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1clue
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:43 am    Post subject: NSA 'Speck' in Linux Kernel (non-technical) Reply with quote

Split from NSA 'Speck' in Linux Kernel 4.17: Big question?. --pjp

I don't have any reason to believe that the NSA would be targeting me specifically, but that doesn't in any way imply that I think they're benign. They're targeting everybody in hopes of catching some bad guys.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm really hoping "those who can" figure out what might be wrong with it. The NSA's interaction seemed almost too obvious that they shouldn't be trusted.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@pjp,

I doubt the entire NSA is bent on nefarious tactics that are not public policy. Certainly most of the people who work there follow the rules published by our government. Either that or they process data from unknown-to-them sources.

Having done a small amount of international travel, I have found that preconceptions about a foreign-to-you culture are almost certainly blown out of proportion or outright lies. People are people. There are good ones and bad ones, greedy and giving. While the traditions and details of the culture will be different from mine, people still have the same goals and dreams with respect to supporting their family, having friends and fun and being a good example for people. You have hard workers and deadbeats, the "moral majority" and the outcasts, the lovers and the fighters. I'd go so far as to say that the proportions are likely the same everywhere, and in any group of people who are not selected specifically by some criteria that break that tendency.

Surely the NSA doesn't recruit solely from VillainCon.

I guess my point here is that the NSA may actually have donated code with the purest intent of helping. And still, other parts of the organization may be watching us.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
I guess my point here is that the NSA may actually have donated code with the purest intent of helping. And still, other parts of the organization may be watching us.
They may have donated it as you suggest. And if that were the case, I would have thought they'd be more forthcoming in answering questions. Even if that required, "we have to pass our response through an approval process, please stand by."
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
1clue wrote:
I guess my point here is that the NSA may actually have donated code with the purest intent of helping. And still, other parts of the organization may be watching us.
They may have donated it as you suggest. And if that were the case, I would have thought they'd be more forthcoming in answering questions. Even if that required, "we have to pass our response through an approval process, please stand by."


I'm not defending them or even implying that the code was donated with good intentions, but it's my understanding that the NSA isn't really in the business of answering questions. Their reputation is such that it makes me believe their "corporate culture" (even though it's not corporate) discourages that sort of thing.

Just stating a plausible possibility.

The NSA is an entity within the umbrella of the United States government. Which is supposedly a democracy and which has a whole crapload of bureaucracy focused on accountability. I know the supposed history of the organization (no such agency) but I can't believe that there's no accountability. Or that the entire purpose of the organization is consciously detrimental to the citizens of the country. That has to be pure Hollywood FUD.

I'd like to temper that with a firm belief that SOME parts of the NSA have such a megalomaniacal intent to catch badness that they care not one bit about the ethics of surveillance on their own people, or whether there is even a line to cross. Who believe that the end always justifies the means. I believe that because every society has people like that. Every generation and every culture. In the culture of the USA, the NSA would be a magnet to that type of personality.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
it's my understanding that the NSA isn't really in the business of answering questions. Their reputation is such that it makes me believe their "corporate culture" (even though it's not corporate) discourages that sort of thing.
That's fine. But that also comes with a reasonable response that dismisses their contribution as "unable to evaluate."

1clue wrote:
I can't believe that there's no accountability. Or that the entire purpose of the organization is consciously detrimental to the citizens of the country. That has to be pure Hollywood FUD.
I'm not really certain what you believe it is they do, or why it is "consciously detrimental to the citizens of the country," but there is a long history of government seeking more power and capability to "protect citizens." I believe high levels of law enforcement (FBI?) have commented on wanting the ability to circumvent phone encryption to "get the bad guys" for "the good of the people." I just look for the most likely scenario, that they want to "protect" you.

Stuxnet wrote:
A Wired magazine article about US General Keith B. Alexander stated: "And he and his cyber warriors have already launched their first attack. The cyber weapon that came to be known as Stuxnet was created and built by the NSA in partnership with the CIA and Israeli intelligence in the mid-2000s."

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
1clue wrote:
it's my understanding that the NSA isn't really in the business of answering questions. Their reputation is such that it makes me believe their "corporate culture" (even though it's not corporate) discourages that sort of thing.
That's fine. But that also comes with a reasonable response that dismisses their contribution as "unable to evaluate."


Absolutely correct.

