Saturday, October 27, 2001

The real meaning of XP

1. XP is for eXPensive
Never in the history of the PC has the part of the operating system been so pricey.

2. XP is for eXPires
Microsoft has invented the software that eXPires as the customer can only install the software a certain number of times. If you have a virus, need to upgrade your hard drive, want to clean up your HD, add another component, change PC or any other reason to install, your software gets closed to death.

3. XP is for eXPloit
Knowing the care microsoft gives to security, this meaning is close to become reality.

4. XP is for eXPlosion
eXPlosion of Denial of Service (DoS) attacks as windows XP gives raw socket acces to the mass of home users. (read and )

5. XP is for eXPected
It took 10 years to microsoft to deliver a operating system that doesn't crash or need a reboot multiple times a day. At last !

6. XP is for linuXPreferred
For all the above reasons.

7. XP is for eXPose
your personal data to Microsoft.

8. XP is for eXperience

9. XP is for eXtra Profits.

10. XP is for eXtraneous Programs
Bloated beyond reason.
posted by Irdial , 1:41 PM Þ 
Friday, October 26, 2001

"We cannot as a nation allow very legitimate public anxiety to immunize the Administration and Congress from their obligation to protect the Bill of Rights and the fundamental values that document embodies," said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU's Washington National Office.

posted by Irdial , 9:34 PM Þ 

you remeber that scary iomart advert i posted about on wednesday (24/10/01) well it's in this week's NTK complete with picture...

and i'm in this week's too!! :~D
posted by alex_tea , 4:47 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 4:23 PM Þ 

Got this on the (rather excellent) snuggles mailing list


Disney Channel cartoon portrays music downloads as evil
Monday October 22, 01:09 PM EDT [ Multimedia ]
- by Tina Gasperson -
The Disney Channel cartoon series The Proud Family (Flash plugin helpful), aired an episode on Oct. 5 entitled EZ Jackster . In the storyline, EZ Jackster is a Napster-like site, and the show's little heroines get addicted to the service and play a part in the downfall of the music industry. Disney is one of the backers of the SSSCA proposed legislation that is scheduled for a hearing before Congress Oct. 25.
The TV summary site, TV Tome, shows this synopsis of the episode in question:

"After Penny spends $125 on CDs with her five-cent salary, she meets a boy, Mega, who tells her about a napster-like website he made called EZ Jackster. All weekend she was sitting at the computer, downloading music from EZ Jackster. Finally, Dijonay comes over and asks what she was doing over the weekend. Penny asks Dijonay if she can keep a secret, knowing that she can't. Penny tells Dijonay to tell everyone she knows about EZ Jackster. Her telling everybody about EZ Jackster has a ripple-effect all around the world. From India to Africa to Suga Mama! But rap singer, Sir Paid-A-Lot is threatened by this because he got a five-cents salary instead of his million-dollar salary. But suddenly, after wrestling, the news interrupted the next program telling about EZ Jackster. It shows a house of where the EZ Jackster-spreader lives. Oscar comments how ugly the house is, not realizing it was their house. Trudy is mad at Penny for stealing music so she takes away her computer. Later, Penny gets a call from Mega, asking if she is still using EZ Jackster. Will Penny listen to her parents?"

A post forwarded to the Linux-Elitists mailing list from one of the show's viewers gave the rest of the details about the decidedly pro-SSSCA plot:
1. Girl working at her antiquated computer her dad gave her in her room.

2. Mystery guy (cool hip hop looking dude in black) shows up at her window and supplies her with an up to date computer, takes her into "the Matrix and shows her a web area called Free Jackster where she can get all the music she could ever want FOR FREE,

3. The girl asks if this is illegal and mystery guy explains it is our birthright to have free music, creativity should not have a price

4. Girl gets addicted to collecting free music, her obsession leads to telling all her friends. soon the site is getting millions of hits from kids to grandmothers.

5. Next scene at the The Wizard Record Label board room where "Sir Paid Alot" enters to complain his royalty check was only five cents. This alerts The Wizard (head of the label) that there is a retail problem he needs to look into.

6. Teen Girl's house is surrounded that night by police and press and she is arrested for illegal downloads, gets a warning,. The news makes it clear that millions of people can't be stopped, Parents take computer away from girl and explain why free downloads is STEALING -- kind of an abirdged explanation of how copyrights work.

