Tag Archives: new york times

Accessing Cell Phone Location Information

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/05/accessing_cell_.html

The New York Times is reporting about a company called Securus Technologies that gives police the ability to track cell phone locations without a warrant:

The service can find the whereabouts of almost any cellphone in the country within seconds. It does this by going through a system typically used by marketers and other companies to get location data from major cellphone carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, documents show.

Another article.

Boing Boing post.

Ray Ozzie’s Encryption Backdoor

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/05/ray_ozzies_encr.html

Last month, Wired published a long article about Ray Ozzie and his supposed new scheme for adding a backdoor in encrypted devices. It’s a weird article. It paints Ozzie’s proposal as something that “attains the impossible” and “satisfies both law enforcement and privacy purists,” when (1) it’s barely a proposal, and (2) it’s essentially the same key escrow scheme we’ve been hearing about for decades.

Basically, each device has a unique public/private key pair and a secure processor. The public key goes into the processor and the device, and is used to encrypt whatever user key encrypts the data. The private key is stored in a secure database, available to law enforcement on demand. The only other trick is that for law enforcement to use that key, they have to put the device in some sort of irreversible recovery mode, which means it can never be used again. That’s basically it.

I have no idea why anyone is talking as if this were anything new. Several cryptographers have already explained why this key escrow scheme is no better than any other key escrow scheme. The short answer is (1) we won’t be able to secure that database of backdoor keys, (2) we don’t know how to build the secure coprocessor the scheme requires, and (3) it solves none of the policy problems around the whole system. This is the typical mistake non-cryptographers make when they approach this problem: they think that the hard part is the cryptography to create the backdoor. That’s actually the easy part. The hard part is ensuring that it’s only used by the good guys, and there’s nothing in Ozzie’s proposal that addresses any of that.

I worry that this kind of thing is damaging in the long run. There should be some rule that any backdoor or key escrow proposal be a fully specified proposal, not just some cryptography and hand-waving notions about how it will be used in practice. And before it is analyzed and debated, it should have to satisfy some sort of basic security analysis. Otherwise, we’ll be swatting pseudo-proposals like this one, while those on the other side of this debate become increasingly convinced that it’s possible to design one of these things securely.

Already people are using the National Academies report on backdoors for law enforcement as evidence that engineers are developing workable and secure backdoors. Writing in Lawfare, Alan Z. Rozenshtein claims that the report — and a related New York Times story — “undermine the argument that secure third-party access systems are so implausible that it’s not even worth trying to develop them.” Susan Landau effectively corrects this misconception, but the damage is done.

Here’s the thing: it’s not hard to design and build a backdoor. What’s hard is building the systems — both technical and procedural — around them. Here’s Rob Graham:

He’s only solving the part we already know how to solve. He’s deliberately ignoring the stuff we don’t know how to solve. We know how to make backdoors, we just don’t know how to secure them.

A bunch of us cryptographers have already explained why we don’t think this sort of thing will work in the foreseeable future. We write:

Exceptional access would force Internet system developers to reverse “forward secrecy” design practices that seek to minimize the impact on user privacy when systems are breached. The complexity of today’s Internet environment, with millions of apps and globally connected services, means that new law enforcement requirements are likely to introduce unanticipated, hard to detect security flaws. Beyond these and other technical vulnerabilities, the prospect of globally deployed exceptional access systems raises difficult problems about how such an environment would be governed and how to ensure that such systems would respect human rights and the rule of law.

Finally, Matthew Green:

The reason so few of us are willing to bet on massive-scale key escrow systems is that we’ve thought about it and we don’t think it will work. We’ve looked at the threat model, the usage model, and the quality of hardware and software that exists today. Our informed opinion is that there’s no detection system for key theft, there’s no renewability system, HSMs are terrifically vulnerable (and the companies largely staffed with ex-intelligence employees), and insiders can be suborned. We’re not going to put the data of a few billion people on the line an environment where we believe with high probability that the system will fail.

EDITED TO ADD (5/14): An analysis of the proposal.

Google предлага ново средство за заплащане за съдържание онлайн – Subscribe with Google

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/google-subscribe/

Качествената журналистика има цена.

Компанията Google предлага нов и по-лесен начин за заплащане, научаваме от блога на компанията – Subscribe with Google.

За съдържанието на издателите, които  дадат възможност за използване на това средство,  може да се кликне  върху “Абониране”  – автоматично се влиза в сайта  на издателя и  може да се плаща с всяка кредитна карта, която  е използвана с Google в миналото.

Участват Les Échos, Fairfax Media, Le Figaro, the Financial Times, Gannett, Gatehouse Media, Grupo Globo, The Mainichi, McClatchy, La NaciónThe New York Times, NRC Group, Le Parisien, Reforma, la Republica, The Telegraph и The Washington Post.

