Archive for June, 2006

Women dancing to SOCA

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Pensioner in anti-US protest to be prosecuted

By Ian Herbert and Nigel MorrisPublished: 20 June 2006

The Government faces a test of its new anti-terror legislation after deciding to proceed with charges against a pensioner arrested while protesting at an American communications base.Seven weeks after becoming one of the first individuals arrested under a little-noticed clause in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, Helen John, 68, of Keighley, west Yorkshire, was charged yesterday with criminal trespass and bailed to appear next week before magistrates in Harrogate, north Yorkshire.Mrs John and a fellow peace campaigner, Sylvia Boyes, 62, were arrested on 2 April while crossing the sentry line at Menwith Hill, the US communications base in the Yorkshire Dales.

Mrs John, who could be jailed for up to 12 months if the case goes to court, said: “I want this case to be heard in a court of law, but that is probably the last place the Government wants it go.”

Mrs Boyes, who was unable to attend a police station yesterday, expects to be charged next week. […]

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/crime/article1090871.ece

What these professional liars persuaders have failed to do is:

Now. When you say that “The vice president of CND is the first person to be arrested under SOCA, its a little different to saying, “Helen John, 68, of Keighley, west Yorkshire”. It strips her of her prestige, makes her appear to be insignifigant, when in fact, she is a very important person indeed, and not just a ‘psnsioner wasting her time’, as this article implies.

And it took TWO of them to fail to do this. Neither one of them can use Google. This can only be deliberate.

I say that this article is bogus because it deliberately fails to mention who this person really is. A simple google search turns her name up over and over, and also in relation to this charge. There is no excuse. This is biased reporting. The independent is a bad newspaper (which one isn’t I hear you cry). It is especially bad because it wears the clothes of the champion of the people and of right, when it is no such thing. It parades huge single issue covers but does nothing to make anything change, and also does apalling pieces like this, when in fact, it should be on the cover, with ALL the details.

Shame on you!

LastFM meets Friendster?

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

MOG

Sort of like a social-networking version of LastFM, without the awesome radio angle. It purports to “link people together” by the contents of their music folder, but this is also something LastFM does (though in a slightly different way). Regardless, I’m trying this out. Sucking is a definitely possibility.
Unfortunately the little database-builder app that it comes with is SLOW, and will probably take 50 hours to scour my 12000+ files. Why the hell does it have to use Gracenote? Just check the ID3 tags! This is not off to a good start.

Observations, criticisms, etc definitely required.

Return To Sender

Monday, June 19th, 2006

Old news department, or a taste of how NIR information will be implemented. I emphasise.

A FYLDE coast student was arrested after posting Christmas cards to his family

Stunned David Atkinson found himself at his local police station under suspicion of stealing the festive greetings he last saw when he put them in a postbox five years ago. Due to fingerprints found on the mail which was stolen then recovered police thought they had their man. However, it transpired the “suspect’s” fingerprints were those of the student who had innocently sent the cards to relatives when he was 15.

Mr Atkinson, now 21, of [address omitted – gosh, to think that his address was posted online after this, mm], was arrested because his DNA and fingerprints had been kept on record under controversial Government laws to combat terror.

It was only after Mr Atkinson asked officers to look more deeply into the crime his innocence was proved.

The law student said it has shattered his confidence in the system. He said: “The potential incompetence, laziness, or over enthusiasm of an individual officer means an innocent, law-abiding citizen can never truly have confidence in the giant police database.”

It was the second time Mr Atkinson had been arrested twice for crimes he did not commit. He has now lent his support to a campaign to force a rethink by the Home Office.

The mix-up began last March when Mr Atkinson was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage but, when the real culprit gave himself up to police, he was released without charge.

During his short time with the police, he had his fingerprints and DNA taken as part of the arrest procedure but, under recently passed laws, all details no matter whether the person is innocent or guilty are kept on a national computer.

Mr Atkinson thought nothing of it until he got a call from officers a month later asking him to go along to the station. He said: “I was arrested as soon as I went in. “The officer told me he had a computer report which had automatically matched my fingerprints with those recovered from a number of items of post which had been stolen from a letter box in December 2000.

“As a result of this report alone, and no further investigation, the officer advised me to ‘get the matter out of the way quickly and take a caution now’.

“After refusing to admit a crime I’d not committed, I was bailed while further investigations were made.”
“The recovered letters were in fact my family Christmas cards which had been taken after I had posted them five years ago.
“This innocent explanation had not even crossed the officer’s mind and, as far as he was concerned, if his computer report said I was guilty then I had to be.”

