Saturday, October 06, 2001

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posted by Irdial , 5:57 PM Þ 

We're Jammin!
posted by Irdial , 5:44 PM Þ 

Stego claims again. Note the graphic "A Nation United"

And this popped up when the page opened.
posted by Irdial , 12:08 PM Þ 

One Gigabyte of files has already been leeched from the new Irdial A-212 Mirror; thanks to Paul M for prividing the pipe and the space!
posted by Irdial , 11:43 AM Þ 

CD protesters take to the streets...
A national day of action is being held on 6 October to raise awareness about the copy-protected CDs that are starting to appear in record shops across the UK.
The CDs are just one method that record companies are experimenting with in their ongoing attempts to stamp out piracy.
The protests are being organised because activists say that not enough is being done to warn consumers about the restrictions the CDs place on their ability to enjoy music.
The protesters also say the technology being used is a heavy-handed way of trying to limit piracy and may penalise legitimate customers.
The copy-protected CDs that are starting to be sold by some record companies do not play when put in the CD drive of a PC, game console or DVD drive.
More at:
posted by slip , 9:11 AM Þ 


just wanna say to and my mates are sooooooo lovin' Cosmat Selection now.....THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by ha , 4:11 AM Þ 
Friday, October 05, 2001

has irdial been writing for NTK again?

Back in the UK, the ever-reliable OBSERVER railed against
ID cards and objected to "proposals to intercept every email,
bank transaction and mobile phone call" in its pro-civil
liberties editorial, then handed out an olive branch to the
Home Secretary. "There are ... important initiatives that Mr
Blunkett could take", they wrote, teasingly. "By far the
most effective would be the curtailing of the complex
encryption terrorists use to protect their communications.
Organisations using encryption codes legitimately should be
obliged to give the electronic key to the appropriate police
authority in advance". Sigh. One - more - time. One:
everyone has a legitimate use for encryption: heck, every
time you pay by credit card, you're doing it. Two: if you
don't have control of your keys, you have no guarantee that
your communication is safe. Three: big pile of keys at
police authority implies big place to go for fun terrorist
hacking party. Four: here is the set of "organisations using
encryption codes legitimately" and here is the set of
terrorists. Observe the intersection. There is NONE. IT IS
EQUAL BAD PUBLIC POLICY.,6903,560536,00.html
- "scrutiny tedious"
posted by alex_tea , 5:58 PM Þ 

Independent Media Center
Pakistani paper's "exclusive" interview with Usamah Bin-Ladin (english)
Monday 01 Oct 2001
author: Karachi Ummat in Urdu 28 Sep 01 pp1, 7

Ummat: You have been accused of involvement in the attacks in New York and Washington. What do you want to say about this? If you are not involved, who might be?

Usamah: In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. Praise be to Allah, Who is the creator of the whole universe and Who made the earth as an abode for peace, for the whole mankind. Allah is the Sustainer, who sent Prophet Muhammad for our guidance. I am thankful to the Ummat Group of Publications, which gave me the opportunity to convey my viewpoint to the people, particularly the valiant and Momin [true Muslim] people of Pakistan who refused to believe in lie of the demon. I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people. Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children, and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam. All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel. There is also a warning for those Muslim countries, which witnessed all these as a silent spectator. What had earlier been done to the innocent people of Iraq, Chechnya, and Bosnia? Only one conclusion could be derived from the indifference of the United States and the West to these acts of terror and the patronage of the tyrants by these powers that America is an anti-Islamic power and it is patronizing the anti-Islamic forces. Its friendship with the Muslim countries is just a show, rather deceit. By enticing or intimidating these countries, the United States is forcing them to play a role of its choice. Put a glance all around and you will see that the slaves of the United States are either rulers or enemies [of Muslims]. The US has no friends, nor does it want to keep any because the prerequisite of friendship is to come to the level of the friend or consider him at par with you. America does not want to see anyone equal to it. It expects slavery from others. Therefore, other countries are either its slaves or subordinates. However, our case is different. We have pledged slavery to God Almighty alone and after this pledge there is no possibility to become the slave of someone else. If we do that, it will be disregardful to both our Sustainer and his fellow beings. Most of the world nations upholding their freedom are the religious ones, which are the enemies of United States, or the latter itself considers them as its enemies. Or the countries, which do not agree to become its slaves, such as China, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Syria, and the former Russia [as received]. Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed. According to my information, the death toll is much higher than what the US government has stated. But the Bush administration does not want the panic to spread. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive. They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia. In the US itself, there are dozens of well-organized and well-equipped groups, which are capable of causing a large-scale destruction. Then you cannot forget the American Jews, who are annoyed with President Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him. Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This [funding issue] was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger. They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usamah and Taleban and then this incident happened. You see, the Bush administration approved a budget of 40bn dollars. Where will this huge amount go? It will be provided to the same agencies, which need huge funds and want to exert their importance. Now they will spend the money for their expansion and for increasing their importance. I will give you an example. Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat. In the same way, whether it is President Bush or any other US president, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the attacks.

