Expect NSA Snooping Revelations To Make Encryption a Lot More Popular



As noted at Reason 24/7, the international fuss over revelations of NSA spying on telephone communications and Internet traffic has raised the profile of encryption technology, which makes it more difficult to snoop on data and communications, if not necessarily impossible. Publications around the world are talking up the need for people to scramble their phone conversations and email to keep snoops in the U.S. (and elsewhere) from having quite so easy a job of playing world-wide peeping tom. Not surprisingly, companies and organizations that offer encryption products are seeing a bit of a boom.

From the Times of India:

NEW DELHI: Despite vast surveillance operations, governments will not be able to detect every suspicious interaction that takes place on phone and Internet networks, experts have said. By using encryption software that is readily available off the shelf, citizens can make it very difficult for government agencies to snoop in on their phone conversations or even messages exchanged over the Internet.

So, electronic surveillance programmes, such as the US government's PRISM—through which it clandestinely keeps a tab on people around the world by gathering data from several corporations—and India's Central Monitoring System, can do very little if users are determined to go off the radar.

"The point is not how easy the surveillance is to bypass; the point is how easy is it to evade notice even though everyone is being monitored all the time. And the answer is: very easy," said Bruce Schneier, a security technologist and author of Liars and Outliers, a book about security in the information society. Concerns about governments invading into the privacy of its citizens have come to the fore after classified documents about the PRISM programme were leaked to the media on June 6 by Edward Snowden, a former American intelligence officer and technical contractor.

Fox News, whicch has been having a barely concealed debate among its on-air talent over the freedom/security divide, seems to have come down on the quasi-libertarian side. Flipping through the news channels today, I've seen interviews on the station with representatives of both Silent Circle and Seecrypt. Silent Circle boasts that it can't comply with government requests for data because it designed its system so that it has no access to users' communications, and Seecrypt touts its base in South Africa as making it immune to U.S. laws and pressure. The two companies appear to be having a cheerful price war to attract customers at an especially opportune moment. Quite encouragingly, both companies have caused fits among the intelligence community, which is now pushing for mandated backdoors in phones to get around encryption software. But that "fix" poses certain risks, as you might guess. "Building holes and backdoors into widely-available software and services creates vulnerabilities that can be exploited by a range of bad actors, including hackers," warns Peter Swire, an Ohio State University law professor and senior fellow with the Future of Privacy Forum.

If you don't relish the thought of paying a monthly fee for secure communications, there are a range of free products, too. Open Whisper Systems offers the free apps RedPhone and TextSecure, which do much of what the commercial products do. The apps are open source, so they're available for scrutiny to check for glitches, weaknesses — and backdoors.

Don't forget your email. For email communications, it's hard to beat the various iterations of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). PGP was originally designed by Phil Zimmerman, who now works with Silent Circle. If you use Thunderbird for email, it can be enhanced with a PGP add-on like Enigmail.

And for full-computer encryption that can even conceal the fact that you're hiding anything, give TrueCrypt a look. The nice thing about TrueCrypt is that, by concealing the existence of encrypted data, it makes it less likely that anybody will try to break through your protections. And, ultimately, no security is perfect.

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  1. Oh please. The NSA’s top directive is to crack encryption, and nothing available commercially is going to give their systems any kind of trouble.

    What we need now is swift action to stop the practice and punish the people that have already abused this data collection. Nothing else will protect the people.

    1. The TrueCrypt is the way to go. Concealing even the presence of your data is much safer than trying to encrypt it against the NSA’s processing power. Of course, that doesn’t do any good for your emails or phone calls.


      1. There is some lore that TrueCrypt was not beaten by the Federal government.

        Something about a Brazilian Bidness man under some investigation had his laptop confiscated. The Brazilians wanted to decrypt his truecrypt volume, couldn’t, aksed the US Feds for help and they couldn’t either.

        Don’t know if this lore is accurate.

        1. If the NSA can crack TrueCrypt it is not in their best interests to let it be known, especially for some stupid Brazilian case.