Mr Atkinson complained to Lancashire Constabulary and eventually received an apology. But, he claims, without the Government’s “menace to our freedom”, he would not have been put through the ordeal. A police spokesman said: “We can confirm that we did receive a complaint in August about a wrongful arrest concerning stolen post. “This was investigated thoroughly under our normal complaints procedure and dealt with locally to the satisfaction of both parties. “Under current legislation, all police forces can retain and record DNA taken for arrestable offences no matter what the eventual outcome of the investigation.”

ben.rossington@blackpoolgazette.co.uk

22 February 2006

Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

Monday, June 19th, 2006

[…]

Others speak of a betrayal of the principles of Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, the 18th-century playwright whom the French credit with inventing the concept of copyright to protect authors.

The progress of the bill, known as the author’s rights law, has been dogged by unexpected twists. Just before Christmas, a nearly empty Parliament during a late-night session voted to create a license to legalize free music sharing over the Internet, something considered criminal in many legal systems.

While the French government opposed that license – which was withdrawn, resubmitted and finally voted down last week – it supports two other changes in the copyright legislation that continue to upset the major music labels.The latest version of the bill favors watering down the punishment for unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material over the Internet. Illegal downloaders who now face a fine of as much as 300,000, or $358,000, and three years in prison would, under the government’s plan, be risking a maximum fine of 38, if their downloading is for personal consumption.

[…]

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/03/12/business/copyright13.php

Blue Peter social engineering with ID cards

Monday, June 19th, 2006

Get them inured when they are young:

The Blue Peter badge is back in action today as the BBC confirmed it was introducing a new identity card in an attempt to stop badges handed out by the children’s programme being traded online.

Since March, badge holders have been unable to claim free entry to nearly 200 visitor attractions after it emerged that people were buying badges on eBay for up to 70 each.

From now on, all new badge holders will be sent a personalised card along with their badge.

Only by presenting this card, which features Blue Peter’s ship logo as a hologram, can they get in free at attractions such as Legoland, London Zoo and the Eden Project.

The card allows holders to insert a photograph and is marked with an expiry date – the holder’s 16th birthday.

A BBC spokesman said the cards would be marked as property of the BBC to discourage online trade.

“If we become aware of a website selling cards we could request they close down that sale because it would be illegal,” he said.

Blue Peter’s editor, Richard Marson, said the idea for the card had come from an 11-year-old viewer, Helen Jennings, who has since won a silver badge for coming to the programme’s rescue.

Starting this week, the new cards will be sent out to the 800 people who win a Blue Peter badge each week, while past winners can get a card if they fill in a form on the BBC website.

There are estimated to be 500,000 genuine badge holders, who are allowed free entry to attractions if they are under 16. […]

http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,1801126,00.html

This is a clear case of social engineering being pumped out by the scum at the BBC.

If you want to sell your Blue Peter Badge and all the ‘priveledges’ that it gives you, that is YOUR BUSINESS. By tying your blue peter badge to you, nothing is lost; those badges are in circulation and so are the discounts associated with them. Selling the badges does not duplicate the number of priveledges in circlation; this is not a case of someone producing fake badges and selling them so that you can get discounted entry. If they want to limit the use of these badges, then they should RE-DESIGN THE BADGE, and not issue these superfluous, brainwashing, de-humanizing ID cards.

Typical BBC lunacy, and of course, it is the license payer’s money that is going into delivering these un-needed cards, where a simple re-design of the badge would solve their ‘problem’.

Honestly, is there no one there that can THINK?

Protection Racket

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

The ability of RFID

to link physical objects

to digital networks

potentially allows for a new form of waste management.

Just a phrase from this article that caught my eye.

Your Friends & Neighbours

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

Nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of UK employees admit to having illegally accessed sensitive data such as salary details from their firms employer’s IT systems. More than half (54 per cent) of 2,200 adults polled during a YouGov survey said they’d forgo any scruples to do the same, given half a chance, according to a Microsoft sponsored survey that points to a culture of internal snooping and casual identity theft in offices across Britain […]

Reg

Presumably it is safe assumption that 22% of people accessing NIR data will use their privileges to have a quick check on people they know (and seemingly 33% if they are unknown) – even without the incentive of payment by criminals to pass on such information.

Of course if you aren’t registered then there’s no record to snaffle.

Gyorgy Ligeti

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Died on Monday.

horse & art

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

A test case for a possible cashless future / more fuel for the ID case

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Problems with the distribution of federal disaster assistance after hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused potential fraud and waste topping $1 billion, an audit by the Government Accountability Office found.