7. Next scene, Asian Guy's retail record store is empty, guy is crying on the floor. Teen Girl who happens to work at the store show up to work, Asian guy fires her for supporting all the free downloads

8. Next scene charts showing record sales are down down down to nothing because people get the music for free

9. Mystery guy shows up at teen girl's window again to try and convince her to go back to downloading but she says NO

10. Guy: "You still downloading?" Teen Girl: "Downloading is stealin'." Mr. Guy from Free Jackster: "I know you are afraid I am trying to show you a world without rules." Teen girl says, "No, its wrong."
posted by paul , 11:27 AM Þ 

check this out everyone.

please let me know your thoughts!

posted by john , 4:14 AM Þ 
Thursday, October 25, 2001

so what was the prize?
posted by captain davros , 12:49 PM Þ 

Holy shit!@# Got the PGParty prize today in the mail :D *raises the roof* Oh, and nice signature, Akin... =)
posted by Mikkel , 11:43 AM Þ 


ok so, i am gettting married next week on nov. 3rd.
this is a 'formal elopement' with only our families
being invited. on feb 2nd we are having another
ceremony for our friends et al blah blah. so.....
1. the date? 02-02-02
2. it is our second time getting married
3. it's two holidays(groundhog day's and kat's fathers birthday)
4. kat's father is a twin.
5. the wedding will be performed by a libra at a gemini's house.
(i am a gemini and kat is a libra therefor: 2 libra's 2 gemini's)
i know there was more but i can't remember them now.

p.s. 11 is TWO one's.
p.p.s. crass is nifty

posted by john , 1:45 AM Þ 
Wednesday, October 24, 2001

The date of the attack: 9/11 - 9 + 1 + 1 = 11
September 11th is the 254th day of the year: 2 + 5 + 4 = 11
After September 11th there are 111 days left to the end of the year.
119 is the area code to Iraq/Iran. 1 + 1 + 9 = 11
Twin Towers - standing side by side, looks like the number 11
The first plane to hit the towers was Flight 11
I Have More.......
State of New York - The 11th State added to the Union
New York City - 11 Letters
Afghanistan - 11 Letters
The Pentagon - 11 Letters
Ramzi Yousef - 11 Letters (convicted or orchestrating the
attack at the WTC in 1993)
Flight 11 - 92 on board - 9 + 2 = 11
Flight 77 - 65 on board - 6 + 5 = 11
Oh my God! How worried should I be? There are 11 letters in
the name "David Pawson!" I'm going into hiding NOW. See you
in a few weeks.
Wait a sec ... just realized "YOU CAN'T HIDE" also has 11
letters! What am I gonna do? Help me!!! The terrorists are
after me! ME! I can't believe it!
Oh crap, there must be someplace on the planet Earth I could
hide! But no ..."PLANET EARTH" has 11 letters, too!
Maybe Nostradamus can help me. But dare I trust him? There
are 11 letters in "NOSTRADAMUS."
I know, the Red Cross can help. No they can't... 11 letters
in "THE RED CROSS," can't trust them.
I would rely on self defense, but "SELF DEFENSE" has 11
letters in it, too! Can someone help?
Anyone? If so, send me email. No, don't... "SEND ME EMAIL"
has 11 letters....
Will this never end? I'm going insane! "GOING INSANE???"
Eleven letters!!
Nooooooooooo!!!!!! I guess I'll die alone, even though "I'LL
DIE ALONE" has 11 letters.....
Oh my God, I just realized that America is doomed! Our
Independence Day is July 4th ... 7/4 ... 7+4=11!
PS. "IT'S BULLSHIT" has 11 letters also.
posted by Irdial , 11:41 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 11:37 PM Þ 

sitting on the tube today i noticed this advert. i copied it word for word into my palm...
You work with these people...

3 of them use illegal software
1 of them is a hacker
1 of them spends 2 hours a day playing online games
2 of them download and distribute 'Dubious Material'
1 of them is sendinq confidencial info to a competitor

Want to know who they are?
We Can tell you.

NetIntelligence from iomart


scary? a definite reason to use encryption to stop nasty bosses stoping you from playing games. it doesn't actually say whether they play the games at work anyway... the thing is i know i could fit into more than one of those categories and i expect that everyone else here could too. does that give other people the right to spy on us though? i don't think so.
posted by alex_tea , 2:48 PM Þ 
Tuesday, October 23, 2001


Mad as Hell about the DMCA
By "Beale Screamer"

This document is intended as a position paper on copyright and the
abuses the copyright system has undergone, especially with the
introduction and abuse of the notorious Digital Millennium Copyright
Act (DMCA). This document is originally distributed with software
that in fact clearly violates the DMCA, and so this gives background
on why I would write this software. I hope that anyone who uses this
software reads the "README" and "LICENSE" files in the same
distribution, and respects my wishes as to how the software should be
used. I do not want to create massive copyright infringement, but
rather hope to give people the tools to regain the rights that have
existed for centuries with respect to copyright, and are now in danger
of being taken away in a most uncompromising manner.

Copyright has always been intended as a balancing act between the
rights of authors/publishers and the rights of consumers. Technical
advances are making it possible for publishers to take away
technically what they would have a hard time justifying legally or
morally. And unfortunately, in a misguided attempt to address
copyright issues in the digital age, the U.S. government has given
legal backing to the technical means through the DMCA, outlawing
attempts at circumventing these technical protections. In effect,
this gives publishers full and complete control over copyright issues,
without the annoyance of actually having to go through the usual
legislative debate and judicial review. As a shock to no one, the
publishing industry (particularly the MPAA and RIAA) have used the
DMCA as a bludgeon to attack anyone who suggests that consumers and
citizens have rights too. I hope people take my civil disobedience as
an opportunity to send a message to publishers. To borrow words from
Howard Beale in the movie "Network," just yell to the publishers "I'm
mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"


I am neither a lawyer nor a copyright expert, so my personal opinions
are really those of an "interested outsider." I have done extensive
reading on the basis and history copyright, as well as following the
most visible current legal cases regarding the application of
copyright and the DMCA. But clearly no one should take any of the
information or ideas of this document as legal advice or precedent! I
*am* an expert on the technical issues involved, and plan on being a
thorn in the side of the publishers until they adopt a more reasoned
and reasonable approach. The current climate regarding these issues
leaves me little choice except to remain anonymous. I don't intend on
being a martyr, or on spending the next decade of my life defending
myself in legal proceedings.