Ummat: A number of world countries have joined the call of the United States for launching an attack on Afghanistan. These also include a number of Muslim countries. Will Al-Qa'idah declare a jihad against these countries as well?

Usamah: I must say that my duty is just to awaken the Muslims; to tell them as to what is good for them and what is not. What does Islam says and what the enemies of Islam want? Al-Qa'idah was set up to wage a jihad against infidelity, particularly to encounter the onslaught of the infidel countries against the Islamic states. Jihad is the sixth undeclared element of Islam. [The first five being the basic holy words of Islam, prayers, fast, pilgrimage to Mecca, and giving alms] Every anti-Islamic person is afraid of it. Al-Qa'idah wants to keep this element alive and active and make it part of the daily life of the Muslims. It wants to give it the status of worship. We are not against any Islamic country nor we consider a war against an Islamic country as jihad. We are in favour of armed jihad only against those infidel countries, which are killing innocent Muslim men, women, and children just because they are Muslims. Supporting the US act is the need of some Muslim countries and the compulsion of others. However, they should think as to what will remain of their religious and moral position if they support the attack of the Christians and the Jews on a Muslim country like Afghanistan. The orders of Islamic shari'ah [jurisprudence] for such individuals, organizations, and countries are clear and all the scholars of the Muslim brotherhood are unanimous on them. We will do the same, which is being ordered by the Amir ol-Momenin [the commander of the faithful] Mola Omar and the Islamic scholars. The hearts of the people of Muslim countries are beating with the call of jihad. We are grateful to them.

Ummat: The losses caused in the attacks in New York and Washington have proved that giving an economic blow to the US is not too difficult. US experts admit that a few more such attacks can bring down the American economy. Why is al-Qa'idah not targeting their economic pillars?

Usamah: I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom. This system is totally in control of the American Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States. It is simply that the American people are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the principles and laws laid by them. So, the punishment should reach Israel. In fact, it is Israel, which is giving a blood bath to innocent Muslims and the US is not uttering a single word.

Ummat: Why is harm not caused to the enemies of Islam through other means, apart from the armed struggle? For instance, inciting the Muslims to boycott Western products, banks, shipping lines, and TV channels.

Usamah: The first thing is that Western products could only be boycotted when the Muslim fraternity is fully awakened and organized. Secondly, the Muslim companies should become self-sufficient in producing goods equal to the products of Western companies. Economic boycott of the West is not possible unless economic self-sufficiency is attained and substitute products are brought out. You see that wealth is scattered all across the Muslim world but not a single TV channel has been acquired which can preach Islamic injunctions according to modern requirements and attain an international influence. Muslim traders and philanthropists should make it a point that if the weapon of public opinion is to be used, it is to be kept in the hand. Today's world is of public opinion and the fates of nations are determined through its pressure. Once the tools for building public opinion are obtained, everything that you asked for can be done.

Ummat: The entire propaganda about your struggle has so far been made by the Western media. But no information is being received from your sources about the network of Al-Qa'idah and its jihadi successes. Would you comment?

Usamah: In fact, the Western media is left with nothing else. It has no other theme to survive for a long time. Then we have many other things to do. The struggle for jihad and the successes are for the sake of Allah and not to annoy His bondsmen. Our silence is our real propaganda. Rejections, explanations, or corrigendum only waste your time and through them, the enemy wants you to engage in things which are not of use to you. These things are pulling you away from your cause. The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which make us surprise but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they themselves become captive of this propaganda. They become afraid of it and begin to cause harm to themselves. Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that. You can understand as to what will be the performance of the nation in a war, which suffers from fear and helplessness.

