"The Metropolitan Transportation Commission/511 operates a data collection system based on FasTrak toll tags to provide better information about the transportation network to Bay Area travelers, transportation managers, and transportation planners through its 511 Driving TimesSM service. To ensure that FasTrak users remain anonymous, encryption software is used to scramble each FasTrak toll tag ID number before any other processing happens. In addition, the encrypted toll tag ID numbers are retained for no longer than 24 hours and are then discarded. If you do not want your toll tag read for these purposes, place the toll tag in the special Mylar bag provided to you when you are not using it for payment of tolls at a toll plaza. The Mylar bags can be requested from the Customer Service Center. If you would like additional information about 511 Driving TimesSM and how toll tag data is protected, please visit www.511.org/copyright_items/privacy.asp."
The reason for the Faraday bag is because FastTrak also has reading stations used only for traffic monitoring. They do tell you about this but I am having trouble locating where that is on their website.
They also allow you to use the system anonymously, though they don't make it all that convenient.
"In order to open an anonymous FasTrak account, you must visit the FasTrak Customer Service Center in person. You can open your account with cash, money order, or cashier's check. A Representative will be able to open your account without requiring customer name, address or vehicle information. (If you try to open an account online, your name, address and vehicle information will be required.)"
"All account management for anonymous accounts must be conducted in person at the FasTrak Customer Service Center, including checking your account balance, ordering additional toll tags or closing your account."
I am wondering if the henchman at the NSA don't have a delicious sense of irony and humor. There are two parts to the NSA; the "sigint-codebreaking" side and the "securing the nation's infrastructure" side. The program named after a civil war battle, bullrun, puts those two sides in direct conflict.
One aspect of Schneier's article that Mike didn't mention (yet) is that the revelation of the NSA's surveillance will motivate a push away from US control and Internet governance will end up bending to nations that would use censorship to stifle dissent and to special interests who want to protect their business model (i.e. copyright). Unfortunately, all the problems being discussed on Techdirt may get worse as an indirect result of the NSA's actions.
The Internet security protocols are already open. That is to say the algorithms are public. The NSA may have some influence in crafting them and that's OK when they wearing their "secure network and computer infrastructure" hat. Their codebreaking hat means they cannot be trusted to have the final word on anything. However, NIST, under the influence of the NSA, did a good job in adopting the Rijndael algorithm for AES. The dark hat NSA may have the goal of subverting algorithm designs but AES and the 2007 discovery of an injected weakness in a 2006 protocol shows they can be kept honest here.
I agree with Schneier that not only the protocol stack for the Internet should be an open implementation, but whatever OS as well. That means that Microsoft and Apple will have to change or be supplanted by variations of Unix. There is one thing that Schneier did not address and that is probably because he was writing to a general audience. The tools used to build a protocol stack, or OS, or hardware logic also need to be open. If you use a subverted C compiler to compile your own instance of Linux, the software still cannot be trusted.
I wrote a comment (anonymously, I didn't realize I wasn't logged in) to an earlier post on Techdirt today mentioning Ken Thompson's seminal paper on computer security; "Reflecting on Trusting Trust". If you haven't read this and are distrustful of the NSA, then read it now.
Re: Requires a moral and legal fix, NOT more technical.
I think that Google should change it's motto from "don't be evil" to "don't be completely evil". That would be more honest about all they do. I am often skeptical of their motivations and critical of their actions. However, you show an amazing, obsessed, fixation as if they were the only evil in the world. It makes me wonder if you're a victim of their age bias having once been an employee, or if you only survived through part of the interview process. Am I right?
Back in May one of the drives had been decrypted and law enforcement already had evidence of actual child pornography rather than just e-donkey log files. Only now do they say they don't need to force Feldman to give up a password. Something else is going on.
When the drives were first seized it is standard forensic practice to calculate a cryptographic hash value across the entire drive. This evidence should have been available early on to the defense. The authorities cannot alter the contents of the encrypted drive without altering that hash value. The only way they could plant evidence in an encrypted drive or volume is to have cracked the encryption right away and plant files and re-encrypt before the initial paper-work is completed.
I am not sure it is about criminalizing journalism yet. There has been intimidation but it remains to be seen whether criminal charges are ever brought by the UK concerning anyone who has ever possessed files from the Snowden leaks. What is scary about the statement brought before the court is that they explicitly talk about potential charges against Miranda. The same rational can be used on anyone who possesses documents from the Snowden leaks. That includes Greenwald, Poitras, and numerous individuals at the Guardian. They did not arrest anyone at the Guardian. Nor did they confiscate the computers at the Guardian that contained the leaked files. Maybe they will start arresting people in the future but I don't think that will go over well with the public. What is wrong is that a law exists that is vague enough to allow such arrests or even the threat of arrests to intimidate journalists. At least the U.S. has stronger protections for freedom of speech.
It looks like the UK police and GCHQ only have the number of files, if they really do have that information. If they had any filenames they might well have one that originated from GCHQ. Instead, they went through a ridiculous twist of logic to conclude there were 58,000 files from GCHQ but cannot point to a single one.
You are correct about the traces left from applications. I believe that, not only Poitras but Greenwald would have been brought up to speed on such vulnerabilities and avoided opening files on a laptop used for traveling. One potential trace that you missed is the indexing of volumes that occurs at least on Windows OSs. The indexes are stored permanently and are used to optimize searching. I use PGP software to encrypt volumes and I can't remember offhand if I had to manually opt-out of indexing for mounted volumes. The PGP software may have restricted the OS from indexing those volumes while they are decrypted. I have actually disabled indexing entirely for this very reason. I was wondering if this is how the UK police came across the number of encrypted files, however, I believe this would have given them the filenames as well.