Debit cards given to people displaced by the storms were improperly used to buy diamond jewelry, a vacation in the Dominican Republic, fireworks, a $200 bottle of champagne at a Hooters in San Antonio and $300 worth of “Girls Gone Wild” videos, the audit found.

According to the GAO, $1,000 from a FEMA debit card went to a Houston divorce lawyer, $600 was spent in a strip club and $400 was spent on “adult erotica products,” all of which auditors concluded were “not necessary to satisfy legitimate disaster needs.”

The GAO concluded that at least $1 billion in disaster relief payments by the Federal Emergency Management Agency were improper and potentially fraudulent because the recipients provided incomplete or incorrect information when they registered for assistance.

[…]
The GAO also found that FEMA lost track of 750 debit cards, worth a total of $1.5 million.

After inquiries from the GAO, FEMA recovered about half of that money, which had not been distributed by JPMorgan Chase, the bank hired to run the program. But the agency still cannot account for 381 cards, worth about $760,000 total, which JPMorgan Chase says it distributed, according to the GAO.

[…]

GAO investigators estimated that 16 percent of FEMA’s disaster relief payments were made to people who submitted invalid registrations, to the tune of about $1 billion. However, because the figures were calculated using a statistical sample, the agency said the amount could range from $600 million to as much as $1.4 billion.

[…]

Among the problems found with the registrations, according to the GAO study:

  • People signed up for assistance using Social Security numbers that didn’t exist or belonged to other people.
  • Aid applications contained bogus addresses for damaged property, or gave addresses for damaged property where the applicants did not live when the hurricanes struck. In one case, FEMA paid nearly $2,360 to a man whose allegedly damaged property was in a cemetery.
  • Payments were made to people who listed post office boxes as their damaged residences.
  • People submitted duplicate registrations, which FEMA did not detect.
  • More than 1,000 registrations used the names and Social Security numbers of prison inmates. According to the GAO, in one instance, FEMA paid $20,000 to a Louisiana prisoner who listed a post office box as his damaged property.
  • As part of its audit, the GAO used an undercover registrant who submitted a vacant lot as a damaged address.

FEMA paid the registrant $6,000 and even made payments after being notified by one its own inspectors, as well as an inspector for the Small Business Administration, that the damaged property could not be found, the GAO investigators found.

The GAO concluded that the potentially fraudulent payments occurred because FEMA did not validate the identity of registrants and the locations and ownership of purportedly damaged property before it began making payments.

While conceding that FEMA acted out of the need to provide assistance quickly, GAO investigators concluded the agency’s own policies required additional verification before continuing payments.

The GAO study also found FEMA improperly provided rental assistance to people who were staying in hotels paid for by FEMA because the agency did not require hotels to collect Social Security numbers and FEMA registration information.

Without that information, FEMA could not verify if people were staying in hotels when they applied for rental assistance.

And because that information doesn’t exist, GAO auditors said they could not determine how many people might have double-dipped — or how much it cost the government. […]

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/06/14/fema.audit/index.html

My emphasis.

Stepping back, you can se how this can be used as an argument for REALID. With it, people will be inextricably tied to their street addresses, social security numbers and ‘identities’ by their thumbprint. If you want to collect your money, you have to be in the system. If you want to buy something, you have to be in the system. And the system is the ultimate arbiter.

Now in a potential cashless society, where the government mandates that you must be in the system in order to be ‘economically active’ it is abundantly clear how REALID / UKNIRID will be able to track everything that you do. They will use the same methods that used to know about the specific purchases made in this relief programme; just ask. There will be no need for statisical samples in order to see how many people are doing what; it will be a simple (comparatively) SQL query.

Anyone trying to roll out these systems will be smacking their lips at this story, which acts as both a test case for rolling out electronic money to millions of people, but also as a demonstration of why the biometric net must be put in place, “to prevent fraud”.

‘Mother nature’ has kindly provided the pretext for the rolling out of this FEMA programme, and note how it is being tested on the poorest of the poor, who are 1000 times more likely to be able to get a hold of the SSN’s of prisoners and be well versed in the subtle arts of ‘gettin one over the man’.

This article does not mention how much JP Morgan charged the government to run this system. No doubt they made sure that they would not be penalized for any fraud committed by ‘their’ users, otherwise you can guarantee that the system would have been air tight.

A Black Rectangle

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

5129’54.86″N, 020’33.15″W

Hmmmm what is under here?

Nostalgia for ‘the old America’

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

John Podesta is the president and CEO of the Center for American Progress in Washington and former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton

William S. Sessions is the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

As technological advances turn the unimaginable into the everyday, ensuring the continued protection of civil liberties, privacy and security becomes ever more complicated.

