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How To Post Absolutely Anonymously?

By shellac in Internet
Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 08:26:09 AM EST
Tags: Help! (Ask Kuro5hin) (all tags)
Help! (Ask Kuro5hin)

The year is 2007. The "war on terrorism" has gone on for years and there is no end in sight. FBI investigations of "suspicious persons" at American companies and the media frenzy about Middle Eastern terrorists has gotten to the point that many Muslim Americans have lost their jobs because they are considered "security liabilities." Word leaks out that the all-seeing eye of the Information Awareness Office, headed by Bush's crony John Poindexter (the Reaganite of Iran-Contra fame), is using its powers to spy on "leftist radicals," which in actuality is just about anyone criticizing Bush, Israel, American foreign policy in the Middle East, reading Chomsky, or sympathizing with the plight of Muslims. It is the new McCarthyism, and you do not want to be its next victim. What do you do?

You, stalwart k5 reader, happen to be residing in America at the time and now you think you should have paid more attention to that Homeland Security thing they passed in 2002, and that perhaps you could have voted more often. More importantly, you too are now fed up with American policies. You want to make your voice heard on k5, usenet, or another web forum, but you don't want to end up on Big Brother Poindexter's shit list. So what are you to do?

Way back when, one could have relied on anon.penet.fi or some other type of proxy. Today it is likely foolish to try to hide with such services as they will probably bow to a court-ordered subpoena. In the future, perhaps no subpoena will be necessary, as the traffic from your computer to the proxy might be recorded by a Carnivore-type box at the ISP level.

My question to the k5 commmunity is, how are we to hide our tracks? How can someone register an email address and post messages without being snooped on by this new government agency? Do you all think this could be done safely from your own computer? Or would ultimately the safest thing be to use a crowded library or internet cafe's computer, where one is not required to sign-in? I suppose if someone is to post a long missive, it could be written on paper, then brought in person to the internet cafe and typed in, though it could attract attention from employees. It would probably be too risky to leave it in any kind of temporary internet storage or mail account, as that would leave an electronic trail. I hope I can get some other creative solutions. My question to the community is not just for 2007, but for posting anonymously today.

This post assumes a level of spying at the internet level that the United States is probably not capable of yet, but may be in the future. It assumes that the ISPs in 2007 have Carnivore boxes, and that this new information department has vast data stores of electronic traffic and citizen information and the sophistication to wade through it.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o investigat ions
o the all-seeing eye
o John Poindexter
o its powers
o may be in the future
o Also by shellac

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How To Post Absolutely Anonymously? | 221 comments (207 topical, 14 editorial, 4 hidden)
Answers (4.38 / 13) (#1)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:43:05 PM EST

Good question!

Today: Use a sufficiently large chain of secure, anonymous remailers. They should be in different countries, preferably ones that value personal freedom (or at least computer and cryptographic freedom) more than the US. The possible attacks would be to compromise every remailer in the chain, or to solve the encryption.

Soon: We will soon have reliable, decentralized, encrypted peer-to-peer networks. Check out freenet for an example of what's to come. Basically there is no way to prove who posted a certain piece of data, and it is even tough to prove that certain data exists on a node in the network (When you post data, parts of it go and reside on many different nodes in encrypted form). I'm not sure on this one but for a correctly-designed network the only attack would be a cryptographic one. I guess traffic analysis might be possible as well.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.

Re: Answers (4.40 / 5) (#7)
by Totto on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:14:47 PM EST

As for anonymous remailers, I believe Mixmaster is a fairly good bet, at present. Tracing a Mixmastered message would as far as I know involve compromising all the servers, not just one. I also believe Havenco used to run a server, but I am uncertain as to whether it is still operative. Relay servers abroad is obviously a requirement; I suspect Havenco's server room is about as physically secure as you get them.

As for encrypted peer to peer networks, they rely on two assumptions; that the user's hardware is not compromised, and that strong crypto indeed is infeasible to break in reasonable time. The second is probably reasonable, the first may be uncertain in the future; though the Clipper Chip never became reality, this could again pose a problem come DRM-in-hardware.

[ Parent ]

Good points (4.00 / 4) (#11)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:38:56 PM EST

HavenCo appears to be down but I think it's temporary. You get what you pay for, especially if it's based on a glorified scaffold in the middle of the sea.

As for 'trusted' computing, we definitely need to be worried about how this will affect our freedom. Fortunately we have enough pre-DRM hardware lying around that will be sufficiently powerful to communicate securely, at least until the content industry and the war on terrorism go away. BTW, I think seamless encrypted P2P networks will be what ultimately brings down the content industry. I don't have a moral stance on this, I just think it's inevitable.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

it's a new security feature... (4.50 / 6) (#30)
by martingale on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:06:52 AM EST

We, at HavenCo, believe in ultimate security for your data. Every day, when the tide reaches a certain point, our connection to the internet breaks. That means 100% security 12/24, every day! Other ISPs can be hacked 24/24, but we offer TWICE the security at the same price! Sign up for an account, ahem, in 7 hours 42 minutes!!!

[ Parent ]
mixmaster (4.75 / 4) (#29)
by F a l c o n on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:05:35 AM EST

The havenco remailer is down currently, and it is unknown when it will come up again.
However, the beauty of the remailer network rests on the fact that you don't need the likes of havenco (which are a high-profile target anyway), but just regular servers sitting at some university and happily mixing messages. There's a ton of these, and chances are that if the remailer network is ever visibly attacked, they will be created faster than "they" can take 'em down.

Back in Beta (too many new features added): BattleMaster
[ Parent ]
Not that easy (4.85 / 7) (#39)
by MugginsM on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 07:02:56 AM EST

> We will soon have reliable, decentralized, encrypted peer-to-peer networks.

Should the scenario presented happen, I'd suspect that just *running* software like this would be a crime, and you'd be carried off and locked away before anyone could use it to post to k5.

The old argument that if you're doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. So if you're hiding something, you're obviously doing something wrong.

- Muggins the Mad

[ Parent ]

Deniable (4.66 / 3) (#40)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 07:29:11 AM EST

We already have the technology to make this traffic close to undistinguishable from any other encrypted traffic. You could do clever stuff to really make it look like an https connection but I guess they would know if your machine was making tiny https requests to 1000 different machines. My hope is that some time in the future all communications will be done this way so it won't be practical to outlaw a network of this kind. Even if we end up in a totalitarian state people will still need to buy stuff online so I don't think you can outlaw all encryption.

There is also the concept of deniable encryption, where your ciphertext can be decrypted to multiple plaintexts. So you could post your revolutionary call to arms but it would also contain a recipe for apple pie (ironic, eh?). There is no way to prove there are additional streams in the ciphertext, so if you are forced to give up a key you give them the apple pie key.

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

And where will your software run? (4.50 / 4) (#63)
by Anonymous Hiro on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:35:05 AM EST

If it doesn't work on the Trusted Computing Platform?

Even if someone signs your software, that cert can be revoked.

Computer refuses to work if doesn't get a digitally signed certificate revocation list on a periodic basis.

Computer: "Checking Trusted Authority for your protection".
Details: "This is necessary to update list of invalid certificates to prevent running of any dangerous software."

And all people who want to run dangerous software are bad people right? Whoopee.

Connect to ISP? "Please insert smartcard containing cert". And don't forget IPV6 + ipsec + certs can be used against you too y'know.

Have a nice day. While you can.

[ Parent ]

2007 and Beyond (4.00 / 2) (#65)
by CodeWright on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:42:44 AM EST

True freedom will only exist for those able to kluge their own non-cert hardware and networks -- the rats in the walls.

Eventually, the sharp cookies in the intel and security agencies will no longer have the sharp edge that the rats gain through daily intercourse with the ice on the worldnet -- and the rats will then be able to create WMD-grade virii, super-worms, and trojans.

By then, the capabilities of the rats will be an acceptable level of nuisance for the Novus Ordo Seclorum and the criminal classes will be able to trade capital for pseudonymity with the rats.

"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
Present your ID! (4.00 / 6) (#3)
by Kyle on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 09:51:11 PM EST

What you do is, get onto a network where ID checking is required. In 2007, this may well be the entire network.

Since ID is required, there will be many convenient ways to get ID. Find a low paid (yet trusted) government employee and purchase a perfectly valid ID that has nothing to do with you.

When it's time let the Feds know what you really think of them, make sure you use the fake ID.

Then pray the employee you bribed doesn't roll over on you when they trace the ID back.

Realistically, historically, (4.50 / 2) (#6)
by Pikachu with an Axe in his Head on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:12:25 PM EST

you do one of the following:

  • kill/rob someone and use their ID before they're/it's missed
  • forge an ID
  • do business with a fence or forger to get the products of the above without having to do the work yourself

But your point is a good one: it's much more practical, usually, to leave a false trace than to leave none at all.

[ Parent ]
Digital certs. (4.75 / 4) (#59)
by Anonymous Hiro on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:23:12 AM EST

Big Brother's signature and cert is ultimate.

BB signs Gov CA's cert.
Gov CA signs various certs of ID issueing depts.
At the ID dept, the Gov officer issues and signs your cert with his cert and the Depts cert.

Big Brother/The Beast/Boss of the world is displeased with you? He just revokes your cert. Within a month (say average time for all sites to update revocation lists) you can't buy, sell, travel, access info, heck maybe even use your own computer (it refuses to work unless it is allowed to check the Authority for your_protection ) etc.

In such a scenario how likely are you to find a gov employee to do it for you, before you get caught in the process? The consequences for the gov employee could be rather high.

Heck BB/TB could just revoke all certs issued by that office and all involved will have to bow down and swear allegience to him before they get new ones.

Don't forget: TCPA, DMCA, Palladium and all other friendly initiatives. Making the Future happen, bit by 128 bit.

We are doomed bro, doomed! We're frogs being slowly boiled. And where can we hop to?

[ Parent ]

Anonymous Communications Network (4.62 / 8) (#5)
by Gawyn on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:00:42 PM EST

As part of my undergraduate research project, I am working with several other students to develop an anonymous communications system.  My professor/mentor developed one such system (<a href="http://www.cs.umd.edu/projects/p5/">P5</a>) with one of his graduate students.

Our goal is to design and implement a system of our own that provides an anonymous globe-spanning network of computers, undetectable (ie: no massive bandwidth usage that gives away presence on the anonymous network), and capable of being used to overlay protocols.  With such a network in place, one will be able to browse the internet, send e-mail, send IMs, etc., with complete and total anonymity.

Granted, we're a long way from completion, as we have three more years, but as I see it, such a system is definitely going to become useful in the years to come.
-- Error: .sig not found. Replace user and try again.

great (3.00 / 2) (#100)
by Xcyther on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 05:48:57 PM EST

just what we need. More script kiddies packeting yahoo because they are anonymous and no one can find out who they are.

"Insydious" -- It's not as bad as you think

[ Parent ]
Illegal access. (3.50 / 4) (#9)
by haflinger on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:33:07 PM EST

The best way to access the Internet anonymously is to use an insecure computer network. Any of the countless community colleges and trade schools who don't secure the computers in their labs properly will do. Many computers will allow you access to run programs just by hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL; just browse over to Netscape, and bump your way in. Create a hotmail account, create a k5 account using it, and post to k5 - untraceably.

Do so out of sight of any video cameras in the room.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey

True story (4.66 / 3) (#25)
by Cloaked User on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:18:47 AM EST

About 5.5 years ago, I was working at my University during the summer, earning a little extra money while I waited for my PhD to start. In the course of this work, I had reason to visit the medical campus, and meet one of the techies there.

I got there a little early and he was a little caught up in something, so I went into the PC room intending to use one of the machines to check my mail. So I sat down at one, and tried my username and password in the dialogue box that was shown. No go; "must've mistyped them..." I thought, and tried again. Still nothing.

Now, I could see the Windows desktop behind the dialogue, so I simply clicked cancel - no, it shut everything down and restarted it all again, redisplaying itself once finished.

About ready to admit defeat, I tried a long shot, and simply moved the dialogue box out of the way, and tried to start up telnet.

Imagine my surprise when it worked, and I was able to log onto one of my department's alphas.

The authentication challenge was essentially a dummy, just there to make you think you needed to be able to log in. Remember that at the time, Windows NT was available, so there really was no excuse for such unsecured PCs...

As for the ctrl-alt-delete trick, don't forget that NT-based Windows (and 9x? I forget...) have a little "Start process..." type button on the task manager. No browsing required :-)
"What the fuck do you mean 'Are you inspired to come to work'? Of course I'm not 'inspired'. It's a job for God's sake! The money's enough and the work's not so crap that I leave."
[ Parent ]

Suspicious (4.85 / 7) (#32)
by zakalwe on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:27:22 AM EST

This sounds a little suspiciously like a fake login screen. This is a pretty simple way to collect usernames / passwords in shared computer environment. Instead of logging out, someone runs a program that looks like the login screen, but in fact, just takes whatever gets typed and saves it to a file for later retrieval. Normally, it'll report an error on the first login, and then quit, bringing up the proper login screen for the second attempt, leaving the user assuming they just mistyped the password.

[ Parent ]
WinNT not required. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by haflinger on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 08:37:25 AM EST

Actually, you can stop that from happening on Win9x using TweakUI. Crappy little schools usually don't, though.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
internet cafe in austria (5.00 / 2) (#106)
by aphrael on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:34:03 PM EST

I was at an internet cafe in a town in Austria in 1998, wanting to check my email. At the time, all of my email was dropped to a shell account on a remote linuxbox; I used telnet to get into it.