Quote:

1clue wrote:
I can't believe that there's no accountability. Or that the entire purpose of the organization is consciously detrimental to the citizens of the country. That has to be pure Hollywood FUD.
I'm not really certain what you believe it is they do, or why it is "consciously detrimental to the citizens of the country," but there is a long history of government seeking more power and capability to "protect citizens." I believe high levels of law enforcement (FBI?) have commented on wanting the ability to circumvent phone encryption to "get the bad guys" for "the good of the people." I just look for the most likely scenario, that they want to "protect" you.

Stuxnet wrote:
A Wired magazine article about US General Keith B. Alexander stated: "And he and his cyber warriors have already launched their first attack. The cyber weapon that came to be known as Stuxnet was created and built by the NSA in partnership with the CIA and Israeli intelligence in the mid-2000s."


There's a well-published incident of the government wanting to circumvent phones that was in the national news for quite awhile. The iPhone incident, although I don't much remember the details of the crime. Terrorism?

The search for more power and sweeping authority is inherent in some people. The bad guys almost always think they're the good guys.

I'm not arguing with anyone particularly, just saying there is another way to look at things, which very well may be wrong.

That doesn't mean I trust the NSA, I only believe that some of the employees of the organization are likely innocent of wrongdoing or bad behavior.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are most likely thinking of the dispute around the employer-issued iPhone of the San Bernadino shooter, which is generally classed as a terrorism event. The shooter was already identified, and dead, and had very thoroughly destroyed his personally purchased iPhone. The FBI wanted access to his employer-issued iPhone which, due to a series of mistakes, had become locked in a way that prevented access without the pass code. Since the shooter was dead, and likely would not have been particularly cooperative even if alive, the pass code was unknowable through anything less than brute force. The iPhone in question had anti-bruteforce measures. The FBI wanted Apple to provide a way to unlock the phone. The FBI claimed that they believed that they would find useful information on the phone. Critics claimed that the FBI could not reasonably expect to find useful evidence on this phone, and instead sought to use a particularly horrific crime as a pretext by which to demand greater surveillance power. When the phone was ultimately cracked, they found nothing of value, exactly as many critics had expected since the beginning. In support of the critics, it seemed illogical that the shooter would have destroyed his personal phone (presumably to eliminate anything law enforcement might find useful), would have left useful content on his employer-issued phone, and would not have destroyed that phone to hide its evidence. In particular, had it not been for certain mistakes made in the aftermath of the attack, the employer-issued iPhone would have been easy to open (while his personal phone would have been hard to open regardless, had it not been destroyed), making it especially stupid to leave useful material on the employer-issued phone. The most logical result was that he did not destroy the employer-issued phone because he believed there was nothing on it that would be useful to law enforcement.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
The search for more power and sweeping authority is inherent in some people. The bad guys almost always think they're the good guys.
I'd argue that it is responsible for law enforcement to seek as many tools (including policy and law) as they can to do their job. Maintaining control of law enforcement is the responsibility of three branches of government, and ultimately voters. The Stanford Experiment seems relevant in this scenario.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue,

And think back to the clipper chip debacle too.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
I only believe that some of the employees of the organization are likely innocent of wrongdoing or bad behavior.


If the government treats all of us as potential criminals or terrorists and spy on us, confiscates our property, tortures us and even assassinates us, is it not reasonable to think of the government as a crime syndicate and view their wares with outmost suspicion?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
I can't believe that there's no accountability. Or that the entire purpose of the organization is consciously detrimental to the citizens of the country. That has to be pure Hollywood FUD.

pjp wrote:
I'm not really certain what you believe it is they do, or why it is "consciously detrimental to the citizens of the country," but there is a long history of government seeking more power and capability to "protect citizens."[...]

pjp ... you're misreading that statement entirely, "I can't believe that [...] or that" is not providing what follows with validation, quite the opposite. As for history, there is sufficently greater supply of power used in the subjegation of said "citizens", often under the guise of "protection".

pjp wrote:
[...] I believe high levels of law enforcement (FBI?) have commented on wanting the ability to circumvent phone encryption to "get the bad guys" for "the good of the people." I just look for the most likely scenario, that they want to "protect" you.

That would be the least "likely scenario", given that the state has no duty to protect, see: Bowers v. DeVito and DeShaney v. Winnebago County (both of which, if shepardised, are supported by the US supreme court). In fact in Souza v. City of Antioch (which was also upheld by the US supreme court) those acting as agents of the law have no duty to protect whatsoever. So, what is it that you leads you to think they are in the business of protecting you?

best ... khay
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Hu: That's the one.

