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Privacy and Security


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#1 Stolen

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:18 PM

With this topic, I hope to stimulate discussion, garner opinion and generate awareness. I am interested in what you think about the issues of our privacy and security in light of what is going on out there...and what can be done.

 

After @quietman7 posted a story in Breaking Virus and Security News regarding 'Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords' (found here http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/502258/feds-tell-web-firms-to-turn-over-user-account-passwords/ ), I did some research overnight.

 

I would like to start off with Lavabit. Rather than comply with US government surveillance, Lavabit has shut down email service to its 350K customers. When I went to visit lavabit.com expecting a normal ISP website, I was shocked to see this and only this:  

 

xn61.jpg

 

Lavabit's letter is full of implications, and it's about more than a decision to shut down the service, and it affects more than customers. It appears he is planning to fight. wow. One source, Alex Hern with The Guardian, says, 'Lavabit's closure marks the death of secure cloud computing in the US.'

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/10/lavabit-closure-cloud-computing-edward-snowden

 

Another quote from The Guardian: "The presiding judge of the secret court that issues such orders, known as the Fisa court...' I can't even. So, we have a secret court called a Fisa that issues orders to companied demanding access to our email and passwords. That means they would have access to everything, and we have no expectation of privacy. I don't think it was ever okay for this type of thing. The Patriot Act and the authority it has given the NSA is way out of line, IMO. Wasn't the Constitution set up with checks and balances so no one part of government had all the power without being checked by another branch?  

 

I think there is way more to this story, and it is just the beginning of the fight for our right to privacy and security but will save further comment for discussion.

 

Mainly, I wanted to post this subject and it warrants its own topic because it is evolving and is an extremely important current issue that will affect us all whether we realize it or not.  I hope others will add related stories and opinions so we can all continue to be informed.

 

~stolen

 

For a bit of additional reading:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/aug/08/lavabit-email-shut-down-edward-snowden

 

http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/1jz4j4/lavabit_the_private_email_service_snowden/

 

http://wsau.com/news/articles/2013/aug/09/encrypted-email-service-thought-used-by-snowden-shuts-down/

 

 



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#2 Beel

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:40 AM

Well I have to honestly admit all this is way beyond me.

However I can see where the powers to be in the USA are coming from. In other countries such as China the USSR, Korea etc to name a few the internet is fully monitored and anyone caught plotting against that country in any shape or form ends up in front of a firing squad to to speak. In the USA ,up until now that is, after a man called Snowdon did his thing it appears it citizens or infiltrators had an open go which put the security of that country at great risk.

So Stolen that is my view which is quite possibly wrong as I said at the beginning it is beyond my mind.



#3 yabbadoo

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 04:35 PM

I am utterly speechless. What is the point in quoting the actions of dictatorial and freedom shackled nations when the very bastion of world freedom - the USA - even thinks of doing the same thing ?

 

Once countries like the US resort to widespread spying networks that infringe on an individual's personal privacy, should I tell you what we have ? It is called  - GEHEIME STAATSPOLIZEI or commonly known as GESTAPO and that is closely followed by a whole assortment of men in lovely black uniforms, complete with jackboots, going around clicking their heels, raising their arms in salute and yelling SIEG HEIL MEIN PRÄSIDENT !


Edited by yabbadoo, 12 August 2013 - 04:50 PM.


#4 82_bleepingirl

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 06:36 PM

I've been telling people for a long time that's were we're heading and all I got for my troubles was called a conspiracy nut.



#5 Stolen

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:57 PM

It's beyond me too.  @center-- I appreciate your input. I think Snowden was greatly concerned at the depths to which the NSA has already gone. I am just getting more concerned the more I look at all this. 

 

And I I think our security is at risk. But which security are we talking about? Our own individual and reasonable expectation of privacy (and security) to send and receive secure email or national security?  

 

So, Thank you for your comments.  You gave me some things to ponder.