The machines at the cafe were all linux boxes with special accounts that would shut down after [x] amount of time; you bought a username/password pair that was good for that time and nothing else.

Logging in launched an X session with *nothing* on the desktop except netscape. Nothing. This was useless to me. So I went to get help from the person working there, but he knew nothing about computers.

So I played for a while. I couldn't launch telnet using file associations. But eventually I discovered that I *could* launch csh via file associations (I mapped 'ftp' to csh and then tried to download a file via ftp), and once I did that, I was able to launch telnet, and get at my e-mail.

Nowadays I just use a java-based ssh client. But that wasn't available then.

[ Parent ]

a simpler way... (4.00 / 2) (#138)
by han on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 09:05:01 AM EST

If all you've got is a browser, and you want to use telnet, go no futher than the address bar and type telnet://host.name/. Alas, this no longer seems to work on current Mozilla with default settings...

[ Parent ]
i'd tried that. (4.00 / 1) (#142)
by aphrael on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 07:02:40 PM EST

unfortunately, it couldn't *find* telnet.

[ Parent ]
Slight correction. (none / 0) (#180)
by haflinger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:03:42 AM EST

That should be telnet://host.name - no trailing slash.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
New network up for posting anonymously (4.30 / 10) (#10)
by dj28 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:37:49 PM EST

It's called IIP. It's basically a layer on top of the IRC protocol that lets you chat anonymously and securely with people. I suggest you download it and try it out.

Library? (4.66 / 12) (#12)
by LukeyBoy on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:42:05 PM EST

Some ideas:
  • Near me here (in Toronto) the local public library has dozens of computers with Internet access, and no one checks ID unless you actually sign out books.
  • As an alternative just go to a cyber-cafe. Pay with cash, make your post, never go there again.
  • A real cool method (and the most geeky) is to hop onto an unprotected 802.11 wireless network and post to your heart's delight. Near my apartment with the good old Pringle's trick, there's one unencrypted network and two "encrypted" ones - although WEP is hardly a decent security measure.
  • Finally, look into Freenet - it's come a long way, and setting up a Freesite (the equivalent of a static HTML website) is very simple.

Toronto (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by DrJohnEvans on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:52:31 AM EST

Since you mentioned it, I might as well point out that it wouldn't be a problem in Canada. Even if we were under totalitarian rule (which is rather unlikely, given that we actually put sunset clauses in our stupid knee-jerk reaction reform bills), dissent against our U.S. overlords would be strongly encouraged.

Hell, maybe K5 could be moved to Canada by 2007. I mean, the Americans' problems would worsen with having to export data (especially to a terrorist haven like Soviet Canuckistan), but it'd make things simpler for me, anyway.

[ Parent ]
Still expect to be spied on. (5.00 / 2) (#67)
by wumpus on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:46:24 AM EST

(note this does not applies to Canada and other free nations)
The Patriot act has allowed "National Security" searches of Library records and federal charges of librarians who leak that these events happened.

I expect that the required internet filters will cc: Poindexter, and that some camera will match your face to that email. If this doesn't work, don't expect to use send emial at the library much longer.


[ Parent ]

That'll keep him busy.... (none / 0) (#213)
by sgp on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 07:20:44 PM EST

everyone go to the library and send 10 emails a day - the interesting stuff will be covered by the noise of the "Hello Mum!" stuff.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

The worst option (4.71 / 7) (#13)
by tftp on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:44:36 PM EST

Or would ultimately the safest thing be to use a crowded library or internet cafe's computer, where one is not required to sign-in?

Such places are likely to be the most compromised. How can an owner refuse if several people from a respected TLA pay him a visit and do some "software upgrade" for free?

Visiting such a place, you not only leave your digital traces, but a physical ones too (such as camera pictures and your fingerprints.)

IMO, there is very little you generally can do to escape detection, if a surveillance system is sufficiently complete. And there is no reason why it can't be complete. After all, it only needs the capability to do a full trace on you; it does not need to trace everybody all the time.

But as a temporary solution, use Web proxies all over the world, and connect to them with SSL. It is better than nothing. But probably not good enough.

Try a rock with a note around it (4.28 / 7) (#14)
by czth on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 10:55:45 PM EST

None of this fancy technology stuff. Posters in the dead of night!


Don't be foolish... (3.22 / 9) (#18)
by Nascent0 on Tue Dec 10, 2002 at 11:39:10 PM EST

Their archives of your activities, terabytes of data, will lead them to you before you even try to write seditious emails and postings. :>

To ensure anonymous posting, first you will have to create atleast two mental personas and never let on that one may know about the other one... That way not even your hand writing will match, if the Omnipotent, All Seeing Eye sees your handy work. After you've got that down pat, move to the next level and realize they will be psychological profiling on everyone's pattern of life and be able to pick you out of the mindless masses like some ugly toad surrounded by beautiful, featureless concrete -- unless you are able to foul them with your dual personas.

Okay, so you're half insane. The system has won and has everyone tracked, profiled, and repressed into conformality - Welcome to the year 2007. Wait a bloody minute, it'll be a utopia, with everyone consuming! What are we fighting for? Could it be that whatever you're petty little revolutionary idealism is will never be realized because it does not change the masses of consumers who are the system???


If you want to get off the wheel of revolving stupidity (revolutions just keep the cycle going...), wake up and realize what exactly it is that would change the world! Realize what the universe is and the only way to move forward!


As much as I am normally a fan (2.57 / 14) (#19)
by Pinkerton Floyd on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 12:15:59 AM EST

of unfettered freedom, this is a really bad, bad idea.  Try having obsessive stalkers who blame you for their shitty weblog tanking (not because of anything you did mind you, but) because someone else did something to them, and posted about it on your website.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  They don't get bored.  They don't get tired.  They don't get a life.  EVAR.  Are you sure you want them to be able to post anonymously?  I don't.  I just want to find them before the police do, frankly.  I'd rather handle it myself.

Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun.

Freedom from stalker vs. freedom from oppression (3.66 / 3) (#149)
by auraslip on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 12:46:51 AM EST

It's really a question of what you value more.
I normally wouldn't answer, but no one else had and your aurgument needed to be answered.
[ Parent ]
As much as I am normally a fan (1.20 / 5) (#193)
by GruesomePurple on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 11:34:44 PM EST

of fat slobs, you are a really putrid, filthy pile of shit. Vlad, I cannot possibly begin to tell you how much I wish you would fucking die. You are the biggest fucking LOSER whose existence I have ever had the wretched misfortune to become aware of. You reek of a perpetual stench generated from your filthy goddamn glands. You get fired from a job for shitting your pants. You have the nerve to broadcast your disgusting essence all over the fucking internet. DIE! DIE YOU FUCKING BITCH! DIE!

[ Parent ]
measures... (4.84 / 13) (#21)
by KiTaSuMbA on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 02:16:53 AM EST

I'm sure this will be incomplete and that it ranges from good sense to paranoia but here it is anyway:
- web forums and browsing: use anonymous proxies that support SSL (so that you avoid carnivores). Make your history and cache dirs read-only so that after you close that browser window, nothing is left behind.
- IRC: use only servers supporting SSL. Don't be hasty to "show" someone your IP with a dcc.
- mail and MLs: for MLs use a proven-to-work chain of mail anonymizers.For private mails use gpg and perhaps even consider using a set of private mail servers instead of public pop3s (the very email address could result "incriminating" once your peer is caught) with no loging and using encrypted partitions.
- use a p2p encrypted network (like freenet). Have the good sense that anybody could join them and "they" are definately in. So keep an eye on not releasing information or hints about yourself and your peers.
- encrypt all personal data, articles and IRC logs. Best way on this is a monolithic (no modules) crypto-enabled linux kernel.
- have the possibilty of physically destroying your hard disk data (hmmm, a nice powerfull coil activated by a button on your pc's front panel could be handy) if the cops burst in.If you were wise enough to have spread them in a secure p2p network as encrypted data you can have them back with a few efforts later.
Of course, all this is based on one assumption: that the very effort of not letting the state know what you say to whom is not considered criminal action. But the way you picture your 2007, there is every reason to believe encryption and anonymous proxies ARE illegal. In that case you only have one option: passing information within otherwise innocent content (steganography). But watch it. You innocent content _has_ to make sense. If they sniff my mail and see me sending random pictures all the time with no connection among them whatsoever and short irrelevant text they could smell the fish. And since in your 2007 smelling the fish is equally bad to catching you with the fish itself... well, you are fried my son.

PS: I wouldn't rely too much on compromised boxes. If they can get to crackers as of now think how hard it would be to remain untraceable under that heavy monitoring.
There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!

Auto HD Deletion (5.00 / 1) (#204)
by FlightSimGuy on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 11:32:21 PM EST

- have the possibilty of physically destroying your hard disk data (hmmm, a nice powerfull coil activated by a button on your pc's front panel could be handy) if the cops burst in

This is the best idea I've heard all year. GAWD, I would so love to have one of those in my computer for the general geekiness of it. More importantly, it could've kept a great many hackers out of prison, where the primary evidence against them was the contents of their hard drive which they (the hackers) couldn't erase quickly enough when they saw the feds approaching. Even popping in a low-level formatting boot disk and having it do its thing would take much too long to get it done from the time the agents walk in your door to the time when they unplug your comp.

Some sort of device to create an EM pulse inside the system (along with its own battery, so it could function if they'd cut off your power) would mean that you could wipe your drive in a split-second when you see them walking in. No evidence, no conviction ("sorry your honor, but I was startled by the agents walking in and my hand slipped over the button"). God, I love this.

[ Parent ]

4 years to go .... (none / 0) (#210)
by sgp on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 07:01:56 PM EST

Since the question is assuming the need for this in 2007, how many times could you accidentally press that button in the next 4 years?!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Paranoia on Parade (4.55 / 9) (#22)
by jonathanwilson on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 02:26:05 AM EST

Hmm, One future scenario that has been rolling around in some circles for quite some time is that there will be a time when without the proper id numbers it would not only be impossible to post on the internet, but also to buy and sell things like food and clothing. The rationale would be that getting an id would confer upon you the privilege of being a consumer, just like getting a driver's license gives you the privilege of driving a car today. Without the license you are breaking the law if you drive a car, and so it would be if you tried to use the internet or buy anything without an id. Anyone who loved anonymity would automatically be a criminal. Here

black market? (4.00 / 3) (#31)
by martingale on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:15:15 AM EST

How does that idea deal with black markets? Obviously, there would be plenty of well off people willing to consume anonymously and pay adequately for the privilege. And that's not counting poor, desperate people. How does the theory stop black markets from forming?

[ Parent ]
It doesn't. (4.25 / 4) (#35)
by gordonjcp on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:11:22 AM EST

It creates them - think "Ration Book"...

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

[ Parent ]
In Context (3.66 / 3) (#48)
by jonathanwilson on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:29:00 AM EST

The scenario I described is one of the signs of the end of the world in the book of Revelation in the Bible. It has been hypothesized that using existing technology a world dictator could conceivably give each person on the planet an 18 digit number, 123456-123456-123456 or 666. The text mentions a mark that would be placed on either the hand or the forehead. Some think that this would be a barcode, or possibly a chip. The early ones would be put on the hand but then later they would just stamp babies in the delivery room and the forehead is the part that distorts least with growth. The main reason why this would be promoted would be to create a truly cashless society. Any time you bought or sold it would be automatically debited from your account in the central computer. Anyone with a lot of wealth would have to turn it in to the central government in order to have it credited to their account and get their number. So after full implementation the only black market left would be simple bartering between the desperately poor rebels who refuse to take the mark. Who are mostly martyred at this point.

[ Parent ]
Book of Revelation (5.00 / 1) (#206)
by Eisernkreuz on Thu Jan 02, 2003 at 06:19:43 AM EST

Amen, brother. The people who are the biggest proponents of a cashless society are those who, like any big proponent of just about anything, stand to gain the most from it. The nature of Satan is that he wants to control EVERYONE.

God's nature is to allow us to freely choose Him. Since those who crave power want ever more restricitive ways to control others, the cashless society is what they dream of. The ability to erase ALL your wealth with the touch of a few buttons is Satan's DREAM.

I tried to explain that to my dad years ago, when he was rather cold towards God, but he didn't go for it. Now that God is a bigger part of his life, he sees the wisdom of it.

Any time FEW are given power over MANY, the FEW will abuse that power for their benefit. Unless those few are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, to have a society where someone can vacuum up all my money by typing a few keys does not interest me at all! Long live cash and real merchandise!

[ Parent ]

An interesting theory (none / 0) (#215)
by sgp on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 07:53:09 PM EST

but there have been thousands (upon thousands) of theories.

This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666. (New International Version)

Seems to go against the theory - HIS number is 666, not THE number.
Interestingly, bible.gospelcom.net found another reference to 666, which I did not know about:

1 Kings 10:14 The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents [That is, about 25 tons (about 23 metric tons)]

The "barcode" type theory seems very popular, but seems to ignore the implication that only the wise can calculate the identity of Satan. Also, the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night - no-one can predict His coming. Since the two seem to be strongly intertwined, I would expect that one, or at best a few, may identify the Beast, but that s/he will be largely disregarded. If this "barcode" theory were to turn out to be correct, that seems to go against the implied scarcity of the knowledge/credibility of those who predict it.

It is interesting that the other reference to the number 666 is about Solomon - the emblem of Wisdom.

I can't seem to find any way of converting the USD35/oz which Gold seems to be (roughly) worth into tonnage, though....