Ummat: What will the impact of the freeze of al-Qa'idah accounts by the US?

Usamah: God opens up ways for those who work for Him. Freezing of accounts will not make any difference for Al-Qa'idah or other jihad groups. With the grace of Allah, al-Qa'idah has more than three such alternative financial system, which are all separate and totally independent from each other. This system is operating under the patronage of those who love jihad. What to say of the United States, even the combined world cannot budge these people from their path. These people are not in hundreds but in thousands and millions. Al-Qa'idah comprises of such modern educated youths who are aware of the cracks inside the Western financial system as they are aware of the lines in their hands. These are the very flaws of the Western fiscal system, which are becoming a noose for it and this system could not recuperate in spite of the passage of so many days.

Ummat: Are there other safe areas other than Afghanistan, where you can continue jihad?

Usamah: There are areas in all parts of the world where strong jihadi forces are present, from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan, and from Burma to Kashmir. Then it is not the problem of my person. I am helpless fellowman of God, constantly in the fear of my accountability before God. It is not the question of Usamah but of Islam and, in Islam too, of jihad. Thanks to God, those waging a jihad can walk today with their heads raised. Jihad was still present when there was no Usamah and it will remain as such even when Usamah is no longer there. Allah opens up ways and creates loves in the hearts of people for those who walk on the path of Allah with their lives, property, and children. Believe it, through jihad, a man gets everything he desires. And the biggest desire of a Muslim is the after life. Martyrdom is the shortest way of attaining an eternal life.

Ummat: What do you say about the Pakistan government policy on Afghanistan attack?

Usamah: We are thankful to the Momin and valiant people of Pakistan who erected a blockade in front of the wrong forces and stood in the first file of battle. Pakistan is a great hope for the Islamic brotherhood. Its people are awakened, organized, and rich in the spirit of faith. They backed Afghanistan in its war against the Soviet Union and extended every help to the mojahedin and the Afghan people. Then these are very Pakistanis who are standing shoulder by shoulder with the Taleban. If such people emerge in just two countries, the domination of the West will diminish in a matter of days. Our hearts beat with Pakistan and, God forbid, if a difficult time comes we will protect it with our blood. Pakistan is sacred for us like a place of worship. We are the people of jihad and fighting for the defence of Pakistan is the best of all jihads to us. It does not matter for us as to who rules Pakistan. The important thing is that the spirit of jihad is alive and stronger in the hearts of the Pakistani people.

Source: Karachi Ummat in Urdu 28 Sep 01
posted by Irdial , 1:01 PM Þ

By James Middleton [02-10-2001]

The impact of Code Red and related viruses such as Nimda has caused over 150,000 IIS-based websites on around 80,000 different machines to disappear from the internet. It has also resulted in the closure of one of the most visible proponents of Microsoft technology for mass hosting.

According to the most recent Netcraft web server report, released this week, a significant number of sites running IIS fell off the web during the Code Red crisis.

The number of IIS servers hooked up to the internet went down even more when Webjump, an IIS-based virtual hosting service, went under. At the time it died, Webjump hosted around 280,000 sites.

Microsoft suffered a further blow on the back of this when analyst Gartner Group issued a strongly worded advisory recommending IIS users to evaluate alternative products.

Only around 2000 of the 80,000 IP addresses running IIS that disappeared turned up running a competing web server, indicating that users have yet to react to Gartner's advice.

Despite evidence to suggest that administrators have been securing their servers throughout a period of heightened worm activity, Netcraft's research "shows that numbers of vulnerable Microsoft IIS sites are actually starting to rise again, after the initial shock and disruption of Code Red prompted many sites to patch for the first time", said the company.

Of those high profile sites seen to switch from Microsoft platforms to Linux, the most noticeable are search engine Infoseek, and the FBI, which is pushing the secure Linux bandwagon anyway.

But the report did show that Microsoft still owns almost 50 per cent of the web server market, while Linux is in second place with almost 30 per cent. Next is Solaris and BSD with seven per cent and six per cent respectively.

"The trend is of Linux steadily increasing, Windows maintaining a large share, and the others slowly losing share," said Netcraft.