The history of copyright has been written many times, but a good,
brief account is available from the Association of Research
Libraries [1]. For the past several centuries, copyright law has
tried to balance the rights of consumers with incentives to authors
and publishers for promoting their work. It is quite explicit in the
intent of copyright that in the sale of a copyrighted work, "once
purchased the copyright owner does not control the use of the work" [1].
Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford law professor and expert on these issues,
echoed this observation in an interview when he pointed out that "The
traditional idea of fair use - and the law has been extremely vague in
defining this - is that the copyright owners do not have the right to
perfectly control how you use their copyrighted material" [3].

However, the situation today with the DMCA is precisely the opposite
of this intent: the use of the DMCA often does not have to do with
limiting copying or distribution, but rather with restricting the use
of the copyrighted work. The violation of this intent was described,
among many other places, in quote taken from a New York Times article
in which they wrote "In the past, when a company published a book, the
fair use rights of readers limited its control over the work. But if
the same company issues a book today and encrypts it, its control over
readers is far greater -- in fact, almost unlimited -- unless there is
a right of access to the material."

The DeCSS case is a particularly flagrant example of this: the DeCSS
code does not have any effect on DVD pirates, who can simply copy a
full disk as-is. The entire purpose of using CSS by DVD publishers
seems to be to restrict how the material is used! The purpose of
DeCSS was to allow legitimately purchased DVDs to be played on Linux,
a system that at the time did not support DVD playback. It is
abundantly clear that this is 100% OK with respect to copyright;
however, it violates the DMCA, since the *use* of the material is in a
manner inconsistent with what the publisher desired.

The erosion of the reader's/listener's rights has been a steady process
for many, many years. The limited time granted for copyrights has
been repeatedly lengthened, and now is a totally preposterous 70 years
past the death of the author. While the "limited time" is no longer
terribly limited, the introduction of the DMCA goes even farther in
this extreme by allowing publishers to have an infinite-time monopoly
on a work: they can simply put technological protection measures on a
work, and the DMCA makes removing those measures a crime even when the
work is no longer covered by copyright!

The best treatment I've seen of these issues is an excerpt from Siva
Vaidhyanathan's book "Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of
Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity" that was
published on [2]. If the bulk of the book is as good as the
excerpt, this will be an outstanding book, and I take the liberty of
quoting quite a bit from this work here. As an overall background to
copyright, Vaidhyanathan begins with the following:

Copyright, when well balanced, encourages the production and
distribution of the raw material of democracy. But after more than
200 years of legal evolution and technological revolution,
American copyright no longer offers strong democratic
safeguards. It is out of balance. And our founders - especially
Thomas Jefferson - would not be pleased.

Copyright was created as a policy that balanced the interests of
authors, publishers, and readers. It was not intended to be a
restrictive property right.

I have to agree that the founders would not be pleased with what is
happening today. Vaidhyanathan quotes the following passage from
Thomas Jefferson regarding copyright: "It's peculiar character, too,
is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the
whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction
himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine,
receives light without darkening me."

One of the big successes of publishers such as the RIAA and MPAA has
been a steady erosion and public brain-washing regarding the point of
copyright. A simple but effective measure has been the modification
of terminology that is used for copyright violations: they speak of
people "stealing intellectual property" or "theft of copyrighted
music" in the trading of MP3s. The wide-scale copying ala Napster
clearly is copyright violation, but "theft"? The definition of
something being "stolen" means that it is taken from the rightful
owner - and the owner no longer has possession of that item. As
Jefferson observed several centuries ago, this simply doesn't apply to
the types of material that are copyrighted. Making a copy of an item
doesn't in any way remove that item from the original possessor, so
"theft" is clearly an inaccurate terminology. However, the
publishers' insistence on using that word, and the public's acceptance
of it, means that a much more negative light is cast on an action
that, while wrong, is nowhere near the severity of a true "theft."

The use of terms "theft" and "intellectual property" cleverly casts
copyright issues as being "property" issues, although Jefferson and
other founding fathers explicitly did not accept the idea of writings
as property. Remember: just because the publishers want you to think
of recordings and music as property does not make it so!

One final quote from Vaidhyanathan, this time talking directly about
the DMCA:

This law has one major provision that upends more than 200 years
of democratic copyright law. It forbids the "cracking" of
electronic gates that protect works - even those portions of works
that might be in the public domain or subject to fair use. It puts
the power to regulate copying in the hands of engineers and the
companies that employ them.