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Not id numbers. (3.50 / 2) (#54)
by Anonymous Hiro on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:57:01 AM EST

They're called digital certs.

In order to get your cert signed by the Beast (to be made valid) you may be required to do certain things.

The Beast can always revoke your cert. And within 30 days or the usual time to update revocation lists, you're in deep shit - can't buy, can't sell, can't travel.

Anyone can fake an ID. But faking a digital cert takes some doing. If the regime is brutal or competent enough, nobody is going to take bribes to help you fake one - if they get found out, their own certs get revoked, they are doomed. No need for long arm of the law. Just the local bus, supermarket or fuel station would be enough.

Hack into the systems? There's the TCPA, Palladium, DMCA. You probably can't even sneeze on your own equipment without permission.

The barriers of entry to make modern computers are now quite high, so it would take a fairly advanced backyard to make your own PC once companies stop making "no limit" stuff.

Legal recourse? Oh yeah try the International Court of Justice? The UN? Yeah right...

Most things are in place, soon all that's needed would be a nice shiny throne.

Only silver lining: incompetent governments and broken/weak systems.

[ Parent ]

Do as I do (3.80 / 5) (#24)
by psychologist on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:05:16 AM EST

Hire 3 people in 3 countries who do not know about each other to proxy for you in a serial network. You pay them to delete the logs every 5 minutes. And use a hotmail account to post.

Could you please clarify? (4.60 / 5) (#27)
by Ranieri on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:49:43 AM EST

What's a "serial network"? You mean one forwards to the other? Is this just for email, for mail & web or for all IP traffic?
Most importantly, are they loyal/well paid enough?
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]
Serial proxies. (4.66 / 3) (#72)
by haflinger on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 11:12:32 AM EST

Each of the proxy servers in a serial line connects to the next one as an upstream proxy. It slows the connection speed down, but makes it harder to hack back.

So let's say psychologist goes to k5. His computer sends a GET http://www.kuro5hin.org/ to proxy A. Then, proxy A sends that request to proxy B. And proxy B sends it to proxy C. Proxy C then connects to www.kuro5hin.org and sends the GET through.

In order for somebody to track him back, they have to first notice the connection between C and www.kuro5hin.org (which can be done using packet sniffers), and then sniff out C to B, B to A, and then sniff out A to his micro. This is hard to do.

It's still not absolutely anonymous. Sadly, psychologist's ISP has his billing information, and will give it to a government with a court order if his IP address is sniffed out.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Answer (4.66 / 3) (#133)
by psychologist on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 06:17:45 AM EST

Haflinger is correct in his description of the serial proxy. Regarding loyalty, the usual calculation is that at least 1 person in the chain is not going to betray you at the same time.

Also, none of the 3 know who the person is.

So, if person 1 is approached with a large sum of money to allow sniffers find out about person 2, person 2 will be raided, in the hopes that he is psychologist. Person 2 would then optimally notify me that he is in trouble, and I would stop using the internet.

If he doesn't do that, person 3 will notice that the proxy is no longer working, so will tell me, and I know something is happening.

For all 3 to fail at one time is unlikely. And the more links you have in your chain, the more secure you are, but the greater lag you have.

[ Parent ]

hotmail? (3.75 / 4) (#41)
by MrLarch on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 07:40:34 AM EST

And use a hotmail account to post.

But you forget, this article was about anonymity.

[ Parent ]

Privacy? (5.00 / 3) (#154)
by odaiwai on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 11:14:23 AM EST

Hotmail puts your originating IP address in the headers.  It's a very bad choice if you want to send something anonymously.

-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]

That was my point (nt) (3.00 / 1) (#174)
by MrLarch on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 08:49:57 PM EST

[ Parent ]
A large collection of people... (4.00 / 1) (#148)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 12:01:00 AM EST

... is needed, each acting as patsy for some number of other people (how many, perhaps they don't know). Is there software to build/join such a patsy network?

[ Parent ]

an oversight? (4.00 / 1) (#173)
by oomcow on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 01:04:19 PM EST

how are you planning on hypothetically paying these three people in different countries without leaving a trail where the money came from?

[ Parent ]
All well and good... (4.18 / 11) (#33)
by failrate on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 05:38:19 AM EST

but to be honest with you, I rarely read anonymous posts. Also, I believe in providing my real information, especially when I'm protesting something I think is unjust.

However, I'll try to be helpful :D

1) Sneakerware - Nothing beats the low digital signature and cool, spy-movie effect of clandestinely swapping floppies with your co-conspirators/soccer moms. Practice cool mafia handshakes where the disk is swapped therein. Also cool is the "setting down identical briefcases, asking the 'stranger' the time, and then picking up the alternate briefcase with sensitive documents" technique. Extra points for style. This is especially effective with the 3.5 floppies. Jeez, those 5 1/4 floppies were murder to "handshake" to someone, especially with 12-year-old hands.

2) My library requires me to enter my library card number to accesss hotmail and other web-mail services. I could access my SuSe shell account from their "free to the public" boxen, but that would leave a trail with my account written all over it.

3) You could create a free-host web page under an assumed name from a public computer (such as poorly monitored campus computer labs which rarely require passwords) with a form to send mail. Not terribly tricky, and you could then access that mailer page from anywhere without it being registered as web-mail by a library's "Free to the public" anti-mail filters or requiring a significant fingerprint from you.

Voodoo Girl is da bomb!
As for today... (4.72 / 18) (#34)
by J'raxis on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:04:38 AM EST

They will probably outlaw encryption by 2007, but K5 is accessible over SSL. See? I think the SSL server is for people to buy text ads, but the whole site is accessible via SSL, and all links except the title graphic are relative, so once you go to the SSL site, you never accidentally leave.

My ISP can only see me making a few dozen connects to the server www.kuro5hin.org a day, nothing else.

— The encrypted Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]

Not quite good enough (4.50 / 2) (#86)
by nomoreh1b on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:26:41 PM EST

If someone has ISP records and tracks new K5 posts, they can still figure out who posted what even with no cooperation from Rusty(just look at what IP address was logged in anonymous and when and when posts showed up-and who that IP address corresponds to).

I think what might be helpful here is to have a feature that would allow postponed posts to K5. That way if Rusty doesn't share IP information, all a snooper could tell is that at some point one of the folks using SSL posted a story but couldn't tell which one. If enough folks using SSL, they'll provide protection for folks to post anonymously.

[ Parent ]

We already have that (4.75 / 4) (#112)
by J'raxis on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 07:16:11 PM EST

We already have the postponed-post feature — it took almost two minutes for this form to appear and will probably take another two minutes to finally post. ;) Is everyone trying out the newfound SSL K5 or something? Awfully slow all of a sudden...

Seriously, that would be a good idea. Another solution (in addition to postponement) might be to reduce the precision of the displayed date on stories to just the hour, or even day, they were posted.

I would bet that if postponement were an option, people would, by and large, choose a round number like post this in two hours or something. Thus, if you see a story posted at 12:34:56, and you saw that a connection was made at 10:34:56, you could be pretty confident that you made a match. A good solution would be to let people select any postponement they choose plus add a random few minutes onto their choice.

— The SSL Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Rounded postponement (4.50 / 2) (#190)
by ZorbaTHut on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 03:51:10 PM EST

Personally, I'd think it would be more likely to be coded so you just typed in the time you wanted it to show up - an absolute number, not a relative one. And that just means that every hour on the hour K5 will get a flurry of new posts going up, from people who are too lazy to set the "minutes" field. ;) Wouldn't tell the onlookers much though, and that's the point.

[ Parent ]
Random postponing (none / 0) (#197)
by florin on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 11:20:14 PM EST

Actually, postponing the messages should be in an interval, the actual value being chosen at random by the server.

[ Parent ]
Nobody has mentioned (4.57 / 7) (#36)
by Herring on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:40:33 AM EST


Of course you need enough people that they can't just round the lot of you up.

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
Er... (5.00 / 3) (#55)
by DrJohnEvans on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:02:46 AM EST

Prizes for frequent users: Users who keep their Crowds servers alive all the time will be identified and rewarded with a free Crowds T-shirt. Recipients so far are: ...
Congratulations! As a reward for helping to keep the spirit of privacy and anonymity alive and well, we're going to publicly post your name!

[ Parent ]
Well ... (4.50 / 2) (#57)
by Herring on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:16:58 AM EST

OK, but the concept is valid.

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
Write a letter (4.50 / 8) (#37)
by SanSeveroPrince on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:44:23 AM EST

Send it to Rusty.

Registered, so they can't open it.

It's a funny twist on the cyberspace thingy I first read about in a Gibson novel: world wide networks become so vulnerable that motorcycle couriers become necessary again for sensitive information.
Funny how we may actually be going that way, eh?

Alternately, Rusty may have to implement SSL on K5.


Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think

SSL for K5 (5.00 / 3) (#56)
by ericc on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:09:59 AM EST

Alternately, Rusty may have to implement SSL on K5

Actually, it's already done. I've been browsing K5 with SSL for a while now.

[ Parent ]

Time warp (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by SanSeveroPrince on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:23:16 AM EST

I read the comments relevant to SSL on K5 only after I posted the comment... it takes a while to write them from work, so I have quite the time warp phenomena.... I'll give it a shot soon, actually :)


Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think

[ Parent ]
another consideration (4.80 / 5) (#38)
by tps12 on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:45:37 AM EST

The "absolute" part is really hard to satisfy. As someone else said, a good start is using insecure systems to access the Internet. But you also have to consider what you put out there once you have your anonymous access. If you're writing any kind of extended prose, such as an essay, then your writing style, vocabulary, and other characteristics can give you away as easily as using your ISP's email address. One simple technique to avoid detection in this way is to run your text through a translator (like Babelfish, but ideally on your local machine) and back, and then edit for grammatical errors and very awkward constructions.

Here you go (3.50 / 4) (#42)
by john priest on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 08:23:44 AM EST

try this link.

But how does that help? (4.66 / 3) (#49)
by Anonymous Hiro on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:38:19 AM EST

Doh. Such "anonymous" proxies are just centralised logs of where people surf.

Only use such proxies if you have to bypass filters or broken network routing, not for anonymity.

And I wonder who is dumb enough to create a paid account for anonymity... 8-)

That site's FAQ didn't even work when I looked ;).

[ Parent ]

Protection from who? (4.50 / 2) (#53)
by fencepost on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:56:29 AM EST

Whether services like Anonymizer are worthwhile to you depends on who you're trying to keep your traffic private from. By the way, Anonymizer has started doing something that makes their default service not much more useful than turning off cookies.

If you're trying to keep it out of government hands, then they're unlikely to be useful - they're a single point to monitor.

Personally, I have an Anonymizer SSH account because I tend to connect from insecure locations, so I port-forward email traffic through that and another (less reliable) SSH/shell account. My thinking is that someone on an insecure local network is much more likely to sniff out and actually exploit my signon information than someone on a high-traffic connection.

And in terms of what Anonymizer is doing, their default for "secure browsing" is no longer an https session, just redirection with cookie filtering and the like. You can turn on secure browsing, but whenever I tried to save that as a default setting (a month or two ago) it crapped out completely.

"I can't believe I'm giving someone enema advice." -karlj000
[ Parent ]

have a look (2.00 / 1) (#83)
by john priest on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:18:50 PM EST

nologging (.gif) It's independant. no logs are kept.

[ Parent ]
Here is how (4.00 / 11) (#43)
by Wulfius on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 08:35:46 AM EST

Here is one solution;
Encrypted P2P network.


Here is another;
Stegonography - The art of hiding data in inconspicuous data. Ie: The plans for overthrow
of the totalitarian US government in the year 2007
hidden in the boobs of a supermodel.


There is a also a browser Peekabooty.

Of course you need to understand that the
US Echelon program (http://www.echelonwatch.org/)
intercepts ALL of the important information
allready. Carnivore and the Total Awareness
is just for hick internal police forces.
The real intelligence is allready doing 100%
intercepts as testified to by the (Google for: Semantic forests) and the fact that NSA contracted
for incinerators capable of burning 6 tonns of paper each hour.

The conclusion is when you start NEEDING these
tools, you are allready fucked. You have lost
what is left of your freedom.
The time to act is NOW whilst we still have
the pretence of a democratic process.
Start using your head. DO NOT listen to the mass
media. Seek fact, use logic, follow the money
to undertand global politics.
And remember one thing;
Politicians lie, allways. Its what they do.
We pay them to do it.

Defend democracy NOW, while you still can.

"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!

A Tool for Privacy on the Internet? (3.00 / 3) (#46)
by klekker on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 08:53:29 AM EST

What´s your opinion?

It's a Mixmaster for the web (4.00 / 1) (#69)
by fhotg on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:52:04 AM EST

sound concept, the best anonymizing possibility I ran across so far. In the end, depends on some sort of legal framework which allows to be operated uncomprised. Existing in 2002 in Germany, by 2007 we might have to switch the country.

[ Parent ]
Public places are not the answer (4.71 / 7) (#47)
by jayhawk88 on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:09:00 AM EST

Public internet places like libraries, cafes, etc probably are not the answer. If this country does indeed turn out like you envision, it follows that places like these would be one of the first to be secured with required ID's to use computers, survelliance cameras, and such.

Hacking into unsecure networks to cover your tracks my be viable, but again, if the government was really serious about cracking down on this, they would surely swoop into most colleges, JUCO's, and probably more than a fair share of private businesses under the guise of "providing free security consulting". Besides, if a post you make is tracked back to a hack you've made to a network, they now have a truly legitimate reason to arrest you, rather than "Just because he doesn't like Bush's new haircut".

