same key data is used twice for each sectors.

How do we perform a known-plaintext attack? It's quite simple actually, since

Diskreet itself provides us with about as much known plaintext as we need. The

file format is:

General header


char[ 13 ] fileName

LONG fileDate

BYTE fileAttributes

LONG fileSize

LONG file data start

BYTE[ 16 ] 0

File data

BYTE[ 32 ] 0

Padding to make it a multiple of 512 bytes

Everything from the 16-byte magic value to the end of the file is encrypted in

blocks of 512 bytes. The proprietary scheme will directly reveal its key

stream on the 16-byte check value, the 16 bytes of zeroes at the start, and the

32 bytes (minimum) of zeroes at the end of the data. Interestingly enough, the

presence of the 16-byte known plaintext right at the start would tend to

confirm the rumours that that's one of the criteria for having an encryption

program approved by the NSA. The plaintext also gives us the name of one of

the programmers involved.

In my previous posting I said:

The encryption itself uses DES in CBC mode with a fixed IV. This means that,

in combination with the tiny key space, it's possible to create a precomputed

collection of plaintext/ciphertext pairs and "break" most encrypted files by

reading the results out of a table.

The 16-byte known plaintext makes this attack a certainty. In addition, if two

pieces of data are encrypted with the same key, one with the proprietary method

and one with DES, the DES key can be recovered from the proprietary-encrypted

data and used to decrypt the DES-encrypted data. Again quoting from my

previous posting:

In summary, there may be a correct DES implementation in there somewhere, but

it doesn't help much. [In]Diskreet will stop a casual browser, but won't

give you any protection at all against any serious attack.


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Richard Stallman on watching the watchers


Interviewed by Jérémie Zimmermann when he was still a full-time employee of La Quadrature du Net, Richard speaks in great length about surveillance and how to take back control of our communications, as well as about the future of the Internet and computing. Through the philosophy of Free/libre software he delivers his vision for better democratic processes and for a better society. He also brushes topics related to life, the Universe, and Everything ;)


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RT :

Sweden, which blacklisted Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks from the Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF), plays the role of a US “lapdog” and does not want anyone to speak out against the American government or its agencies, a WikiLeaks spokesperson told RT.

Banning leading whistleblowers from the conference undermines its whole concept, WikiLeaks spokesperson and investigative journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson said.

How can you exclude WikiLeaks? How can you exclude Edward Snowden? How can you exclude discussing the explosive revelations by these important whistleblowers that have stepped forward in the last few years, totally changing the entire perception of the internet and raising serious questions of the future of the internet? If you want to discuss internet freedom you have to have these elements there,” he said.

The third annual European conference, SIF, opened on Monday in the Swedish capital, where internet activists gathered to have their say on this year’s topic: “Internet – privacy, transparency, surveillance and control.”

The forum, organized by the Swedish Foreign Ministry, claims that “freedom and openness” are among its “key concepts.”

At @fxinternet discussion I stressed that freedom on and of the net is a key value and interest for us. #sif214pic.twitter.com/R0kfP60Mn3

— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) May 28, 2014

However, those concepts seem to have their limits, as major internet rights advocates who opened the public's eyes on the scale of internet spaying were actually banned from attending the gathering.

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Transparency group WikiLeaks blasted fellow secret-spillers The Intercept last week for censoring the name of a country targeted by United States surveillance. WikiLeaks alleges the nation to be Afghanistan, but the story might not stop right there.

When journalist Glenn Greenwald and the co-authors of last week’s article in The Intercept wrote about the latest US National Security Agency spy operation to be leaked, they alleged that the NSA has been collecting the contents seemingly of all cell phone calls dialed or received in two nations: the Bahamas, and an unnamed “country X.” After scolding The Intercept for withholding the name of that second country, WikiLeaks alleged on Friday that the other subject of the previously unreported NSA program was Afghanistan.

“WikiLeaks has confirmed that the identity of victim state is Afghanistan,” editor-in-chief Julian Assange wrote. “This can also be independently verified through forensic scrutiny of imperfectly applied censorship on related documents released to date and correlations with other NSA programs.”

According to WikiLeaks, there may be much more to the story. Also last week, the anti-secrecy group tweeted that Jared Cohen — the 32-year-old current director of Google Ideas and a former US State Department advisor — has a history that connects him to a program that may have put Afghan signals intelligence, or SIGINT, into the hands of US investigators.