But while Microsoft may have the lion's share on a per machine basis, on a per site basis Apache is king. Because a great majority of the world's websites are located at hosting and co-location companies, and technically sophisticated hosting companies can run several thousand websites on a single computer, the result is more sites running Apache.

On this level, Apache holds 60 per cent of the market, while Microsoft only manages to hang on to 30 per cent.

Netcraft's September 2001 survey was based on data gathered from 32,398,046 websites and can be seen here.

[ ]
posted by Irdial , 9:12 AM Þ 

Hash: SHA1,1294,47195,00.html

| A Cold Look at Chilled Speech
| By Mark Anderson
| 2:00 am Oct 3, 2001 PDT
| When he finished his manuscript on copyright protections in the
| digital age last Thanksgiving, Siva Vaidhyanathan knew some things
| would change before its Oct 1 publication date.
| Then came a Tuesday in September.
| Questioning copyright policy may seem only a distraction with the
| World Trade Center a heap of rubble. But if issues such as freedom are
| truly at stake, what prouder freedom do Americans proclaim than that
| of free speech?
| His book
| <$string&book=0814788068>,
| Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How
| It Threatens Creativity, presents a clear and historically based
| argument against the push to transform American intellectual property
| law into a new zone of zero tolerance.
| With Americans appearing to welcome Big Brother -- in some form -- if
| it means better protection against terrorism, Vaidhyanathan's book
| arrives at an interesting time.
| "It's hard to ask people to pay attention to the state of music in
| America right now," Vaidhyanathan said. "However, the larger issue is
| about the richness of our democratic culture."
| As more and more "speech" goes digital and as those digits get locked
| down with increasingly stronger clickwrap -- copyright and copy
| protection measures -- speech faces the very impediments the
| Constitution's framers took pains to avoid, Vaidhyanathan says.
| "It's very clear that reckless copyright enforcement can chill
| speech," he said. "The message of my book is that we've gone too far.
| There are ways in which the copyright system becomes an engine for
| democratic culture. But once you increase the protection to an absurd
| level, you end up having a negative effect on this process."
| One day before the attacks, all systems were go
|<,1283,46671,00.html >on the
| souped-up revision to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act -- a bill
| that proposed to outlaw any digital electronic device or PC that did
| not have copy protection hardwired into it.
| After the attacks, a shift in priorities came that leaves the
| "Security Systems Standard & Certification Act" (SSSCA)
| <,1283,46655,00.html> in limbo.
| Communications Daily now rates the chances that the SSSCA will even
| show its face on Capitol Hill anytime this session as "unlikely."
| That suits Vaidhyanathan just fine.
| "The bill as written is so sweeping that it would outlaw Linux -- or
| any sort of open-source activity," he said. "It would require us to
| fundamentally change the nature of the personal computer.
| "It seems like a really short-sighted policy proposal, and I can't
| imagine that the personal computer industry is going to stand by and
| let this happen."
| Another development that appeared too late to make the book was the US
| Supreme Court's decision on New York Times v Tasini
| <,1283,44736,00.html>, a copyright
| case that recognized print journalists' right to compensation when
| their work is republished on the Web.
| Vaidhyanathan was "agnostic" about the ruling, especially concerning
| Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's majority opinion
| <>.
| "I really didn't like the fundamentalist tone of Justice Ginsburg's
| opinion," he said. "She dismissed any appeal to a greater public good
| in matters of copyright and she made it seem that copyright is only a
| matter of private -- not public -- interest."
| On the other hand, Vaidhyanathan hopes the tone set in Justice John
| Paul Stevens' dissent can carry forward into future rulings -- and
| laws.
| "Justice Stevens actually wrote one of the most historically informed,
| nuanced and reasonable opinions
| <> I have ever
| read about copyright," Vaidhyanathan said. "He basically said that
| copyright is for the public, and we have to take the effects of our
| decisions into account. It can't just be about the interests of the
| copyright owners."
| Copyright (c) 1994-2001 Wired Digital Inc. All rights reserved.