A growing number of communities have installed – or are considering – public video surveillance systems. These efforts gained momentum after 9/11, both as anticrime and antiterrorism measures. Philadelphia is no exception. In a May 16 referendum, residents overwhelmingly approved the installation of a video surveillance system.

Many public surveillance systems employ the latest in high-technology features, creating powerful and intelligent networks of cameras. Residents generally welcome the perceived increase in their security, and often seem largely untroubled by any potential intrusion on their privacy rights or civil liberties. Most of us seem to accept the notion that individuals have no legitimate “expectation of privacy” once they leave their homes and step into the public streets. But even in public places, isn’t there a point where we would draw the line?

What if local governments used these systems to create “digital dossiers” on residents, tracking the time, date, and location of each individual’s movements? What if an individual were filmed each time he or she entered a psychiatrist’s office or an infertility clinic? Or an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting? Or the meeting of a controversial religious or political group?

Even if we were not breaking any laws, wouldn’t we be concerned if our every movement were recorded and stored in a digital database, readily searchable by the government? What if that information could be shared with anyone who asked for it?

We believe it is possible to establish useful surveillance systems that also protect residents’ privacy rights and civil liberties – but communities should incorporate such protections into their systems from the outset, and remain vigilant to ensure they are both effective and operating within legal limits. […]

http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/opinion/14803735.htm

You are mistaken.

Either the streets belong to the public or they belong to the state. If you allow state owned cameras to watch your every move when you are in public, then that space belongs to the state, and you are a prisoner.

We all would like to restore a pre-9/11 sense of security to our communities. But in our attempts to do so, we must be as smart as the new technology we seek to install. Like any law-enforcement tool or tactic, video surveillance systems should have clearly defined uses, employ specific procedures, and be subject to oversight. They should be adopted thoughtfully, evaluated continuously, and constrained by appropriate checks and balances.

We can be both safe and free.

My emphasis.

Aaahhhh. The Old America. The America of The Eagles and Bruce Springsteen. You all long for it now that you have rushed headlong into the fascist nightmare. You are beginning to understand at a gut level how wrong it has all gone.

Good.

Allow me to qoute:

DR. BRODSKY
Very soon now the drug will cause the subject to experience a death-like paralysis together with deep feelings of terror and helplessness. One of our earlier test subjects described it as being like death, a sense of stiflingand drowning, and it is during this period we have found the subject will make his most rewarding associations between his catastrophic experience and environment and the violence he sees.

Alex retching violently and strugglingagainst his strait jacket.

ALEX
Let me be sick I want to get up. Get me something to be sick in Stop the film Please stop it I cant stand it any more. Stop it please please.

INT. ALEXS ROOM LUDOVICO DAY

DR. BRANOM
Well, that was a very promising start. By my calculations, you should be starting to feel alright again. Yes? Dr. Brodskys pleased with you. Now tomorrow therell be two sessions, of course, morning and afternoon.

ALEX
You mean, I have to viddy two sessions in one day?

DR. BRANOM
I imagine youll be feeling a little bit limp by the end of the day. But we have to be hard on you. You have to be cured.

ALEX
But it was horrible.

DR. BRANOM
Well, of course, it was horrible. Violence is a very horrible thing. Thats what youre learning now. Your body is learning it.

ALEX
I just dont understand about feeling sick the way I did. I never used to feel sick before. I used to feel like the very opposite. I mean, doing it or watching it, I used to feel real horrorshow. I just dont understand why, how or what.

DR. BRANOM
You felt ill this afternoon because youre getting better. You see, when were healthy we respond to the presence of the hateful with fear and nausea. Youre becoming healthy thats all. By this time tomorrow youll be healthier still.

What america needs is a healthy dose of The Ludivico Treatment. Each and every one of them. Then they will NEVER have the stomach to allow their government to murder other people en masse. Their problems will have been permanently ended. No need for surveillance cameras to stop terrorists, because there will be no one who wants to kill americans in retaliation. American towns and cities will be like they were in ‘The Rockford Files’, ‘The Honeymooners’…you can fly anywhere with the same ease as jumping on a routemaster bus. You can go anywhere without being watched. A free country full of free people. And proud of it.
Thats what the real america was like. That’s the america they want to bring back.

If you ever get the chance, I strongly reccomend that you watch the episode of ‘The Outer Limits’ called ‘O.B.I.T.’; it dates from the ‘real america’ era. You won’t be sorry that you took the time to track it down watch it.