A couple other people have hit on what I think is probably the only viable solution in a situation like this: cutting the cord. Recognize the Internet is no longer a safe place to express your opinions, and revert back to more primative means like leaflets, radical newspapers, etc. Or perhaps WiFi will reach a point where it is feasible to run a secure, independant network totally cut off from the Internet (though I doubt it).

Why, then, should we grant government the Orwellian capability to listen at will and in real time to our communications across the Web? -- John Ashcroft
Its easy enough, sort of... (4.50 / 6) (#50)
by jester69 on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:38:35 AM EST

though maybe not anymore...

1) get a laptop

2) go slink around in alleys near wireless coffehouses & use their connection from outside.

another way might be:

1) get a laptop
2) get an acoustic coupler
3) find payphones with no cameras nearby
(for the truly paranoid make sure the day is overcast, and no cameras see you on the way there)
4) dial in to an account not traceable to you (either free & fake details, bought with cash or ???)


Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.

This is 2007, there is no open 802.11 (4.80 / 5) (#62)
by jwsellers on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:34:59 AM EST

The Department of Homeland Security says wireless networking is a terrorist threat. By 2007, they will have rounded up all of your terrorist neighbors and their terror tools.

As seen in this Wired article.

[ Parent ]
Move to Brazil (5.00 / 1) (#207)
by Eisernkreuz on Thu Jan 02, 2003 at 06:23:12 AM EST

So, one might safely assume that ONE thing a person can do to make the world a friendlier place is learn some foreign languages fluently. So if their home country were to ever become a tragic police state, they would be able to go elsewhere and not just survive, but thrive, neh?

[ Parent ]
Anonymity? Bah! (3.66 / 9) (#58)
by Kintanon on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:21:12 AM EST

I like to make sure I'm not anonymous. It's not trivially easy to find my identity, but it's not really that hard either. I want the government to know who I am. So that they have to spend resources to track me and pay attention to me "Just in Case" I do decide to go belltower on President Bush. That means they are using resources on me that are now diverted away from harassing someone who is doing something that may actually make a difference. Just diluting their ability to track everyone makes it worth my time, even if it's only a tiny tiny tiny reduction in their capabilities. Of course, by now they probably have everything from me flagged as "Harmless nutball, ignore" so when I *DO* start planning me attack they will ignore all of my stuff until it's too late!


Hold on a minute son (4.33 / 6) (#64)
by CodeWright on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:35:08 AM EST

Historically, totalitarian regimes (vis-a-vis, National Socialist Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist China, etc) took the "better safe than sorry" approach to "harmless nutballs".

Countless tens of millions of corpses in their respective concentration camps, gulags, and revolutionary re-education camps attest to the will of totalitarian governments to jail and execute anyone who might question the party line.

"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
It is better to kill... (4.00 / 2) (#66)
by skyknight on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:43:38 AM EST

one hundred innocents than to let one guilty person go free. -- Dolores Ibarruri

More brilliance from the Communists...

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Aye, but.... (3.00 / 1) (#75)
by Kintanon on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 01:17:57 PM EST

If I'm labelled a harmless not now, befure the complete totalitarian regime is in place, they may continue to ignore me when I decide to assassinate the people in charge... Then again, maybe they won't ignore me and I'll end up at best rotting in a prison camp and at worst summarily executed. Oh well... I guess that's the risk I run.


[ Parent ]

Summarily executed isn't such a bad thing... (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by skyknight on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:19:49 PM EST

It's when they drag the process of killing you out over several weeks of torture that it's no fun.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Bah! (5.00 / 1) (#95)
by Kintanon on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:35:31 PM EST

They underestimate my wussieness! I'm likely to die at the SIGHT of a needle! Heck, I go into convulsions when given an IV drip.


[ Parent ]

The meta-answer is... (4.66 / 6) (#70)
by tneff on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:56:25 AM EST

The meta-answer is that if you want to be able to post anonymously in 2007, there needs to be a steady stream of new anonymous services being created each year.  No individual resource will stand forever against the assault of the state, which comes when something seriously illegal is transacted on the service (or some anti-privacy taskforce targets it for targeting's sake).  But each attack takes time, and time is on the programmer's side.

Too many wrong assumptions (3.75 / 8) (#73)
by wumpus on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 11:17:38 AM EST

1. Assumption that anonymous posting is important: Anything truly anonymous can be considered spam. Without even an author, no credibility can be attached.

2. Assumption that anonymity increases safety: If you manage to anonymously transmit data on network watched by big brother, you will raise all sorts of flags and generate your own HSA file. If you only post once or twice, you will not matter. If you post enough to matter, you will be caught.

3. Assumption of technological solution: This one gets me. The Homeland Security Agency has the technical and legal power to intercept any electronic message. Encryption only gives an easy flag for traffic analysis. If you want to distribute memes the HSA considers harmfull, you will have to use a decentralized means of talking to your neighbors.

While there have been a few (very few) important anonymous documents in history (and every poster thinks his is the next Federalist Papers), they aren't that important. All that opposition to such policies needs is sufficient public opinion against it and a few leaders willing to get elected. The public opinion part does not require much anonymous posting. What it does need is a willingness to listen to neighbors instead of the TV. Until that happens, don't expect anything to change.


Only If You're the Only One (4.66 / 3) (#108)
by czolgosz on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:36:39 PM EST

The Homeland Security Agency has the technical and legal power to intercept any electronic message. Encryption only gives an easy flag for traffic analysis. If you want to distribute memes the HSA considers harmfull, you will have to use a decentralized means of talking to your neighbors.
Well, that's not true if communications are routinely encrypted by a very large number of people. This is a strong argument for using secure messaging regardless of what you're up to. And since you can never tell what might trigger a "false positive" in which a poorly-phrased joke or a hypothetical comment might land your ass in a cage at Gitmo, it's probably better to give nothing away. Otherwise, why not install a video camera in your bedroom too? You've got nothing to hide, right? Well, it's none of their business, that's why.

Run the odds: if there are a lot of innocent people and not many bad guys, then it doesn't take a very high rate of false positives to detain (say) 20 innocent people for every genuine (even potential) threat to public safety. I think the Feds know this but have made a policy decision to allow randomly-chosen innocents to get screwed as long as some of the real terrorists get caught too. After all, it's not THEIR lives that are being ruined.

The bad news is that the recent exonerations of convicted rapists and murderers on the basis of DNA evidence suggests that the legal system has a VERY high rate of false positives. We're not talking five nines here. Maybe not even one nine. And since conspiracy evidence is likely to be far more circumstantial (if not secret), I'd expect that the rate will be even worse in those cases. And because Bush and his gang of pistonheads consider due process a waste of time, once you're in the net, you're going to have a hell of a time getting out.

So start swapping those keys.

Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
You're right. (4.00 / 1) (#118)
by wumpus on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:51:21 PM EST

My complaint was targeted at the notion on anonyminity. Encryption has other problems, which largely concern attacks on computers containing cleartext. Encryption only works if the person you are sending to is as paranoid as you are.


[ Parent ]

Anonymity and Encryption (4.50 / 2) (#141)
by czolgosz on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 01:09:09 PM EST

My complaint was targeted at the notion on anonyminity. Encryption has other problems, which largely concern attacks on computers containing cleartext. Encryption only works if the person you are sending to is as paranoid as you are.

Yeah, I was disagreeing with (OK, qualifying) one of your counter-arguments but not addressing the main point you were making.

So-- on your central point: I do believe that there's a need for anonymous exchanges to take place in order for civil society to function. Yes, political dissent in the present US political environment is still possible without the need for anonymity, but there have been many situations where that hasn't been the case (remember the FBI harassment of civil-rights activists and the anti-Vietnam war movement?). I want there to be means of communicating when we find ourselves at that point again. And I share your view that people are taken more seriously when it's evident that they've got some skin in the game. But for non-critical exchanges, anonymity can be more convenient. For example, I don't think it's reasonable to expect anyone who posts on K5 to publish their name, home address or even email address. However, when I sign a political petition, I do provide that information. But still I don't think K5 is a significantly less worthwhile forum because we use userids instead of the names on our driver's licenses. I suppose my bottom line is that it should be up to individuals to decide how much personal information they disclose in order to be involved in a public activity. For similar reasons, I'd argue the same about financial transactions, at least those below a fairly large threshold, and therefore oppose the replacement of cash with a fully traceable means of exchange. The alternative seems coercive and too open to abuse by those with power.
Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
Done and Done.... (4.25 / 4) (#74)
by Count Zero on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 01:03:09 PM EST

APAS Anonymous Remailer Use

You too can be a "leftist radical" (1.26 / 23) (#76)
by snowcold on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 01:25:23 PM EST

Since when is denouncing filthy Jewish actions something "leftist"?

You should know that (with the exception of reading Chomsky) each of the "leftist" activities you mention are part of the agenda of what is usually called the far right.

Just consider the following lines (borrowed from John "Birdman" Bryant)

  • I do not believe that loyalty to my country is the same as loyalty to my government. History shows that the levers of power have been controlled by some of the most unpatriotic men in existence, and I am unwilling to call their acts anything else or to honor them in any way.
  • I do not believe in attacking countries which have not attacked us, no matter how odious their governments may be. If their people can't organize themselves and fight for their own freedom, why should anyone expect us to do it for them?
  • I do not believe that the purpose of the military -- to use Gen Smedley Butler's famous phrase -- is to make the world safe for United Fruit. If companies want to invest outside our borders, let them arrange their own protection rather than expect the US military to bail them out.
  • I do not believe that we should engage in military operations without a declaration of war from Congress, and that any such declaration should require a 2/3 supermajority. While I recognize that the President needs to have some flexibility in emergencies, I do not believe that Americans can be properly ordered to fight in any extended conflict without such a declaration.
  • I do not believe that Americans should be required to fight under a United Nations flag. American servicemen are pledged to uphold the Constitution, not to obey the whims of a bunch of foreigners, most of whom are either socialists, totalitarians, or have just recently emerged from the primordial Turd-world slime.
  • I do not believe that America should be the world's policeman. We can't solve our own problems, so why should we have the right to meddle in the problems of others?
  • I believe that if a politician favors war, that he should be in the first assault wave, and that if he votes for war, he should remain in the front lines until the war is over.
  • While I do not believe in the draft because I do not believe in involuntary servitude, I believe that any adult citizen who publicly advocates war should be immediately subject to the draft, no matter what his age.
  • I believe that all corporations which make significant money off war should have their entire management subject to the draft, and that a substantial percentage of their upper management -- this percentage being proportional to war profits or expected war profits of the company -- should be required to be soldiers in combat.
  • I believe that all the monuments we have raised to men who have been responsible for starting wars should be razed, and public toilets built on the remains. These, of course, would include Lincoln, FDR, Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes (Hey -- where better to go to the bathroom than in the Bushes?), plus a good many other presidents and congressmen.
  • I believe that the first and only responsibility of our military is to protect our country from foreign incursions, whether military or civilian. For this reason, I believe it is a gross violation of both the Constitution and common sense that our southwest border is wide open with Turd-world immigrants flowing in like diarrhea, while our soldiers are off in a hundred different countries protecting opium growers, sheltering Israel, and making the world safe for Afghan oil pipelines.
Also try a search for Israel or any other of the things you mention in the National Alliance search engine.

Freedom is not free; free men are not equal; and equal men are not free.

Some good points, ruined (4.66 / 3) (#88)
by czth on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:28:56 PM EST

You make a lot of good points, especially about the warmongers leading the charge and the required declaration of war, but - and it's a zinger - you ruin it all by spouting your antisemitic* bullsh*t in the same message.

* Link provided for those that say "semite" refers to all descendents of Shem and thus antisemitic doesn't just mean against Jews; well, by common convention and usage it does.


[ Parent ]

Definition of antisemitic (1.10 / 10) (#94)
by snowcold on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:34:35 PM EST

I think it was Ambrose Bierce who said that:
Antisemite used to mean someone who hates Jews, but now it means someone who the Jews hate.
Actually, I don't think that it has ever meant the first thing. Semite is nothing but a PC euphemism for Jew.

I call them Jews because no slurs are needed for Jews, the word itself is a slur, they have made it one by their actions, by their character, by their essence.

Don't focus on symptoms but in the decease. Insane foreign policy is a symptom, having a government which doesn't represent the feeling of the majority of Americans in anything that matters is a symptom, invasion of hitherto White lands by mestizos is a symptom, negros in our midst is a symptom. The Jew is the decease. Real politics mean fighting the Jew.

Freedom is not free; free men are not equal; and equal men are not free.

[ Parent ]

Troll alert!! (2.00 / 1) (#105)
by HollyHopDrive on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:28:07 PM EST

I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

A small correction (3.00 / 2) (#109)
by snowcold on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:43:58 PM EST

The quote comes from L.A. Rollins author of Lucifer's Lexicon not from A. Bierce author of The Devil's Dictionary.

Freedom is not free; free men are not equal; and equal men are not free.

[ Parent ]
"Negroes in our midst". (3.75 / 4) (#135)
by tkatchev on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 07:19:30 AM EST

Let me tell you something: slaves haven't been brought into North America since something like the year 1800. (Sorry, don't know the exact date.) This means that the vast majority of American Blacks have roots going as far back as the American Revolution.

Whereas the vast majority of White Americans are third- or second- generation immigrants from impoverished areas of Europe.

Sorry dude, but you lose. The "Negroes" were here first, and besides the Native Americans, they are the only people who can rightly call the land "their own".