 

 

DeleteFacebook

Post Syndicated from Йовко Ламбрев original https://yovko.net/deletefacebook/

DeleteFacebook

Когато започнах рубриката си „Аз, киборгът“ в Тоест, имах в главата си две идеи. Едната е да обяснявам на човешки и нетехнически език важни неща от света на технологиите, а другата – постепенно да разказвам за възможните злоупотреби с данните, които безразсъдно сеем из т.нар. социални мрежи и най-вече Facebook.

Междувременно журналисти на The Guardian и The Observer, заедно с The New York Times и Channel 4 са работили цяла година по разследване, което потвърждава всички опасения, че данните, които Facebook е трупал с доброволното съучастие на потребителите си, са използвани безцеремонно за мръсни и подмолни манипулации от компанията Cambridge Analytica, която е превърнала това в свой бизнес.

В името на коректността е редно да се отбележи, че темата сама по себе си не е новина. Още преди една година разследване на The Intercept извади на повърхността мащаба на проблема – че данните на 30 милиона потребители във Facebook са използвани за предизборни манипулации в полза на Доналд Тръмп. Сега обаче разполагаме със свидетелствата на whistleblower (бивш ключов служител на Cambridge Analytica), който разказва с детайли как се е случвало всичко и още купчина самопризнания за детайли и пикантерии лично от мениджмънта на компанията, записани със скрита камера, докато ухажват мним потенциален нов клиент.


Компанията Cambridge Analytica, извличайки данни от подбрана извадка потребители на Facebook и свързаните с тях лица, създава огромна мрежа за влияние, есплоатирайки страховете и слабостите на хората. Така е манипулирала обществената среда и общественото мнение в полза на клиентите си. Прецизно е оценявала психологическите профили на хората, търсейки техни слабости и възползвайки се от податливостта им на влияния. Оценявала е личните профили, фокусирайки се внимателно върху трите критерия, които в психологията са наречени „черната триада” или „тъмната тройка” – макиавелизъм, психопатия и нарцисизъм.

Предоставяли са услугите си и през фирми-посредници, за да не бъдат уличени в директни връзки с политическите кампании, за които са работили. А за Източна Европа изпускат интересна самохвална реплика, че толкова потайно са си свършили работата, че никой дори не е разбрал…

Извън скандала с Cambridge Analytica обаче е важно да се осъзнае, че те не са единственият злодей в историята. Всичко това се случва, защото просто така работи Facebook. Това, което днес наричаме социални медии, всъщност са инструменти за събиране на данни. И не трябва да има никаква дискусия чии са тези данни и на кого принадлежат. Наши са! Не допускайте други тълкувания! Във времето, в което живеем, данните ни са проекция на самите нас. Данните ни, това сме ние! Допускайки друг да разполага с тях, позволяваме да ни застигат такива скандали, като не на шега ни заплашва някаква форма на дигитален феодализъм или дигитално робство.

Важен е и друг детайл. Всичко това излиза наяве благодарение на свободната преса. Ето защо тя е толкова важна за демокрацията. А със социалните мрежи е свършено! Би трябвало! Поне в този им вид.

Cambridge Analytica е злодеят, който се е възползвал от това, което е свършил друг по-страшен злодей, а именно Facebook. И не на последно място от наивността на всички ни, които още не сме си затворили акаунтите там. Facebook трябва да понесат всички последствия и цялата отговорност, защото направиха възможно всичко това. И не заслужават никаква милост!

DeleteFacebook

P.S. В европейски контекст е важно да отбележим, че е по-разумно да изтрием Facebook акаунта си след 25 май 2018 г. След тази дата GDPR ще бъде в пълна сила и Facebook са длъжни да го спазват, а той изисква ако потребителят пожелае неговият профил да бъде заличен, това наистина да бъде направено. А не просто замразен, както е било досега.

#DeleteFacebook

Post Syndicated from Йовко Ламбрев original https://yovko.net/deletefacebook/

Когато започнах рубриката си „Аз, киборгът“ в Тоест, имах в главата си две идеи. Едната е да обяснявам на човешки и нетехнически език важни неща от света на технологиите, а другата – постепенно да разказвам за възможните злоупотреби с данните, които безразсъдно сеем из т.нар. социални мрежи и най-вече Facebook.

Междувременно журналисти на The Guardian и The Observer, заедно с The New York Times и Channel 4 са работили цяла година по разследване, което потвърждава всички опасения, че данните, които Facebook е трупал с доброволното съучастие на потребителите си, са използвани безцеремонно за мръсни и подмолни манипулации от компанията Cambridge Analytica, която е превърнала това в свой бизнес.

В името на коректността е редно да се отбележи, че темата сама по себе си не е новина. Още преди една година разследване на The Intercept извади на повърхността мащаба на проблема – че данните на 30 милиона потребители във Facebook са използвани за предизборни манипулации в полза на Доналд Тръмп. Сега обаче разполагаме със свидетелствата на whistleblower (бивш ключов служител на Cambridge Analytica), който разказва с детайли как се е случвало всичко и още купчина самопризнания за детайли и пикантерии лично от мениджмънта на компанията, записани със скрита камера, докато ухажват мним потенциален нов клиент.