@pjp: I would in turn argue that each member of law enforcement, whether civilian or military, must know the Constitution and its amendments. It is a crime to follow an illegal order, and it's a crime to commit a crime in pursuit of criminals. There are certain laws specifically waived in order to facilitate pursuit, such as speed limits and running traffic control lights while the vehicle is in pursuit. But they can't just shoot somebody, or sell drugs, or anything else of major importance.

@NeddySeagoon: The clipper chip became defunct because, IMO, the same functionality exists elsewhere. What's scary to me is that most of our hardware is built in countries like China, who have an adversarial relationship with the USA. This includes manufacturing of chips. The clipper chip functionality could be built into a chip which also contains a well-known circuit designed by the USA. We as consumers would never know. Microphones can be hidden behind a piece of plastic. How many TVs or DVDs or BluRays or light bulbs do you have which have processing and network connectivity?

One world, under surveillance.

@proteusx: I agree that many elected officials and many members of law enforcement feel that they have a special charter to do whatever they want. While I lived in Chicago, and especially while I lived in the suburbs of Chicago, I had the firm belief that Illinois had absolutely zero good cops, and very few good judges. It's widely held by many people from Chicago that the entire government is controlled by organized crime. I don't know what the current statistics are, but at one point while I lived there, 4 of the previous 7 governors of Illinois served serious prison time for crimes they committed while in office.

Where I live now, I might voice some suspicions about members of the state government but I believe that the vast majority of cops are good guys. I think that almost everyone here believes the same. I don't know if this is a local thing or a rural-vs-big-city thing.

@khayyam: Your interpretation of what I said was correct. However I believe that any state law stating that law enforcement need not protect its citizens is breaking the 14th amendment. https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://duckduckgo.com/&httpsredir=1&article=3172&context=dlj
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
@khayyam: [...] I believe that any state law stating that law enforcement need not protect its citizens is breaking the 14th amendment.

1clue ... as I said, if shepardised, all of those cases have been upheld by the US supreme court, that makes any court/judge bound by stare decisis. It's fine to say "I believe that", but that in no way counts in a court of law, without legal precedent constituting fact, that belief is unfounded.

Of course that's no criticism, people hold beliefs about their political, and juridical, systems which are not born out by fact, so much so there is a word for it, ignorance. That goes some way to explaining how such a legal discrepancy could exist, the other is that where centralised power is concerned, the law is whatever you can get away with :)

best ... khay
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
@pjp: I would in turn argue that each member of law enforcement, whether civilian or military, must know the Constitution and its amendments. It is a crime to follow an illegal order, and it's a crime to commit a crime in pursuit of criminals. There are certain laws specifically waived in order to facilitate pursuit, such as speed limits and running traffic control lights while the vehicle is in pursuit. But they can't just shoot somebody, or sell drugs, or anything else of major importance.
What ought to happen and what actually happens are not the same thing.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't recall seeing any threads in these forums regarding the Chinese SM4 symmetric cipher algorithm in the Linux kernel:

https://lwn.net/Articles/748608/

Does this mean people generally trust the US authorities less than the Chinese authorities?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
SM4 (GBT.32907-2016) is a cryptographic standard issued by the
Organization of State Commercial Administration of China (OSCCA)
as an authorized cryptographic algorithms for the use within China.


I, for one, did not know about it.
Anything originating from institutions of totalitarian governments, be it from China or from the USA should not be included in the kernel. If there are people who absolutely need these ciphers they can add them to the kernel themselves.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

proteusx wrote:
Anything originating from institutions of totalitarian governments, be it from China or from the USA should not be included in the kernel.

proteusx ... and other totalitarian regimes like Intel, Google, Redhat?

best ... khay
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

khayyam wrote:
1clue wrote:
@khayyam: [...] I believe that any state law stating that law enforcement need not protect its citizens is breaking the 14th amendment.

1clue ... as I said, if shepardised, all of those cases have been upheld by the US supreme court, that makes any court/judge bound by stare decisis. It's fine to say "I believe that", but that in no way counts in a court of law, without legal precedent constituting fact, that belief is unfounded.

Of course that's no criticism, people hold beliefs about their political, and juridical, systems which are not born out by fact, so much so there is a word for it, ignorance. That goes some way to explaining how such a legal discrepancy could exist, the other is that where centralised power is concerned, the law is whatever you can get away with :)

best ... khay


Please tell me the purpose of the 14th amendment. The way I see it, it is there specifically to provide protection of the citizens. Like most of the Constitution it seems pretty straightforward to my non-legaleze head. Clearly your glasses translate it differently than mine do.