- --
Owen Blacker | Senior Software Developer and InfoSecurity
Consultant See -- more
about my PGP keys Sig 0x3e2056b9 | 18cd 92aa 32aa 81b9 f5e8
c520 6475 6239 3e20 56b9
- --
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety
- --Benjamin Franklin, 1759

Version: PGP 7.0.4
Comment: Due to RIP, pls check for revocation before using this key!

posted by Irdial , 9:01 AM Þ 

"to the deapest part called the center of the earth by this wekend north east region will be destroyed new providance soon to fall apart."
posted by Irdial , 8:44 AM Þ 
Thursday, October 04, 2001

I done stuck the irdial mp3's on the web. Theyr'e at

please don't link to here - the files may move, there should be something on the irdial site that you can point links to soon. Also please don't try and download 20 files at the same time bandwidth is limited and if you want the files to stay here you have to play nicely.
posted by paul , 4:23 PM Þ 

Michael Braukus
Headquarters, Washington, DC August 10, 2000
(Phone: 202/358-1979)

Keith Henry
Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
(Phone: 757/864-6120/4)

Jane Gardner
Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA
(Phone: 757/446-6050)

RELEASE: 00-123


For decades doctors have used biofeedback as a way to help
control stress and tension. Now NASA technology adds a new twist
by combining this mind-over-matter technique with the hand-eye
coordination of video games.

According to researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center in
Hampton, VA, the results may actually improve and protect a
player's mental and physical health.

This unique interactive system, tested at Eastern Virginia
Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, trains people to change their
brainwave activity or other physiological functions while playing
popular off-the-shelf video games. This is accomplished by making
the video game respond to the activity of the player's body and

"Thirty years of biofeedback research has shown that by
training specific brainwave changes, or reductions in other
abnormal physiological signals, people can achieve a wide variety
of health-enhancing outcomes," said Dr. Olafur Palsson,
assistant professor of psychiatry and family medicine at EVMS.
"With this new technology, we have found a way to package this
training in an enjoyable and inherently motivating activity."

Signals from sensors attached to the player's head and body
are fed through a signal-processing unit to a video game joystick
or other control device. As the player's brainwaves come closer to
an optimal, stress-free pattern, the video game's joystick becomes
easier to control. This encourages the player to produce these
patterns or signals to succeed at the game.

In this way, recreational video games have the potential to
help both children and adults with a variety of health problems --
from concentration difficulties to physical stress.

Unlike earlier biofeedback methods, which tended to be
monotonous and simplistic, this technology adapts to today's most
popular games, giving players a healthful side effect, while fully
preserving the high-tech entertainment value.

"This technology is a spin-off of NASA research where we
measure the brain activity of pilots in flight simulators, " added
co-inventor Alan Pope, Ph.D., of Langley's Crew/Vehicle
Integration Branch. "Flight simulators are essentially very
sophisticated video games." Pope is an adjunct research assistant
professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at EVMS.

In addition, in what could be called a "spin-back"
application, NASA is studying ways to use the technology for pilot

Early results from a video game biofeedback study suggest
that the technology is effective. In this first test, to be
completed this fall, the technology is being applied as a
treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Children with ADHD, between the ages of 9 and 14, either play
popular video games or receive more traditional brainwave
biofeedback treatment. Both forms of treatment help the children's
symptoms, but the video game treatment seems to have distinct

"The main difference we see between the groups so far is in
motivation -- the children in the video game group enjoy the
sessions more and it is easier for the parents to get them to come
to our clinic," said Dr. Palsson, principal investigator in the
study and co-inventor of the technology.

"This technology could be in homes all over the country
within the next two or three years," according to David Shannon of
Langley's commercialization office. "Several companies have
applied for a license to produce training systems for the general

- end -

NOTE TO EDITORS: Still images are available from Keith Henry at and video from Kim Land at or 757/864-9885.
posted by alex_tea , 3:48 PM Þ 

We have been saying over and over, that the problems in different parts of the world need to find thier own natural internal solutions, as water finds its own level in a natural water table.

A perfect example of this is IRAN. This state, after having a religious revolution and being top of the list of pariah states, has, through its own internal processes, become a "moderate" state. So moderate is Iran, that many countries trade with it as a matter of policy (France) and now the UK is re-opening relations with it.

This is the same Iran that had its embassy explosively raided and destroyed by the SAS in central London. The same Iran of Ayatollah Khomeni. The same Iran that took American hostages, and humiliated the Carter government.

Now, all of that is forgotten.