Homeland accepts fake ‘ID Security’

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006

(CNN) — A man using a fake identification card was able to enter the Homeland Security Department headquarters in Washington, he said, even though the United States government considers the type of Mexican-issued card he used invalid.

Retired New York City policeman Bruce DeCell, who had arranged to meet with DHS officials last week to lobby for document security, told CNN he purposely used a forged version of identification that Mexican consulates in the United States issue to their nationals living here illegally.

Undocumented Mexicans can use the cards at banks and other institutions that accept them. The cards are not valid for entry into federal government buildings.

DeCell is a board member of a group called “9/11 Families for a Secure America,” which he formed with others after losing his son-in-law in the 2001 terrorist attacks.

I wrote about these morons previously, but can’t find the link.

They are the imbeciles that believe biometric ID for all in the use will help ‘prevent another 911’. Why are they morons? Firstly, they are proposing something that will not prevent further attacks. Secondly, they are driven by pure pain, and not reason, and this does not give them the right to further ruin america and make everyone in it suffer just because they are suffering. It is very sad that they have lost loved ones, and the world would be a better place had it not happened, but their grief does not give them carte blanche to flush americans and their liberties down the toilet.

If anything what they should be calling for is an immediate cessation of all us imperialist running dog activities in the middle east. That is the ONLY way you can GUARANTEE that america will never be attacked again.

His group advocates stricter controls against illegal immigrants and wants to ban use of the “matricula consular” cards.

This is just total nonsense. Mexcans have nothing to do with americas flying carpet troubles…or maybe these people belive that Mexico ‘had something to do with 911’. You never know, these Fox watchers are amongst the most stupid creatures in the known universe.

“The card is an unsecure document that could facilitate terrorist money and travel,” he said.

I call bullshit. No card can predict your intent. No card can be ‘secure’. But you know this.

DeCell said a friend in California bought him the fake Mexican card for $20.

Cheaper than UKNIRID ay?!

“I sent him a passport-size photo and the spelling of my name, and he had the card made for me on the street,” he said.

Days before his meeting with DHS officials, DeCell was asked to furnish his name, Social Security number and birth date, so they could be compared by security personnel to a valid form of picture identification. The building security accepted his matricula card, even though it listed a false date of birth, he said.

Trained people are better at judging who is a threat and who is not than any computer. What these fools want is for machines to make all the judgements for us. This move is totally against human culture and history, and is actually dangerous. As we all know, bombers use legit ID to move around. When I say ‘all’ obviously I dont mean ‘all’.

He was allowed entry into the building after walking through a metal detector, according to a statement posted on his group’s Web site.

He was not a threat. Even if he was a terrrst with a fake ID (of the kind that did NOT do Madrid or ‘911’), on this occasion the system would have worked because they could see that he was ‘clean’. This proves that ID cards are ‘security theatre’ and are not needed to make government buildings or planes or anywhere safe. Had he carried REALID and been a REALTERRORIST then there would have been an asplosion.

“It’s obscene in a post-9/11 world that they did not match my name against the fake [date of birth],” DeCell fumed. “They’re spending a lot of money [on security] for nothing.”

The only obcenity here is that this group of grieving murderers of the american dream continue to spew their illogic and lies to a brainless press that doesn’t have the wit or nerve (out of misplaced sympathy) to challenge them and thier nonsense. The obcenity is that they are pushing for the ruin of america for no good reason instead of calling for the measures that will solve the real problem once and for all. They are actually doing the work of those who want to eliminate america and american style freedom from the face of the world.

That is the very definition of ‘obscene’.

Jarrod Agen, a Homeland Security spokesman, told CNN, “In response to this incident, we are following up on the allegations, and we seek to ensure that an incident like this does not occur again.

“At no time was there a threat to the DHS building or its personnel,” he said.

DeCell said he has used the card for years in airports and other sensitive locations, but was still astonished that he was able to use it to enter the headquarters of Homeland Security, the federal agency charged with determining secure IDs.

“It’s very frustrating,” he told CNN. “I’m an unpaid citizen who had a loss on 9/11, and they’re not doing what they need to do to prevent another 9/11. It’s very discouraging for me. […]

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/06/12/dhs.fakeid/index.html

You are a sad fool.

Long and not winding road

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006



Kingsland Road panorama
. Though only a short sample.

Led to this site, a compilation of images of every listed building in England.

11 listed buildings on Fossgate, York. And it’s only about 100m long.

Computer illiterate journalism at The Times: “Encryption….Bad”!