Компанията Cambridge Analytica, извличайки данни от подбрана извадка потребители на Facebook и свързаните с тях лица, създава огромна мрежа за влияние, есплоатирайки страховете и слабостите на хората. Така е манипулирала обществената среда и общественото мнение в полза на клиентите си. Прецизно е оценявала психологическите профили на хората, търсейки техни слабости и възползвайки се от податливостта им на влияния. Оценявала е личните профили, фокусирайки се внимателно върху трите критерия, които в психологията са наречени „черната триада” или „тъмната тройка” – макиавелизъм, психопатия и нарцисизъм.

Предоставяли са услугите си и през фирми-посредници, за да не бъдат уличени в директни връзки с политическите кампании, за които са работили. А за Източна Европа изпускат интересна самохвална реплика, че толкова потайно са си свършили работата, че никой дори не е разбрал…

Извън скандала с Cambridge Analytica обаче е важно да се осъзнае, че те не са единственият злодей в историята. Всичко това се случва, защото просто така работи Facebook. Това, което днес наричаме социални медии, всъщност са инструменти за събиране на данни. И не трябва да има никаква дискусия чии са тези данни и на кого принадлежат. Наши са! Не допускайте други тълкувания! Във времето, в което живеем, данните ни са проекция на самите нас. Данните ни, това сме ние! Допускайки друг да разполага с тях, позволяваме да ни застигат такива скандали, като не на шега ни заплашва някаква форма на дигитален феодализъм или дигитално робство.

Важен е и друг детайл. Всичко това излиза наяве благодарение на свободната преса. Ето защо тя е толкова важна за демокрацията. А със социалните мрежи е свършено! Би трябвало! Поне в този им вид.

Cambridge Analytica е злодеят, който се е възползвал от това, което е свършил друг по-страшен злодей, а именно Facebook. И не на последно място от наивността на всички ни, които още не сме си затворили акаунтите там. Facebook трябва да понесат всички последствия и цялата отговорност, защото направиха възможно всичко това. И не заслужават никаква милост!

#DeleteFacebook

P.S. В европейски контекст е важно да отбележим, че е по-разумно да изтрием Facebook акаунта си след 25 май 2018 г. След тази дата GDPR ще бъде в пълна сила и Facebook са длъжни да го спазват, а той изисква ако потребителят пожелае неговият профил да бъде заличен, това наистина да бъде направено. А не просто замразен, както е било досега.

Оригинален линк: “#DeleteFacebook” • Някои права запазени

What John Oliver gets wrong about Bitcoin

Post Syndicated from Robert Graham original http://blog.erratasec.com/2018/03/what-john-oliver-gets-wrong-about.html

John Oliver covered bitcoin/cryptocurrencies last night. I thought I’d describe a bunch of things he gets wrong.

How Bitcoin works

Nowhere in the show does it describe what Bitcoin is and how it works.
Discussions should always start with Satoshi Nakamoto’s original paper. The thing Satoshi points out is that there is an important cost to normal transactions, namely, the entire legal system designed to protect you against fraud, such as the way you can reverse the transactions on your credit card if it gets stolen. The point of Bitcoin is that there is no way to reverse a charge. A transaction is done via cryptography: to transfer money to me, you decrypt it with your secret key and encrypt it with mine, handing ownership over to me with no third party involved that can reverse the transaction, and essentially no overhead.
All the rest of the stuff, like the decentralized blockchain and mining, is all about making that work.
Bitcoin crazies forget about the original genesis of Bitcoin. For example, they talk about adding features to stop fraud, reversing transactions, and having a central authority that manages that. This misses the point, because the existing electronic banking system already does that, and does a better job at it than cryptocurrencies ever can. If you want to mock cryptocurrencies, talk about the “DAO”, which did exactly that — and collapsed in a big fraudulent scheme where insiders made money and outsiders didn’t.
Sticking to Satoshi’s original ideas are a lot better than trying to repeat how the crazy fringe activists define Bitcoin.

How does any money have value?

