[cryptome] Re: Brag About Exploits, Go to Jail

  • From: John Young <jya@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cypherpunks@xxxxxxxxxx,cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, <ryptography@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2014 10:29:26 -0500

Did you read today (NYT) that one of the founders of EFF, Mitch
Kapor, was a first investor in a leading ubiqutious camera
spying venture to put in the hands of everybody what once was
used only by spies and cops? Everybody is TLA, TLA is everybody.

Snowden, allegedly, gave docs to a world-class braggart,
Greenwald, and to two or three much less loud-mouthed but in
the professional bragging business, Poitras and Gellman,
documentary tout and national security tout, respectively.

Thereafter the tout bragging industry kicked into high gear and
quickly overwhelmed whatever Snowden might have intended
by their own fabricated, doctored, hyperbolied super-touted
headlined versions of his intentions, but more so, in their own
economic interest, whipping up a frenzy about their noble
intentions to rake in the loot after years of nearing bankruptcy
(the forlorn solo journo, Greenwald and Poitras profiles too.)

Greenwald in particular bellows excessively, as a lawyer must,
about his obligation to a pact with Snowden, and lately his much
greater jury-pandering about his pact with Omidyar. His recent
long bloviation on his blog is purely promotional bragging
characteristic of the hustler forever crowing about its prowess,
whining about attacks, disdaining critics with puerile condescension.

Omidyar and Bezos among others, have been sucked into
the ultra-bragging game, large, inebriated with unquenchable wealth
accumulation, after years of supporting highly vainglorious and
dispensible NGO investments, not a few of which have failed
due to exaggerated brochure-toute expectations which could
not be met but were invented losers to be run into the ground
for the tax benefits of ultra-concentrated wealth. This the exact
model of the Firstlook venture, a combo of high-profit media
industry and simulated "NGO" journalism to exempt the taxable

Would that work here. Youbetcha. The very founding of
cypherpunks employed that model and sustains it to solicit
and amass data of crypto-freedom-drunk users for marketing
peculiarly faulty products across the political spectrum from
faux privacy to faux security. Https everywhere, har, Tor, har,
WikiLeaks, har, Cryptome, spit, and what have you now,

Braggarts always have noble purposes, bragging about
nobility is what sustains the illusion of superiority. And
glosses the nobility of great wealth or depthless desire
for it.

Significant variations of braggardy, from loud to quiet.
overstatement to understatement. Chump version:
"needs killing." Chimp version: Snowden is a hero,
or traitor. Wimp version: more leaks by others, none
by me. Gimp version: this is nothing new. Limp version:
don't insult people here, don't discuss politics, message
deleted by moderator. Blimp version: this forum is

At 09:15 AM 1/8/2014, you wrote:
> Snowden wanted to be identified, so it is alleged, and
> has been caught as intended.

I think the reasoning with Snowden was not so much to brag as to make
himself a hard-to-assassinate public figure. In his case, so few people
could have acquired the documents he did, that it was a matter of
(little) time before he was noticed to be conveniently absent as the
shit hit the fan.

If he wasn't in the public eye by that time, he'd have been disappeared
and/or shot in short order.

> Not to be overlooked: the essence of comsec and
> crypto is deception. So laugh at the open source ruse
> on the way to the pokey.

Funny that, I look at closed source as evidence of deception; without
deception, there is no reason to hide the source. As long as they keys
are secret, the protocol and code can be open, and should be if anyone's
to trust that they're A) beneficent and B) competent.

In the comparison of Cryptocat, which has tightened up radically because
of code audits enabled by Open Sourcing it, to Bittorrent Sync (which
used to advertise AES256 which was impossible with the keylength being
shared, now advertises AES128, nobody knows how they implement it but a
mistake like that screams "badly"), which is still unaudited snakeoil:
BTSync boast massive bandwidth usage implying a significant user uptake,
and moreso since the Snowden affair because of their snakeoil offering.
So the Open Source guy gets all the attention, audits and improvement,
while the closed source guys get no attention, no audits, and finally
notice internally that they're offering AES256 when they can't
physically accomplish it with the keylengths.

I'll take Open, thanks. At least I can see what's wrong if it errs.

On 08/01/14 12:55, John Young wrote:
> James Donald wrote:
>> And if he had, like Snowden, kept a low profile, instead of flicking a
>> towel in their faces, they never would have detected it.
> Swartz bragged to a slew of people and was caught.
> Manning bragged to Lamo and was caught.
> Kiriakou bragged to a journalist and was caught.
> Sabu bragged to cohorts and was caught.
> Barrett Brown bragged to the world and was caught.
> Several Anonymouses bragged and were caught.
> And so on, dozens in just the last decade.
> Jim Bell bragged online and went to jail. So did Carl
> Johnson. Cops love braggarts, brag themselves to
> braggarts to keep prisons happylands.
> How many did not brag and remained uncaught? There
> are likely thousands of them. Many of those work with
> or emulate spies who do not brag as rule number 1.
> Snowden wanted to be identified, so it is alleged, and
> has been caught as intended.
> Is this nuts or what, vainglorious stupidity, or a commonplace
> ruse to get the enemy to expose its capabilities, or to flaunt
> one's own hybrid of authentic and fake to spook the enemy,
> to seel products, to boost budgets, to manipulate public
> opinion. The fundamental purpose of leaks.
> Keeping a non-existent profile is worth considering, along
> with a hundred pseudos.
> And putting a high-profile out there is what the Internet
> was intended to do, fake, sock, pseudo, anon, sucker.
> Not to be overlooked: the essence of comsec and
> crypto is deception. So laugh at the open source ruse
> on the way to the pokey.

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  • » [cryptome] Re: Brag About Exploits, Go to Jail - John Young