Monday, June 12th, 2006

Police seek new powers to prevent paedophiles hiding data

By Richard Ford, Home Correspondent

THE Government is proposing new penalties to stop terrorists and other criminals using technology that prevents police accessing information on a suspects computer.

Terrorists do not use encryption to hide their data. This is a lie. This is why the laptop that was aledgedly found by security forces was able to be read. Remember the ‘terrorists using steganography’ hysteria from a few years ago? Read it:

The rumors about terrorists using steganography started first in the daily newspaper USA Today on February 5, 2001.

The articles are still available online, and were titled “Terrorist instructions hidden online”, and the same day, “Terror groups hide behind Web encryption”. In July of the same year, the information looked even more precise: “Militants wire Web with links to jihad”.

A citation from the USA Today article: “Lately, al-Qaeda operatives have been sending hundreds of encrypted messages that have been hidden in files on digital photographs on the auction site eBay.com“. These rumors were cited many times – without ever showing any actual proof – by other media worldwide, especially after the terrorist attack of 9/11.

For example, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that an Al Qaeda cell which had been captured at the Via Quaranta mosque in Milan had had pornographic images on their computers, and that these images had been used to hide secret messages (but no other Italian paper ever covered the story).

The USA Today articles were written by veteran foreign correspondent Jack Kelley, who in 2004 was fired after allegations emerged that he had fabricated stories and invented sources.

In October 2001, the New York Times published an article claiming that al-Qaeda had used steganographic techniques to encode messages into images, and then transported these via email and possibly via USENET to prepare and execute the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack.

Despite being dismissed by security experts [3][4], the story has been widely repeated and resurfaces frequently. It was noted that the story apparently originated with a press release from “iomart” [5], a vendor of steganalysis software. No corroborating evidence has been produced by any other source.

Moreover, a captured al-Qaeda training manual makes no mention of this method of steganography. The chapter on communications in the al-Qaeda manual acknowledges the technical superiority of US security services, and generally advocates low-technology forms of covert communication.

The chapter on “codes and ciphers” places considerable emphasis on using invisible inks in traditional paper letters, plus simple ciphers such as simple substitution with nulls; computerized image steganography is not mentioned.

Nevertheless public efforts were mounted to detect the presence of steganographic information in images on the web (especially on eBay, which had been mentioned in the New York Times article).

To date these scans have examined millions of images without detecting any steganographic content (see “Detecting Steganographic Content on the Internet” under external links), other than test images used to test the system, and instructional images on web sites about steganography. […]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steganography

And there you have it. This story is yet another lie trolled out by brainless journalists with nothing to write on a slow day. There is no counter argument, no real information, just rabid whipping up.

Senior police officers have warned ministers that their investigations into serious crime are being thwarted by safety technology, which conceals data held on computers. Terrorists and paedophiles are using devices available on the internet for as little as 20 to keep data on their computers hidden from the authorities.

This is proof that the journalist who wrote this doesn’t know what he is talking about, and did not take the time to consult someone who does know what they are talking about.

No one with a single brain cell uses ‘devices available on the internet for as little as 20’ this is a lie. Everyone who encrypts their data does so with free software tools like PGP. None of these people are terrorists.

The encryption technology is being used by terrorists and criminals to facilitate and conceal evidence of their unlawful conduct so as to evade detection or prosecution, according to a Home Office consultation paper.

This is another lie. If the police have reason to think that a crime has been committed, they will not need new powers to demand the keys to decrypt someones photos in order to catch them. All they need to do is to clandestinely break into the users house and install keystroke capture dongles or software on the criminals machine. They will then be able to capture any password that they need to decrypt the criminals files.

This would mean that law abiding citizens will not be penalized for putting their email into an envelope, or encrypting their laptop drives to prevent data theft should the laptop go missing.

The people who wite these consultaiton papers and the unqualified journalists who unquestioningly report the stories are computer illiterate to a man. It is absolutely sickening.

Encryption enables plain text to be turned into a non- readable form. The person who receives the encrypted text uses a key, or password, to return it to its original form. By refusing to disclose that to police, suspects can conceal any criminal behaviour.

No, by encrypting your information you can keep anyone from getting to it. This has nothing to do with ‘concealing criminal behaviour’. Once again, if the police have enough evidence to go to a man’s house and confiscate his computer, they should have enough evidnce to arrest and charge him. Chicken and egg anyone?

The consultation paper said: Over the last two to three years, investigators have begun encountering encrypted and protected data with increasing frequency.

What were the methods of encryption? Without this information, it is hearsay and computer illiterate nonsense. For all we know they may have come across password protected word files, and interpreted this as ‘encryption’. Reports without details are totally useless, except if your aim is to whip up hysteria.

