[cryptome] Re: [cryptography] Apple's refusal, crypto wars shifting to OS/device wars

  • From: douglas rankine <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 28 Feb 2016 12:06:04 +0000

see url: http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/content/hist/worldwartwo/enigma.rhtm

A word of note, Bletchley Park wasn't just about breaking codes through number crunching and using the highest forms of mathematics to decrypt. Much work was done through the use of "cribs". These cribs were other information which was gained from such diverse sources as getting to know the habits of an individual German radio operator. Some of them for instance, used to transmit their initial signal containing the keys of the day twice, which generated a weakness which Bletchley decrypters could exploit in various ways. Others transmitted from a particular location at certain times of the day, from weather ships for instance, which the X stations picked up and were able to co-ordinate locations, times and of course many other such forms of metadata than are given here. (They didn't call it metadata in those days...and I think cribs is much nicer...:-) .). Putting these cribs together and analysing them often gave some information which could be used to partially break down the encryption process. The game was ongoing, some of the messages lay partially decrypted for years, but were constantly reviewed; it was only with the development of the bombes, (huge calculators) and Colossus the main computer itself, that they managed to speed the process up and develop algorithms which broke down the codes faster. However, there was an awful lot of initial work done before the messages were subjected to number crunching. Bletchley of course, was often in the dark, but it was helpful that the enigma machine and its encryption processes were known to it, even before the war and the Polish cryptology unit passed on all of their information before the Germans occupied their land.

As an aside, the reasons why I am very interested in Bletchley Park is because to me it was the birthplace of the electronic programmable computer, and I had the privelege of knowing Albert Bareham, one of the original six who worked on and built Colossus. He showed me around the computer which was behind a glass window, and at the time, members of the public couldn't go into the room, as it was still being put together. They had to get it in pieces from the USA because Winston Churchill ordered that everything at Bletchley Park had to be destroyed due to the knowledge created there being used against the people...who prophetic...we got GCHQ instead.;-) . He came to my attention when I organised a trip to Bletchley from my local computer club. I advertised the trip in the local newspaper and a number of people came forward who once worked at Bletchley, and were very interested in returning there, as they had never been back since the end of world war 2. All of them told me that to get the job, of which there was no job description, they had to be able to do the Telegraph crossword and go through an interview where they were warned that if they ever breathed a word about it, they would be shot, and the interviewer produced a revolver and laid it on the table...so there you are, a little bit of history folks...and Bletchley is well worth the visit...:-) . He gave us a lecture on his work there at one of our meetings, and I remember, he had to go and check with whoever if it was OK to do so, as he didn't want anyone to reverse engineer any secrets...Somewhere in my loft I have a signed copy of his lecture. Albert Bareham sadly passed away a couple of years ago.
You can find out more about him at url: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17237494
Albert is the one on the photo at the top left.

The huge jump in computer power and speed and storage, and the development of the algorithm and better methods of sifting and sorting, pattern recognition and increased development of more sensitive and powerful remote sensing devices, combined with cheapness are bringing about some qualitative changes in many different areas of human activity, and no doubt there are going to be many surprises as the adaptability and flexibility of human minds acting singly and collective produce new ways and methods of doing things. As more and more countries develop, the American lead in such areas will fall away, much as China now produces most of US computer products and back doors...far more than the NSA or GCHQ ever will...:-) . Such is the law of uneven development. The race by the US to stay on top and in front of world technology is a futile exercise, like the Romans trying to hold onto their empire, or Napoleon trying to hold on to Moscow, the human and natural resources of other up and coming states will defeat them...the question really is...at what cost in terms of human beings and earth resources?

If there is such a thing as unbreakable encryption, these methods, many of which are already in operation, will be increasingly used and developed and applied in new ways, by the huge plethora of government and private agencies and corporations which are involved in the industry. The USG v Apple, appears at the moment to be product of minor thinking with minor advocates at the FBI doing a bit of testing of public opinion. The case, on reflection isn't too well put together...but there again, one shouldn't be too dismissive, for how else does one get better lawyers than having them practice their theories in court...at the public expense of course. They are learning their case law the hard way. Some of those lawyers who are good at their jobs, i.e. win cases or points of law, eventually are offered employment and positions in the private sector, or, if they are lucky or have good loyal connections and establishment networks go higher up in the public sector, where other jobs become available when they retire.

However, if the case progresses up the legal ladder with appeals by either contenders, then eventually it will come into the hands of the Supreme Court, where the best judges that the US has to offer and the best lawyers that the contenders have to offer will take part in a massive expensive exercise, funded by the public and consumers which will affect telecommunications and the way privacy and security are looked at for years to come. At any time of course, the constitutional arms of government may become involved, the President and Congress etc and reports commissions, compiled and even in some cases acted upon.

