[cryptome] Re: Buying a A New Laptop? - coreboot

  • From: Andrew Hornback <achornback@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2015 11:13:38 -0400

On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 10:58 AM, John Young <jya@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>  Is it possible to buy a piece of analog or digital equipment
> which does not have a device ID, that is, are their any wholly
> empty, neutered and unidentifiable.

It would need to be home-built, I believe... or black market.  Electronic
devices need to have an FCC ID to be legally imported.  Doesn't mean that
there aren't things smuggled in, but...

Even when crafting one's own device the components are
> likely to have manufacturer ID (often several, easy to find hiding
> the hard).

That depends on what level you're going to start crafting at... if you
really want to build something from absolute scratch, you'd start off at
the base components and work up - make your own chips, flash them with a
home-built burner, etc.  You could build your own oil filled capacitors,
etc, etc., but what's the true ROI here?

How much risk are you willing to absorb in an attempt to make
communications secure, for example?  As far as that goes, realize that both
ends and the entire transmission length would need to be secure as well -
it doesn't do much good to encrypt something and then broadcast it to the
rest of the world.  Someone out there could be (or, most likely is)
listening and if they can intercept your communications, there's a good
chance that they would have the technology to gain something useful from it.

> Some reports claim "untraceabel" bootlegged, contraband,
> "anonymized" gadgets have hidden codes, means to track,
> exculpate or beguile those trying to escape snoops.

Gadget is a discrete term when it comes to this line of discussion - one
would assume that a gadget has been assembled out of a number of parts and
operationally tested with a valid QA process of some sort.

Just because a box has no label on the outside doesn't mean that there
isn't one or many of them on the inside.

Kind of like those in crypto, comsec, Tor, SM, "open" offerings
> salted with protection and escape hatches for the inventors
> against being blamed for misuse like the Silk Road artist.
> Layers of deception, especially from and against those most
> eager to give advice with impeccable credentials and seven
> or more decades of faux humble but mean as as a royal
> courtier cum civil libertarian (la cheat de roi, c'est moi).
> That photo of Stallman hugging a CN GNU-chipped puppy is
> classic dog show kibble smoke and mirrors. Stallman is also shown
> kibble-hugging Julian Assange, along with a long perp-line-up of
> celebri-tree huggers-urinators.

Folks that are actually down in the trenches and working on these sorts of
things aren't usually the kind of personalities that seek out and enjoy the

--- A

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