Oliver’s answer is currencies have value because people agree that they have value, like how they agree a Beanie Baby is worth $15,000.
This is wrong. A better way of asking the question why the value of money changes. The dollar has been losing roughly 2% of its value each year for decades. This is called “inflation”, as the dollar loses value, it takes more dollars to buy things, which means the price of things (in dollars) goes up, and employers have to pay us more dollars so that we can buy the same amount of things.
The reason the value of the dollar changes is largely because the Federal Reserve manages the supply of dollars, using the same law of Supply and Demand. As you know, if a supply decreases (like oil), then the price goes up, or if the supply of something increases, the price goes down. The Fed manages money the same way: when prices rise (the dollar is worth less), the Fed reduces the supply of dollars, causing it to be worth more. Conversely, if prices fall (or don’t rise fast enough), the Fed increases supply, so that the dollar is worth less.
The reason money follows the law of Supply and Demand is because people use money, they consume it like they do other goods and services, like gasoline, tax preparation, food, dance lessons, and so forth. It’s not like a fine art painting, a stamp collection or a Beanie Baby — money is a product. It’s just that people have a hard time thinking of it as a consumer product since, in their experience, money is what they use to buy consumer products. But it’s a symmetric operation: when you buy gasoline with dollars, you are actually selling dollars in exchange for gasoline. That you call one side in this transaction “money” and the other “goods” is purely arbitrary, you call gasoline money and dollars the good that is being bought and sold for gasoline.
The reason dollars is a product is because trying to use gasoline as money is a pain in the neck. Storing it and exchanging it is difficult. Goods like this do become money, such as famously how prisons often use cigarettes as a medium of exchange, even for non-smokers, but it has to be a good that is fungible, storable, and easily exchanged. Dollars are the most fungible, the most storable, and the easiest exchanged, so has the most value as “money”. Sure, the mechanic can fix the farmers car for three chickens instead, but most of the time, both parties in the transaction would rather exchange the same value using dollars than chickens.
So the value of dollars is not like the value of Beanie Babies, which people might buy for $15,000, which changes purely on the whims of investors. Instead, a dollar is like gasoline, which obey the law of Supply and Demand.
This brings us back to the question of where Bitcoin gets its value. While Bitcoin is indeed used like dollars to buy things, that’s only a tiny use of the currency, so therefore it’s value isn’t determined by Supply and Demand. Instead, the value of Bitcoin is a lot like Beanie Babies, obeying the laws of investments. So in this respect, Oliver is right about where the value of Bitcoin comes, but wrong about where the value of dollars comes from.

Why Bitcoin conference didn’t take Bitcoin

John Oliver points out the irony of a Bitcoin conference that stopped accepting payments in Bitcoin for tickets.
The biggest reason for this is because Bitcoin has become so popular that transaction fees have gone up. Instead of being proof of failure, it’s proof of popularity. What John Oliver is saying is the old joke that nobody goes to that popular restaurant anymore because it’s too crowded and you can’t get a reservation.
Moreover, the point of Bitcoin is not to replace everyday currencies for everyday transactions. If you read Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper, it’s only goal is to replace certain types of transactions, like purely electronic transactions where electronic goods and services are being exchanged. Where real-life goods/services are being exchanged, existing currencies work just fine. It’s only the crazy activists who claim Bitcoin will eventually replace real world currencies — the saner people see it co-existing with real-world currencies, each with a different value to consumers.

Turning a McNugget back into a chicken

John Oliver uses the metaphor of turning a that while you can process a chicken into McNuggets, you can’t reverse the process. It’s a funny metaphor.
But it’s not clear what the heck this metaphor is trying explain. That’s not a metaphor for the blockchain, but a metaphor for a “cryptographic hash”, where each block is a chicken, and the McNugget is the signature for the block (well, the block plus the signature of the last block, forming a chain).
Even then that metaphor as problems. The McNugget produced from each chicken must be unique to that chicken, for the metaphor to accurately describe a cryptographic hash. You can therefore identify the original chicken simply by looking at the McNugget. A slight change in the original chicken, like losing a feather, results in a completely different McNugget. Thus, nuggets can be used to tell if the original chicken has changed.
This then leads to the key property of the blockchain, it is unalterable. You can’t go back and change any of the blocks of data, because the fingerprints, the nuggets, will also change, and break the nugget chain.
The point is that while John Oliver is laughing at a silly metaphor to explain the blockchain becuase he totally misses the point of the metaphor.
Oliver rightly says “don’t worry if you don’t understand it — most people don’t”, but that includes the big companies that John Oliver name. Some companies do get it, and are producing reasonable things (like JP Morgan, by all accounts), but some don’t. IBM and other big consultancies are charging companies millions of dollars to consult with them on block chain products where nobody involved, the customer or the consultancy, actually understand any of it. That doesn’t stop them from happily charging customers on one side and happily spending money on the other.
Thus, rather than Oliver explaining the problem, he’s just being part of the problem. His explanation of blockchain left you dumber than before.

