Mike Acker’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Jun 15th, 2015 @ 5:45am

    Much worse than Edward Snowden affair

    the OPM disaster is MUCH worse than the Edward Snowden affair. Snowden only exposed illegal government activity -- much like Watergate -- which we now regard as an heroic action.

    OPM is a REAL disaster

    as far as China and Russia having Ed Snowden data: if they did they sure wouldn't let you know about it. The latest on Ed Snowden is just static to help cover up the OPM mess

    hot mess, make that

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 3:13pm

    yelling and screaming -- of course

    everyone familiar with cryptography knows: it is critical to government or military that the opposition thinks their cryptography is effective when in fact it is not.

    don't listen to the government. work on the math.

  • Mar 24th, 2015 @ 12:04pm

    this is a nasty trend

    hopefully we will see more BLANK devices for sale at NewEgg.
    I see some nasty rumors that MSFT wants to remove the option to switch UEFI off. the next step of course is to use the keys to control what o/s you are allowed to install.
    I don't think they will get too far

  • Mar 5th, 2015 @ 3:09pm

    a signature which can be recognized, but not faked

    this thought is from Whitfield Diffie -- as expressed in his tesimony on behalf of NewEgg v TQP Holdings

    to do business in a digital network world we need a means by which we can authenticate a document in public and at the same time retain personal control over the means of doing that

    For example: the IRS should expect you so offer a digital signature on your 1040 -- and if you don't -- or if an invalid signature is offered -- the the form would be rejected as invalid . this programming could be included with tax software; all the user would need to do is enter his|her passphrase for the signature just before the submit is transmitted

    the same thinking is applicable to transmittals of any importance,-- software, e/mail, online commerce,... the Thunderbird eMail client provides an excellent interface th GPG -- in the ENIGMAIL plug-in .

    x.509 certificates would be a lot better -- if they were distributed with only marginal trust -- you would need to countersign just the ones you actually needed to use

    local services such as credit unions should become involved in authenticating personal user keys and getting them uploaded to help with this

    the thing that should be totally obvious is: if we continue business into the future on the same basis that we have used in the recent past -- hackers will make fools of us all.

  • Mar 4th, 2015 @ 11:37am

    re: "the don't get it"

    ="Let's repeat that last line, because it still seems that the powers that be don't get it: "

    IMHO the understand it perfectly. and, as the song says "as soon as one door closes another door will open"

    and so the game of whack a mole continues ad nauseum. another "sophisticated" (my ass) attack . another CVE. and then another patch, and another door is opened.

    the business model of the internet is surveillance. i think this was noted by Bruce Schneier recently, if memory serves. and this is exploited by commercial interests, government, and crooks alike. Truly "a fool's paradise".

    Open source should help. I hope. I use it, anyway.

  • Feb 28th, 2015 @ 4:06pm

    Re: It's Obvious

    good post. surveillance as carried out by governments is to identify dissidents: opposition to power.

    this is why governments censor or suppress communication. it is why we have a First Amendment.

  • Feb 27th, 2015 @ 8:13am

    ad novitam fallacy

    verizon is essentially presenting a fallacy know as argument ad novitam: claiming x is right because it is new.

    the opposite is also a fallacy: contending something is right because it's old.

    experience is a better basis for evaluating any proposition.

    our experience is that monopolies need to be regulated.

    cable broadband clearly qualifies,-- we don't want 5 sets of cables handing on the poles.

    this is and will continue to be a contentious issue.

    Here in Michigan the Title II rule will bring broadband under the purview of the Michigan Public Service Commission -- which will give us a channel in which to resolve service issues -- a bit more effective than getting called an a-hole by some a-hole company.

  • Feb 22nd, 2015 @ 9:13am

    Superphish

    Torvalds notes (p.95) of "Just for Fun" "If money was to get involved things would get murky. If you don't let money enter the picture you won't have greedy people".

    greedy people we got and the lust to get adverts and recons into everyone's computer is stunningly vicious

    I ran across this in a blog post today

    oldschoolh4ck3r
    Welcome to the brave new world, where industries and governments collude to dissolve privacy and establish a digital battlefield. Deep-pocketed agencies can fund corporations towards their agendas of tainting technology in their favor, all the while pointing the finger at software 'bugs'. We're in a lot of trouble.

    OpenSource and FSF software is the "Last Best Hope" for privacy and security

    IMHO

  • Jan 13th, 2015 @ 12:55pm

    of dissonance and surveillance

    "dissonance" -- is simply the product of a disagreement

    I found this on p.379 &ff of Gab. Coleman's new book THE MANY FACES OF ANONYMOUNS

    "What surveillance really is, at its root, is a highly effective form of social control," reads an August Riseup newsletter. "The knowledge of always being watched changes our behavior and stifles dissent. The inability to associate secretly means there is no longer any possibility for free association. The inability to whisper means there is no longer any speech that is truly free of coercion, real or implied. Most profoundly, pervasive surveillance threatens to eliminate the most vital element of both democracy and social movements: the mental space for people to form dissenting and unpopular views."