The Home Office is planning to introduce powers that will require a person to turn encrypted information into a readable form, and is proposing harsher penalties for those suspected of child sex abuse.

If I am correct, we already have the dreadful RIPA could it be that this journalist is talking about the introduction of clause three?

Under the current law a person suspected of possessing indecent photographs of children faces only two years in prison for failing to disclose to police the key to encrypted material. But they could spend up to ten years in prison for possessing the indecent image.

Police say that the low maximum jail term for failing to hand over the key provides an incentive to plead guilty to that offence as, with early release, the suspect could be free after a year.

If the police already have a reason to suspect someone is guilty of this heinous crime, they should put in place an operation to intercept the perpetrators computer in a state that will allow them to read everything, ie, by logging his keystrokes in advance of any raid. The stupidity of these people is staggering, but not at all surprising; look at what just happened to those two poor saps who had their house turned over and one of them shot for no reason at all? How can we expect these keystone kops to be able to use keystroke loggers and surveillance equipment to catch bad guys? We cant. But what we can expect is more miscarriages of justice as they bumble their way into the 21st Century, and the last thing we need to do is give them more power than they can handle.

David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, said that he welcomed the consultation paper on increasing the sentence. He said: What the criminal is trying to do by using this encryption is to avoid the full sentence. In essence, the failure to provide the encryption key is an admission of guilt.

Computer illiteracy – its not just for labour anymore!

Honestly, the tories are still as thick as shit, and its a great pity and a big PITA that we have to support them thanks to the NIR.

Ray Wyre, a child protection expert, said: If people really intend to get away with it then the move to encryption was always going to be the next issue for the police and government.

This is nonsense. This moronic journalist should have consulted a COMPUTER AND ENCRYPTION EXPERT not a child abuse expert, since this paper is about encryption and not child abuse. How totally pathetic!

He said that police used software known as Encase, which allowed them to look at images on the computer, but with encryption they are unable to access the data. In technology the offender has always been ahead of the police.

Take a look at the first google result for ‘Encase‘ (clearly a distortion of ‘In Case’). It costs $425. What the HELL are they doing using crappy software like this? Its is astonishing; you mean to say that they do not have a single person on their staff that can mount a windoze drive under linux and then run a simple perl script to sort all the files into directories for inspection? Is it really that hard? And just imagine, these are the guys who will be bringing evidence against totally innocent people!

Encryption is a problem for the police because, if you cannot access the data, you cannot find out the extent of a persons criminality or the danger they pose to society.

So, the secure wipe features of the many free tools out there should be immediately outlawed, since a perpetrator could use this to completely erase evidence from their drives. Oh, I’m sorry, you’ve never heard of secure erase!

Margaret Moran, the Labour MP for Luton South, cautioned that the development of encryption would provide further opportunities for criminals. She told MPs when the Sexual Offences Act was being debated: The concern is that the advent of strong encryption technologies gives criminals the opportunity to hide their criminal activities or to conceal other evidence.

Here comes new labour, same as the old labour.

If a paedophile has on his computer files, e-mail messages, pictures or other material that discloses a serious sexual offence against a child an offence for which he knows he could face a prison term of ten years or more he could encrypt the lot and, if investigated by police, simply refuse to hand over the key to decrypt the files, thus making unavailable evidence of a serious offence.

If one of these monsters has been sending email, the police should have been collecting the evidence while it was in transit, or by posing as monsters (of that type) so that they can have the evidence delivered to them directly. How stupid people like Margaret Moron are, how deep is the well from which they draw their stupidity?

Until the internet was invented, encryption was rarely used by the public. Encryption garbles data using irreversible mathematical functions. It is the encoding of data so that it cannot be read by anyone who does not know the password that decodes it. […]

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,29389-2221574,00.html

Didnt he just say this? Clearly this is a cut and paste article done whilst rushing off to lunch. Bad journalism. Bad journalist.

The Future of the Surveillance Society

Friday, June 9th, 2006

Burnt out Gatso

Gatso Graveyard

http://www.speedcam.co.uk/gatso2.htm

This is what the future of ‘the Surveillance Society’ will look like; broken cameras in the streets, overgrown by weeds because the contracting companies no longer exist to clean them up.

When people have had enough, there will be a ‘day to close the eyes’ where tens of thousands of people destroy surveillance cameras, when the London congestion charging system is physically destroyed by people who have simply ‘had enough’.

I can see this day as clearly as I see the keyboard in front of me.

