Harvard Report Debunks Government’s ‘Going Dark’ Encryption Claim…

Federal investigative agencies like the FBI have long argued that encryption and other new technologies severely hamper their ability to spy on terrorists and other criminals, putting our safety at risk. A new report from Harvard debunks that “going dark” claim, concluding that the rise of network-connected devices will lead to more, not fewer, opportunities for surveillance.  Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society convened a group of security and policy experts to explore questions of surveillance and encryption at a time when major tech companies like Apple and Google are encrypting their phones and other products by default. The 37-page report, released Monday, concludes that the feds’ “going dark” argument falls flat on its face.

FBI Director James Comey, in an October 2014 speech, argued that the law hasn’t kept pace with technologies, like encryption, that have become “the tool of choice for some very dangerous people.”  What it means is this: Those charged with protecting our people aren’t always able to access the evidence we need to prosecute crime and prevent terrorism even with lawful authority,” Comey said. “We have the legal authority to intercept and access communications and information pursuant to court order, but we often lack the technical ability to do so.”

SOURCE – NBCNews.com

An open letter to Barack Obama: World War III is here…

obummer_golfFriends, I ran across this on Fox News from Larry Gatlin who is a country music singer and songwriter.  Nice to see the plain truth come out on a major news network.  After reading this, take a moment and really think about how far this country has fallen; not just in the last 70+ years but in our last two presidential terms.  Sad.  The Villainous VooDoo echos the calls for a real leader of the United States.  One that is far less concerned with self-image, party preservation or shaving a few strokes off his golf game.  Read on…

Dear Mr. President,

It’s been quite a summer. The world is not a pretty place right now but I see you have had a chance to play golf. In fact you’ve played golf through the worst of it. Right after announcing that American journalist James Foley had been beheaded.

Now I play golf and I enjoy it. But I’m not president of the United States… so I have a little more time.

But I digress. Let’s skip on down to the really important part… I hope you’ll read closely. There will be a quiz.

We are at war, sir, whether you like it or not.

One of your predecessors said this when our country was being threatened…

“Hostilities exist. There is no blinking to the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. I ask that that congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Empire of Japan. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. With confidence in our armed forces, with the un bounding determination of our people-we will gain the inevitable triumph–so help us God.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt uttered those words on a December day almost 73 years ago.

In the name of that same God invoked so eloquently and powerfully by that president, I ask that you, Mr. President — if you’re not too busy playing golf, campaigning, orchestrating the cover ups of all the “phony scandals,” and just being cool — could again declare war on the enemies who have unleashed “unprovoked and dastardly attacks” on the United States.

This summer we have now seen two American journalists beheaded by the “Islamic State” – ISIS or IL or IS. We are at war, sir, whether you like it or not.

Over 2,400 members of the United States military were killed that December morning long ago, in an attack not really on the United States mainland. It happened in Hawaii. I know you are familiar with Hawaii. The Aloha State was just a territory of the United States at that time.

That war would last for 4 long years and would kill 60 to 80 million people, including 291,557 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

That terrible toll was exacted in a war wherein the enemy combatants of the Axis powers, Japan, Germany, and Italy, had no means whatsoever of successfully mounting a military strike against the United States homeland.

Even if we hadn’t won the war, and even if we hadn’t captured/liberated Werner Von Braun and the other German scientists at Peenemunde before the Russians got to them, it would have been at least 10-15 years before Germany would have had a rocket/missile capable of reaching the U. S. mainland. And yet President Roosevelt galvanized, mobilized, and energized, and united the American people like never before.

Then America, in its “righteous might” unsheathed and unleashed the most devastating war machine in the history of mankind.

Guess what Mr. President, THE GOOD GUYS WON!! They won because President Roosevelt had the “cojones” to “pull the trigger,” giving no thought to his legacy, but giving thought only to the preservation of the American way of life.

Forget the fun on the golf course, Mr. President. Does that way of life mean anything to you, sir, or are you still so hell bent on “fundamentally changing” the American way of life that you cannot, or will not, change course and “pull the trigger?”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that, for Israel, the question of the current conflict with the enemies of Israel is an existential one.

In my opinion, sir, and in the opinions of most of the grown-ups in our military apparatus, and other expert military analysts, the United States is now engaged — or not really engaged — in no less an existential conflict.

Please pay attention sir. It’s not your shot yet. It’s Alonzo’s shot.