ICO’s

John Oliver mocks the Brave ICO ($35 million in 30 seconds), claiming it’s all driven by YouTube personalities and people who aren’t looking at the fundamentals.
And while this is true, most ICOs are bunk, the  Brave ICO actually had a business model behind it. Brave is a Chrome-like web-browser whose distinguishing feature is that it protects your privacy from advertisers. If you don’t use Brave or a browser with an ad block extension, you have no idea how bad things are for you. However, this presents a problem for websites that fund themselves via advertisements, which is most of them, because visitors no longer see ads. Brave has a fix for this. Most people wouldn’t mind supporting the websites they visit often, like the New York Times. That’s where the Brave ICO “token” comes in: it’s not simply stock in Brave, but a token for micropayments to websites. Users buy tokens, then use them for micropayments to websites like New York Times. The New York Times then sells the tokens back to the market for dollars. The buying and selling of tokens happens without a centralized middleman.
This is still all speculative, of course, and it remains to be seen how successful Brave will be, but it’s a serious effort. It has well respected VC behind the company, a well-respected founder (despite the fact he invented JavaScript), and well-respected employees. It’s not a scam, it’s a legitimate venture.

How to you make money from Bitcoin?

The last part of the show is dedicated to describing all the scam out there, advising people to be careful, and to be “responsible”. This is garbage.
It’s like my simple two step process to making lots of money via Bitcoin: (1) buy when the price is low, and (2) sell when the price is high. My advice is correct, of course, but useless. Same as “be careful” and “invest responsibly”.
The truth about investing in cryptocurrencies is “don’t”. The only responsible way to invest is to buy low-overhead market index funds and hold for retirement. No, you won’t get super rich doing this, but anything other than this is irresponsible gambling.
It’s a hard lesson to learn, because everyone is telling you the opposite. The entire channel CNBC is devoted to day traders, who buy and sell stocks at a high rate based on the same principle as a ponzi scheme, basing their judgment not on the fundamentals (like long term dividends) but animal spirits of whatever stock is hot or cold at the moment. This is the same reason people buy or sell Bitcoin, not because they can describe the fundamental value, but because they believe in a bigger fool down the road who will buy it for even more.
For things like Bitcoin, the trick to making money is to have bought it over 7 years ago when it was essentially worthless, except to nerds who were into that sort of thing. It’s the same tick to making a lot of money in Magic: The Gathering trading cards, which nerds bought decades ago which are worth a ton of money now. Or, to have bought Apple stock back in 2009 when the iPhone was new, when nerds could understand the potential of real Internet access and apps that Wall Street could not.
That was my strategy: be a nerd, who gets into things. I’ve made a good amount of money on all these things because as a nerd, I was into Magic: The Gathering, Bitcoin, and the iPhone before anybody else was, and bought in at the point where these things were essentially valueless.
At this point with cryptocurrencies, with the non-nerds now flooding the market, there little chance of making it rich. The lottery is probably a better bet. Instead, if you want to make money, become a nerd, obsess about a thing, understand a thing when its new, and cash out once the rest of the market figures it out. That might be Brave, for example, but buy into it because you’ve spent the last year studying the browser advertisement ecosystem, the market’s willingness to pay for content, and how their Basic Attention Token delivers value to websites — not because you want in on the ICO craze.

Conclusion

John Oliver spends 25 minutes explaining Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, and the Blockchain to you. Sure, it’s funny, but it leaves you worse off than when it started. It admits they “simplify” the explanation, but they simplified it so much to the point where they removed all useful information.

Cabinet of Secret Documents from Australia

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/02/cabinet_of_secr.html

This story of leaked Australian government secrets is unlike any other I’ve heard:

It begins at a second-hand shop in Canberra, where ex-government furniture is sold off cheaply.

The deals can be even cheaper when the items in question are two heavy filing cabinets to which no-one can find the keys.

They were purchased for small change and sat unopened for some months until the locks were attacked with a drill.

Inside was the trove of documents now known as The Cabinet Files.

The thousands of pages reveal the inner workings of five separate governments and span nearly a decade.

Nearly all the files are classified, some as “top secret” or “AUSTEO”, which means they are to be seen by Australian eyes only.

Yes, that really happened. The person who bought and opened the file cabinets contacted the Australian Broadcasting Corp, who is now publishing a bunch of it.

There’s lots of interesting (and embarassing) stuff in the documents, although most of it is local politics. I am more interested in the government’s reaction to the incident: they’re pushing for a law making it illegal for the press to publish government secrets it received through unofficial channels.

“The one thing I would point out about the legislation that does concern me particularly is that classified information is an element of the offence,” he said.

“That is to say, if you’ve got a filing cabinet that is full of classified information … that means all the Crown has to prove if they’re prosecuting you is that it is classified ­ nothing else.

“They don’t have to prove that you knew it was classified, so knowledge is beside the point.”

[…]

Many groups have raised concerns, including media organisations who say they unfairly target journalists trying to do their job.

But really anyone could be prosecuted just for possessing classified information, regardless of whether they know about it.

That might include, for instance, if you stumbled across a folder of secret files in a regular skip bin while walking home and handed it over to a journalist.

This illustrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the threat. The Australian Broadcasting Corp gets their funding from the government, and was very restrained in what they published. They waited months before publishing as they coordinated with the Australian government. They allowed the government to secure the files, and then returned them. From the government’s perspective, they were the best possible media outlet to receive this information. If the government makes it illegal for the Australian press to publish this sort of material, the next time it will be sent to the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, or Wikileaks. And since people no longer read their news from newspapers sold in stores but on the Internet, the result will be just as many people reading the stories with far fewer redactions.

The proposed law is older than this leak, but the leak is giving it new life. The Australian opposition party is being cagey on whether they will support the law. They don’t want to appear weak on national security, so I’m not optimistic.

EDITED TO ADD (2/8): The Australian government backed down on that new security law.

EDITED TO ADD (2/13): Excellent political cartoon.

Полша, Холокоста, забранени думи, най-лошият вид поляци

Post Syndicated from nellyo original https://nellyo.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/poland_facts/

Не са много държавите, които изрично със закон се произнасят по исторически факт. И санкционират всекиго, ако твърди нещо друго.

Има държави, в които е престъпление  да отричаш Холокоста.

Франция опита да регламентира и позицията към арменския геноцид от 1915 г., но не се получи (през 2012 г. Конституционният съд обяви закона за противоконституционен).

И ето сега Полша.

Отричането на Холокоста в Полша е престъпление. Или беше досега. Сега с нов законопроект  се забранява израза полски лагер на смъртта/ Polish death camps: според изявлението на правителството днес всеки, който използва лъжливия термин полски лагер на смъртта, не само скверни паметта на жертвите, но трови истината с лъжа, което трябва да се преследва и наказва.

Според   Reuters.com повече от три милиона от общо 3,2 милиона евреи в Полша са убити от нацистите – и това е около половината от евреите, убити в Холокоста. Евреи от цяла Европа са изпращани да бъдат убити в лагери, построени и експлоатирани от германците на полска земя, включително Аушвиц, Треблинка, Белцек и Собибор.

Медиите изнасят, че чл.55   гласи:

“Който обвинява публично и в несъответствие с фактите полската нация или полската държава, че са отговорни или са съучаствали в нацистките престъпления, извършени от Третия германски Райх   или други престъпления против мира и човечеството или военни престъпления или по друг начин грубо омаловажава действителните извършители на тези престъпления, подлежи на глоба или наказание лишаване от свобода до три години. “

Както може да се очаква, текстът среща масово неодобрение. New York Times публикува неласкави мнения – посочва се, че  мярката е част от програма, въведена през последните две години, наречена от правителството на  PiS/Право и справедливост   добра промяна. ​​Промяната включва опити да се узакони правителственият контрол над медиите и да се въведат драконови закони против абортите. PiS също така променят публичността с език, напомнящи новоговора/newspeak на комунистическите години.  Комунистите  говореха за враговете на народа. Днес Качински нарича онези, които критикуват правителството,  най-лошият вид поляци.  Другите, които се радват на правителството, са наричани привърженици на закона и правосъдието.

Най-лошият вид поляци излязоха по улиците, за да протестират по-масово, отколкото Полша е виждала от времето на Солидарност, завършва публикацията.

 

Pirate Bay Founder’s Domain Service “Mocks” NY Times Legal Threats

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-founders-domain-service-mocks-ny-times-legal-threats-180125/

Back in the day, The Pirate Bay was famous for its amusing responses to legal threats. Instead of complying with takedown notices, it sent witty responses to embarrass the senders.

Today the notorious torrent site gives copyright holders the silent treatment, but the good-old Pirate Bay spirit still lives on elsewhere.

Earlier today the anonymous domain registration service Njalla, which happens to be a venture of TPB co-founder Peter Sunde, posted a series of noteworthy responses it sent to The New York Times’ (NYT) legal department.

The newspaper warned the registration service about one of its customers, paywallnews.com, which offers the news service’s content without permission. Since this is a violation of The Times’ copyrights, according to the paper, Njalla should take action or face legal consequences.

NYT: Accordingly, we hereby demand that you immediately provide us with contact information — including email addresses — for both the actual owner of the paywallnew.com website, and for the hosting provider on which the paywallnew.com website is located.

If we have not heard from you within three (3) business days of receipt of this letter, we will have no choice but to pursue all available legal remedies.

Njalla is no stranger to threats of this kind but were somewhat offended by the harsh language, it seems. The company, therefore, decided to inform the NYT that there are more friendly ways to reach out.

Njalla: Thanks for that lovely e-mail. It’s always good to communicate with people that in their first e-mail use words as “we demand”, “pursue all available legal remedies” and so forth. I’d like to start out with some free (as in no cost) advice: please update your boiler threat letters to actually try what most people try first: being nice. It’s not expensive (actually the opposite) and actually it works much better than your method (source: a few tens of thousands years of human development that would not have been as efficient with threats as it would have been with cooperation).

In addition, Njalla also included a request of its own. They kindly asked (no demand) the newspaper’s legal department for proof that they are who they say they are. You can never be too cautious, after all.