          1. Seriously, you guys don’t just send all of your emails in Mi’kmaq?

            1. No, I use M32 Marain.

          2. While I agree with this generally, I think that at some point it would become known by default.

            Ie, critical evidence is on TrueCrypt Volume. Six months later, Federal Prosecutor presents Critical Evidence in court case. One could, at that point, reasonably conclude that someone somewhere can crack Truecrypt.

            I have to imagine that truecrypt volumes are seized more than 0 times a year for federal investigations. Someone, somewhere with a seized volume would squeak if their shit came out in the open.

            1. If the SIS could hide the fact that they had cracked Enigma from the Germans, I think the NSA might be able to hide the fact that they cracked TrueCrypt. Just don’t use any information from it in a public way.

              1. Not really analagous. Here, let’s argue about this some more.

                Enigma was not a widely used encryption system found in the hands of average citizens. These were official government encryption systems, maintained and used exclusively by same.

                Keeping the fact that you broke Yellow from the Japanese isn’t the same thing as keeping it a secret that you’ve broken an encryption system used by a wide variety and diversity of users. Someone, somewhere would get a whiff that their shit had been compromised.

                Here’s an interesting discussion on this very topic:


                Bamford has been writing about the NSA for decades, and people tell him all sorts of confidential things. Reading the above, the obvious question to ask is: can the NSA break AES?

                My guess is that they can’t. That is, they don’t have a cryptanalytic attack against the AES algorithm that allows them to recover a key from known or chosen ciphertext with a reasonable time and memory complexity. I believe that what the “top official” was referring to is attacks that focus on the implementation and bypass the encryption algorithm: side-channel attacks, attacks against the key generation systems (either exploiting bad random number generators or sloppy password creation habits), attacks that target the endpoints of the communication system and not the wire

                1. I used to really be into this stuff. Now I’m just getting old and would rather drink my Hennessy and watch Game of Thrones.

              2. And further, our WWII enemies definitely suspected their codes had been broken, Enigma in particular, because at a certain point, it became really, really obvious to german U-Boat captains that someone, somewhere was reading Fritz’s mail.

                Again, at some point, when the enemy is like Visa Card– is everywhere you want to be– it becomes implicitly obvious that your code has probably been compromised.

                1. Everything you say is valid. However, I would imagine that if the NSA had broken TrueCrypt and wanted to keep it quiet, they would only use it for their most high-priority stuff. Why blow your cover so that you can read the hard drive of some drug dealer or mafia goon? No, they would save it for reading Osama Bin Laden’s hard drive, or some Chinese diplomat’s hard drive. Because you can still keep what you learned secret or only use stuff that could have come from another source.

                  WWII was a war; using the Enigma information was so valuable that they risked alerting the Germans because it was just too useful not to. The NSA, on the other hand, is not in a war. They can pick and choose when to use their toys so that they can keep them secret.

                  1. However, I would imagine that if the NSA had broken TrueCrypt and wanted to keep it quiet, they would only use it for their most high-priority stuff.

                    If I broke TrueCrypt, that would certainly be how I’d handle it. For instance, I would never use it as a ‘gotcha’ to uncover your gay porn stash.

                    I’m still a big fan of the sidechannel attacks when getting at any encryption scheme. For instance, every time TrueCrypt comes out with a new version, there’s always a chance that some open source programmer zigged when he shoulda zagged, and created a weakness. “Ooops, I cached the password in the ‘temp’ folder” or left fragments of the keys in memory.

                    The government banned PGP exports in the 80s for a reason. They’re scared shitless of this stuff.

                    1. Well, considering the processing power needed to break certain types of encryption (as alluded to by the General below), the sidechannel is the way to go. And if they found an exploit they sure as fuck are going to make sure it doesn’t get out, because it’s incredibly valuable to them.

                      SETEC ASTRONOMY

                    2. “You know I could have been in the NSA, but they found out my parents were married.”

