Blog

  • The photo that speaks a thousand words...

    posted by Keito
    2012-09-18 20:44:35
  • It's time we started meeting oppression with resistance...

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-24 21:53:04
  • Microsoft Makes Skype Easier To Monitor

    posted by Keito
    2012-07-27 19:51:49
    "New surveillance laws being proposed in countries from the United States to Australia would force makers of online chat software to build in backdoors for wiretapping. For years, the popular video chat service Skype has resisted taking part in online surveillance—but that may have changed. And if it has, Skype’s not telling.

    Historically, Skype has been a major barrier to law enforcement agencies. Using strong encryption and complex peer-to-peer network connections, Skype was considered by most to be virtually impossible to intercept. Police forces in Germany complained in 2007 that they couldn’t spy on Skype calls and even hired a company to develop covert Trojans to record suspects’ chats. At around the same time, Skype happily went on record saying that it could not conduct wiretaps because of its “peer-to-peer architecture and encryption techniques.”

    Recently, however, hackers alleged that Skype made a change to its architecture this spring that could possibly make it easier to enable “lawful interception” of calls. Skype rejected the charge in a comment issued to the website Extremetech, saying the restructure was an upgrade and had nothing to do with surveillance. But when I repeatedly questioned the company on Wednesday whether it could currently facilitate wiretap requests, a clear answer was not forthcoming. Citing “company policy,” Skype PR man Chaim Haas wouldn’t confirm or deny, telling me only that the chat service “co-operates with law enforcement agencies as much as is legally and technically possible.”
    "

    As reported on Slashdot: "Skype has gone under a number of updates and upgrades since it was bought by Microsoft last year, mostly in a bid to improve reliability. But according to a report by the Washington Post, Skype has also changed its system to make chat transcripts, as well as users' addresses and credit card numbers, more easily shared with authorities."

    ***

    'Hacker groups and privacy experts have been speculating for months that Skype had changed its architecture to make it easier for governments to monitor, and many blamed Microsoft, which has an elaborate operation for complying with legal government requests in countries around the world.

    “The issue is, to what extent are our communications being purpose-built to make surveillance easy?” said Lauren Weinstein, co-founder of People for Internet Responsibility, a digital privacy group. “When you make it easy to do, law enforcement is going to want to use it more and more. If you build it, they will come.’’'

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/skype-makes-chats-and-user-data-more-available-to-police/2012/07/25/gJQAobI39W_story.html?hpid=z1

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/07/20/skype_won_t_comment_on_whether_it_can_now_eavesdrop_on_conversations_.html
  • For the Future...

    posted by Keito
    2012-07-27 18:21:07
  • /. on fascism

    posted by Keito
    2012-07-26 20:47:54
    "Have fun in your little made-up universe where the government comes to round you up and you manage to fight it off.

    In the real world, fascism is when the corporations and governments work as a single entity, and you can wander around with your fucking gun all you want. In fact, you'll have to wander around, because the government/corporations took your house and your car, and no one will hire you.

    At which point you'll be arrested, not as some big anti-government hero by jackboot thugs, but for stealing bread to live on, by a perfectly normal cop who's just doing his job, a job that absolutely no one except you disagrees with, so when you shoot and kill him you're getting the electric chair and no one thinks you're a hero at all.

    There are different types of totalitarian governments, and assuming a fascist one operates like a communist one is faulty. Fascist governments don't put troops in the streets...they work with corporations to make sure 'the wrong sort of people' do not have any economic power, and do not have anywhere to peddle their ideas.

    Modern fascist states don't even bother to kill those people, and pretending they're going to show up in some stormtrooper outfit and start a gun battle with you is insane. They'll show up with a court order to evict you from your home because you failed to pay your mortgage, because pressure came from the top at your company to let you go. Or they'll just sue you and ruin your finances.

    America is not a bunch of tiny castles where, as long as you can hold off the invading armies, you will be fine. The idea that that is how the world works is astonishingly naive. Almost all the population of America lives in housing they do not fully own, they get food from places they do not control like the supermarket, they require operating in society for money to obtain said food and shelter, a society where economics are controlled by some very large players that can crush them like bugs.

    And a fascist state isn't going to 'assume control', you asshat. There's not going to some insane coup, there's a going to be a slow change, which has, in fact, already happened, or have you not looked at the telecom immunity stuff? That's classic fascism. The government breaks the law, the government gets private companies to break the law, the government gives said companies huge amounts of cash, the government attempts to make such behavior legal retroactively. We've got government officials and AT&T officers leaping back and forth between each other in an incestuous loop. Your government spying on you, sponsored by AT&T. It's not 'totalitarian' yet, as evidenced by the fact Democrats managed to stop the immunity, but it is fascism, at least the start of it. (And the same thing's happened with Blackwater.)

    Oh, and before you start ranting about gun control some more, be forewarned I'm against it. I'm just not stupid enough to think that the US government being slowly corrupted by business is something that can be fought off with gunpowder. Guns are useful to deter crime and to deter invasion. They aren't useful against a corrupt government in any meaningful way."

    http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=346351&cid=21193115