Njalla: Now, back to the questions you sent us. We’re not sure who you are, so in order to move further we’d like to see a copy of your ID card, as well as a notarised power of attorney showing that you are actually representing the people you’re claiming to do.

This had the desired effect, for Njalla at least. The NYT replied with an apology for the tough language that was used, noting that they usually deal with companies that employ people who are used to reading legal documents.

The newspaper did, however, submit a notarized letter signed by the company’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, and once again asked for details on the Njalla customer.

NYT: Once again, as I mention above, the referenced website is stealing large amounts of New York Times content. If you click on this link: http://www.paywallnews.com/sites/nytimes

As this abuse — aside from being an egregious infringement of The Times’s copyright — breaches your own Terms of Service, I hope you will be able to see your way to helping me to put a stop to this practice by providing me with the name and contact information for the owner of paywallnews.com and for the ISP on which it is hosted.

This is when things started to get really interesting. Founded by someone with an extensive background in “sharing,” Njalla clearly has a different definition of stealing than the NYT’s legal department.

The reply, which is worth reading in full along with the rest of the communication, makes this quite clear.

Njalla: Stealing content seem quite harsh of this website though, didn’t know that they did that! Is there anyway you can get the stolen items back though? You should either go to the police and request them to help you get the stolen items back. Or maybe talk to your insurance company, they might help to compensate you for the loss. But a helpful idea; if they’ve stolen something and then put copies of that on a website that you can freely access, I would suggest just copying it, so that both of you have the same things. That’s a great thing with the digital world, everyone can have copies of things. I am surprised they stole something when they could just have copied it. I’m guessing it’s some older individuals that don’t know the possibilities of modern day technology to make copies.

It’s obvious that the domain registration service makes a clear distinction between copying and stealing.

Piracy vs. Theft

In addition, Njalla contests that the site is problematic at all, noting that this might be a “cultural difference.”

Njalla spotted something even more worrying though. The NYT claims that the site in question violates its terms of service. Specifically, they reference the section that prohibits sites from spreading content that is illegal according to local law.

Is the NYT perhaps spreading illegal content itself, Njalla questions?

Njalla: Deborah, I was quite shocked and appalled that you referred to this part of our ToS. It made me actually not visit the website in question even though you’ve linked it now a few times. You’re admitting to spreading illegal content at your newspaper, for profit, is that correct?

We’re quite big proponents of freedom of speech, let me assure you of that, but we also have limits. If you spread illegal content, and our customers stole that illegal content and are now handing out free copies of that, that’s a huge issue for us. Since it would be illegal for us to get those copies if they’re illegal, I’m asking you what type of content it is?

As an attachment to the reply, Njalla also sent back a “notarized” letter of their own, by simply copying the NYT letter and sticking their own logo on it, to show how easily these can be fabricated.

TorrentFreak reached out to Sunde who informed us that they never heard from The New York Times after the last reply. As a domain registrant, Njalla is not obliged to comply with takedown requests, he explains.

“If they need help from us on copyright issues, they’re totally missing what we’re doing, and that they should look somewhere else anyhow. But I think most domain services gets tons of these threat emails, and a lot of them think they’re responsible because they don’t have access to legal help and just shut customers down.

“That’s what a lot of our customers say at least, since they migrated from a shitty service which doesn’t know their own business,” Sunde adds.

The NYT is not completely without options though. If they take the case to court in Sweden and win an injunction against paywallnews.com, Njalla will comply. The same is true if a customer really violates the terms of service.

Meanwhile, paywallnews.com remains online.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

Bitcoin: In Crypto We Trust

Post Syndicated from Robert Graham original http://blog.erratasec.com/2017/12/bitcoin-in-crypto-we-trust.html

Tim Wu, who coined “net neutrality”, has written an op-ed on the New York Times called “The Bitcoin Boom: In Code We Trust“. He is wrong about “code”.

The wrong “trust”

Wu builds a big manifesto about how real-world institutions can’t be trusted. Certainly, this reflects the rhetoric from a vocal wing of Bitcoin fanatics, but it’s not the Bitcoin manifesto.

Instead, the word “trust” in the Bitcoin paper is much narrower, referring to how online merchants can’t trust credit-cards (for example). When I bought school supplies for my niece when she studied in Canada, the online site wouldn’t accept my U.S. credit card. They didn’t trust my credit card. However, they trusted my Bitcoin, so I used that payment method instead, and succeeded in the purchase.

Real-world currencies like dollars are tethered to the real-world, which means no single transaction can be trusted, because “they” (the credit-card company, the courts, etc.) may decide to reverse the transaction. The manifesto behind Bitcoin is that a transaction cannot be reversed — and thus, can always be trusted.

Deliberately confusing the micro-trust in a transaction and macro-trust in banks and governments is a sort of bait-and-switch.