Courts are where public negotiations and decisions take place and are sanctioned in law. These negotiations have often been observed as "An orgy of sadists and masochists at public expense."

Whichever way it goes, we will all learn something and the world of human beings will continue very much as it has in the past....in its usual chaotic way...:-) . And it is always as well to remember that if human progress relied on the intellect of the meritocracy, we would still be in the dark ages...

On 27/02/2016 17:27, John Young wrote:

It's good to see The Intercept and others smell a rat with the fake fight between
Apple and the USG (hardly only the FBI). Crediting Snowden and his flacks
with this phony crypto war is a bit much, though, opposition to government
instrusions around the world have been persistent for decades, especially
against the ever increasing digital violations and forever failing protections
against them. "Strong crypto is hard to do while making it easy for users."

What is most needed from the Snowden 90% still-secret wad are defenses
against the USG now that alarms have been repeatedly clanged about redacted
and incomplete offenses. Most peculiar that almost no defensive measures
have been released, although Snowden may have insisted on not releasing
those as threats to US national security.

Snowden's alleged demand that outlets check with USG before releases
to assure no national harm is institutionalized in national security
reporting, but is also required by fear of prosecution of outlets and
their investors such as Omidyar, Slim, Bezo, all the major media.

Withholding the 90% of Snowden material which he claims was given
to the public, is damnable betrayal of the public for monetary and
professional benefits. In this way the Snowden material has been
handled like the USG handles it, as if it is owned by the handlers,
not by the ones who paid for it.

It would not be off-base to accuse the Snowden handlers of what
Apple and the USG are doing, engaging in a fake fight "in the public
interest" for pecuniary gain. Privacy and civil liberties are being
peddled as commercial products, cheered yesterday by Apple

The DNI's Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board is as much
a marketing scam as the American Civil Liberties Union, same
kind of people populate both, testify in Congress, meet with
POTUS, work the lecture circuit.

At 11:05 AM 2/27/2016, you wrote:
John Young wrote: > USG is not USA. Apple is not its buyers. USG v Apple is not about citizens and privacy. It's about secretkeepers against the public. Therefore, except for members of “the publicâ€� who have no secrets (no credit card PINs, no private medical conditions, no private relationships, no private future plans, no private original ideas, no private and unpopular political views, etc.), “it’s about secretkeepersâ€� against themselves? I suppose then we should all file amicus briefs on both sides? John Young wrote: > Govs may concede crypto public protection to assure other means remain effective. Promoting public crypto as a cloak appears to be the campaign underway, now as in the 1990s, so beguiling to crypto advocates to claim a win (for the industry-org-edu to continue doing openly and secretly what it does best). This has been addressed previously and yesterday by an article at The Intercept. https://theintercept.com/2016/02/26/fbi-vs-apple-post-crypto-wars/ > After the 2013 Snowden revelations, as mainstream technology companies started spreading encryption by putting it in popular consumer products, the wars erupted again. Law enforcement officials, led by FBI Director James Comey, loudly insisted that U.S. companies should build backdoors to break the encryption just for them. > > That won’t happen because what these law enforcement officials are asking for isn’t possible (any backdoor can be used by hackers, too) and wouldn’t be effective (because encryption is widely available globally now). They’ve succeeded in slowing the spread of unbreakable encryption by intimidating tech companies that might otherwise be rolling it out faster, but not much else. > > Indeed, as almost everyone else acknowledges, unbreakable encryption is here to stay. > > Tech privacy advocates continue to remain vigilant about encryption, actively pointing out the inadequacies and impossibilities of the anti-encryption movement, and jumping on any sign of backsliding. > > But even as they have stayed focused on defending encryption, the government has been shifting its focus to something else. > > The ongoing, very public dispute between Apple and the FBI, in fact, marks a key inflection point — at least as far as the puublic’s understanding of the issue. > > You might say we’re entering the Post-Crypto phase of the Crypto Wars. Think about it: The more we learn about the FBI’s demand that Apple help it hack into a password-protected iPhone, the more it looks like part of a concerted, long-term effort by the government to find new ways around unbreakable encryption — rather than try to break it. Withoutt Ed Snowden’s whistle-blowing, Glenn Greenwald’s, Laura Poitras’ and Ewen MacAskill’s journalism, reporting by the Intercept and by the Washington Post’s Bart Gellman, and Apple’s refusal, “the publicâ€� would not be discussing this at all. _______________________________________________ cryptography mailing list cryptography@xxxxxxxxxxxxx http://lists.randombit.net/mailman/listinfo/cryptography

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