The so-called "White Americans" should just go back to Poland and Ireland.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

incorrect. (none / 0) (#182)
by chunkwhite84 on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:13:01 PM EST

Snowcold, you have no grasp on reality.

The Jews are the some of the most deserving people on this earth. They have been persecuted for thousands of years, yet their culture and religon remains intact. The Jews are a very strong and peaceful people and certainly deserve their own nation (Isreal), someplace that is theirs and theirs alone. I have a lot of respect for the Jewish people and so should you. And No, I'm not jewish (or related to any jews).

The Muslims on the other hand, are the true enemy of anyone who values freedom and peace. All muslims despise Americans and Christians. The Muslims are an evil and selfish people. Muhammad was an evil man who abused his position of authority to twist the laws to suit his own selfish needs. Islam has by far, the largest percentage of it's members (versus any other religon) who are members of terrorist organizations. Even muslims who would never bring harm to Americans or Christians are guilty, for they support their fellow muslims in whatever activities they persue, no matter how sinister. I used to work with a young muslim man who was born and raised in the US. He only spoke english. He wore Nikes and Tommy Hilfiger (American brands). He told me that he didn't hate any people, but that if his father, or uncle, or grandfather told him to go out and kill 12 americans today - he would do it without question. In post-taliban afghanistan, not one cent, not one loaf of bread, and not one aid worker was given by an Islamic nation. All the food, money, and workers to help the people of afghanistan came from Christian nations. The Islamic people won't even help their own people in a time of need.

Food for thought.

[ Parent ]
Israeli, not Jewish (5.00 / 5) (#90)
by HollyHopDrive on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:03:16 PM EST

If you object to Israeli policy, fine, say so. But don't confuse Israel with Jews. That's dangerous, ignorant and racist. Most Jews are not Israeli, and not all Israelis are Jews...a significant number of Israelis are Christians, Muslims or Arabs.

You know, England and America are countries full of white Anglo Saxons, and I hate Blair and Bush. So all white Anglo Saxons must be scum. And I hate Nigerian governmental policies, so all black people must be scum.

Do you see what I mean?

I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

I do not confuse them (1.08 / 12) (#99)
by snowcold on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:50:34 PM EST

I oppose both the actions of the Jews in Israel and the actions of the Jews outside Israel. And in fact it is more important for us to worry about the latter.

I don't oppose a particular government, because it doesn't matter who is in charge in Israel, regardless of who is elected their objectives are the same.

But as I said, is their actions against White people what should worry us. The Jews throught their control of the media are destroying us far more ruthlessly than thay can kill those hapless Arabs in Palestine.

Freedom is not free; free men are not equal; and equal men are not free.

[ Parent ]

down, troll, down (5.00 / 3) (#104)
by HollyHopDrive on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:14:49 PM EST

You know, at first I thought you were an anti-Semite (Jew-hater, if you want to get all tied up in semantics). Now I realise you're actually just a troll. You'd better watch out or those evil bug-eyed Jews will use their media and world controlling power to come and get you, because they may not have a sense of humour.

I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Either you are a white supremacist, or... (4.50 / 2) (#102)
by Cowculator on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:03:46 PM EST

you're appallingly ignorant (not that the first option wouldn't necessarily imply that).

Have you actually read Bryant's website?  He consistently talks about the "Jewish Question" and its "final solution", terms originally employed by Hitler and Adolf Eichmann to discuss rounding up and enslaving or killing all the Jews they could find.  He blatantly practices Holocaust (or, as he calls it, "Holohoax") denial, writes about white supremacists' favorite conspiracy theories as fact, and mocks his critics with name-calling and groundless accusations because they are clearly part of the "Jewish Establishment" or some other conspiracy.

And the National Alliance website speaks for itself.  Its "What is the National Alliance?" page calls for "white living space" (just as Hitler used the term "lebensraum" to define his goal of conquering Europe), a government willing to perform the "racial cleansing of the land," and straightforwardly claims its mission to be the advancement of the "Aryan" race.  "What we must have, however, is a thorough rooting out of Semitic and other non-Aryan values and customs everywhere."

Labeling Israeli policy or the U.S. role in the Middle East as "filthy Jewish actions" just highlights your own ignorance.  There are plenty of Jews, even in Israel (like most of the reporters for Haaretz, in case you thought that "Zionist control" of the media was absolute), who criticize these policies, and plenty of others who gladly support them.  And pointing to neo-Nazis, no matter how much Bryant may insist that he isn't one, only hurts whatever exactly it is you're arguing for.

P.S. to anybody who actually rated this above 1, since it's at 2.28 now: Try actually following the links a writer cites before you rate this sort of nonsense any higher than the 1 it deserves.  Shame on you for promoting such trolls.

[ Parent ]

And then I realized... (5.00 / 1) (#103)
by Cowculator on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:12:11 PM EST

that snowcold's homepage is actually that of the National Alliance.  That would most likely make him either a white supremacist or a really effective troll, or both...

[ Parent ]
Which proves the point (4.00 / 1) (#139)
by snowcold on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 10:48:28 AM EST

Whether I agree or not with the thoughts of Bryant and the National Alliance is not the issue here. The point of quoting and linking them was to show that opposition to Israel, to "American" foreign policy, to globalization, to Bush, etc. is by no means a leftist characteristic as claimed by the author of this story but in fact the agenda of what is usually called the far right (unless by some mental malabarism someone can show me that either John Bryant or the late Dr. William Pierce are "leftist radicals".)

Freedom is not free; free men are not equal; and equal men are not free.

[ Parent ]
This is why we have the problem in the first place (4.64 / 14) (#77)
by mjs on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 01:30:13 PM EST

Hmm... don't want to rant, don't want to rant, don't want to rant...

If things get to that point, we only have ourselves to blame. Our form of government is based on the principle that authority to govern is derived from the consent of the governed; by definition, if we end up with a dictator in power it is because we abrogated our liberties and privileges to maintain authority over those we elect to power.

If only it were that simple.

The US withdrawel from Vietnam did not occur because anonymous protesters voiced dissent from the shadows. Images of college kids shot down in cold blood, of citizens of all ages, sexes, and races tear gassed in the streets, of women and children swept away by water cannon shown nightly, repeated, on the evening news and in the newspapers and magazines, was what ultimately forced Nixon and Kissinger to change their behavior. As mysteriously romantic as it sounds, anonymous protest is largely ineffective protest. It makes the protesters feel good but doesn't have much of an effect on public opinion. And public opinion is, as they say, the fulcrum of change in government.

If the conditions you describe truely disturb you, if the prospect of living in this sort of fascist dictatorship is something you object to, then you have to accept the hazards of effective protest. They will know who you are. That's the whole point: as many people as possible have to know who you are, what your message is, what they can do, what's in store for them if they don't.

Of course, this applies to peaceful protest (the only sort I believe in.) If you're into explosive or hazardous substances then the rules are different, but then again you'll also be known far and wide too -- as a loony tune outlaw, out to destroy Mom, apple pie, and the American Way. Your odds of effecting real change that way are, in my humble opinion, nonexistant, but that's your call. I won't turn you in but I won't mix fertilizer and oil for you, either.


No, the Vietnam war ended.... (1.50 / 2) (#171)
by Demiurge on Sat Dec 14, 2002 at 06:54:20 AM EST

because the Sino-Soviet split rendered the region relatively irrelevent, and because there were no coherent strategic objectives at the highest levels of command.

If anything, the widespread protests made more people support the war, as they preferred to support the war rather than be identified with the counter-culture protestors.

[ Parent ]
Nonsensical crap (5.00 / 1) (#184)
by nonsisente on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 05:11:43 AM EST

The Vietnam war ended because the US lost.
Indocina was, is and will be geo-strategically important.

marx is right - you are an historical revisionist.

[ Parent ]

I'm going to go opposite here. (4.00 / 4) (#78)
by Wolf Keeper on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 01:33:58 PM EST

I don't mean to wave my hands optimistically and dismiss your concerns.  This is a serious issue, and we should vote, write our representatives, and get involved to stop it.

But I think you're missing out on the colossal ineptitude of our marvelously bloated hunk of bureaucratic garbage.  This is the same federal government that pays hundreds of dollars for a screwdriver, wasted billions on Star Wars, is losing the War on Drugs, is failing abysmally in educating our children, has run itself into trillions of dollars of debt, couldn't foresee a terrorist attack that was planned in this country using plain text email, and has been suckered into spending $350 billion dollars to make military contractors even more rich.

I'm surprised the average high-tier politician can tie his own shoes, given our nation's track record.  Do you really think these fools are going to pull this type of monitoring scheme off with any sort of effectiveness? Honestly?

ineffective vs inefficient (4.20 / 5) (#85)
by werner on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:21:04 PM EST

with the possible exception of the war on drugs, your above examples display inefficiency, not ineffectiveness.

most governments seem to need many times the resources to achieve the same result as private business, but they usually have many times the resources, and the US government, in particular, is in a position to throw billions upon billions of dollars at whatever project it wishes. sure, IBM would do a better job at a fraction of the cost, but that's not to say the government is incapable of doing it.

i think we all agree, the problem is analysing the data, not collecting it - a problem which the EU has solved by pushing the onus onto ISPs. and then, once the data has been saved, it is there forever, waiting for analysis.

they may not be able to intercept, interpret and thwart future terrorist plots, but pulling the names of everyone you've emailed and every site you've surfed in the last 5 years will be child's play. i think any reasonably intelligent and open-minded person will have left enough variety behind in that log file for the feds to concoct whatever story they want.

it is difficult to underestimate the competence of government agencies, but also to overestimate their blind pig-headedness.

[ Parent ]

Stand behind your opinion. (4.41 / 12) (#79)
by ChiefHoser on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 02:16:00 PM EST

I read this and then I read some of the comments to this and I wonder at the amount of people that wish to express their opinions without hint of their identity. Why have an opinion on something if you are too afraid to have it connected with the physical "you"? If you want to change something and protest for the change then you better have the guts to show yourself or your protest means absolutely nothing. An anonomous protest provides no help to a cause and identity however provides everything. If you suffer for it then you better believe in what you are protesting for.

Suck it up and fight for your beliefs and/or opinions and don't be afraid to fall.

Chief of the Hosers
Absolutely agree (1.75 / 4) (#153)
by Silent Chris on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 10:44:29 AM EST

Anyone get the feeling that, if face-to-face with the man, most of these "anonymous" protestors would cringe and shy away?

[ Parent ]
I have no doubt. (2.00 / 2) (#159)
by ChiefHoser on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 02:31:18 PM EST

There is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of these people would go along with whatever a face-to-face prosecutor told them to. There will be a few that at the last second will reach down to the depths of their inner being and pull out a shred of human integrity.

Chief of the Hosers
[ Parent ]
Stop being a fucking coward, that's how. (4.21 / 19) (#80)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 02:33:16 PM EST

Anonymity is for those who lack conviction. Those of us who believe in our ideas must not be afraid of the consequences of our thought.

If a government wants to track us, let them. Let us be John Hancock or Cyrano de Bergerac: "One does not lightly abdicate the honor to serve as target to the enemy."

If you want to hide and cower, and assume the dark places of the world, to foment dark thoughts in secret alley ways; if you want others to prey upon your secrecy, and have fear of opening your windows since your neighbors may see the quality of your cupboards; if you want to peddle tawdriness and lewdness but you wouldn't have your children or neighbors do the same; if you want conniving, abated breathes after having run a cryptographic race, hoping that no one else will discover your idea until it's too late for them to do anything about it; if you want to hide your love, your hopes, your dreams, your concerns, your religion, your hates, and in short anything that is you; if you want any or all of that... then perhaps you should learn about integrity and pride.

You have the luxury of being cowards because of those who needed to die to allow you that weakness. You have learned that it's easy to crawl upon your belly in secret, like worms fearful of a pigeon. And then when your hiding place is uncovered, your reaction is to dig deeper, be more anonymous, hide, hide, hide. You run away from predators when it is you who could be the predator. You shy away from light like the ghosts that you are, adoring the dark, fearful and hateful of those who live so freely.

If you're too ashamed to live, then what are you doing?

Be not afraid to speak your mind. It's not heroism. It's honesty: to your fellow man; to your neighbor; to your self. Stand up and be a man about it.

I drank what?

I'll see you, and raise you one. (4.00 / 2) (#81)
by techwolf on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:03:53 PM EST

not only to stop being a coward, but if things ever got that bad I (and a number of others) would start taking things into thier own hands....

I belive that such a case could lead to a civil uprising, perhaps even a low-key civil war. I know I for one would stand up and fight for my rights.

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

brothers in arms (or mouths) (3.00 / 3) (#91)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:07:48 PM EST

I call.

I drank what?

[ Parent ]
ok I have (3.66 / 3) (#98)
by techwolf on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:50:10 PM EST

1 .50 cal

2 hk's (7.62 NATO AP)

and 2 M1's (.30 carbine and Thompson .45)

whadda you got?

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

A calculator (4.00 / 3) (#169)
by texchanchan on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 10:12:10 PM EST

and it says the gov't has more firepower than you and all your friends ever will. What have you (we) really got? The constitution and 200 years of tradition. Use that. It's strong. It's outlived numerous periodic waves of weirdness and paranoia and it'll stand up to this one too.

[ Parent ]
A coward? (4.28 / 7) (#89)
by Jman1 on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:33:06 PM EST

Can't you envision a situation where it would be more useful to remain anonymous and free to continue whatever it is you're doing than to "stand up for your beliefs" and be caught and silenced?

Or, another example. Suppose you have an important story to tell, but if your identity were to be known, people close to you would be hurt. The story will be as effective (or close enough) while anonymous (for the purposes of this example.)