                    3. I don’t know shit about shit about this shit, but I like to read about it.

                      I remember an article a while ago where some researches found that you could literally freeze memory in RAM by using a can of keyboard cleaner, thereby giving access to encryption keys.

                      A guy I used to work with explained to me how you can get simple passwords (like email) from an un-turned off computer, but fuck if I can remember.

                    4. That is after the power is turned off…

                      Found this article with the details.

                    5. A guy I used to work with explained to me how you can get simple passwords (like email) from an un-turned off computer, but fuck if I can remember.

                      I remember back in the early days of the Intertubez and Comcast high speed, Comcast used to be a Hub, so everything was a broadcast. Put your computer in the wild (outside a router) run WireShark and start getting everyone’s unencrypted SMTP mail and POP3 password and session data.

                      Good times.

                      There’s definitely some interesting James Bond shit you can do. I don’t think this is possible with the new flat screens, but in the days of the old tube monitors, with the right equipment, you could be in the hotel room or apartment next door, and with all the hefty RF bleed those monitors did, get a fuzzy picture of whatever the user was seeing on his or her screen. Early versions of PGP actually had a defeat for this. Always wondered if it really worked.

                      Supposedly in the old twisted-pair telephone days during the cold war, you could park a truck with a huge-assed magnetic coil underneath a telephone wire between the poles and literally tune through all the phone conversations going on.

                    6. Funny you mention emag bleed…

                      Furthermore, even if the attacker cannot physically access the computer hardware directly, he or she may be able to breach the physical security of the computer by remotely intercepting and analyzing emanations from the computer hardware (including the monitor and cables). For example, intercepted emanations from the cable connecting the keyboard with the computer can reveal passwords you type. It is beyond the scope of this document to list all of the kinds of such attacks (sometimes called TEMPEST attacks) and all known ways to prevent them (such as shielding or radio jamming).

                      From the TrueCrypt website.

                    7. TEMPEST attacks

                      Oh my god, that was the name for it… “Tempest attacks”. My memory is fading. Yeah, the original version of PGP had an anti-tempest attack encryption scheme that would pop the message up in this weird blurry font and odd-colored background that supposedly was resistant to tempest attacks.

                    8. Check this out.

                      Very cool. Makes your monitor emanate fur elise, and can be picked up with an AM radio. Gonna try it tomorrow.

                    9. Back in the early 90’s, I went to HoHoCon in Houston. A TEMPEST securi consultant did a demo for us. Very cool stuff.

              3. Maybe the NSA invented a time machine, sent a 20 petaflop computer back to the beginning of the universe and have started brute forcing 256 encryption. It should be ready by the time the black holes that will eventually comprise the universe shed their entire mass via Hawking radiation.

                1. Maybe the NSA invented a time machine, sent a 20 petaflop computer back to the beginning of the universe and have started brute forcing 256 encryption. It should be ready by the time the black holes that will eventually comprise the universe shed their entire mass via Hawking radiation.

                  This. From what I understand, cracking even 64 bit encryption is damn hard, and the difficulty gets exponentially harder the more bits you throw into it.

              4. “If the SIS could hide the fact that they had cracked Enigma from the Germans, I think the NSA might be able to hide the fact that they cracked TrueCrypt. ”

                Then you’re even dumber than most of your posts make you look.

        2. Yup.

          Can’t vouch for that site, it was the first google search item.

      2. Cattle mutilations are up.

    2. Hijack a space-based laser to burn out the NSA.

      We are still doing “operation talk like a terrorist all the time,” right?

    3. The NSA has a ton of money, skilled people, and know-how, but they don’t have magic powers; nothing has suggested that they alone have the ability to crack encryption that many highly-skilled, non-NSA-affiliated mathematicians have also spent a lot of time examining and proving.

      What I’d be more worried about is their ability to work around encryption through methods either simple or esoteric. They don’t have to break it the hard way when they can either just threaten to throw you in prison if you don’t give up the key, or to analyze the sound of you typing your password, or any of a number of other routes.