This moderate state, this Iran that is headed for unprecedented prosperity and fairness under Islamic law could not ever have come about if any outside state had interfered in its creation. The absence of outside influence is what gave the Iranians the chance to become a stable and moderate state, on their own terms, and there is no reason that the same will not happen in other parts of the world. The ten year war with Iraq was over, and it was only a matter of time before peace, reconciliation with Iraq was to follow. The Gulf war put pay to that, but it would have eventually happened, and probably will happen in the future.

If we are to have lasting peace throughout the world, all countries need to come to a moderate state of government at their own pace and in their own time. This natural gravitation to order and stability can only be achieved if the system in question is left to find its own mode of operation. Everyone knows that a pendulum will only cease oscillation if it is left alone; all systems have a natural tendency to move toward stability. Every perturbance, interference, push, pull and breath does nothing but delay the arrival of the time when stability arrives.

The wonderful thing about non-interference is that no one looses. Pushing a pendulum takes energy. Energy is expensive. Stop pushing, and you stop spending; you save money to use on your own infrastructure. Your enemies stop being your enemies. They start to buy from you. Everything and everyone calms down.

For now, we can see the results of interference and perturbation. A small group of people, who were not the leaders of a country, not members of a normal army, who were totally unknown, have managed to put ONE MILLION PEOPLE OUT OF WORK with a single act. This should give everybody an indication how high the stakes are.

The task now is to start to unwind the tension and reverse the behavior that is manufacturing these angry people. For certain, there is at least one more generation of angry young men to follow this one. That could be the last one, depending on what actions are taken today.
posted by Irdial , 2:48 PM Þ 

...Another problem with the 'logic' is that the rest of the world may not necessarily deploy technology in the way that we do. One example of this is the age-old underground banking system that is widespread in South Asia and among Chinese communities in East Asia [*]. No amount of escrowed keys and deployment of sigint will help in tracing the movement of cash through it.

It allows money to be moved quickly across borders and leaves almost no paper trail. Known as "hundi" in Pakistan and "fei qian" in China it works as follows [*]: A client approaches an underground bank in a major Asian city, usually a travel agent or a goldsmith's shop. He deposits an amount in US dollars to be remitted to an associate in another country. The shop gives the sender a "receipt" or chit which might be something as simple as a specially marked ticket stub or a low-value currency note. The chit is mailed to the recipient in the other country who then presents it to an associated travel agent or goldsmith there. He receives in exchange the amount in local currency equivalent to the amount of US dollrs deposited by the sender of the chit.

Creating a doubly ironic link to the cryptographic interests of this list, one analyst is quoted [*] as saying that the "Investigation into bin Laden and his finances will provide a modern Rosetta Stone on how to attack terrorists' financial networks".

References [*] Far Eastern Economic Review, Oct 4, 2001, page 28.
posted by Irdial , 11:57 AM Þ 

'The problem of Islam as a political force is an essential problem for our time and for the years to come. The first condition in approaching it with anything resembling intelligence is to not to start with hatred.'

(1978) 'Reponse de Michel Foucault une lectrice iranienne' in Dits et Ecrits, t. III. Paris: Gallimard, 1994, p. 708.
posted by Mess Noone , 11:36 AM Þ 
Wednesday, October 03, 2001

AudioFix anyone?

Once a week is a bit much for me...

...I'll see what I can do.
posted by Mess Noone , 7:38 PM Þ 

Net surveillance 'fatally flawed'

UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says campaigners against stronger internet surveillance laws have hurt the anti-terror fight. He suggested that with stronger powers, the security services might have detected some of the 11 suicide hijackers who are now known to have passed through the UK on their way to the US.

But Caspar Bowden of the Foundation for Information Policy Research argues that the main methods suggested for dealing with criminal use of internet encryption are fatally flawed:


Following the terrible events of 11 September, Jack Straw has described opponents of the internet surveillance legislation he enacted last year as "nave".

Both government and broadcasters have framed the debate as a platitudinous "balance" between civil liberties and public safety.

But this was always a false dichotomy - the main thrust of criticism against the RIP Act is that it is completely ineffective.

Four methods have been suggested for dealing with criminal use of encryption. Three are fatally flawed, but more importantly, they try to solve to wrong problem.

The 'back-door'
All encryption would be prohibited except an officially sanctioned version which contains a secret weakness allowing all traffic to be broken.

Flaw: If the secret of the backdoor is ever leaked, the security of the entire communications infrastructure would be blown wide open and could not be repaired or quickly replaced.