[ Parent ]

stop being selfish (3.75 / 4) (#92)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:26:00 PM EST

Cowardice is usually positively spun as "self-preservation" or "pragmatism". That doesn't change anything that you're more concerned for your own neck than to stand on principle.

I can envision scenarios where what you describe is the case. China is a great example where it's safer to be quiet. The flaw in the plan is that China can't silence everyone if they all took to the streets. By speaking your mind and having everyone speak their mind, this is the only protection you have. Hiding is not protection. If we don't hang together, we shall surely hang alone.

Also, if your family be in danger because of your beliefs, you have problems even greater than speaking your mind. If you stay silenced, then you're not doing what it takes to help other families that are similarly terrorized. Your silence gives them strength openly to do what they do to others. As a result, they can terrorize who they wish, while you need to hide. Your silence gives them the advantage. Don't.

I drank what?

[ Parent ]
mmmhm, sure. (4.50 / 4) (#113)
by fenix down on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 07:25:46 PM EST

I don't know, China did a pretty good job with the silencing the last time they tried taking to the streets. This isn't some black and white thing. You can go play Ghandi and Hancock and get your face blown off by the end of the week, but if I ever have something to say that's going to put the blade to my neck, I'll take my anonymity, thank you very much. Even if it has nothing to do with my personal desire not to spend the rest of my life in a box in Cuba, I'd rather see a family man with something to lose pass on anonymous words to a John Hancock who WANTS to stand up and take the heat than force people to decide whether to let the world go to hell or fuck themselves and everyone they know. Anonymity gives you some kind of fucking middle ground between being a stubborn martyr and being a voiceless drone of a citizen.

[ Parent ]
Oh yeah, (1.50 / 2) (#93)
by Pinkerton Floyd on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:26:38 PM EST

like when you're harrasing someone for example.  You'd want to remain anonymous then.

Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun.
[ Parent ]

I can think of a better example. (5.00 / 2) (#192)
by sllort on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 04:43:09 PM EST

Harassing someone anonymously is a good reason to be anonymous on the Internet. But what if you were fat, stupid, ugly, and retarded? That would be an even better to be anonymous, because you wouldn't want people to find out who you were. They might make fun of you.
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
Whatever you say, "SocratesGhost." (3.33 / 3) (#110)
by NFW on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:45:44 PM EST

Oh the irony.

Got birds?

[ Parent ]

heh (3.33 / 3) (#116)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:23:01 PM EST

in the time i've been here on K5, I've posted my email address, home phone, home address, real name, place of occupation, and work phone.

If a person wants to know it, they have only to ask. I'm not hiding. He's just a hero of mine and the name PaulMartin wasn't available.

I drank what?

[ Parent ]
Socrates was cool though (none / 0) (#196)
by kholmes on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 05:47:23 PM EST

And he died for his beliefs. Nothing ironic about it.

If you treat people as most people treat things and treat things as most people treat people, you might be a Randian.
[ Parent ]
Spies (3.66 / 3) (#125)
by J'raxis on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 11:23:32 PM EST

You have the luxury of being cowards because of those who needed to die to allow you that weakness.
Oh, come on. Every single war that’s been fought has had its share of spies, scouts, snipers, and saboteurs. Generals have been encrypting their communications since the time of Julius Cæsar. Those who operate secretly are just as important as those who stand up, shoot, and get shot.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

that's not the issue here (2.66 / 3) (#130)
by SocratesGhost on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 12:50:21 AM EST

Nation's don't adhere to the same rules and principles as individuals.

I drank what?

[ Parent ]
What the hell? (5.00 / 1) (#178)
by haflinger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 09:55:42 AM EST

Spies are individuals. If governments can use individuals secretly, then why can't social and political movements also benefit from secretive people?

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]
Why are you asking Kuro5hin? (3.50 / 4) (#82)
by jubilation on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:13:00 PM EST

Why not ask Chinese dissidents?  They're living in a world just as controlled, just as nasty, just as unsympathetic to the "plight of muslims" as the article froths about.  But they're doing it now.

Of course, they're unlikely to tell you, as whatever method they describe will soon be compromised.  And probably will be soon anyway, the government will snag a couple of them, and the rest will have moved on to another anonymization system.

Hmm ... did I just accidentally answer the question?  ;)

Worse, did I just say the answer is security through obscurity?

sounds like liberal hysteria (2.66 / 3) (#87)
by tweetsygalore on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 03:28:26 PM EST

if one has to hide one's tracks KNEE-JERKINGLY. and the key phrase IS knee-jerkingly. i think that we'd probably have more credibility and would be taken more seriously if we were candid on some or even most things and extremely discreet and truly circumspect on those that really matter. best, C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
"Liberal" hysteria? (3.33 / 3) (#96)
by FourDegreez on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:39:33 PM EST

I think you mean libertarian. There are libertarian-leaning folk on the left and on the right who care to protect their privacy and anonymity. You can try to paint it as some "loony liberal" viewpoint (typical knee-jerk neo-con reaction), but you'll look stupid trying.

[ Parent ]
historically (3.00 / 2) (#124)
by tweetsygalore on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 11:18:00 PM EST

it was the liberals who cried foul uncle more than not as far as protecting privacy goes. give me a more nuanced and varied examples contradicting my assertion if you like. and with solid citations, please. in fact, i dare you. and if you're implying that my views ARE knee-jerk neo-con reaction, then i'm afraid that you've seriously misjudged me...who are you, FourDegreez? or will the screen name do?
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]
hysteria (3.66 / 3) (#128)
by thanos on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 12:28:29 AM EST

I agree with your point that it's overkill to worry about hiding most of the digital footprints we leave tracking after us everywhere we go. But I don't think that this is the central issue that the poster was trying to convey.

Maybe the people that post on this site are more concerned with privacy and security issues than the general population, but someone needs to be worried about it: we are those people.

Anecdotally, I can tell you that I personally bristle at the suggestion that those that are involved in privacy issues are de facto liberal.

...and NO I don't have lots of contraband on my hard drives :-)
Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
[ Parent ]
Use non-US mail server (4.66 / 3) (#97)
by Sloppy on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 04:48:59 PM EST

How can someone register an email address and post messages without being snooped on by this new government agency?
Have your mailbox hosted outside of US jurisdiction, such as Swissmail.org*, SecureNym.net, etc. If you use SSL to talk to this server, then you're fairly safe from passive snooping. Beware that even with SSL, though, active MitM attacks are probably pretty feasible, because so little SSL software (except ssh clients, and to a lesser extent, web browsers) treats keys with the proper scepticism.

(* For various reasons, I recommend against Swissmail. No opinion on the others, yet.)

I would never trust a "public" computers such as those at libraries or internet cafes. Assume that any machine that isn't under your control (including servers) is logging every single thing you do. For "public" computers, this might even be plausible.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."

Speaking of mailservers (5.00 / 2) (#123)
by J'raxis on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 11:15:14 PM EST

Also, you can be more secure when sending mail if you run your own mailserver (and obviously encrypt your mail). That way, there is no record in a single place of all the emails that you have sent (i.e., your ISP SMTP server). By using your own mailserver, an email goes directly from your computer to the recipient’s POP box, instead of being proxied through the ISP where the date/to/from/subject is being logged.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Slight problem (4.50 / 2) (#132)
by aechols on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 02:59:36 AM EST

Most isp's (afaik) don't appreciate you running your own mail servers. Sometimes there are still problems even when your isp doesn't mind. Currently my university heavily firewalls everything except port 80 if you ask nicely. They used to allow others until that got to be a problem. Even then, if you wanted to open a mail server, it had to go through the main smtp-relay.whatever.edu first, and then it would be relayed to your server. Besides, even if you run your own server, odds are the person sending you mail doesn't, so it's going to bounce off a few more servers that log headers and such first.

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?
[ Parent ]
Not quite (5.00 / 2) (#161)
by J'raxis on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 03:43:21 PM EST

I mean run your own outgoing mailserver; no one needs to connect to you for you to do this. What this means is that when you send mail, your computer connects directly to the recipient SMTP server, instead of connecting to your ISP server, which in turn connects to the recipient SMTP server. This means that there is no one place in which all your mail messages are logged.

This is only a half-solution (and it is more of a make it difficult for them to find anything tactic rather than an airtight solution), since your incoming mail will still need to reside in a POP account somewhere, unless you can get your ISP to open that firewall for you. But then there is still the matter of getting an MX record for yourself, I believe (most mailservers will not send mail to an IP address, so simply getting a static IP and having your mail address as username@ip-address will not work).

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Or use Eudora. (5.00 / 2) (#179)
by haflinger on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 10:00:00 AM EST

Eudora can deliver mail the old-fashioned way, by going directly via MX records.

Perhaps other MUAs can. This is a handy feature, for those who don't know enough to set up their own SMTP delivery servers.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

nslookup (none / 0) (#212)
by sgp on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 07:17:02 PM EST

$ nslookup
> set type=mx
> example.com
example.com mail exchanger = 0 mail.example.com

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Problem with running your own mailserver (5.00 / 2) (#160)
by Sloppy on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 03:36:24 PM EST

The problem with running your own mailserver is that your ISP is probably within US jurisdiction. Big Brother just needs your ISP's cooperation to see all the mail coming and going. (Even if you don't use your ISP's mailserver, the packets are still going through their network.) And even if you use PGP, they're going to see envelopes and headers.

If you SSL to outside of US jurisdiction to send and receive your mail, then Big Brother loses some options.
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]

Except when you're dealing with sniffers (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by florin on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 11:34:21 PM EST

If the ISP is running sniffers, then your own mail server is worth nothing.

[ Parent ]
Client, not Server (none / 0) (#211)
by sgp on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 07:14:16 PM EST

I think you mean "connect directly to port 25 on the recipient's mail server so your email isn't relayed through your ISP's mail server", not "run your own mailserver" - your own mail server is good for receiving, but not sending.

Hint: $ telnet mx2.hotmail.com 25
Connected to mx2.hotmail.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 mc2-f27.law16.hotmail.com Microsoft ESMTP MAIL Service Ready
EHLO example.com
mail from: mindyourown@example.com
250 mindyourown@example.com - Sender OK
rcpt to: someone@hotmail.com
250 someone@hotmail.com - Recipient OK
Subject: Help me!

Help me the internet's being bugged!

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

There is no such thing as anonymity (3.60 / 5) (#101)
by Silent Chris on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 05:55:53 PM EST

This may be quite possibly the dumbest idea ever, but I (gasp!) don't bother to mark my tracks.  Sure, I use a screenname, but it's not much different than my real name (anyone who had a decent history with me would recognize my nickname from real life).  With a little detective work and a few educated guesses, I'm sure someone could find out exactly who I am, where I'm from, and what my favorite political standing / sexual position is.

I go under the assumption that my views are attributable to me at any point, at any time.  Sure, this gets me in hot water when I venture outside the societal curve, but it also makes a measure of the importance (in my mind) of responsibility.  The truth is, the idea of "being anonymous" is fictious.  Even the most careful terrorist appearing on video, covered in a sheet with eyeholes punched out, is open to being identified (what region of the area did that sheet look like it came from, what color are his/her eyes, can we determine their height by their stature?)  If you whisper, you're still leaving behind your identity.

Maybe this sense of superfluous "anonymity" taints what I say -- I don't know.  All I know is that for whatever reason, I spend a few extra seconds thinking before words come out of my mouth.  Somehow, I feel this is better for me in the long run.

yes, but ... (4.00 / 3) (#115)
by cs on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:19:48 PM EST

I'm fairly nonanonymous too. That's not really the issue.

The difficulty arises in a Politically Correct environment. Especially when the government has (already) set up an entire, closed, judicial system which it can use to take out anyone, because there's no oversight. Or just hold them, telling nobody.

Ideally nobody would want anonymitity because they lived in a society where no act that didn't harm another was censured. But that's not the case now, has never really been yet, and things are rapidly getting darker.

I think my point is that your current approach is ok today, but is rapidly becoming less tenable.

[ Parent ]

What is the difference (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by MVpll on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 02:05:18 AM EST

  So you are afraid that something you say can be used to detain you "illegally"?

  Shouldn't you then be afraid that you will be detained "illegally" due to any number of accidental/personal/political reasons?

  This is just a part of why it is _really bad_ to allow different sections of society to be treated differently. The lines are too blurry.

  Thinking, "that's OK to treat them like that, they are 'drug dealers/pedophiles/terrorists/men/etc'." is just naive.

  It should be also noted that this extends to things like prisons (they are all criminals ... aren't they?), the un-employed (they are all bludgers), the rich (they are "more valuable" to society) and even to lesser extent (this is an even murky child/adult area) schools( they are just kids).

  Hmm, I was just warming up to this rant, but now I have to go. I was hoping to squeeze something into here about witch-hunts too.

[ Parent ]

You are a good little totalitarian citizen. (3.66 / 3) (#164)
by miffoswe on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 05:09:56 PM EST

One of the goals of totalitarian states is to keep their inhabitants shut. Fear of reprecussion if you say something "wrong" is a very good way of keeping the little rats in line. They still think the same things but they dont give any others those bad ideas about freedom of speech and such stupid things.

You shouldnt ever have to mind what you say. What you talk about reflects your thinking, i dont think thats bad. Democracy doesnt work at all if some subjects are off bounds because that puts everything in limbo. I no one dare to speak up nothing will change to the better.