The last sentence is vital: the regulatory role regarding copyright
has now been fully turned over to the publishers and technology
producers. Congress has explicitly written itself out of the loop on
such regulatory issues, and has thrown the balance between publishers
and citizens entirely to the control of the publishers. The citizens
have lost their voice in these matters, and unless Congress acts to
drastically change the DMCA and reassert the consumer side of the
balance, we simply will have no say in what rights the publishers
deign to allow us to have.


Any Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme has two sides: on the one
hand, the most obvious use is to take away the rights of the consumer.
On the other hand, it can in fact be used to give the consumer *more*
possibilities than existed before. I think the idea of limited time,
full-length previews, or time-limited Internet-based rentals is
excellent. If DRM was *only* used for this, in order to give us more
options than we previously had, I would not have taken the effort to
break the scheme. What is bad is the use of DRM to restrict the
traditional form of music sale. When I buy a piece of music (not rent
it, and not preview it), I expect (and demand!) my traditional fair
use rights to the material. I should be able to take that content,
copy it onto all my computers at home, my laptop, my portable MP3
player, ... basically anything I use to listen to the music that I
have purchased. I can't do this at all with Microsoft's DRM scheme.
Ideally, I would see two types of sales: limited, clearly spelled-out
licenses for rentals and previews, and traditional sales, where the
content is not protected, and ideally is provided in an open,
non-proprietary format. As long as publishers insist on removing our
rights in a traditional sale, we will continue to fight back with
technical and legal measures.

To complicate matters in the specific case of Microsoft's DRM version
2 technology, not only are licenses applied, but there doesn't seem to
be a clear way to even see what your license really enforces. A
technically skilled person who knows how the scheme works can look
through the binary license file, find the ACTION strings, and figure
out what restrictions the license imposes, but the overwhelming
majority of people simply will have no idea what license they have
purchased. If a publisher decided to hide a 5 year expiration date in
the license, for whatever reason, the average consumer would have no
way of knowing this. And after 5 years, your license would go away,
and there would be nothing you could do about it.

Laws passed by the government should not simply do corporate bidding.
Congress is supposed to be there to protect *our* rights, but
unfortunately, money talks, and that seems to be the basis of the
DMCA. Even with legal issues put aside, technology has the ability to
take away our rights, especially if cryptographic "secure hardware"
gets incorporated into devices. The government should be using its
power to *limit* that, not enhance it! In other words, the government
should be passing laws that guarantee that the citizens retain their
fair use rights, *regardless* of what the technology allows. And laws
should somehow (escrowed keys for corporations, perhaps!?) be in a
position to guarantee that technical measures expire at the same time
the copyright does, forcing the work into the public domain as has
been happened historically. And finally, if the technology is used
for new services, laws should ensure that the technology should be
designed in such a way that full disclosure of license restrictions is
made to the consumers.

I'm not sure I hold out much hope of this happening. The publishers
will certainly fight strongly against it. But until such changes are
made, expect to see me and others like me doing acts of civil
disobedience in order to salvage what we can out of this travesty.


The DMCA has been used in a reprehensible fashion in at least 3 cases:
the DeCSS case, the case of Edward Felton, and the case of Dmitri
Sklyarov. The DeCSS case was mentioned above, where the MPAA used the
DMCA as a weapon to attack a tool whose primary use is to make legal
use of legally obtained material (DVDs). However, since the
particular use is not sanctioned by the MPAA, they used the DMCA to
criminalize what would otherwise have been a perfectly legal use.

Increasing the level of appalling behavior, the SDMI Foundation
threatened to sue Professor Edward Felton for disclosing an attack on
several of the SDMI audio watermarking technologies, even though the
attacks were performed at the specific invitation of the SDMI
Foundation! By participating in the SDMI challenge, and rejecting any
claims to the cash prizes offered, the challenge announcement clearly
allowed Felton to retain rights to publish details of his work. In
the DeCSS case, Judge Kaplan decided that DeCSS could be suppressed,
despite first amendment concerns, because computer code was not
allowed the same rights as English prose. This seems to contradict
the decision in the Bernstein case that source code is protected
speech, but this is just one of the many decisions Kaplan made in this
case that were very poorly thought-out. Kaplan decided that code
wasn't protected speech, so Felton's paper carefully avoided including
any code, and stuck to straight English descriptions. Even so, the
SDMI Foundation, in its initial threats to sue Felton and his research
group, was somehow trying to make the argument that English
descriptions are no longer protected speech. This is clearly absurd,
and the RIAA and SDMI Foundation have apparently understood this and
backed off in their initial threats, now going so far as to claim they
never intended to sue. However, their actions with Professor Felton
are clearly at odds with their later revised history of events.