 

Side note: IMO Snowden's name is splashed all over stories related to Lavabit, but I think Snowden's only connection to Lavabit was due to the fact Lavabit used such a great encryption system to guarantee privacy of email provided to their customers, and Snowden just happened to use them as an ISP. 


Edited by stolen, 12 August 2013 - 09:58 PM.


#6 Beel

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 03:33 AM

Yabbadoo I too am absolutely speechless with your response to my comments? As I said is all this spy versus spy stuff is beyond me, however I did not say at all that I agreed with what the USA is doing in this regard, what I did say was that I could see where they are coming from and mention the likes of China etc to point out where we in the free world could be heading if countries like the USA continue on as they seem to be doing. And some of the stories I have read about this there are suggestions that your country too, that is GB, has also been dabbling in the same way as the USA is?

Good luck!



#7 yabbadoo

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 04:44 AM

@ Center

 

No conflict,  you have simply in a  roundabout way said exactly what I did.

 

Of  course GB are playing games, our little piece of North Sea collateral always mimics American practice where it suits them. Our leaders puff out their chests like a bull-frog, think of the grand days of Empire, blow a bugle, bang a drum and try to join in the game with the big boys.

 

In a way I can`t blame them for feeling insignificant and impotent, having shrunk from a Mammoth to a Mouse in a mere 70 years. It must be awfully embarrassing. Especially when everybody knows full well that we are only here because of America, who have spent the past 100 years bailing us out, twice with the blood and guts of their young men, ensuring our vital supplies and giving us countless monetary handouts.

 

There was once a saying here that the British are so tenacious that they fight like hell to the last American.

 

We have good reason to copy America, lick their boots and try to look big. It is called copycat politics or playing at poor mans power impersonators..

 

Please, never quote GB as a shining example of anything, it makes me wet my pants with pride.  


Edited by yabbadoo, 13 August 2013 - 05:06 AM.


#8 Stolen

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 07:55 AM

g morning everyone! center, I think yabba was speechless which is pretty rare :)  because he was shocked over the story and what Lavabit did to take a stand. and shocked at what is going on. 

 

Lavabit's decision to close an email service that was actually really private (NSA could not get in there and spy or get private information) provided to about 350K customers was not a decision that was easy or to be taken lightly. Not only was the ISP the major, if only, source of revenue for the company, Lavabit closed to take a stand and to fight for what they believe is important. 

 

And it won't be an easy legal fight. And it will be expensive. and so far I am certain his 350K customers feel like they lost already, what are they to do? Probably go back to writing. I wonder if the post office has some very slight increase in snail mail. 

 

So i am sitting here thinking about everything that took place up to the decision Lavabit made, and I don't think they are the only ones who are taking a stand either.

 

As I indicated above with the link to the other thread, the Feds are asking for passwords and access to all the major and minor ISPs, and the ISPs are not really talking to the media about it other than the most general canned statement from a corp comm representative.  My point being who knows what is really going on behind the scenes, what the Feds have been asking and getting, and what the ISPs have already turned over to them until these stories started breaking in the news.  And i may be wrong, but I think they started breaking about the time Snowden broke.

 

OK i must dash running late to work, i'll bounce back latrz.  thanks, all.  Very interesting discussion by all. 



#9 Beel

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 12:25 PM

Thanks Stolen, Yabbadoo is okay & no worries with me. He is very strong in thoughts on the subject which I appreciate. It is just he and I have different ways of saying the same things it seems. I hope you get to find out what is going on with this topic. Quietman I think is the one who will in time will give us all the answers.

Bye now & all the very best.



#10 myrti

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 09:43 AM

I think the problem here is that the Feds can forbid the companies to even mention that they've to compromise all their user's data. Think of yahoo which is now in court to be allowed to reveal that they did try to fight court order to reveal their user's data. This court order is from 2008. Germany has admitted turning over wide-ranging data to the NSA ever since 2007, so you can imagine how long this has been going on. I don't think PRISM is a recent development at all.From what I've understood Lavabit had the choice to reveal everything to the NSA or close down and "loose all that data". They chose the latter, for which they are to be commended, in my opinion. The connection, I see, with Snowden is that he used their service and that the NSA was very interested in seeing who he was and is writing emails too. I think that will be the main reason that they took lavabit to court now and not a year from now.