[ Parent ]

I cant believe no-one has said this already (2.00 / 11) (#107)
by GRiNGO on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 06:35:28 PM EST

IN SOVIET RUSSIA... <insert witty comment>

"I send you to Baghdad a long time. Nobody find you. Do they care, buddy?" - Three Kings

IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (3.00 / 3) (#155)
by ELiTeUI on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 12:06:50 PM EST

IN SOVIET RUSSIA... Anonymouse Posts YOU !

[ Parent ]
Freenet? (5.00 / 7) (#111)
by vadim on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 07:03:15 PM EST

Freenet might help. It makes you pretty anoymous, by making it impossible to know what data you download or upload. Given some stuff that can be found there right now I think it's pretty safe nobody found a way around it. But it's got a small problem, the fact that you're running a Freenet node is easily discovered. If the world indeed ends being like this then it will simply be banned.

One solution would be something like Freenet over wireless. Regardless of what laws say, I don't think wireless will ever be forbidden completely. It'd be possible to use steganography to hide your data in some common transmission, like the one your cell phone sends. This would be slow, but good enough for text.

Also you have to be paranoid. No matter how good you are there will be always a chance somebody will find you in a dark street typing something on your laptop and suspect something. You'll need to take precautions. For example:
Use steganography.
Only use encrypted file systems
Use encrypted swap, or no swap at all.
Use encryption everywhere you can. I use it for my IMAP server.
Wipe files securely, for example with shred(1)
Maybe keep some data on RAM disks.
Be careful with your data. Store everything valuable in one unique place easy to destroy.
If you use CDs, encrypt all the data you write on them and keep a microwave near. It can destory CDs in seconds.
If you need to use an identity like a nickname you could have lots of them. For example one name for every person you talk to.

I don't do all that, but I do some of it. I don't have a good reason for it, but almost every week I see more news about how freedom is taken away. I'm practicing now in case the dark days come.
<@chani> I *cannot* remember names. but I did memorize 214 digits of pi once.

About Freenet (4.50 / 6) (#120)
by shellac on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 11:09:51 PM EST

This and a number of other comments mentions freenet as a means of anonymity. I have played around with it before a good while ago, and I think freenet is great, but what I had in mind was an anonymous way to post on a web-based forum such as this one or on usenet.

The problem I see with posting onto freenet is that I am not sure what kind of audience I am reaching. Is it going to be just a bunch of privacy advocates who are running freenet nodes who will be reading what I write? That seems to be preaching to the choir.

If I write something other people think is important on this site, it will be voted up. If I stick something on freenet, how will signal be separated from the noise on freenet? Perhaps the freenet people are working on a solution to something like this? I don't know.

Obviously, freenet is great for disseminating deCSS, which many people might be looking for. I'm just not sure how applicable it is to this particular situation.

[ Parent ]

shred(1) warnings (5.00 / 4) (#122)
by J'raxis on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 11:11:26 PM EST

shred is mostly redundant if you’re using an encrypted FS, and if you’re not, make sure the FS you are using saves data in the same place each time it writes a file — otherwise, you have different revisions of the file hidden all over free disk blocks, and shred will uselessly shred another free block when you run it, not the one the data is stored in. I think the shred manpage makes a note that most journaling filesystems are incompatible with shred.

Now, what I would like to see, is a filesystem that shreds files automatically — have the filesystem itself wipe blocks the moment it marks them as free.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Try the ext2 secure delete flag (4.50 / 2) (#146)
by astatine on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 10:16:35 PM EST

chattr +s [files]. From the chattr manpage:
When a file with the 's' attribute is deleted, its blocks are zeroed and written back to the disk.
Presumably this doesn't take care of the case in which a file is shortened, or of ensuring that your files are all marked 's', but it's a start.

Society, they say, exists to safeguard the rights of the individual. If this is so, the primary right of a human being is evidently to live unrealistically.Celia Green
[ Parent ]
Ah, chattr... (4.00 / 3) (#158)
by J'raxis on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 01:45:54 PM EST

Didn’t know about that. Maybe a secure-rm shellscript like this would do:


chattr +s "$@"
rm "$@"

That should assure that a file was properly moded immediately before deletion. A daily cron that runs `chattr -R +s /` or maybe `find / -type f -exec chattr +s {} \;` (to avoid special files or directories) wouldn’t hurt, either.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Is the 's' attribute honoured yet? (4.00 / 2) (#177)
by Paul Johnson on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 06:29:33 AM EST

From the chattr manpage (in Red Hat 8.0):

As of Linux 2.2, the `c', 's', and `u' attribute are not honored by the kernel filesystem code. These attributes will be implemented in a future ext2 fs version.

Anyone know if this has changed yet?

Of course you can just use a zip disk. That way the whole thing can be shredded with no concerns, and its fast enough for most purposes. Make sure you keep an image of a blank zip disk handy to reformat it though.

One interesting possibility would be a mod to losetup(8) to generate a random key. That way when the loopback device is removed the information is lost instantly.

You are lost in a twisty maze of little standards, all different.
[ Parent ]

Not enough (5.00 / 1) (#199)
by florin on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 11:38:53 PM EST

Three-letter agencies can still recover files even when they were overwritten _once_ with zeroes. It has something to do with the physics of magnetic materials.
You need to overwrite them _multiple_times_ with random numbers. Like 10...16 times. There are tools on the Net for that.

[ Parent ]
An ounce of prevention (3.75 / 4) (#114)
by Shovas on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 09:16:27 PM EST

Is worth a pound of cure. What we need to do is become proactive in our political participation. Each and every citizen of the country that dislikes the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, and all the legislation that serves to limit freedom, should write letters, write emails, vote for independents, write in articles concerning political issues to your local newspaper. You need to get involved with the political process.

What we've done with democracy is to hand power over to a few(even if elected representatives) in exchange for not having to deal with the issues of our lives, as it concerns how our nations treat us and how and what laws and rules are placed upon us. Democracy demands the participation of its citizens in order to effectively operate for the benefit of its citiznes.

We need to stop the decay now! Not wait for the destruction nor entertain thoughts of how we should act under destruction. Act now!
Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
Unfortunately.. (4.20 / 5) (#117)
by kitten on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:26:12 PM EST

What we've done with democracy is to hand power over to a few(even if elected representatives) in exchange for not having to deal with the issues of our lives,

Unfortunately, that's what a republic is. The US is not a democracy - it is a republic. You elect a person to represent you, but once he is in office, he is completely autonomous. He is not bound in any way to poll his constituants to see what they want. He was elected because the voters felt his personal views were similar to their own.

The only safety in place is that the politician usually wants to get re-elected, and will therefore do what the majority of his constituants want. In theory.

In reality, the politician wants to get re-elected, and will therefore do what the large focus groups with massive amounts of money want. They're the ones that finance his campaign, buy votes, etc.

Democracy demands the participation of its citizens in order to effectively operate for the benefit of its citiznes.

I agree, but once again, the citizens - once the representative is in office - aren't really part of the decision-making process anymore. This system was instituted for two reasons:

1. The founding fathers and others who set this system up, quite honestly did not trust the people to make educated decisions. At the time, they were probably correct. This is no longer the case. I have very little faith in the average intelligence of people, but modern technology and education allows them to be informed enough to figure things out - a luxury not available back then.
2. It wasn't practical. Far too much time would be wasted communicating via written letters dispatched by horses or trains. It was more practical and efficient to elect an autonomous representative who didn't have to turn around and ask his people their opinion on every single issue. Once again, I hardly need to point out that this is no longer the case - and it's high time this idiocy was stopped.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
People (3.00 / 1) (#119)
by Nascent0 on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 10:55:10 PM EST

"1. The founding fathers and others who set this system up, quite honestly did not trust the people to make educated decisions."
Ever heard of information overload? No, no, the average person doesn't care, so the decay will continue... Let those who are least creative stand up for their rights to buy cheap crap made by others who are smarter and/or paid less than themselves, they are selling their future and getting no long term security in the exchange. When they wake up, it will be too late; unless those who are smarter and more apt to act on rather than chat endlessly about problems actually fix them for all those of mild intelligence.

"and it's high time this idiocy was stopped."
Fairly tell me, are you so gullible as to believe that those who preoccupy themselves with distractions and entertainment will take the time to address the future when they know hardly anything of the past and even less of their own incompletenss? Nay, for please consider the amount of time wasted just to be aware of the problems humanity faces, times every person who may need to "vote" on issues pertaining to such real problems, and you will see that representive governments are the only feasible types. It is only a due lack of transparency and extreme lack of the representively elected to be held to any degree of responsibility that has taken us to the present situation and will lead us to an even more appalling experiences in the future.

No, the world must get over itself with regards to its ignorance on everything from numerious religions that believe they all are the end all of end alls and sciences that reduplicate each other and fail to grasp the actual meaning of the various representations of their results. Worse, and something that will take even longer, are the companies and ideals of capitalism which can not survive in a zero growth market (Look at Japan for an example of capitalism's failings, going down anyone...).

Try harder...

[ Parent ]

What's with these republic "corrections" (none / 0) (#183)
by Shovas on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 08:38:26 PM EST

Seems to me the only difference between a democracy and your republic is possibly how the houses are setup and operate. And then only a little difference.

Really, what's the difference and why does everyone always bring that up in the context of talking about the US and democracy?
Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
[ Parent ]
ok, these people (3.75 / 4) (#121)
by tweetsygalore on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 11:10:44 PM EST

who want ALL their information and communication turned into fort knox --- who are they? are their lives really THAT interesting? are they just paranoid? or are they, well, what can i say, Nefarious as hell? c'mon, there's gotta be some justification for somebody to go through all that Trouble in securing THEIR information and communication. i don't advocate a fish-bowl existence by any means. hell no. but on the other hand, if you're gonna do something, whatever it is, then by God, have some balls, backbone and spine and pay the price or you're just not, i'm sorry, worth your salt.
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
Sounds familiar (4.40 / 5) (#129)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 12:47:39 AM EST

Another brilliant paraphrasing of "If you don't have anything to hide, you have nothing to worry about." I refer you now to the tens of thousands of pages of FBI files that, under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, monitored the activity of such subversives as John Lennon, Jim Morrison, and 'Louie Louie' singers The Kingsmen (The FBI thought the lyrics were about drugs).

jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
not at all (3.66 / 3) (#131)
by tweetsygalore on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 02:13:48 AM EST

personally, i have some things that i hide and probably even more that i should hide. but the bottomline is, if i did them, then i better cop up to them IF i did them and live with them or i shouldn't have done them in the first place. how complicated does that have to be?
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]
Naive (5.00 / 1) (#147)
by knobmaker on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 10:50:45 PM EST

The idea you put forward assumes that there are no bad laws and no bad people.

Even if what you are doing and saying is legal, do you really believe that you deserve to become a victim?  

One example.  Suppose you discover by accident that the guy next door is a convicted sexual predator who hasn't registered his change of residence as required by law.  The block is full of young children.  When you talk to him over the back fence, just being neighborly, he mentions that he's got a lot of friends in the local power structure.  Do you tip off the newspaper anonymously or do you send a letter to the judge, who went to school with the guy, or to the sheriff, whose daughter is married to the guy?  The question is: do you believe in the inherent goodness of the system, or do you have some reservations?

[ Parent ]

i would not (4.00 / 1) (#156)
by tweetsygalore on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 01:15:25 PM EST

be intimidated by this guy's so-called power and influence (there is no such thing as invincibility). do what you can to caution and alert as many people as possible while watching your back at the same time. have somebody create a website for you about from abroad --- like western europe, for instance --- about information that you can LEGALLY publish about this guy if you have to. and if this guy hurts others again and statistically, recividism is likely, then it would be blood in the hands of those who helped him keep his secret and keep him the way he is. leonard pitts addressed some of these issues in http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/columnists/leonard_pitts/4544096.htm . best, C
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]
Invincibility is relative (none / 0) (#185)
by kcbrown on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:35:17 AM EST

I would not be intimidated by this guy's so-called power and influence (there is no such thing as invincibility).
A large enough group of ants is capable of killing me -- to that group of ants, I am not invincible.

But an individual ant acting alone against me would stand no chance at all -- to that individual ant, I am invincible.

Unless you as an individual are sufficiently well-connected (not likely), this hypothetical guy we're talking about is invincible. And he's just a well-connected guy.

Now look at a very powerful, pervasive, and malevolent government. You'd have to be very well-connected indeed just to survive the actions of such a government should it decide it doesn't like you for whatever reason. When such a government is firmly in control of enough firepower to wipe all life from the face of the earth many times over, it is invincible by any reasonable definition.

It took the efforts of the entire world to bring down the malevolent government that Germany had morphed into during WW2, and some would argue (rightly or wrongly, I cannot say) that the effort would not have been successful if the U.S. and its incredible production capability had not participated. Now, Germany as a military power was only moderate in strength. The U.S., on the other hand, is easily the most powerful military nation on earth today.

To the people in China who pine for freedom, the Chinese government is invincible: there isn't anything those people can do to significantly affect that government. And that government doesn't command the same amount of firepower that the U.S. government does. That's why you should be very, very worried about the possibility of the U.S. morphing itself into a police state, and why being honest and straightforward will only get you jailed or killed if that possibility should come to pass. Just as it did the Tienanmen Square protesters.