We are being told every night on TV that the American people don’t have the stomach for more war 10,000 miles away. Well sir, I think you should conduct another of your seemingly endless polls and ask those Americans a few simple questions:

Do Americans have the stomach to see planes crash into our buildings again, or citizens running through the streets of New York City with the residue of those buildings and the ashes of those who were burned alive on their faces again, or a man and wife holding hands and jumping out of an 80th story window, together, to keep from being burned alive again?

Sir, why don’t you ask Americans these simple questions and see what their answers are.

Whether you like it or not sir, World War III has already started and it is time for America to “take arms against a sea of trouble, and by opposing,” try to keep 9/11 and other attacks on America from happening again.

From 1941-45, 291,557 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines died to defeat an enemy that had absolutely no means of attacking the United States mainland. And now, we are being told that after more than 10 years of fighting those ruthless bastards in Iraq and Afghanistan where “only” 6,802 of our warriors have been killed, America doesn’t have the stomach to go do what needs to be done?

Please understand the context of the word “only.” With all my heart I thank all thank these warriors and their families for the sacrifices they have made, and continue to make. And now we are giving up the fight? We are surrendering? We are being told that AMERICA DOESNT HAVE THE STOMACH TO DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE????????

Well sir, you need to have enough stomach, GUTS, COJONES for all of us. It’s called LEADERSHIP!!

If that is so, that America doesn’t have the stomach to do what needs to be done, I say shame on us, and especially, shame on you, Mr. President. We deserve what we will get.

I believe that it is time for America to go on wartime footing, all the way up to and including a “peacetime” draft if necessary. Heck, pay the soldiers what congressmen, senators, and your White House spin doctors make.

Go save Iraq — AGAIN. Take 20% of their oil revenue until the money we have spent freeing them — TWICE — is paid back. Leave a residual force there to keep this from happening again (see Japan, Germany, and Italy) and tell anyone who doesn’t like it to kiss AMERICA’s happy, safe rear end.

I am 66 years old, I’m in pretty damn good shape and I will go right now. I’ve lived a good life and I want my granddaughters to have the chance to live one too.

I was #296 during Vietnam… I didn’t have to go, but I would have gone if I had been called.

I will go now if called… Unfortunately, I know that I never will be called, so I will answer a different call.

I will call on you, Mr. President. Do you have the stomach to lead our scared, uncertain, worried, “tired of war” American citizens in a fight to the death against the Islamic murderers, even if the “tide of public opinion” is against it?

Anyone can lead people who are willing and eager to go. Can you, will you lead people who are not willing, but need to go?

Finally, while it is long past time to start treating our veterans with the dignity and care they deserve, it is also long past time to stop treating our current soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. They have been trained to defend the United States, Mr. President, to the death, if it comes to that.

We have trained them, fed them, housed them, equipped them, armed them, and stationed them in close proximity to hot spots all over the world, in order to be ready for the start of World War III.

Well, Mr. President, WORLD WAR III is here.

It’s high time we turn our troops loose to let them GO KILL THE BAD GUYS. Turn them loose, sir, and give America another, “righteous might, so help us God” moment.

Please, sir, before it’s too late…

IT’S YOUR SHOT…FORE!!

SOURCE – FoxNews

Heartbleed? What the hell is that?

Heartbleed_svgHeartbleed is a software bug in the open-source cryptography library OpenSSL, which allows an attacker to read the memory of the host computer, allowing them to retrieve potentially privacy-sensitive data.  Based on examinations of audit logs by researchers, it has been reported that some attackers may have exploited the flaw for at least five months before discovery and announcement.  It also appears that the NSA knew about this flaw for at least 2 years and did nothing.  Nothing except further infringe on your privacy rights.  The author of the bug, Robin Seggelmann, stated that he “missed validating a variable containing a length” and denied any intention to submit a flawed implementation.  Friends, maybe this guy is an NSA contractor…  Check this out:

Tor is building an anonymous instant messenger…

tor_nsaTor, the team behind the world’s leading online anonymity service, is developing a new anonymous instant messenger client, according to documents produced at the Tor 2014 Winter Developers Meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland.  The Tor Instant Messaging Bundle (TIMB) is set to work with the open-source InstantBird messenger client in experimental builds released to the public by March 31, 2014. The developers aim to build in encrypted off-the-record chatting and then bundle the client with the general Tor Launcher in the following months.