On the morning of May 23, WikiLeaks directed its Twitter followers to a July 2009 State Dept. cable included within a trove of classified documents supplied by imprisoned intelligence source Chelsea Manning the following year.

“Google Idea's director Jared Cohen was tasked with getting Afghan telcos to move towers to US bases when at DoS,” WikiLeaks tweeted.

Google Idea's director Jared Cohen was tasked with getting Afghan telcos to move towers to US bases when at DoS https://t.co/bwVvyXuMU4

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 23, 2014

Paul Carr, a blogger at Pando Daily, wrote last week that he was unsuccessful with his attempts to get Cohen to comment about the allegations. Nevertheless, the cable referenced by WikiLeaks does indeed connect him, to a degree, with an Afghan SIGINT operation that may have something to do with the NSA program that collects the contents of phone calls.

“From July 8-11, SRAP [special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan] Special Advisor Ashley Bommer and S/P staffer Jared Cohen met with US Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) officials and the mobile service providers to discuss the possibility of placing telecommunications towers on US Military's Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) or other secure locations,” it reads in part.

According to the confidential State Dept. dispatch, major Afghan telecom Roshan was “keen to develop this partnership with the [uS government]” and viewed it “as a way to promote mutual security, communications and commercial strategies for Afghanistan.”

If Roshan should agree to a draft proposal then in the works, the cable continued, the telecom would lease space to US forces to erect mobile phone towers through Afghanistan.

The cable continued:

“Although Roshan officials told USG officials that they are ready to sign an agreement with USFOR-A, the other three MSPs have demonstrated only mild interest. Afghan Wireless Communication Co (AWCC) was the only other provider represented at the meetings. Though AWCC Managing Director Amin Ramin told Emboff that they were interested in the proposal, Ramin stopped short of agreeing to partner with the USG. Minister Sangin told Ambassador Wayne that he supports the concept but does not believe that building towers on secure locations will solve the threat issue because the insurgents do not threaten companies when they are building towers. He said companies face insurgent threats when they are transporting equipment and workers to cell tower sites. Sangin said an alternate plan would be to have movable cell towers in reserve as available replacements when insurgents attack cell towers.”

“We support their development and advocate bringing all key Afghan government stakeholders to discussions,” former US ambassador to Afghanistan and State Dept. staffer Karl Eikenberry wrote at the bottom of the memo. “The Ministries of Interior and Defense have not so far been included in discussions about co-locating cell towers on secure locations but will need to be brought into the discussion.”

Of course, WikiLeaks likely has a bone to pick with Cohen, who co-wrote The New Digital Age with Google CEO Eric Schmidt last year: a book which included criticism aimed at Assange and others who endorse full-on data permanence as a solution for increased transparency.

"Despite some of the known negative consequences of this movements (threats to individual security, ruined reputations and diplomatic chaos), some free-information activists believe the absence of a delete button ultimately strengthens humanity's progress toward greater equality, productivity and self-determination,” Schmidt and Cohen wrote. “We believe, however, that this is a dangerous model, especially given that there is always going to be someone with bad judgment who releases information that will get people killed. This is why governments have systems and valuable regulations in place that, while imperfect, should continue to govern who gets to make the decision about what is classified and what is not.”

Regardless, WikiLealks raises interesting points, at least, about Cohen’s work with the Department of State. Additionally, further open source investigation connects other nodes even further with regards to a NSA program that collects the communications of Afghans, as alleged.

Roshan — the telecom revealed to have been ready to sign a deal with the US government in 2009, according to the State Dept. cable — emerges in other documents pertaining to NSA surveillance. Among those are classified documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about BOUNDLESSINFORMANT: one of the agency’s SIGINT collection operations.

According to NSA documents published last year, BOUNDLESSINFORMANT helps the NSA collect signals intelligence across Afghanistan, including at a facility code-named SHIFTINGSHADOW that reportedly targets Roshan specifically, according to documents.

Even still, Roshan is referenced in even more WikiLeaks materials, including Afghan war documents also provided by Manning before her arrest in 2010.In one war log from 2008, for instance, a US military official notes that Roshan is “used extensively” by the International Security Assistance Force, and was likely a target of SIGINT surveillance carried out by Russia, China, Pakistan, India and others.

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‘Facebook a gift to intelligence agencies’ - Laura Poitras

Published time: October 25, 2014 15:07

AFP Photo / Jonathan Nackstrand

Investigative journalist Laura Poitras says she is worried about intelligence agencies using the all-too-easily-accessible data gathered from social networks - as people share their personal information voluntarily and governments only need to ask.

