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Re: [Way Way OT] Re: How NSA access was built into Windows

> Assume the audience has a bias towards the rights of corporations and
> the status quo.
> Otherwise, we are all wasting bandwidth.  Bandwidth is easy to waste.
I believe we are using bandwidth.  I am not so sure about wasting bandwidth.  
This community is the one giving input into RedHat, and Fedora OS's.
Security, from all non-participating parties should be one of our major
concerns, both from a personal freedom viewpoint and from a business
standpoint.  In business your network contains virtually all the
information that provides income to the business.  In a personal
computer (not a public computer), Your security should be the same as in
your home.  I know that currently American law doesn't provide that.
But when people were not secure in their homes they created a new
government to make that so.  Today we have a much more technical
expansion of "home" than ever before, with cellphones, PDA's, computers,
internet, and cable access, than was ever or could ever have been
envisioned by our founding fathers in America.  Some new and developing
countries are struggling to deal with the responsibility of meeting not
just the equivalent of our fundamental government, but in fact the
expanded definition of privacy and home and personal safety.  If we
cannot determine what should be acceptable, and set the limits of what
we consider our personal perimeter, who will?  
	I have used software to create programs, to translate complex data sets
from one representation to another and to transfer data.  I have worked
with encoding systems, with transmission systems, and many other forms
of very powerful systems, some of the results of which you probably use
everyday (I developed test and verification programs for integrated
circuits for 20 years).  Security in our personal correspondence, in our
data and in our lives is slipping farther and farther from our grasp
daily.  From cameras on the street, to cameras and recording devices
where we shop, to the tracking of creditcard usage and bank account
conditions that seems to be available to anyone who is interested enough
to find out.  If someone knows enough about you, they have power over
you in very sublime and sometimes nefarious ways.  Such things as
product placement monitoring, or directed advertising, and the data
provided by those companies like doubleclick provide information about
us that sometimes we are not personally aware even exists.

	I grew up in a small town.  Everyone "knew" everything about everyone
else.  The operator used to listen in on the party lines as did some of
the parties on the line.  I remember when a friend teased me about a
doctors appointment when I was about 6.  It was very painful, but today,
knowledge about your medical history, or your past problems could result
in a missed appointment or advancement.  An opportunity lost that you
may not have ever realized was in the offering, and based on bad or old
and no longer valid information.  Add ID theft into the mix and your
future hangs in the balance everyday.  

	As to backdoors and other means of accessing your system, the network
analysis algorithms in use can pinpoint you falsely, a targeted download
can retrieve information from your system(s) and that can be used to
bolster the case.  And before you are ever served a warrant or notice,
the case against you has been made.  Moreover it may be impossible to
put the information in context to show that it was a harmless bit of
chicanery either by yourself or by someone you know pulling a prank with
unintended consequences.  

	It doesn't have to be an overt conspiracy to cause you problems.  You
can just be caught in a wide net set to trap some specific kind of
individual that somehow spat you up as one of the possibilities, and
circumstances left you with no where to turn.  I do not know if this has
happened yet, but I do know from my own work that what software reports
is not always the full truth, and that spurious facts can change the
context and meaning of data and communications.

	It behooves us all to be aware, to help control the proliferation of
intrusive behavior, and to keep our eyes and ears open.  
	Politicians are curious folks and bear considerable watching (with
apologies to any semblance to a famous quote).

Les H

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