Pidgin, an older and more popular open-source chat client, was originally considered to be the foundation of the TIMB but was thrown out in favor of InstantBird. However, Tor still plans to hire independent security contractors to audit the new software and test its mettle so that “people in countries where communication for the purpose of activism is met with intimidation, violence, and prosecution will be able to avoid the scrutiny of criminal cartels, corrupt officials, and authoritarian governments.”

Over the long term, TIMB will likely become the messenger of choice for Tor users. Software such as TorChat and BitMessage already have significant userbases and smart advocates, but with the full weight of the Tor Launcher and team behind it, there’s little reason to imagine TIMB won’t succeed.  The creation of the TIMB is yet another step in what has been a years-long improvement in Tor software. A decade ago, the anonymity program was available only to tech-savvy users who knew enough to dive into their operating system’s command line.  Now, the Tor user interface has progressed to the point that almost anyone can anonymously surf the Web with just a few clicks. If TIMB follows in those footsteps, it will be another powerful anonymity tool at the fingertips of of both the tech literate and humanity at large.

The Tor Project, a $2 million per year nonprofit consisting of 30 developers spread out over 12 countries, is pushing forward on TIMB as part of an overall initiative to make Tor even easier to use for the average person. Also in the pipeline are more localized support staff as well as “point-click-publish Hidden Services,” to make it extremely easy for anyone to create a Deep Web site.  When it comes to the sort of security that Tor provides, ease of use is of paramount importance. Many users can’t or won’t take the time to learn about encryption programs like Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), leaving themselves open to surveillance.

SOURCE – The Daily Dot

Squeaky Dolphin?

squeakydolphin-640x456Documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show that NSA analysts monitored content on The Pirate Bay and used the agency’s surveillance systems to track where it came from. The documents also show that the NSA’s British partners at the GCHQ used XKeyscore data as part of a surveillance program on sites that included WikiLeaks. That was part of a broader psychological profiling and targeting program to collect intelligence, influence individuals online, and disrupt groups like Anonymous that were considered threats.  The new documents show that the GCHQ conducted “broad real-time monitoring of social media activities, processing data on activities like watching YouTube videos and Facebook Likes to profile, categorize, and target individuals for psychological operations.” The NSA documents in the latest disclosure refer to monitoring for content that could be considered “malicious foreign activity.” But it’s clear that the NSA also used its XKeyscore surveillance to dig through traffic to the torrent-sharing site, and it could very well have profiled foreign users of sites like WikiLeaks and monitored their access to that and other websites.

However, the documents—one an internal NSA “frequently asked questions” Wiki page and the other a set of GCHQ slides on psychological operations—do not provide a picture of how much information about people accessing WikiLeaks was shared between the GCHQ and the NSA. And while the documents point to NSA monitoring of Pirate Bay, there’s no suggestion of how the information gathered was used or if it was used at all.  A third, unpublished document shows that the Obama administration apparently encouraged foreign governments in 2010 (including the UK) to pursue charges against WikiLeaks for the publication of diplomatic “wires” provided by Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning.

The GCHQ slide deck, published in 2012, highlights two tools used to conduct social networking, Web monitoring, and profiling. The first, called “Squeaky Dolphin,” pulls online activities within Web traffic caught by the agency’s monitoring systems. The monitoring systems are called “Airwolf” in the slides, which may be a UK codeword for the GCHQ’s equivalent of XKeyscore. That data includes webmail, blogs visited, YouTube views, Facebook “likes” clicked on websites themselves, and other data culled from individual users’ captured activity.

It runs those activities, captured in real-time, through IBM’s InfoSphere Streams processing software to create analytical feeds. Those feeds are then piped into a Splunk database and surfaced through a “dashboard” view that allows analysts to find trends in sentiment. As an example, the slides showed activity related to cricket matches in London and the surge in Facebook likes for Conservative member of Parliament Liam Fox. It can also be used to spot trends in traffic that might indicate upcoming events such as protests or other civil unrest.

While Squeaky Dolphin tends to look at things with a wider view, “AnticrisisGirl” is a bit more targeted. It can be used to passively monitor specific websites—including traffic to WikiLeaks, as the slides demonstrate. The tool can be tuned to a specific set of Internet user signatures or keywords, and it provides analytics of their behavior in real time, capturing search terms or direct Web addresses used to get to the sites in question.

SOURCE – arstechnica.com

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