That a secret service is going to spy on anything that's not moving faster than them is a given, the real problem here is that the courts supposed to be supervising them have been corrupted and have gained a Kafkaesque (yes, I really like that word) dimension where nobody except the government has a chance of winning, because you're not allowed to see what is being discussed.


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#11 Stolen

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 09:12 PM

Thank you, everyone, for your comments.

 

Hi Center. I agree, everyone here is very on top of things. I will continue to post any related stories I run across.

 

@myrti. Yes, it's a big problem. Do you think it has gone so far and so long as to be irreparable? I honestly was not aware it has been going on this long.  I am posting a link below to an article from yesterday with Levison who, in reading the article, actually started his company because of the Patriot Act. I mean, wow. I think i love him.  lol

 

Oh and i like your word too :) 'Kafkaesque'

 

Totally awesome quote: Myrti: 'The real problem here is that the courts have been corrupted and have gained a 'Kafkaesque' dimension where nobody except the government has a chance of winning, because you're not allowed to see what is being discussed.'

 

So, here is an one update on the issues for everyone to read.  :

 

From NBC News Investigations article Aug 13 2013 Levison (owner of Lavabit) said he has been "threatened with arrest multiple times over the past six weeks," but that he was making a stand on principle: "I think it's important to point out that what prompted me to shut down my service wasn't access to one person's data. It was about protecting the privacy of all my users."

 

Thanks again. ~stolen



#12 Stolen

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:55 AM

In the news today

 

An audit was done to check the NSA.  The Washington Post obtained the results of that audit.  The audit was only intended for the Agency's top leaders (NSA)! The Washington Post told them they had it and were publishing it.  

 

The audit found NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times in a year. <<--Title of article and direct link to here

 

a few quotes:

 

"Infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order"

 

"In one instance, the NSA decided that it need not report the unintended surveillance of Americans."

 

"The Obama administration has provided almost no public information about the NSA’s compliance record."

"Many (incidents) involved failures of due diligence or violations of standard operating procedure."

 

"There is no reliable way to calculate from the number of recorded compliance issues how many Americans have had their communications improperly collected, stored or distributed by the NSA."

 

"the more serious lapses include unauthorized access to intercepted communications, the distribution of protected content and the use of automated systems without built-in safeguards to prevent unlawful surveillance."

 

 

sbeq.jpg



#13 quietman7

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 10:04 AM

NSA has access to 75 percent of US Internet traffic, says WSJ
NSA surveillance reach broader than publicly acknowledged
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#14 yabbadoo

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 11:03 AM

@ Quietman

 

It all smells of Big Brother, but every country is engaged in this snooping. They all like it very much, having got the idea watching the nefarious activities of James Bond years ago.

 

Quietman -  This is not a kiddy question, but really what does it mean to all of us plebs ? My guess is NOTHING.

 

 Life will go on regardless and NSA can enjoy the dribbling Email chats we have with our friends and family, the price we paid for that new TV, whether we have paid our fuel bill and best of all see those gruesome details of our online shopping lists to the local supermarket. WOW ! Big deal. They can even read if somebody calls their revered Great Leader a dickhead. What are they going to do about it other than cough out their Havana cigars with laughter.

 

For Jack and Jill Average, it sounds like a big fuss over nothing more but something to moan about. Just fruitless and pointless bar chat.

 

Que Sera Sera - Whatever will be will be.


Edited by yabbadoo, 21 August 2013 - 11:36 AM.


#15 quietman7

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:23 PM

For those who don't care, you're probably right it means nothing, at least for now. For those who do care, IMO it means the governmental abuse of power will continue to escalate and the younger generation will have far less liberty and freedom than their parents...1984 is here.
 
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"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
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