Rats in a sinking ship

Friday, June 9th, 2006

You might think your personal data is safe, secured under computerised lock and key, and fenced by the Data Protection Act with its sanctions against release of private data. Especially, surely, that which the government holds.The reality is that everything has its price. Last month, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the state-funded watchdog for personal data, published a report, What Price Privacy?. The title’s question was answered with a price list of public-sector data: 17.50 for the address of someone who is on the electoral register but has opted out of the freely available edited version; 150 to 200 for a vehicle record held by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency; 500 for access to a criminal record. The private sector also leaks: 75 buys the address associated with a mobile phone number, and 750 will get the account details.

These were the prices charged by private investigators caught by the ICO and police. Their clients included insurers, creditors and criminals trying to influence jurors, witnesses or legal personnel. Newspapers were a big source of business: the ICO says it knows the names of 305 journalists who have used such investigators.

The investigators obtained the data from corrupt insiders or via “blaggers” who impersonated officials and others to obtain personal information, often gathering an apparently unimportant fact, such as a mother’s maiden name, in one phone call in order to get a much more important one in the next.

In the report, the ICO called for prison sentences of up to two years for the illegal buying and selling of personal information. The maximum fine is 5,000, and courts often impose much less. “The fine is no deterrent to them,” says Jonathan Bamford, assistant information commissioner. One investigator used by local authorities as well as finance firms to find debtors was invoicing 120,000 a month. “People make so much money, they can get a fine and drive away from court in their Porsche,” says Bamford. The Department for Constitutional Affairs says it is reviewing the sentencing tariff. […]

Patient records

In the absence of tougher laws, the ICO sees the potential for much worse. “The government’s plans for increasingly joined-up and e-enabled public-sector working make the change even more urgent,” the report says. Medical professionals are already concerned about the risks of electronic patient records, which they think will be unpopular with patients who are uneasy about other sectors of government getting at them (see ‘Doctors voice concern over patient records’, below).

Indeed, the government has been playing fast and loose with some people’s data, according to a European court of justice ruling at the end of last month. The court said the 2004 deal between the EU and the US, under which airlines had to provide data about passengers travelling to the US, was unlawful because it breaches privacy rules. As a Guardian investigation last month (http://tinyurl.com/gxx5l) showed, the data sent as a result of that law means a discarded airline ticket stub can be enough to carry out identity theft.

But sometimes the problem lies inside government departments. In January, it emerged that the identity details of 8,800 Network Rail staff – who are civil servants – were stolen in 2003-04 and used to make fraudulent online claims for tax credits, costing the government millions of pounds. Alarmed at the rising levels of fraud through the online service, the government shut it last December.

Such examples are not encouraging about the government’s ability to protect or police the valuable data about us. Yet more is to come in the government’s largest project, which will join all the data about us and put it in a single place – creating a unique description of each of us for every government department. Enrolment on the National Identity Register, to be established by the Home Office under the recently passed Identity Cards Act, will, from 2008, be compulsory when renewing a passport – and compulsory for everyone some time after the next election (due by 2010), if the next government backs it.

The register can include a wide range of personal data, an audit trail of where and when the entry has been accessed, and reference numbers for other systems, including national insurance, driving licence and passport numbers, allowing for substantial joining-up.

The act imposes prison sentences of up to two years for those who illegally disclose information from the register. The ICO – which has reservations about other aspects of the scheme – takes this as its model for all illegal use of personal data.

But Phil Booth, national coordinator for the campaign group No2ID (www.no2id.net), says a two-year sentence will not deter criminals wanting to reach and influence jurors. “The problem is having all that data in one place, so it becomes trivially easy to compromise the system,” he says. He compares personal identity to the Titanic: “They are talking about linking all the watertight compartments, so if one is holed, you go to the bottom of the sea.” […]

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,1792102,00.html

My emphasis.

Hmmmmm. This is an interesting article. We already know about how the NIR could be abused, so I wont go into that aspect.

The structure of this piece is rather familiar. Do you know what I am talking about?

It is also interesting that the Guardian is using Tinyurl in the body of its articles; no, I didnt put it there, its actually on the site!

This article shows that someone is starting to understand the true nature of the NIR, and why it is being created. Your personal data is literally valuable in the money sense.

I have said before that your data belongs to you and is your real property. Furthermore it should not be sold collected or transferred without your permission and a royalty being payed to you.

Imagine getting a %60 royalty every time someone sells your name, address or other details? Every time you get junk mail, you would be paid! But I digress.

What this article fails to do is to turn the subject around and say, ‘you should not do this on any account’. This is as important as a subject can get, and in a circumstance like this, a firm stance needs to be taken to avoid disaster.