Poitras, who helped NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden expose illegal activities of the organization, still believes that people should be worried about the amount of power governments have to conduct surveillance searches of what they are doing online.

“Facebook is a gift to intelligence agencies. People volunteer all their social information,” she told the Washington Post in an interview.

Users should be wary about the information that the likes of Facebook and Google have compiled on them, Poitras warns. Still she does believe that these technology companies pose less of a threat than governments.

“On technology companies, we should be concerned, but we are consenting to that relationship - and they don't have the same powers. They can help the government find out who your sources are, but they don't have the power to investigate people,” she said.

READ MORE: Defiant Apple, Facebook, other firms to inform public of govt surveillance requests

To try and overcome the problem of unwanted government surveillance, she advocates the greater use of encryption tools, especially for journalists, but does understand that they can often be hard to use for those without specialist knowledge of computer systems. Poitras told the Washington Post she believes this could change in the future.


Laura Poitras.(Reuters / Eduardo Munoz )

“I think what we're going to see is a market for privacy that's going to emerge. I think technology companies will come forward and offer tools that are easier to use. I mean, PGP is not easy, but it could be, and I think it will be,” she said.

The investigative journalist also touched on the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which was setup in December 2012 to support free speech and the freedom of the press. It also offers encryption tools, which can be downloaded online, as well as a service called SecureDrop.

READ MORE: Facebook demands DEA stop using fake profiles in investigations

SecureDrop is an open-source whistleblower submission system, which any news organization can install to securely receive information and documents from whistleblowers and sources, according to the Foundation’s website. She also says that the organization can give guidance on what products can be trusted and which should be avoided.

“I think one of the really exciting things about the organization is that we have a technology board who has all sorts of experience in the free software movement who actually know how to determine what are the good forms of encryption and how to handle peer review,” Poitras added.

Poitras also talked about the release of her new film, Citzenfour, which potrays the eight days that she spent in Hong Kong with Snowden, after he began leaking sensitive NSA documents. The film opened on Friday in selected cinemas in New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles.

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Warns: Google Is Not What It Seems pdf_button.png printButton.png emailButton.png

Madrid, 25 Oct (Prensa Latina) Assange says Google is more "evil" than it wants the world to believe, despite its "Don't be Evil" mantra.

Back in 2011, Julian Assange met up with Eric Schmidt for an interview that he considers the best he's ever given. That doesn't change, however, the opinion he now has about Schmidt and the company he represents, Google.

In fact, the WikiLeaks leader doesn't believe in the famous "Don't Be Evil" mantra that Google has been preaching for years.

Assange thinks both Schmidt and Google are at the exact opposite spectrum.

"Nobody wants to acknowledge that Google has grown big and bad. But it has. Schmidt's tenure as CEO saw Google integrate with the shadiest of U.S. power structures as it expanded into a geographically invasive megacorporation. But Google has always been comfortable with this proximity," Assange writes in an opinion piece for Newsweek.

"Long before company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Schmidt in 2001, their initial research upon which Google was based had been partly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). And even as Schmidt's Google developed an image as the overly friendly giant of global tech, it was building a close relationship with the intelligence community," Assange continues.

Throughout the lengthy article, Assange goes on to explain how the 2011 meeting came to be and talks about the people the Google executive chairman brought along - Lisa Shields, then vice president of the Council on Foreign Relationship, Jared Cohen, who would later become the director of Google Ideas, and Scott Malcomson, the book's editor, who would later become the speechwriter and principal advisor to Susan Rice.

"At this point, the delegation was one part Google, three parts US foreign-policy establishment, but I was still none the wiser."

Assange goes on to explain the work Cohen was doing for the government prior to his appointment at Google and just how Schmidt himself plays a bigger role than previously thought.

How Assange sees Schmidt

In fact, he says that his original image of Schmidt, as a politically unambitious Silicon Valley engineer, "a relic of the good old days of computer science graduate culture on the West Coast," was wrong.

However, Assange concedes that that is not the sort of person who attends Bilderberg conferences, who regularly visits the White House, and who delivers speeches at the Davos Economic Forum.

He claims that Schmidt's emergence as Google's "foreign minister" did not come out of nowhere, but it was "presaged by years of assimilation within US establishment networks of reputation and influence."

Assange makes further accusations that, well before Prism had even been dreamed of, the NSA was already systematically violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act under its director at the time, Michael Hayden.