      1. They don’t have to break it the hard way when they can either just threaten to throw you in prison if you don’t give up the key, or to analyze the sound of you typing your password, or any of a number of other routes.

        per a previous thread discussion, they can always try to dumbass the user.

        Investigator: What’s your password?

        Perp: I l0v3 Cheet0hs! Oh wait…shit…

        Investigators: *pointing and smiling* aaaaaaaahhhh gotcha!

        1. There’s always the real brute force method.

    4. Doubtful. The only method to breaking public key PGP is brute force. That takes time, even with NSA’s computers. The best alternative for the NSA is installing root based keyloggers like FinFisher/FinSpy. But even with FinFisher, they need to target you with an email or something. Unless, of course, FinFisher is part of the Windows package. Personally, I do not trust ANY proprietary software.

      Linux OS —- Whonix —– Tor —- GnuPG

      From the EFF:


      95 – 99% effective against even the NSA.

      1. Oh, and you can store anything you want on an .onion server inside the Tor network. No need to keep that shit on your computer or on a flash drive.

        There’s also Tails, from Tor, which is a complete OS on a USB or liveCD. You can run it on a computer with no hard drive.

        There are also “Rubber Hose” type programs that have two passphrases. In the event you are being tortured, or compelled by a court, one passphrase will open some files that look suspicious, while keeping the other files hidden. They can only be opened with the second passphrase. Julian Assange wrote the original.

        1. If you want to know the lastest shit available, install the Tor browser bundle and find your way to the Silk Road Forums (separate from silk road) and go to the “Security” board.

          1. You can also install the Orbot and Orweb apps from Tor on your smartphone.

        2. There’s also Tails, from Tor, which is a complete OS on a USB or liveCD. You can run it on a computer with no hard drive.

          Actually that would be ideal. I always bring a stripped down live linux usb with me when I travel to avoid malicious software on public or semi-public computers. I like that this is more comprehensive.

          1. BTW, this is Tor’s response to PRISM:


        3. The awesome (scary) thing with Rubber Hose, iirc, is that it can take as many keys/pass phrases as you want. And you can’t prove that it doesn’t have any other data in it.

          Gestapo: decrypt this file

          (Beats Winston)

          Winston: ok

          (Decrypts one layer)

          Gestapo: there’s more! Decrypt it!

          Winston: no there isn’t!

          (Beatings continue until Gestapo is convinced there isn’t any other data, or gets bored.)

      2. Mostly agree on proprietary software, but if you really want to be paranoid, remember the compiler attack.

        1. That FinFisher is some scary shit. Click through for full report.


          1. I started reading that a few weeks ago but got sidetracked. Time to finish it.

            Having found a few root kitted machines, and written some simple Linux kernel modules (hello world), it seems profoundly easy to make the root kit essentially undetectable. That part scares me a bit.

            Did you see the Mac malware that was signed with a legitimate developer id?

            1. Haven’t heard about that. I head about the iTunes one.

  2. touts its base in South Africa as making it immune to U.S. laws and pressure.

    SilentCircle is your better option. Because nothing is immune to U.S. Laws and Pressure. Nothing.

  3. OT: Tiger Woods Mind Control!


  4. Somewhat on topic:

    Rep. Steve Stockman continuous his noble quest to troll liberals and asks the NSA to give him the “all records of every phone call made from all public and private telephones of all IRS personnel to all public and private telephones of all White House personnel.” That way we can clear up this whole IRS mess using a program that the White House claims to be legal!

    “This case must be investigated fully, given admitted wrongdoing by the IRS, its potentially criminal implications and revelations the White House has been less than honest about what they knew and when,” said Stockman. “Obama says the PRISM program is perfectly legal, so there should be no problem whatsoever in providing the information on White House and IRS phone calls.”

    “The only possible scenario in which the administration refuses to comply would be if it would reveal unconstitutional or illegal behavior,” said Stockman.