'Key escrow'
Everybody using encryption must deposit a copy of their key in a huge database. Any particular message could thus be unscrambled, under warrant.

Flaw : An encrypted message is like a letter in an impregnable envelope, which can itself be enclosed in another envelope.

Without opening the outer envelope, it is impossible to know whether a particular message has already been encrypted with an undeclared key, before it was encrypted with a registered key.

Moreover, the vast majority of computer scientists believe that a global integrated system to escrow billions of keys is operationally infeasible.

Power to demand decryption
The RIP Act gives powers to demand decryption of any message or data, whether or not a person is suspected of any crime.

Flaw: An encrypted message is totally opaque - nothing can be inferred about the contents which would help a court rationally separate the innocent from the guilty.

Anybody could be jailed for two years on a false accusation, without a shred of evidence, merely for failing to prove they have forgotten something.

And a terrorist is obviously not going to surrender a key to evidence which would lead to conviction on a much more serious charge.

Attack the end-points
If the device either sending or receiving the message can be identified, then if it can be "got at".

Computers can be bugged in hardware, software, or possibly hacked remotely.

Intelligence agencies and the military will not trust the police with these black arts, which will need unprecedentedly stringent supervision, since their use would corrupt the legal validity of any chain of evidence.

Computer scientists and security specialists understand the seriousness of what is at stake, and have wrestled with these dilemmas for a decade with no breakthrough.

Details of security policy are often necessarily secret, but the reasoning refuting three of the four options is unshakeable.

None of these options can prevent hiding of information or steganography.

Spies and terrorists have long used tradecraft such as chalk marks on a park bench, or everyday language with a veiled meaning.

In cyberspace, these equate to an innocent phrase in a chat-room, or weaving the bits comprising a message into a sound or picture file so it cannot be detected. Without knowing who and what to look for, it is impossible to screen for every variation.

Those who want a nostalgic return to the era of phone-tapping are either nave, or impervious to reason.

If you want to stop terrorist cells communicating via the internet, dismantle it. Encryption is irrelevant.
posted by Irdial , 11:28 AM Þ 

HAMBURG, Germany (CNN) -- German intelligence services intercepted a phone call September 11 after the terrorist attacks on the United States in which two followers of Osama bin Laden applauded the deadly assaults, a German intelligence official said.

One of the individuals in the phone call made a reference to having "sent 30," but it was unclear whether that was a reference to the number of people involved in the terrorist plot. There were 19 suspected hijackers who died with their victims.

"What they were planning or whether others were still planning further attacks, or whether attacks could not be carried out remains open," the official said.

The official said the phone call did not originate in Germany or any other European nation, but refused to identify the country or region. The official did not say what language was spoken in the phone conversation.

The source said that German intelligence officials immediately alerted their U.S. counterparts and are working closely with American authorities on the matter.
posted by Irdial , 10:22 AM Þ 
Tuesday, October 02, 2001

Binladen (BINLADEN2-DOM)
630 International Pkwy
Suite 100
Richardson, TX 75081


Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Billing Contact:
Elashi, Bayan (BE159) bayane@INFOCOMCORP.COM
InfoCom Corp
630 International Pkwy, #100
Richardson, TX 75081
(972) 644-5363 (FAX) (972) 644-8609

Record last updated on 10-Aug-2001.
Record expires on 12-Aug-2003.
Record created on 11-Aug-1997.
Database last updated on 1-Oct-2001 20:13:00 EDT.

Domain servers in listed order:

posted by Irdial , 3:19 PM Þ 

you wouldn't expect any less would you?

oh and physics is cool. not that i know a lot. have been playing around with programmatic movement in flash. enertia and the like. plus my recently acquired copy of MAME and asteroids has got me intersted in it again... and street fighter 2. just how do you pull off a HaDoKen? trust me i have tried!

posted by alex_tea , 5:12 AM Þ 
Sunday, September 30, 2001
posted by Claus Eggers , 2:13 PM Þ 

"The best of XXXX" is a TV show which looks at the events and music of a year, with comments from famous and not so famous people. During a recap of the career of Alanis Morisette (The best of 1995) it suddenly came to me in a bright flash of light:

"There are not enough bullets!"

posted by Irdial , 11:02 AM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 10:44 AM Þ 

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