From the statement to the court, GCHQ determined that it was possible that Snowden had accessed up to 58,000 files. Robbins then states that the information from the one decrypted file showed that there was, roughly, a similar number of files on the hard drive. From this he concludes there are 58,000 highly classified UK intelligence documents on the hard drive.
These guys aren't dumb, they know you can't reason like that. Just who do they expect will accept that sort of logic?
If you look at the statements of the UK police they are tailored to justify:
1). The detention of Miranda for 9 hours under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
2). The confiscation and continued holding of Miranda's electronic possessions beyond the 7 day limit.
3). The inspection and analysis (and sharing with NSA if I may be so bold in suggesting this) of the contents of Miranda's hard drive. This is being done despite the temporary injunction which restricts examination and analysis of the hard drive, unless:
a). For the purpose of the protection of national security, including by preventing or avoiding the endangering of life of any person; and
b). For the purpose of investigating whether Mr Miranda is a person who is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.”
4). Bringing charges against Miranda under either the Terrorism Act 2000, section 1 of the Official Secrets Act 1911, or various offences under the Official Secrets Act 1989.
You can already see how the police are stretching the truth to cover their need for justification. This is why you see some very odd things.
-How do the police know there are 58,000 Documents. The hard drive is encrypted with TrueCrypt. I am guessing that full disk encryption wasn't used. However, one would encrypt an entire volume(s) containing the secret files. Unless you are able to decrypt the volume you cannot know the number of files within that volume.
-The 58,000 file are all characterized as, "highly classified UK intelligence documents." They are saying they all originate with the UK despite the fact that these are, supposedly, the NSA documents that Snowden leaked.
-The police and GCHQ have supposedly decrypted 75 of the 58,000. But they are not specific about what these files are. Are they even related to the NSA leaks? Greenwald has denied that they have been able to decrypt any of the secret documents. Remember that even the UK police say they haven't decrypted most of the hard drive. If all the secret documents are contained in the same TrueCrypt volume, then none have been decrypted.
-There is a claim that some of those document contain information that "would do serious damage to UK national security and ultimately risk lives". How would the UK police know this if the secret documents have not been decrypted?
-There is an emphasis on the password that was written down on a piece of paper in Miranda's possession. Greenwald denies that this was a password related to encryption of the secret documents. The UK police want to show how sloppy and reckless Miranda, Poitras, and Greenwald have been in protecting the documents from terrorists. All the police need to do is convince a judge, who may not be well versed in the finer points of cryptography, of this sloppiness.
I just took a look at your mind-computer website link. I am rather skeptical about the information there. First off, they claim the D-wave two is going to the Utah Data Center. This is based on the Lockheed contract for one. There is one going to NASA Ames research center in Mountain View, CA in collaboration with Google (ootb where are you?). The NSA has said, in the document referenced by this article, that research into quantum computing is a priority. So, it is likely they are dealing with D-Wave. But the web site looks like it is inventing a connection between Lockheed's purchase and the NSA's Bluffdale facility without any evidence. This kind of sloppy, speculative writing continues.
They mistake the order of complexity of the traveling salesman problem as O(2^n), when it is O(n!) or, at best, O(n²2^n) using the Held-Karp algorithm.
The claims of the capability of the D-Wave 2 system are ridiculous and not at all what D_wave claims. I, personally find the claim:
Enables the computer to completely reconstruct the human brain’s cognitive processes and teach itself how to make better decisions and better predict the future based.
to be especially absurd (I have a degree in psychobiology and am very much interested in brain function and artificial intelligence).
I am sorry to be so dismissive without fully reading the whole website, but it doesn't look like a useful resource.
Given that, it does seem that the NSA is very much interested in quantum computing but this was probably not related to the "enormous breakthrough" in cryptanalysis that Bamford mentioned.
"Absolutely, 100 on the side of this deputy! This needs to start happening more and these people filing bull s**t complaints need to start seeing the inside of the same type of courtroom also. In this case, people need to start realizing that there are consequences for their actions. They wanna let a family member get so drugged out they can't handle him anymore? Fine, but they also shouldn't expect us to come clean up the mess that got completely out of hand because of their own inaction without understanding that they may have to pay the price if someone gets hurt."
Re: Re: Here's an interesting quote from the article
Every single time that law enforcement and politicians here about a new, potential drug of abuse, they try to vilify it as much as possible. Remember that "Reefer Madness" was not made as a satire, it was supposed to be educational. It is hard to characterize "bath salts" because it refers to a group of chemicals and you never know precisely what you are buying. It is a family of drugs containing synthetic cathinones, most commonly including mephedrone. If one looks at the research literature about the effects of this family of drugs, you do not come across anything that resembles enabling superhuman strength and crazed violence. The reputation of bath salts is simply propaganda that the media has swallowed without a critical burp. Bath Salts are now the go-to explanation for insane, naked person behavior. The naked guy in Florida who ate the homeless man's face turned out to ONLY have marijuana in his system. The reference in the law suit is to "bath salts" or some other mind altering substance. They would have done better to blame PCP instead.
I am wondering if an autopsy was done in this case and any drugs in this guys system were identified.
Re: Re: Re: Re: McDonalds coffee... division by four... and stupid deputies
In casual conversation (e.g. not in a science lab) we often make comparisons or descriptions that aren't scientifically accurate. I don't start criticizing people when they talk about the sun going down. Similarly, we often talk about weight when we really mean mass. The discussion is about hot coffee, so making a ratio comparison assuming only positive temperatures, while scientifically inaccurate, serves the function of a loose comparison of how hot the coffee is. I understood the point Silverscarcat was trying to make, although he should have included whether the scale he was using was Celcius or Fahrenheit.