Finally, the case of Dmitri Sklyrov is perhaps the most appalling of
all. Among its other problems, the DMCA has taken what has
traditionally been a civil matter (copyright issues) and criminalized
certain actions. Dmitri Sklyrov wrote a program that removes
protections from Adobe e-books, restoring traditional fair-use rights
to e-book owners. Furthermore, he wrote this program in Russia, where
it is not illegal. His company (and I don't believe there are any
claims that he did this personally) distributed his unlocking software
from a U.S. website, and on the basis of this Sklyrov was arrested
when he made a trip to the U.S. Sklyrov has actually spent time in
jail on these extremely flimsy grounds, and faces a criminal
prosecution in the matter. Despite the fact that Adobe has
subsequently said it doesn't wish for Sklyarov to be prosecuted, the
government is continuing in its case. This is apparently the reward
that the government gives for people who stand up for their fair use
rights under copyright law, and is the primary reason I'm remaining


What does the future hold? Hopefully, the government will start
acting to protect citizen's rights instead of corporate interests. If
this doesn't happen, expect to see many of the current DRM schemes
being very publicly broken as an act of protest. I will stay quiet
for a while, until any publicity of this current work dies down, but
there are many, many others out there that have the ability to do
precisely what I've done, and are in fact doing so right now.
Remember: "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take this any





Version: 2.6.2

posted by Irdial , 11:51 AM Þ 

Some Personal Views from Around the World of ID Cards. Read it and weep.
from Privacy International

In 1994, in an attempt to discover the problems caused by ID cards, Privacy International compiled a survey containing reports from correspondents in forty countries. Amongst the gravest of problems reported to Privacy International was the over zealous use or misuse of ID cards by police - even where the cards were supposed to be voluntary. One respondent wrote :

On one occasion I was stopped in Switzerland when walking at night near Lake Geneva. I was living in Switzerland at the time and had a Swiss foreigner's ID card. The police were wondering why I should want to walk at night to look at the Chateau de Chillon. Really suspicious I suppose, to walk at night on the banks of the lake to look at an illuminated chateau (I am white and dress conservatively). I had to wait for 20 minutes whilst they radioed my ID number to their central computer to check on its validity.

Correspondents in most countries reported that police had powers to demand the ID card. A correspondent in Greece reported:

In my country the Cards are compulsory. If police for example stop you and ask for identification you must present them the ID or you are taken to the police department for identification research.

Police were granted these powers in the late 1980s, despite some public misgivings. Non European countries reported more serious transgressions, In Brazil, for example:

They are compulsory, you're in big trouble with the police if they request it and you don't have one or left home without it. The police can ask for my identity card with or without a valid motive, it's an intimidation act that happens in Brazil very, very often. The problem is not confined to the police. Everybody asks for your id when you are for example shopping, and this is after you have shown your cheque guarantee card. We also other similar cards. Nobody trusts anybody basically.

Predictably, political hot-spots have seen widescale abuse of the card system:

One problem that Afghans encountered carrying these "tazkiras" (ID cards) was during the rule of the communist regime in Afghanistan where people were stopped in odd hours and in odd places by the government's Soviet advisors and their KHALQI and PARCHAMI agents and asked for their "tazkiras". Showing or not showing the "tazkira" to the enquiring person at that time was followed by grave consequences. By showing it, the bearer would have revealed his age upon which, if it fell between 16-45, he would have been immediately taken to the nearest army post and drafted into the communist army, and if he refused to show, he would have been taken to the nearest secret service (KHAD) station and interrogated as a member of the resistance (Mujahideen), imprisoned, drafted in the army or possibly killed.

Many countries reported that their ID card had become an internal passport, being required for every dealing with people or institutions. In Argentina, according to this correspondent, the loss of the ID card would result in grave consequences:

I got my first personal ID when I turned seven. It was the Provincial Identity Card. It looked like the hardcover of a little book with just two pages in it. It had my name, my photograph, the fingerprint of my right thumb, and some other personal data. I never questioned what was the logic about fingerprinting a seven-year old boy. It was suggested that identification was one of the major purposes for the existence of the Police of the Province which issued the card. It was required for enroling in the Provincial School I attended. Attending the primary school is compulsory, hence everybody under twelve is indirectly forced to have the Card.Well, this Book was required for any sort of proceedings that the person wanted to initiate, e.g. enrol at school, buy a car, get his driving license, get married. Nobody could do anything without it. In addition, it became a prerogative of the police to request it at any time and place. Whoever was caught without it was customarily taken to jail and kept there for several hours (or overnight if it happened in the evening) while they "checked his personal record". In effect, Argentine citizens have never been much better off than South-African negroes during the Apartheid, the only difference is that we Argentinians did not have to suffer lashings if caught without the pass card. As for daily life without the ID, it was impossible.

Of greater significance is the information that ID cards are commonly used as a means of tracking citizens to ensure compliance with such laws as military service. Again, in Argentina:

The outrage of the military service was something that many people was not ready to put up with. Nevertheless, something forced the people to present themselves to be drafted. It was nothing more or less than the ID. In fact, if somebody did not show up, the army never bothered to look for them. They just waited for them to fall by themselves, because the ID card showed the boy to be on military age and not having the necessary discharge records by the army. Provided that in the country you could not even go for a walk without risking to be detained by the police, being a no-show for military duty amounted to a civil death.