    1. It’s stupid because the records don’t have any names or addresses attached to them.

      1. Do they have phone numbers attached to them? Because that’s all you need.

        Why are you so gung ho to defend the NSA, even when your defense of them is really stupid?

        1. I defend the NSA. They’re the only thing standing between the Kochs and an IRS Audit!

        2. Oh, so you only need the numbers of thousands of IRS and White House personnel. That should be easy.

          1. Clearly it was a serious statement, and not a joke about the Obama administrations arguments about this program.

      2. And IceTony shows up, right on cue.

        1. Don’t be an idiot. They can only search for numbers they already know, get it? They can’t look at the records and knowing nothing say, this is an IRS employee calling a White House employee.

          1. You don’t have the first clue as to what metadata and reverse lookup are, do you?

            It’s not like the NSA just has a list of numbers 2 columns wide that has the dialing and receiving numbers.

            They have location data on all the calls. With a small amount of processing time, they could determine what phones are either permanently, or frequently at an IRS office. From there, it would be simple to reverse lookup all the numbers that hit and get the names of the phone owners. Cross reference them to lists of IRS employees and BAM. You’ve got your list.

            Now go be retarded somewhere else.

    2. Yeah, that is great. I know it’s just a partisan troll, but it’s a lovely one.

      I noticed this little bit about Stockman on Wikipedia:

      A Houston Chronicle article reminds that “Stockman’s two years in Congress were marked by weirdness, such as an article in Guns & Ammo magazine that appeared under his byline in which he suggested the then-new Clinton administration raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco on April 19, 1993, to justify a ban on assault weapons.

      Yeah, what a crazy idea. Almost as crazy as, say, the government allowing guns to be smuggled into Mexico to prove that guns were being smuggled into Mexico. That kind of stuff just never happens.

      1. I hate conspiracy theories, especially when people I generally agree with make them, but that one almost rings possible.

        1. That’s what a gunvernment agent would say.

        2. I also hate conspiracy theories, but man is that hate getting tested in light of all the recent revelations.

  5. Just you wait and see — the feds will make it illegal to encrypt communications. At the service provider level even if they can’t find a way to do it at the consumer level. Kind of like when some states made it illegal to have a radar detector.

    1. You know who else couldn’t detect radar?

    2. They tried that before – remember the Clipper chip?

      1. I don’t remember that but it’s scary as hell. It goes to show you how these mf’ers are always trying to keep tabs on you.

      2. Oh yeah, now I remember why I didn’t like Clinton. I’ve been missing him after four terms of George Bush.

        1. With Clinton you got hits like Bosnia, Waco, Ruby Ridge, and the Oklahoma City bombing (in which miraculously no government law enforcement were hurt, only children).

          Oh yeah, and the semen stain. Great times.

          1. People also forgot his ‘Know your customer’ banking rules which, by comparison, seem tame.

          2. Ruby Ridge was under Bush I.

            1. That’s true. And mistakenly attributing it to Clinton usually comes up at least once or twice a month with the people I talk to. So it is a common misconception. And likely the result of it seems like a natural fit to Clinton/Reno. Like a hand and a glove. Just wrong hand for the glove in this case.

          3. Clinton had his multiple targeting Americans, and political opponents, with mass surveillance operations, too. Echelon, Carnivore and Omnivore were just three that quickly come to mind.

    3. This is my favorite approach. If they catch your ass sending an encrypted stream without a license, they’ll just SWAT your ass and throw you in a dark hole until you give up the passwords.

      1. Right. I’m telling you guys they do not want you to ever be able to hide from them. That frightens them to the core. I bet you see congress start entertaining legislation within the year to “regulate the encryption industry for the betterment of freedome” or something.

        1. I don’t think they could do much of that. It would essentially stop ecommerce. Wouldn’t be able to trust sending your credit card number anywhere.

        2. Congress has already threatened to come down hard on the encryption industry numerous times in the recent past dating back to at least Clinton.

          Would it be really be surprising if it were ever revealed that the companies offering encryption, were either collaborating with, or had been commandeered by the feds and all supposedly secure communications were being piped directly to Big Brother?