The wrong inspiration

Wu claims:

“It was, after all, a carnival of human errors and misfeasance that inspired the invention of Bitcoin in 2009, namely, the financial crisis.”

Not true. Bitcoin did not appear fully formed out of the void, but was instead based upon a series of innovations that predate the financial crisis by a decade. Moreover, the financial crisis had little to do with “currency”. The value of the dollar and other major currencies were essentially unscathed by the crisis. Certainly, enthusiasts looking backward like to cherry pick the financial crisis as yet one more reason why the offline world sucks, but it had little to do with Bitcoin.

In crypto we trust

It’s not in code that Bitcoin trusts, but in crypto. Satoshi makes that clear in one of his posts on the subject:

A generation ago, multi-user time-sharing computer systems had a similar problem. Before strong encryption, users had to rely on password protection to secure their files, placing trust in the system administrator to keep their information private. Privacy could always be overridden by the admin based on his judgment call weighing the principle of privacy against other concerns, or at the behest of his superiors. Then strong encryption became available to the masses, and trust was no longer required. Data could be secured in a way that was physically impossible for others to access, no matter for what reason, no matter how good the excuse, no matter what.

You don’t possess Bitcoins. Instead, all the coins are on the public blockchain under your “address”. What you possess is the secret, private key that matches the address. Transferring Bitcoin means using your private key to unlock your coins and transfer them to another. If you print out your private key on paper, and delete it from the computer, it can never be hacked.

Trust is in this crypto operation. Trust is in your private crypto key.

We don’t trust the code

The manifesto “in code we trust” has been proven wrong again and again. We don’t trust computer code (software) in the cryptocurrency world.

The most profound example is something known as the “DAO” on top of Ethereum, Bitcoin’s major competitor. Ethereum allows “smart contracts” containing code. The quasi-religious manifesto of the DAO smart-contract is that the “code is the contract”, that all the terms and conditions are specified within the smart-contract code, completely untethered from real-world terms-and-conditions.

Then a hacker found a bug in the DAO smart-contract and stole most of the money.

In principle, this is perfectly legal, because “the code is the contract”, and the hacker just used the code. In practice, the system didn’t live up to this. The Ethereum core developers, acting as central bankers, rewrote the Ethereum code to fix this one contract, returning the money back to its original owners. They did this because those core developers were themselves heavily invested in the DAO and got their money back.

Similar things happen with the original Bitcoin code. A disagreement has arisen about how to expand Bitcoin to handle more transactions. One group wants smaller and “off-chain” transactions. Another group wants a “large blocksize”. This caused a “fork” in Bitcoin with two versions, “Bitcoin” and “Bitcoin Cash”. The fork championed by the core developers (central bankers) is worth around $20,000 right now, while the other fork is worth around $2,000.

So it’s still “in central bankers we trust”, it’s just that now these central bankers are mostly online instead of offline institutions. They have proven to be even more corrupt than real-world central bankers. It’s certainly not the code that is trusted.

The bubble

Wu repeats the well-known reference to Amazon during the dot-com bubble. If you bought Amazon’s stock for $107 right before the dot-com crash, it still would be one of wisest investments you could’ve made. Amazon shares are now worth around $1,200 each.

The implication is that Bitcoin, too, may have such long term value. Even if you buy it today and it crashes tomorrow, it may still be worth ten-times its current value in another decade or two.

This is a poor analogy, for three reasons.

The first reason is that we knew the Internet had fundamentally transformed commerce. We knew there were going to be winners in the long run, it was just a matter of picking who would win (Amazon) and who would lose (Pets.com). We have yet to prove Bitcoin will be similarly transformative.

The second reason is that businesses are real, they generate real income. While the stock price may include some irrational exuberance, it’s ultimately still based on the rational expectations of how much the business will earn. With Bitcoin, it’s almost entirely irrational exuberance — there are no long term returns.

The third flaw in the analogy is that there are an essentially infinite number of cryptocurrencies. We saw this today as Coinbase started trading Bitcoin Cash, a fork of Bitcoin. The two are nearly identical, so there’s little reason one should be so much valuable than another. It’s only a fickle fad that makes one more valuable than another, not business fundamentals. The successful future cryptocurrency is unlikely to exist today, but will be invented in the future.

The lessons of the dot-com bubble is not that Bitcoin will have long term value, but that cryptocurrency companies like Coinbase and BitPay will have long term value. Or, the lesson is that “old” companies like JPMorgan that are early adopters of the technology will grow faster than their competitors.

Conclusion

The point of Wu’s paper is to distinguish trust in traditional real-world institutions and trust in computer software code. This is an inaccurate reading of the situation.

Bitcoin is not about replacing real-world institutions but about untethering online transactions.

The trust in Bitcoin is in crypto — the power crypto gives individuals instead of third-parties.

The trust is not in the code. Bitcoin is a “cryptocurrency” not a “codecurrency”.