Another respondent in Singapore noted that many people in his country were aware that the card was used for purposes of tracking their movements, but that most did not see any harm in this:

If that question is put to Singaporeans, they are unlikely to say that the cards have been abused. However, I find certain aspects of the NRIC (ID card) system disconcerting. When I finish military service (part of National service), I was placed in the army reserve. When I was recalled for reserve service, I found that the army actually knew about my occupation and salary! I interpreted this as an intrusion into my privacy. It might not be obvious but the NRIC system has made it possible to link fragmented information together.

The consequences of losing ones card were frequently mentioned:

A holiday in Rio was ruined for me when I was robbed on the beach and had to spend the rest of the brief holiday going through the bureaucracy to get a duplicate issued. One way round this (of dubious legality) is to walk around with a notarized xerox copy instead of the original.

The Brazillian experience shows that the card is often misused by police:

Of course violent police in metropolitan areas of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro love to beat and arrest people (especially black/poor) on the pretext that they don't have their ID card with them.

In some countries, denial of a card means denial of virtually all services:

ID cards are very important in Vietnam. They differentiate between citizens and non-citizens. People without an ID card are considered as being denied of citizenship and all the rights that come with it. For example, they cannot get legal employment, they cannot get a business license, they cannot go to school, they cannot join official organizations, and of course they cannot join the communist party. They cannot travel either. (Even though in practice, they bribe their way around within the country, they would face big trouble if got caught without ID card.)

The same problem occurs in China:

I personally feel that the card has the following drawbacks: It carries too much private info about a person. We have to use it in almost every situation. such as renting a hotel room, getting legal service from lawyers, contacting government agencies, buying a plane ticket and train ticket, applying for a job, or getting permit to live with your parents, otherwise your residence is illegal. In a lot of cases, we are showing too much irrelevant information to an agency or person who should not know that. The card is subject to police cancellation, and thus without it, one can hardly do anything, including traveling for personal or business purposes, or getting legal help or obtaining a job. The government has been using this scheme too often as a measure against persons who run into troubles with it socially or politically. The identity card is showing your daily or every short-term movement, and can be used to regularize and monitor a person's behavior and activity.

One Korean professor reported that the national card was used primarily as a means of tracking peoples activities and movements:

If you lose this card, you have to report and make another one within a certain period. Since it shows your current address, if you change your address then you must report that and make a correction of the new address. If you go to a military service or to a prison, then the government takes away this identity card. You get the card back when you get out. You are supposed to carry this card everywhere you go, since the purpose is to check out the activity of people. There are fines and some jail terms if you do not comply. If you board a ship or an airplane, then you must show this card to make a record. You need to show this card when you vote. Former presidential candidate Kim, Dae Joong could not vote for his own presidential election because his secretary forgot to bring Kim's card. He had to wait for a while until somebody bring his card. Many government employees make lot of money selling information on this card to politicians during election season. Police can ask you to show this card and check whether your identity number is on the wanted list or not. There is a widespread prejudice between the people of some local areas. This card shows the permanent address of you. And it allows other people to successfully guess the hometown of your parents.

One Portuguese man studying in the United States reported an obsession with identity in his country:

I keep losing my ID. card, and people keep asking for it. It seems like it's needed for just about everything I want to do, and I should really carry it around my neck or have it tattooed on my palm. The information on it is needed for everything. Many buildings, perhaps most, will have a clerk sitting at a "reception desk" who will ask you for your id. They will keep it and give it back to you when you leave. Few people seem bothered with this, but then they don't keep loosing they're cards like I do. SO I usually threw a little tantrum "Are we under curfew? Why do I have to carry my id with me anyway?" Our tolerant culture invariably leads the clerk to take whatever other document I happen to be carrying -- usually my bus pass, which I loose less often. After a while I surrender and go get myself a new id. card. It takes 1/2 a day or more to do this and -- guess what -- you need your old id. card. It's more complicated if you've lost it. Then finally I am legal again for a while. It's partly due to the Portuguese obsession with identity. Everyone carries both they're mother's and father's last names.

Others confirmed the traditional problem of counterfeiting:

It costs only 300 rupees ($10) to get a counterfeit ID card. The system hardly works. We all know how fake IDs (one guy's photo, another one's name) can be obtained so people can have their friends take GREs and TOEFLs (national tests) for them.
posted by Irdial , 11:17 AM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 11:01 AM Þ 

PGParty Winners Message
This message is encrypted to the 4 winners of the 5000 cash prize.
If you can decrypt it, then you are a winner!
If you cannot decrypt it, but you downloaded, installed and use PGP or GPG then you are still a winner, because you care about your privacy enough to try crypto!

Watch this space for more PGP fueled competitions and antics, and even BIGGER cash prizez!

Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.2 for non-commercial use

posted by Irdial , 10:34 AM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 9:04 AM Þ 
Monday, October 22, 2001

Can't argue with science
Stare at the red dot
Don't lean out
posted by Claus Eggers , 7:52 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 3:03 PM Þ 

Which amongst you do not think that this is insane/wrong/crazy/immoral/harmful/stupid/backwards/inflamatory/racist/inhuman/dumb/anti-christ/unbelievable

speak now, and if you say that you think its ok, then I will just have to kill you.

