[cryptome] Re: TOR Article

  • From: Shaun O'Connor <capricorn8159@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 14:49:12 +0000

that was a good one Douggie and I agree entirely with your sentiments on
privacy, security  etc.
what bothers me is the way people are being misled into entrusting their
privacy to third parties in the mistaken belief that so doing will give
them more freedom to get on with whatever they are doing.

Personally my view is if one wants to maximise operational security (
i'll call it opsec in future) then it behoves them to get their hands
dirtly and learn the craft rather then rely on someone else to do it for
them. there is always a tradeoff between convenience and control.

Will look at the links later .
On 11/11/2014 13:08, doug wrote:
> http://pando.com/2014/07/16/tor-spooks/
> I thought that this was an interesting article.  I don't use TOR, I
> have never tried it because I know its origins...and I can't think of
> any knowledge or activities I pursue as being so valuable or secret as
> to be a threat to the state.
>   Using technology for hiding the online activities of spooks is a
> different ball game from ordinary users using it thinking that their
> activities, legal or otherwise will be anonymous, is a product of too
> much cannabis oil.  TOR has different functions for different people
> and organisations.  It is used to hide the activities of spooks behind
> the activities of other users, the thinking is that the more of the
> public that use it, the easier it is for them to hide.  rAnother
> advantage is that if enough of the security community is convince,
> then they will recommend its use to every one else.  The US government
> gives such stuff away to liberation fighters and revolutionaries
> whilst its private enterprise sells the antidotes to the software to
> those very secret services to which it is opposed.  And the
> politicians, in my view, know very little about it, believing that
> they are spreading human rights, American, British and Western style,
> all over the dictatorial world.  However, the growth of the
> technology, the cheapness of software and storage and the increasing
> sophistication and wealth expended on intelligence and security in the
> world community has undermined any superficial safety in using such
> software as TOR, truecrypt and some secure operating systems, in my
> view.  I am not an expert in such matters, particularly the technical
> side, but so often in history people have been misled into thinking
> that their communications are secure that they have been sorely
> decieved when "the weel laid plans o' mice and men,  gang aft
> astray..."  as Robert Burns said in "To A Mouse", and they finish up
> with their homes, their lives and their families, as well as their
> dreams destroyed.
>  Apart from communications with my banks, I don't use encryption,
> though I have experimented with it a little bit. I know of old that if
> the security or intelligence agencies want to access such information
> then they can.  All encrypted communications are recorded until they
> are deciphered...as policy.  All TOR communications, from going to the
> website, downloading and installing, as well as using are monitored.
> Wouldn't you, if your mission put you in charge of the safety security
> and intelligence on  behalf of the people and government?  It's a bit
> naive to think otherwise, in my humble opinion.
>   When using the internet, one has to access it at some point, and
> that is generally through an ISP and an i.p. address, the same thing
> occurs when one receives a communication. It doesn't matter whether it
> is a phone, or a laptop, even a wireless connection.  As soon as one
> goes onto the internet then the activity is recorded, if not
> acknowledged. Those are the weakest points in my view.   When one
> boils a kettle one knows where the energy comes from, one knows that
> the kettle is a container, and, though one may not know exactly where
> the bubbles arise when the container boils, one knows when it will
> boil, the length of time it takes to boil and one can record the
> degree of entropy and the physical emergence of the bubbles of gas
> into the liquid topography.  Doesn't take a lot to find out the cause
> and effect.
> Studying the materials at Bletchley Park methods are still of much
> relevance in my view.   see url:
> http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/
> There is plenty of stuff on the website, well worth a visit and lots
> of links to all sorts of information, from books to memoirs and
> memories.  Encryption wasn't the only system which got cracked there. 
> It was the cribs which were really important, everything from user
> mistakes and habits, to user locality, from timing and types of
> coding, from frequency of transmission and patterns within the
> signals, to different kinds of coding and encyphering machinery.  It
> wasn't all about betrayal by agents.  All of those, and more, were
> collated, subjected to  analysis and disparate findings put together,
> to provide a cohesive picture of the intentions, habits and
> wherewithalls of the enemy (or friendly and not so friendly alien).  I
> dare say that there are even more sophisticated methods around today,
> particularly mathematically and statistically, the software and
> storage are so cheap, and many brilliant and educated minds are put
> together collectively in huge warehouses and think tanks to solve the
> problems.  Poachers become gamekeepers and vikki verki.
> From recent utterings by various personalities, political leaders and
> senior officers of agencies involved in the collection of information
> and its analysis, they aren't about to stop any time soon, and I
> cannot see a situation in the near future where personal privacy and
> security are going to improve.   The safety of the system compared
> with the privacy and security of the individual is deemed more
> important, though they would say that they are protecting both. The
> fear and the pressure is too great for all information, all data not
> to be collected so that governments aren't taken by surprise.  We also
> know of course, that governments, more often than not, often do get
> taken by surprise, even when the information is presented to them on a
> plate...they don't believe it, much in the same way as analytical
> thinking can sometimes get in the way of truth and reality.  Belief
> systems play a very important role, compared with evidence based,
> factual analysis, I have noticed.
> Also, the temptation to go that one step further and to continue
> interfering in the natural processes of historical development in the
> name of anti-communism, anti-Cuba, anti-Sovietism and now anti-Russia
> and anti-China and anti Islam and pro western democratic belief
> systems means, just like that "Inside the CIA" book of the 1970's
> about Latin America, the world of international politics will remain a
> morass and a jungle, with the rule of law, international, or national,
> playing little role, with plots and plants blowing up in the faces of
> the perpetrators as well as destroying the lives of the innocent.  Did
> the US intervention in Latin America change the course of history? 
> Did it save the world from Communism and bring about human rights and
> democracy to the peoples of the world?  Did it leave the people of the
> United States in a better world economic, political and sociological
> and cultural position in the world of today...who knows.  Hollywood
> has all the answers.
> Just a few thoughts on the current developments.
> Dougie.


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