          1. The thing is, crypto algorithms are discussed in public (the ones that are used), with tons of people checking for any vulnerability. Outside of NSA, as well.

            Even if some of the companies were taken over, there are free/open source products out there that could show it (like OpenSSL)

            Sure, they may have taps at the big providers on the clear text side. That’s a reason to move to providers like silent circle, though.

            1. this is why, couterintuitvely, it is so critical that any encryption system be completely open to the public. No proprietary encryption software will ever be trusted. The math behind RSA and AES are what makes it strong, not the way code it written to take advantage of it.

    1. I’m very willing to give Grumpy Cat the benefit of the doubt and assume that some proglodyte added the caption and Grumpy Cat had nothing to do with it.

      1. I bet Grumpy Cat’s unhappy with that person.

        1. Grumpy Cat is probably scouring Craigslist this very minute looking for hit man for hire ads.

          1. Nick Hendricks: You found a hitman online?
            Dale Arbus: Yeah!
            Dale Arbus: I mean they don’t write hitman, right? Cause that’s dumb. So, they use little code words, like ‘wet work’, right? ‘Liquidation’. Check him out.
            Nick Hendricks: Skilled professional with years of experience in domestic and international wet work. Fast and discreet. No children or political figures.
            Kurt Buckman: That last part was important to me. When I saw that I thought, okay, this is a good idea.
            Dale Arbus: I still feel like we should have got a cheese plate or something for this guy.

      1. Oh man, he really looks seriously unhappy wearing that parka.

      2. Oh man, he really looks seriously unhappy wearing that parka.

        1. My connection stuttered. Must be the NSA tap.

  6. For newer laptop owners, using Truecrypt with an SSD appears to be problematic.

    1. Cinders 8 issue?

      You using TrueCrypt in standalone mode or anything?

      1. Apparently it’s any drive that uses wear leveling to protect physical drive sectors from overuse. From what I can tell data may not be consistently overwritten and therefore vulnerable.

        I haven’t used it in standalone, I’ve only used it to encrypt a standard hard drive. Nothing fancy, no hidden volumes or anything. I didn’t install it on my SSD laptop yet because I’ve read about performance hits although I’ll probably give it a shot.

  7. I signed up for Silent Circle yesterday. I was right, the price did come way down.

    1. I used PGP back when it was first made available. And I have to admit when I heard about Silent Circle it did spark interest in me for a moment. Then I remembered I’ve been yelling out and openly demonstrating my contempt for the man, and his misdeeds, in so many places for so many years without making any effort to hide what I think what would be the point now.

      Yeah, I do use a nom de plume, but it’ll do nothing to throw off government types. That’s just to make it tougher for the average pimple faced civilian to do things like setting me up for a “swatting,” or similar chicken-shit attack.

  8. Well apparently were getting in involved in Syria, yay!

    1. Mmm, I taste the delicious souring of our already iffy relations with Russia!

      I will say that Pravda’s use of FUKUS as shorthand for French, UK, US is entertaining.

      1. Are Russians as Lazy as They Are Painted? wonders glorious Pravda, doubtlessly speaking for the peasant class.

        Wondrous Pravda say that all are equal in grand Soviet Union, unless you are a filthy anti-Russian Homo-Pervert.

        1. This one has the best comments: Foreigners promoting homosexual relations to be deported from Russia

          Mark Mitchelson ? 08:05 12 ????


          He has another one a few minutes later where he obsesses about “WESTERN ‘BITCHES'” “CARPET MUNCHING” all the goddamned time while their poor husband works himself to death.


            Hahahaha. Sweet fuck.

            1. From the all caps and some of the content, I thought it was STEVE SMITH at first. But not enough rape for that to be the case

            2. Is this really a problem? Every time my wife’s friend stays the night I give them extra pillows in case they want to have a pillow fight in their PJs. It never happens. (Sigh)

          2. Man, Pravda is really loud. I can hear them yelling all the way over here at Reason.


            That about covers it.