From: Bretton Vine
To: Subject: national ID cards Date:
Mon, 22 Oct 2001 09:20:55 +0200


Here in South Africa we are issued with an identity number at birth made up of date of birth, a number allocation for male or female, a number for race and another number for nationality.

For example, a white male born born on 1 October 1999 would have a number such as: 991001 5000 08 2

The second number (4 digit) is for sex: 0001 - 4999 for females 5000 - 9999 for males

The third number (two digit) is for race

The last number for nationality,

At age 16 an ID book is issued. This ID book has a picture, a page for record of voting, a page for endorsements, Drivers license page, Driver's license endorsements, and space for 6 firearm licenses. In order to get your ID book you must have your fingerprints recorded.

Recently drivers licenses were made available in credit card format as well, but these are not accepted as proof of identity.

ID Books must be presented in so many activities.

* Opening a bank account, or a credit facility: present your ID book which is then photocopied and the copy stored with your application.

* Hiring a movie for the first time at a video rental? Often you must leave your ID book with the shop. (Aimed at preventing theft apparently)

* Stopped at a traffic roadblock? You must present your ID book and drivers license.

* Buying a plane ticket? In some places you must present your ID book as well.

* Going to a doctor for the first time, or to a hospital - present your ID book.

Copies of your ID book exist all over the place. Even if you close a credit account or store account, they still keep the copy and application.

And yet we have one of the most progressive constitutions in the world :-/
POLITECH -- Declan McCullagh's politics and technology mailing list You may redistribute this message freely if you include this notice. Declan McCullagh's photographs are at To subscribe to Politech: This message is archived at
posted by Irdial , 2:58 PM Þ 

Its extremely important to READ when you try and talk about something important like PGP. Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD, or BULLSHIT) is extraordinarily damaging; it sends out false signals to the weak minded and damages the hard work that people do to try and get everyone on the same page as far as privacy and liberty are concerned.

Anyone who can READ will know that GNUPG is an OPEN SOURCE PROJECT; that means that anyone can download the source code, read it, make sure that it is free of back doors, compile it and then run it. It doesnt matter who funds the development, because you (or someone you can trust) will always be able to read the source, and make sure that it does what it is supposed to do.

The German Government in this case is acting in a very enlightened way. GNUPG cannot be sabotaged; they know this. They are supporting it as the only viable way to protect thier citizens against echelon. It is the stated recommendation of the EU in response to the Echelon threat that all EU citizens encrypt thier email and communications with a robust system, and to that end, the German Govt. is financing the development of GNUPG.

PGP/GNUPG is not crippled, has no back doors, and can be trusted. Bullshit like this has been circulated since the earliest versions of PGP were released.

READ ABOUT THE SOFTWARE YOU ARE USING and UNDERSTAND the people and motivations behind it. Once you do that, you will find that your feelings toward PGP and Open Source will grow exponentially stronger, as you realize just how important a resource this type of operation is, and how much the programmers are giving the community for free.
posted by Irdial , 9:19 AM Þ 

FBI to employ Torture: Civil Rights out the window

Silence of 4 Terror Probe Suspects Poses Dilemma
By Walter Pincus Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 21, 2001

FBI and Justice Department investigators are increasingly frustrated by the silence of jailed suspected associates of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, and some are beginning to that say that traditional civil liberties may have to be cast aside if they are to extract information about the Sept. 11 attacks and terrorist plans.

More than 150 people rounded up by law enforcement officials in the aftermath of the attacks remain in custody, but attention has focused on four suspects held in New York who the FBI believes are withholding valuable information.

FBI agents have offered the suspects the prospect of lighter sentences, money, jobs, and a new identity and life in the United States for them and their family members, but they have not succeeded in getting information from them, according to law enforcement sources.

"We're into this thing for 35 days and nobody is talking," a senior FBI official said, adding that "frustration has begun to appear."

Said one experienced FBI agent involved in the investigation: "We are known for humanitarian treatment, so basically we are stuck. . . . Usually there is some incentive, some angle to play, what you can do for them. But it could get to that spot where we could go to pressure . . . where we won't have a choice, and we are probably getting there."

Among the alternative strategies under discussion are using drugs or pressure tactics, such as those employed occasionally by Israeli interrogators, to extract information. Another idea is extraditing the suspects to allied countries where security services sometimes employ threats to family members or resort to torture.....
posted by Irdial , 9:01 AM Þ 

The AF Creative Group Needs PR Consultants

We have avaliable positions in our Linguistics
Department for Arab speaking creative types.

Do you have what it takes?
posted by john , 6:19 AM Þ 

i've just realised i've been really stupid. i can't not send unencrypted mail, what abpout if i need to email someone i don't know.. idiot. but i will send it encrypted where ever possible.

researching into pgp for icq and came across this discussion in the forums:

RE: Do you support GnuPG?
Author: ne1 
Date:   08-01-01 20:24
as far as i know the GNUPG project is developed by some german group.
i can only warn to use encryption tools supported by german government!!!! the usually create backdoors and stuff like this.

never trust any german company that deals with the government.
Reply To This Message

 RE: Do you support GnuPG?
Author: Luis Rodrigues 
Date:   08-02-01 09:54
What is worser?