He states, however, that during the same period, namely around 2003, Google was accepting NSA money to provide the agency with search tools for its rapidly-growing database of information.

Assange continues by saying that in 2008, Google helped launch the NGA spy satellite, the GeoEye-1, into space and that the search giant shares the photographs from the satellite with the US military and intelligence communities. Later on, 2010, after the Chinese government was accused of hacking Google, the company entered into a "formal information-sharing" relationship with the NSA, which would allow the NSA's experts to evaluate the vulnerabilities in Google's hardware and software.

"Around the same time, Google was becoming involved in a program known as the "Enduring Security Framework" (ESF), which entailed the sharing of information between Silicon Valley tech companies and Pentagon-affiliated agencies at network speed.''

Emails obtained in 2014 under Freedom of Information requests show Schmidt and his fellow Googler Sergey Brin corresponding on first-name terms with NSA chief General Keith Alexander about ESF," Assange writes.

Assange seems to have a lot of backing to his statements, providing links left and right, which people can go check on their own.

sgl/ro/ml Modificado el ( sábado, 25 de octubre de 2014 )

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Encryption Works: How to Protect Your Privacy in the Age of NSA Surveillance
July 2, 2013

Warning: This guide has not updated in over a year. Freedom of the Press Foundation is working on an updated version. If you're interested in contributing, or have ideas for what this guide should cover, please submit issues on GitHub

Download: [en] PDF, LibreOffice ODT • [pt] PDF, LibreOffice ODT

Encryption works. Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on. Unfortunately, endpoint security is so terrifically weak that NSA can frequently find ways around it.

— Edward Snowden, answering questions live on the

The NSA is the biggest, best funded spy agency the world has ever seen. They spend billions upon billions of dollars each year doing everything they can to vacuum up the digital communications of most humans on this planet that have access to the Internet and and the phone network. And as the recent reports in the Guardian and Washington Post show, even domestic American communications are not safe from their net.

Defending yourself against the NSA, or any other government intelligence agency, is not simple, and it's not something that can be solved just by downloading an app. But thanks to the dedicated work of civilian cryptographers and the free and open source software community, it's still possible to have privacy on the Internet, and the software to do it is freely available to everyone. This is especially important for journalists communicating with sources online.

Table of Contents

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Tails is a live operating system, that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity, and helps you to:

  • use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship;
    all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network;
  • leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly;
  • use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging.

Learn more about Tails.

edit typo

Edited by John Dolva
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Own development of the software on the basis of the new state company of "Krymtekhnologiya" will allow the government of the Crimea to create alternative to services of the multinational companies which can't work and sell the production on the peninsula because of the western sanctions.

About it the minister of domestic policy gave, information and communications of the Republic of Crimea Dmitry Polonsky in the interview published on the website of "The expert center of the electronic state".

"We consider that any restrictions from our (so-called) partners — it is chance to develop our domestic market including the IT market. For today, and this one of achievements, we created the powerful enterprise — the state unitary enterprise "Krymtekhnologiya", in the Crimea it the largest software developer" — Polonsky reported.

The minister explained that development of "Krymtekhnologiya" already takes root including for electronic document flow, the accounting of the rights of citizens for the land plots, electronic turns in bodies of FMS, signing up in kindergartens, turns in bodies of traffic police. He also noted that a number of software products of "Krymtekhnologiya" will be used for development of a network of the multipurpose centers of electronic state and municipal services in the Crimea.

"I think that in 2015 we will manage to start in full the full-fledged, normally functioning system of these multipurpose centers" — Polonsky told, having noted that such centers already work in a number of the cities, including Simferopol and Yalta.

Polonsky added that due to decrease in presence of the foreign companies in the territory of the Crimea such enterprises as "Krymtekhnologiya", had an opportunity to employ "good experts who were exempted from work in the foreign companies".

In the winter the largest American IT companies warned the clients living in the territory of the peninsula about the termination of rendering of services in the Crimea. Declared restriction of rendering of services, in particular, Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal, eBay.

Anton Karamazov
Central news agency of Novorossiya

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Passphrases That You Can Memorize — But That Even the NSA Can’t Guess

A passphrase is like a password, but longer and more secure. In essence, it’s an encryption key that you memorize. Once you start caring more deeply about your privacy and improving your computer security habits, one of the first roadblocks you’ll run into is having to create a passphrase. You can’t secure much without one. There is a method for generating passphrases that are both impossible for even the most powerful attackers to guess, yet very possible for humans to memorize. The method is called Diceware


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