    SEE ALSO:
    http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/inside-the-effort-to-crowdfund-nsa-proof-email-and-chat-servic es

    the same sentiment is also stated in Glen Greenwald's recent NO PLACE TO HIDE ( Snowden story ). On page 3:
    "and history show the mere exstance of a mass surveillance aparatus, regardless of how it is used, is in itself sufficient to stifle dissent"

    "It is error alone which requires the support of government.
    The truth, can stand on its own."
    - Thomas Jefferson.

    the first step in cleaning up corruption is in exposing the truth. but government will see this as dissonance. this will be equated to "lies" or dis-information -- and suppressed,-- in order to preserve the"ordre public"

  • Sep 18th, 2014 @ 2:55pm

    participate, OR ELSE

    or else we make it $250,000 per day until you do or until we break you.

    anyone thinking the feds are not serious about collecting SIGINT better think again. one way or another: they will take what they want.

  • Sep 8th, 2014 @ 5:56am

    commercial pubs

    commercial pubs server their commercial masters and so also do political pubs serve also their political masters.

    you would not expect to get an honest review of a Widget from a pub. which is taking advert. money from the company that makes Widgets.

    today pubs often accept comments and such comments may help to shed the proper light on various subjects. and they do, at times. but at times good comments are flagged as "trolling" and trashed by the sys-admins.

    the net bottom line is that each of us needs to "be our own man" -- not a "puppet on a string" -- manipulated by whatever public consensus can be blown up by advertisers and propagandists of the times.

  • Sep 5th, 2014 @ 3:22pm

    Cold Day in a Hot Place

    I second this vote

  • Jul 15th, 2014 @ 11:34am

    strongest reason for Title II

    this is the strongest reason for reclassifying the carriers under Title II. Here in Michigan you just tell them to cancel. Then if they bill you again you call the Public Service Commission and that *will* end the problem.

  • Jun 29th, 2014 @ 4:52am

    Cash Cows

    ="And we wonder why Hollywood seems to have so much trouble learning how to embrace the internet."

    throughout history executives will attempt to preserve cash cows at all costs. they all fail.

    digital photograph was developed at Kodak. but Kodak was making a fortune on film and processing and chemicals. Can't have this digital crap around. Now, Kodak ain't around much anymore and the same will happen to other idiots who are attempting to save their precious cash cows.

  • Dec 31st, 2013 @ 11:07am

    THINK

    remember what old Frank Roosevelt told us: "Anytime the government does anything you can bet it was carefully planned".

    cui bono?

    what changes will result from the Snowden leak? it's a puzzle: spooks always make every effort to be sure their accomplishments are not known. if Snowden was allowed to leak then that means what he has leaked -- was generally known to intelligence organizations around the world and all the uproar is is just part of the show.

    we have 2 federal judges conflicting on Section 215 -- setting the stage for a SCOTUS decision

    will NSA intelligence become admissible in court? no parallel detective work required to acquire evidence by legal means ? the "writ of assistance" noted in the 30c3 keynote?

    who are they after, anyhow?

  • Dec 14th, 2013 @ 1:17pm

    RICO

    sue the bitches under RICO for extortion

  • Dec 7th, 2013 @ 4:44pm

    Re: SW patents

    i looked up "what is patentable",-- the wickedpedia essay states that the idea may not be abstract and must be non-obvious.

    to me, for example, scanning a page to .pdf and then sending the .pdf via e/mail is an obvious use of 2 tools . how long did it take people to figure out they could print a page and then fax it ?

    slide to unlock? how long have there been slide locks on barn doors? hmmmmm . any simple migration of an existing process to a computer program -- to me -- is "obvious". back in the Days of the Mainframe that's how we came up with all our COBOL programs .

    oth, the math used in PGP to construct the public/private keys, I would say, is non-obvious. I read the description of how that is done and to me it was non-obvious.

    in this, as in so many laws though, congress writes the laws, then we have a court case to establish precedent and then court tells us how they will enforce it. ( stare decisis.)

  • Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:36am

    what are we gonna do about it

    the sad part in all this news this summer is that while we can point out the lies, deception, and greed, in the end Ugly Sam is a MONSTER. and that leaves the question: what we gonna do about it ?

  • Oct 18th, 2013 @ 12:14pm

    lettn the cat outta the bag

    as Will Rogers said: "Letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting him back in".

    Sorry, Di :-(

  • Oct 16th, 2013 @ 5:43am

    WHAT OBJECTIVE

    NSA probably rates an F for their stated objective. but what is their actual objective? I suspect it is tracking dissidents, and other collateral benefits such as tax-evaders, dead beat parents, or others who can be grabbed and squeezed for cash

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