The german government, or the american nsa? ;o)
Why do you trust PGP, and not GnuPG?
GnuPG is based on OpenPGP and the german ministry of economy only supports this movement.

Another question:
Can you still look at the source code of PGP 7x and can YOU guarantee that the american didn't have buildt in a backdoor in PGP 7?


who do you trust?
posted by alex_tea , 12:20 AM Þ 
Sunday, October 21, 2001

Just in case you havent heard, Mozilla .95 is out http:/ Its the most excelent of browsers!
When you download it, you MUST try Gestural Browsing"
Very cool, very modern, very efficient.
posted by Irdial , 9:42 PM Þ 

Media Pass?
Pay $2.95 to read the full Article.
Your payment gets you immediate access to this Brills Content Magazine article. It will only take you 20 seconds to buy it right now.
Brills Content Magazine uses Media Pass? to process your transactions.

Not even the Gods of Olympus would pay $2.95 for a single article. Thats more than a fucking whole issue of some magazines.

When you said "micro" I thought that it was going to be some new micro payment system, through which you could pay .05c for an article. Two Ninety Five? Kiss my ass Brill.
posted by Irdial , 9:32 PM Þ 

The key to getting official support from the Air Force is to contact us early in the development or concept phase of a feature film, television program or music video. We can help you develop the story, create characters or write believable dialogue.

There is a list of movies that was denied help from the US army on Brill's Content Unfortunally you have to micropay to see the list, so if any of you demi-gods have a Media Pass™, you now know what to do with it.
posted by Claus Eggers , 8:42 PM Þ

By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 18/10/2001 at 12:08 GMT

What a total idiot I am. I never asked Web anonymizer SafeWeb exactly what they mean when they say they "collect NO logs or user data beyond what is required for performance tuning and security monitoring of our servers. Any such data is carefully safeguarded, only analyzed statistically, and is destroyed soon thereafter."

To me, 'soon thereafter' means 'during the next shift' when we're talking about a company that sells anonymity. And that's what I pretty well expected. And 'soon thereafter' is all you'll find in the company's privacy statement.

Thanks to Cryptome's John Young, we now know that the logs are kept seven days.

Seven days. Christ, I've 'researched' http exploits from behind SafeWeb. Long enough ago not to have anything to fear, but still, the idea that the logs live seven days is a jolt.

That's not anonymity. It's a decent shot at anonymity.

But who's got anything better? Anonymizer doesn't even mention logs in their privacy statement. God knows what that means. Do they have no logs? Do they not mind getting hacked? If you DoS them will they be content never to know it?

That sort of obscurity is even worse. SafeWeb tells you they'll keep the logs briefly, though seven hours seems a lot briefer than seven days to me. Anonymizer won't dare broach the topic.

Now that ZeroKnowledge has cancelled Freedom, where's the true on-line anonymity?

Where the hell is Peekabooty? Where the hell is Steve Gibson when you need him?
posted by Irdial , 5:10 PM Þ 

This mail was generated automatically upon request from your friend:"" and its purpose is to inform people about violation of privacy and coressponding activities of NSA. You can learn more about interception system Echelon and about JAD(Jam Echelon Day) action at: .

Received: (from JICC@localhost) by lVpQ.MIL (8.8.2/8.8.0) od BAA10810 for; Sat, 06 Oct 2001 17:11:13 +0000
Date: Sat, 06 Oct 2001 17:11:13 +0000
From: JICC
Message-Id: <200110061711.BAA10810@lVpQ.MIL>
Subject: Re: Siemens

From: Lieutenant Colonel of Chief of Staff, TACCSF (Theater Air Command & Control Simulation Facility, Kirtland AFB, NM)
To: Captain Ron S. Richards, Deputy Director, Security Awareness Division (M56)

You should pay the GRU agent so he can get on with the job! He's got to break Al Gore out of federal custody and get him to Washington after the satellite has passed over.

ps. Don't try to contact me
posted by Irdial , 5:01 PM Þ 

Wouldn't call you paranoid per se, but it's a nice statement to make, especially if followed through. I can't, since I would never be able to convince other people to install pgp or gpg... But for those who have it installed, I might as well encrypt before sending, even if it's slightly more work for me (typing in my passphrase, etc).

I'd say it's time to stop those crazy powermongers (anyone remember that game?).
posted by Mikkel , 3:36 PM Þ 

Jam Echelon Day 2001

If you do anything today, do this. Read what they have to say. Install PGP. Tell your friends to do the same.

I have decided that despite the massive amounts of stress it will cause me, I am not going to send unencryped email from now on. That still, however, does not protect my IRC or ICQ sessions, SMS or phone conversations.

Am I paranoid?
posted by alex_tea , 11:28 AM Þ 

thank you ./a!

i have sent that link to everyone i know.

defeat it NOW!!
posted by john , 5:54 AM Þ 

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