[cryptome] Re: D-Day & Encryption & Droning Along

  • From: shelley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 07 Jun 2014 17:17:35 -0700

That was very well-put and you have made a number of good points.  I
don't think the mass surveillance of our data is legal *or* right.

As you have mentioned Bletchley Park: It is 60 years ago today (still 7
June where I am) that we lost the great mind of Alan Turing, who was
instrumental in the cryptographic efforts of WWII.   A damned shame,
given the circumstances.

On Sat, Jun 7, 2014, at 04:28 PM, doug wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> D-Day, the 6th of June 1944 occurred a year before I was born. D-Day may 
> be history, but its effect on all of our lives in the Western world is 
> significant for a number of reasons.  One was the intelligence skills 
> that were used to inform a huge war machine which was built on the South 
> Coast of England, in co-operation with the U.S. of A and member nations 
> of the Commonwealth with a view to building a "second front" in Europe 
> along the French coast, and attempting to keep that knowledge (of the 
> date, time and landing points) from the Germans, through minimisation of 
> the scale, through suppression subterfuge, and deliberate deception.
> As I was doing some D.I.Y. on my house today, overhead could be heard 
> aeroplanes from the Second World War, disturbing my peace as I worked in 
> the garden...There was an event here in Bognor Regis in the South of 
> England, commemorating the event.  The droning of those Spitfires 
> looping the loop and Lancasters circling around; with their distinctive 
> markings; in memory of that incredible event where almost 200,000 men, 
> women were transported across the English Channel from the beaches and 
> aerodromes of the South of England and all their equipment were landed 
> on the beaches in Normandy in one day, and the subsequent building of 
> the Mulberries at Arromanche could never have been achieved without 
> those very intelligence and deception skills being utilised so 
> expertly.  This is not to undermine or deny the courage and the skills 
> of those armed forces on the ground or in the air, or on the seas, who 
> managed to land on those beaches. and take on an entrenched German army 
> and defeat them at great cost.  As Churchill said, "War is total".  
> Secrecy and deception were all part of the game.  If you were better at 
> it than them then more of your "side's" lives and property would be
> saved.
> But, behind that great event, there was years of preparation. Without 
> Bletchley Park and without the help and support of the US and the other 
> allies, the Commonwealth and so on; the human cost would have been 
> great, and the Second Front may have failed, perhaps leading to a Europe 
> dominated by Stalin and the USSR who had defeated the Germans on the 
> Eastern Front and were well on their way to liberating, or conquering 
> Europe, depending on one's point of view.  What a choice, goostepping 
> and "Seig Heil" or goosestepping and love "Father Stalin".
>   All before my time.
>    A visit to Bletchley Park (now a museum) shows the role it played in 
> the Second World War, not only in the submarine war and the cracking of 
> the codes, but in the putting together of a new institution and 
> providing the funding and expertise of the best mathematical brains in 
> the UK and internationally, with the aim of collecting, analysing and 
> using Axis communications to determine their present and future 
> intentions.  There was the famous 6 who were involved in the building of 
> Collossus, the first electronic computer, which was a pathetic piece of 
> equipment, full of unreliable components like valves and using huge 
> amounts of energy and very slow, and with computing power which is 
> almost laughable today.  Yet,  at the time it was the best that could be 
> designed. Even with the introduction of the "bombes" from the US. and a 
> staff of thousands, mainly women, it was still incredibly difficult to 
> decrypt the higher German codes and those of the submarines.  Human 
> intellect was the main  motive power though.  Computers and bombes were 
> for the number crunching, for discerning the patterns which 
> cryptographers could use to get clues, cracks, or as they called them in 
> those days, algorithms..  Cribs or the revealing of a letter, word or 
> pattern through a mistake, were one of the main ways of getting into a 
> code.
>    Winston Churchill and the allies famously worked on the principle 
> that anything which was discovered by the work at Bletchley, could not 
> be used unless corroborating evidence, or alternative sources from 
> elsewhere were found.  That was what helped to allay the suspicions of 
> those of the Axis powers who thought that their methods of encryption 
> had been compromised.  Such deception didn't work absolutely.  Many 
> mistakes were made and the German equivalents of Bletchley Park, managed 
> to crack some of the codes used by the Allies, including the encrypted 
> telephone line between Churchill and the U.S. President.
> Why am I mentioning this?  Just to remind those of you who are young and 
> may think otherwise, that intelligence gathering and its sister, 
> deception, have gone on for a long time, ever since life occupied the 
> planet and, in my humble opinion, will continue to do so for the 
> foreseable future.  Today, we are in a "war against terror". The 
> difficulty I am having is finding out which ones are the terrorists, and 
> which ones are the liberators. Just because the collection, monitoring 
> and analysis of all the data in the internet of things may be lawful 
> (which I doubt), doesn't mean to say that it is right.  And, i have 
> noticed over the  years that those who work for the state, the higher up 
> they go, the less motivation they have in representing the interests of 
> their fellow citizens.
> Whilst I have been interested in encryption and codes and spying and 
> such like since I was a child, and read lots of books on it, I have only 
> ever used it once  for a serious purpose, and that was to zip up a file 
> in an email using winzip which contained a lot of personal and financial 
> information referring to a house I was purchasing, which I didn't want 
> to be contained in an "open" email.  I have experimented with a number 
> of encryption bits of software, but never really got on with them.  Even 
> the so called easy ones, I ballsed up, PGP I forgot my password and 
> Truecrypt I also forgot the password and locked away 10 gigabytes of my 
> hard disk and was never able to get it back.  I dare say that my little 
> bit of work lies in the files of the CIA and GCHQ awaiting decryption as 
> I am informed that they always collect encrypted emails and such stuff.  
> I don't mind, but I do hope that one day, when my computer crashes, I 
> will be able to get on to the CIA or GCHQ and get a copy of all of my 
> private and personal data.  Now, that would be what I call a real 
> customer service programme, getting a return on all that taxpayer money 
> would be nice.  After all, isn't that what the intelligence services are 
> there for, to help us all, to protect us all from terrorism, to make us 
> all safe and secure from the "bad" guys?  In the meantime, I consider 
> myself lucky, that i never really got into using encryption and that I 
> never really trusted it.  And the CIA and GCHQ have proved me 
> right...packet technology might be efficient on the internet, but it is 
> so easily manipulated.  I feel sorry for all those liberation fighters  
> and revolutionaries throughout the world who have been enticed to use 
> the stuff, in the name of American or British freedom and human rights, 
> only to find out too late, if ever, that the antidote software has been 
> sold by some company or other to their home state, and to wonder why 
> they have finished up in jail, or worse still been subject to rendition, 
> or had drones with laser bombs dropped on their homes and their sons and 
> daughters killed as collateral damage as part of a surgical strike .
> Douglas Rankine.

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