For that matter, the link I pointed to from Duke seems to support my point of view.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

khayyam wrote:
proteusx wrote:
Anything originating from institutions of totalitarian governments, be it from China or from the USA should not be included in the kernel.

proteusx ... and other totalitarian regimes like Intel, Google, Redhat?

best ... khay

Surveillance capitalism bothers me more than state surveillance.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1clue wrote:
@khayyam: [...] I believe that any state law stating that law enforcement need not protect its citizens is breaking the 14th amendment.

khayyam wrote:
1clue ... as I said, if shepardised, all of those cases have been upheld by the US supreme court, that makes any court/judge bound by stare decisis. It's fine to say "I believe that", but that in no way counts in a court of law, without legal precedent constituting fact, that belief is unfounded. Of course that's no criticism, people hold beliefs about their political, and juridical, systems which are not born out by fact, so much so there is a word for it, ignorance. That goes some way to explaining how such a legal discrepancy could exist, the other is that where centralised power is concerned, the law is whatever you can get away with :)

1clue wrote:
Please tell me the purpose of the 14th amendment. The way I see it, it is there specifically to provide protection of the citizens. Like most of the Constitution it seems pretty straightforward to my non-legaleze head. Clearly your glasses translate it differently than mine do.

1clue ... its purpose, or my opinion on the matter, does really matter, the point is that the US supreme court doesn't consider the constitution to have any baring, if it did then they wouldn't have upheld those judgements from lower court. What perhaps I'm taking into account that you might not, is the precedent these cases set, and how binding these are, whereas their doesn't exist precedent for the state, or an agent of the state, having a duty to protect.

1clue wrote:
For that matter, the link I pointed to from Duke seems to support my point of view.

The difference is that no case law exists for that position, and so we can take it as legal opinion. Remember that the constitution also forbids religious tests (for political office, jury duty, witness to the court, etc), yet eight states still have them. The supreme court has found it unconstitutional, yet stated that they "find it unnecessary to consider [...] that this provision applies to state as well as federal offices" ... and that is anything but "pretty straightforward".

best ... khay
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

proteusx wrote:
Anything originating from institutions of totalitarian governments, be it from China or from the USA should not be included in the kernel.

khayyam wrote:
[...] and other totalitarian regimes like Intel, Google, Redhat?

Fitzcarraldo wrote:
Surveillance capitalism bothers me more than state surveillance.

Fitzcarraldo ... I find it hard to see any distinction between the two :)

Benito Mussolini wrote:
Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.

best ... khay
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why Google’s Spying on User Data Is Worse than the NSA’s

The Emerging Corporate Control of Social Science Knowledge

Google, Ebay, Facebook and Yahoo! Team Up to Gut Consumer and Privacy Laws

I have not linked to Mr Newman's own site, as it appears to have been hacked by spammers. Ironic, is it not?

Politicians are, by and large, the glove puppets of global corporations.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitzcarraldo ...

each an interesting read, but some of the premises of the second are incorrect I think. There has always been the attempt to control "knowledge production", be that by state, or corporate, interests ... the only difference is that more data is readily available, and so more parties attempting to acquire, control, use, and profit from, it. The "shift", as he describes it, is in part the result of outsourcing (of the security state, etc) and the revolving door that exists between these government agencies and private contractors. So, the idea that "single authorship [has been replaced by] a corporate understanding of knowledge production" seems to me false, knowledge production is always been a collective endeavour (requiring, as Peirce puts it in relation to science, "a community of enquirers"), what we see in terms of the NSA, google, etc, is simply a blurring of the distinction between state, and corporation (or as per Mussolini's definition, fascism). Also, I think it's an error to see all the various actors as falling into two distinct groupings (or, for that matter, one) power is distributed (to greater or lesser degree) throughout society, there may be co-ordination between specific interests, but not all those interests are aligned (except perhaps by the desire for short term gains) ... that is why you see google, et al, getting their needs met in terms of consumer privacy law, and at the same time being pursued legally, and fined, for their actions.

best ... khay
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fitzcarraldo wrote:
I don't recall seeing any threads in these forums regarding the Chinese SM4 symmetric cipher algorithm in the Linux kernel:

https://lwn.net/Articles/748608/

Does this mean people generally trust the US authorities less than the Chinese authorities?
Were there any concerns about SM4 that its creators did not respond to? That seems to be a key concern with speck and less specifically that it was a US agency.
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