      2. FUKUS? Do we need a jimmy hat?

  9. whicch

    Which witch is which?

    1. I noticed that, too. Maybe we should volunteer our servicces as proof readers.

      1. Maybe we should volunteer our servicces as proof readers.

        Probably not a good idea, in your case.

        1. Probabbly not.

  10. I smell business opportunities. Seems Obama is good for something; causing the firearms, and now the security/encryption, industries to boom.

  11. “Silent Circle boasts that it can’t comply with government requests for data because it designed its system so that it has no access to users’ communications”

    I could definitely imagine the congress trying to mandate against that, but when it’s already out there, and you could host it anywhere…

  12. I’m curious if anyone is using Mega? Weren’t they shooting for completely encrypted email?

  13. Rep Peter King:

    Dirty, rotten rat fucking piece of shit liar.


    1. What a filthy slimeball Peter King is. I can’t believe he is allowed to spout this nonsense. At the very least Congress should censure that fuckhead.

    2. Jesus, that fucker needs the Lindsey Graham treatment, see my comment in the Graham thread.

      “What about the people that read about these leaks in the newspaper?”

      “Oh, for sure, they need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to keep them safe from themselves getting mad over info that keeps them safe from terrorist! HA!”

  14. From the India Times:

    … Also, IP addresses?which give away the computer’s or mobile device’s location?can be hidden using Tor, a free software that redirects internet traffic through thousands of proxy computers before it reaches its final destination.

    Tor is excruciatingly slow now. The primary reason for this, AFIK, is that there are not enough proxy server participants. When you install a Tor network you are asked whether or not you want act as a server. Like most users, I have declined. If you have an old computer that you can leave on or computer that’s always up with a Tor VM you can join the Tor network as a server. That’s a grass roots way to flummox the busy bodies. William Wallace I’m not. But you first, I’ll follow.

    1. Running an exit node would be a bit scary, too. Lots of distasteful stuff coming out with your ip.

      Moving data within tor should be mostly safe. The data is encrypted both in and out of your system.

      1. Running an exit node would be a bit scary, too.

        Yup, those redirected hits on barnyardlust.com would be unnerving.

  15. Obama’s $100 million Africa tour

    A presidential trip to Africa this month could cost the government anywhere from $60 to $100 million dollars, according to the Washington Post, which obtained an internal planning document for the travel itinerary.

    At the end of June, Mr. Obama and his family will take an eight-day trip to sub-Saharan Africa, making stops in Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa in the name of reinforcing U.S. commitment to forging strong relationships with emerging democracies in the region.

    Damn sequestration! Damn it all to hell!

    1. …reinforcing U.S. commitment to forging strong relationships with emerging democracies…

      There will almost be enough time for the President to read Moldbug on the this topic during flight over.


  16. Speaking of encryption, I enjoyed the hell out of This Machine Kills Secrets. Has a lot of great info on the cypherpunks list and such.

  17. If these kids can’t make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us?

    1. …what hope is there for the rest of us?

      “His separation from Ms Deng, 44, who acted as his gatekeeper and personal bodyguard through the phone-hacking controversy…”

      The hope here, Pantsfan, is that I too could dream of having a comely asian bodyguard for 1 day.

  18. So many options along these lines if you are a Linux user.

    -Full disk encryption at install
    -Many available privacy tools are Linux-native, or else ported over
    -Many of the “security testing” tools are Linux-based

    There is a reason the NSA use it themselves internally…

    1. There is a reason the NSA use it themselves internally..

      Even the NSA is not foolish enough to buy and manage a million Windows licenses for headless computers where most of the OS’s footprint is GUI oriented. I assume that Microsoft has some very stripped down versions of Windows to run their Bing search engine, but the government will not sole-source that even if MS were willing to sell it.

      1. “Even the NSA is not foolish enough to buy and manage a million Windows licenses for headless computers ”

        Um, that’s exactly what they did before linux.

  19. Dude makes a lot of sense man.


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