[ Parent ]

well, there isn't (none / 0) (#188)
by tweetsygalore on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 01:20:46 PM EST

one philosophy that i apply in all situations. otherwise, my reaction would be knee-jerk rather than nuanced. and you're definitely right about my not being well-connected. not in my wildest dreams.
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]
Naw. (2.00 / 1) (#137)
by tkatchev on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 07:47:45 AM EST

They're just acting on their puritan heritage in trying to hide all of their disgusting pornography.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

how silly (3.00 / 1) (#140)
by tweetsygalore on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 12:03:48 PM EST

but i can see that.
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]
Silly? (2.00 / 1) (#151)
by tkatchev on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 04:18:25 AM EST

Yes, puritanism can be quite silly.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

no, i mean (4.00 / 1) (#157)
by tweetsygalore on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 01:17:15 PM EST

having to hide and deny one's sexuality oppressively.
After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
[ Parent ]
Come on.... (2.50 / 4) (#126)
by 09 on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 11:34:53 PM EST

one word. well actually three: Internet Relay Chat. IRC is the most unregulated medium even today. a large array of shells, wingates, and etc. seems to me like a relatively secure connection for such "illegal" statements of opinion.
but, perhaps sticking to the net will not be the best option in this quickly approaching age of government regulated ideas. a large-scale underground network along the lines of ricochet will be a more viable solution.

"Don't hate the media, become the media.
-Jello Biafra

Interesting, that might explain this: (none / 0) (#219)
by Nyrath on Fri Jan 24, 2003 at 03:18:26 PM EST

Could Attack on DALnet Spell End for IRC?

It seems that many IRC servers are suffering massive denial-of-service attacks, and many ISP that host the servers are pulling the plug.

[ Parent ]

some ideas. (4.41 / 12) (#127)
by benson hedges on Wed Dec 11, 2002 at 11:42:14 PM EST

i work with an artist group of sorts, and we often perform acts that, while probably not illegal by law, might be deemed "anarchistic and dangerous" by certain institutions, so we try to keep a low profile. here are some of the "tricks" we use.

+ get a free mail account you can access from the web, register it not at home, and check it only from net cafes / public terminals / ... use this account for all your "subversive" needs. do not use real names, or even linkable nicknames, telephone numbers, or other mail adresses in your mails.

+ when talking about meeting points, resort to hints that you know, the reciever knows, but hardly anyone else. "lets meet today at central station" bad. "lets meet at the place where we once met while you were going steady with that girl i went to school" is better.

+ never, EVER discuss anything vital on a cellphone.

+ keep all the data you must keep on your actions, postings, contacts, ... encrypted, possibly on a partiton with an encrypted fs. no-brainer : use a mixed-case complex keyword.

+when working at a public terminal or something, obscure what you do.. sitting on a webmail form or something for 20 minutes is suspicious... just have a browser with www.somestupidpage.com open, and switch to it now and then.. that's a kind of "boss screen" (anyone remember those?)

+ don't use the same public terminal all the time..switch.

+ best of all, try moving to a less restrictive land :)

this may all sound like I am some kind of spy, but actually, the current government here has at least a touch of mccarthyanism, with a tendency to overlook right-extreme violence, and to prosecute all leftist actions with vigor. and, yes, I am planning to move away. :)

just before someone follows this up : no, freedom of speech is not the root of terrorism. yes, maybe a terrorist could use such tricks to disguise his ways, but that's not the point. the point is that terrorism evolves from economic and social problems, which must be solved before it can end.
When all is One, all violence is masochism.

Oh, so you're the troop I've been ignoring (3.60 / 5) (#152)
by Silent Chris on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 10:42:28 AM EST

Word to the wise: I'm a young, recent college graduate who roams the streets of NYC on his lunch break.  Without a doubt, "political street performers" are the most ignored "artists" on the planet, possibly even despised.

Part of the problem is that the message is lost almost irretrievably in the setup.  You're protesting the World Bank by rushing cops in riot gear (ok) and... playing bongo drums.  While dancing.  What?  Puppets, signs, dressing up as PETA cows who don't have a pasture to roam in.  Every person with an inkling of civilized society in them looks at you guys and think "Gee, what a waste of time".

You want to make a difference?  Work.  Make money.  Use it to lobby senators or attend fundraising events.  "Play the game" a little while so you can actually turn on it with a weapon in your hand -- as opposed to bongo drums.  As it stands right now, you're being ignored, quite actively, by the populace.  That's the absolute worst thing that can happen.

[ Parent ]

Not anonymous enough (none / 0) (#201)
by dcturner on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 12:40:15 PM EST

get a free mail account you can access from the web, register it not at home, and check it only from net cafes / public terminals / ... use this account for all your "subversive" needs. do not use real names, or even linkable nicknames, telephone numbers, or other mail adresses in your mails.

In a police state, surely every public terminal has a camera on top that takes your mugshot for later matching with times/dates of access?

How about, break into some clueless home user's computer with a big pile of open back doors and do everything from there. That's what the s'kiddies do now, right?

Remove the opinion on spam to reply.

[ Parent ]
DCTurner has the answer.... (none / 0) (#216)
by sgp on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 07:59:23 PM EST

If you really need to get a message out, and that imperative is greater than breaking an established, valid law (breaking and entering), that would be a great way of doing it - the victim is clearly a victim (make sure it is clear you *have* broken in), and you get your message out, without caring who sees what you've done.

This is, of course, assuming a severe case, where not breaking in to somebody's house has clearly worse consequences than doing it.

No need to worry about cyphers, cryptographic techniques, one-time-pads, just break in, then do it in the open.

Don't break in over the net - that's monitored. Break in to the actual house.

No, I'm not kidding, but I am talking about desperate measures.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Bush was re-elected in 2004? <nt> (1.50 / 2) (#143)
by one time poster on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 07:37:31 PM EST


That does it, I wont post again...

Many libraries now require card/ID to access PC (4.00 / 1) (#144)
by naum on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 08:08:51 PM EST

Or would ultimately the safest thing be to use a crowded library or internet cafe's computer, where one is not required to sign-in?

I believe most libraries now require a library card or some form of identification before granting PC access ...

I'm not sure but... (1.00 / 5) (#145)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Dec 12, 2002 at 09:14:59 PM EST

I think lorcha should rate this comment 0.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
Obvious (4.00 / 2) (#150)
by auraslip on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 01:07:55 AM EST

Given that you probally want to avoid detection and not hide from some one looking specificly for you and given that most e-mail monitering systems look for key words the obvious path would be to just use big metaphors and very verbose almost meaninless english. Example:

     And the ruler of the great eagle
     shall fall from the thunder of
     my great lighting stick.

The castle from which the unjust rules
will crumble with the furry of a volcano
Dude, I have the wares for which man but not boy nor girl quest and am willing to share

Just avoid using key words like bomb gun sex porn....more porn....
you know....

Why do you want to post in total anonymity? (2.20 / 5) (#162)
by mami on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 03:58:41 PM EST

If in this society you describe is so much fear to speak openly, then it would mean that almost anything you might have to say is so important that it never should be said in anonymity, but loud and clear and accountable to you.

Solution to your problem is: be courageous, speak your mind and risk the consequences.

If you get mistreated because you spoke your mind, you at least revealed in no uncertain terms to your neighbor fellow citizens, what the society you live in is all about.

Demanding absolute anonymity (which you will never get anyway) equals under those circumstances the same as caving into a totalitarian police state. Do you want to do that?

Re: Why do you want to post in total anonymity? (5.00 / 1) (#186)
by kcbrown on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 08:52:49 AM EST

If you get mistreated because you spoke your mind, you at least revealed in no uncertain terms to your neighbor fellow citizens, what the society you live in is all about.
Huh? How do you know that? Most people who see a neighbor carted away by the police are a little bewildered at first but eventually accept that "they must have done something wrong" if someone doesn't speak up on behalf of the detained.

I guarantee that if you get carted off by the police state, none of your neighbors are going to find out anything about the real reason for it. They'll be told some story and, lacking any real information to the contrary, will buy it. And so they'll never figure out from your arrest the real kind of society they live in.

[ Parent ]

All the more reason (none / 0) (#187)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 09:55:03 AM EST

to speak out publically. The neighbors will think "Hey, Cro-Mag was saying those things about the government and now they've taken him away. Do you think he might have been right after all?".
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
True. Not that it matters... (none / 0) (#194)
by kcbrown on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 02:15:51 AM EST

Even if the neighbors start questioning the government themselves, all that's likely to happen is that they will be carted away as well.

But I suspect the government will be a little smarter about it than that. See, it doesn't matter what you think as long as you can't act on it. Action is all that matters to the government. Even if you already believe you're living in a police state and say as much, the government won't care unless/until you attempt to take action against it. Sufficient monitoring gives them the ability to tell the difference between talk and preparation for action.

Even if the police state doesn't tolerate seditious speech, it won't matter to the survival of the police state that the neighbors start thinking that the government is bad: they'll get carted away as well. Eventually the only people who are left are the people the government wants to keep around: those who don't question it.

Artificial selection does amazing things to a population. Most people are sheep as it is right now. Imagine how much more of them there would be as a percentage of the population under a police state with the current monitoring and weapons technologies.

No, the only people that present a credible threat to the police state are those who wield power. But those are precisely the people the police state serves, so they have no incentive at all to change it. The only way to win this game is to not play. Unfortunately, I think it's too late for that.

[ Parent ]

It backfires (none / 0) (#200)
by bayankaran on Wed Dec 18, 2002 at 07:49:48 PM EST

Solution to your problem is: be courageous, speak your mind and risk the consequences.

Someone I know did just that yesterday at his job. The manager ignored a very racist, abusive and arrogant comment from another employee and he spoke his mind.

Today he is sitting at home. It was anyways a burger flipping job and he is not having a family to feed.

What if he had mouths to feed? I dont think he would have been that courageous.

[ Parent ]
Speak up! (4.33 / 3) (#163)
by miffoswe on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 04:53:32 PM EST

If everyone speaks up openly and defends their peers this wont be an issue. I have a very hard time believing this power will be used for good of the people at all times. It is all to easy to misuse for a corrupt leader. I care because even if i live in sweden my traffic will be snooped on to. What if i invent an engine running on water tommorow? That would be an enormous threat to American oil and economy in short term. Can we trust theese people not to use their information to promote their own agenda?

Who watch the watcher if everything is kept secret with terrorism as a coverup? Do you trust someone that can barely speak coherent sentences in national tv and want to start a war with irak just because with this kind of power?

I sure dont, its not my country but i will be taking it in the rim for it to.

I forgot the most obvious way. (1.50 / 2) (#165)
by miffoswe on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 05:14:11 PM EST

Dont use the net at all for anything suspicious. That way they think you are allright and you can communicate with pigeons or whatever instead unoticed because of their faith in technology. This is what the terrorists will do no doubt.

[ Parent ]
water engine (2.00 / 2) (#168)
by truchisoft on Fri Dec 13, 2002 at 09:00:03 PM EST

well, AFAIK, a hidrogen-like powered engine (aka: water) WAS built here in Argentina some time ago (over 5 years i belive), the inventor was offered some millions for the design by a group of oil companies, and the matter ended there, these oil companies even paid up the media to cover the story, except for a really few programs that didng get the cash and released it... just my 2c
--- Saludos de Argentina.
[ Parent ]
Free speech is for real people (3.00 / 1) (#176)
by metalotus on Sun Dec 15, 2002 at 04:03:52 AM EST

Free speech is protected for humans and corporations, not protected for "internet ghosts."
BTW, all these suggestions about "encrypt your hard disk:" failure to decrypt your encrypted files is illegal (Roughly equivalent to perjury).
Re-iterating: Don't be affraid to speak out.

Why over complicate things ? (4.00 / 2) (#189)
by Tom Brett on Mon Dec 16, 2002 at 01:28:41 PM EST

a simple web based proxy should do the trick nicely.

Outwar thugbuilder! get 500+ thugs a day! click here
proxy != good enough (none / 0) (#217)
by Ludootje on Sat Jan 18, 2003 at 03:23:15 PM EST

A proxy isn't good enough - certainly not one.

Here's why:
when you use a proxy, you connect to the internet trough another box. However, if the box which acts as a proxy is logging all traffic, your IP and everything you connected to will be in a log.
The solution: use multiple proxies.
your box -> proxy1 -> proxy2 -> proxy3 -> proxy4 -> whatever illegal site/thing you want to connect to
If you connect trough 4 proxies, you can suppose that at least one of them isn't logging the traffic which passes trough it.
If you want to do something *VERY* forbidden, you can't rely on the hope that one of the boxes you're connecting trough isn't logging. Then you need to use a box as a proxy, do your thing, h4x0r that proxy-box, remove all logfiles. Then there's still the possibility that logs are kept remotely, too, so the most secure solution I can think of:
your box -> proxy1 -> proxy2 -> proxy3 -> proxy4 -> your destination
crack proxy1; remove logs
crack proxy2; remove logs
crack proxy3; remove logs
crack proxy4; remove logs

So now there's still the possibility that *all* boxes backup their logs remotely. However, if you investigate the box before using it as a proxy, you can be pretty sure no logs are kept remotely (i.e. - if it's an old windows box which has almost only the default M$ stuff installed, you can be pretty sure the owner isn't keeping up-to-date backups of logfiles (if any) on a remote comp.

The disadvantage of a proxy is that it makes the connection much more slow.
In general, a proxy is used to make the connection faster, because it caches every traffic which passes trough it so that files don't need to be downloaded again, but if you use a proxy to stay anonymous, it will make your connection much, much slower.
The more proxies the slower your connection, of course.

[ Parent ]

A few comments: (5.00 / 3) (#195)
by WebBug on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 02:36:28 PM EST

First Point:
1) no proxy or other redirection will work, period.
2) any encryption you can get your hands on will not be sufficient
3) you cannot access any internet connection within the US that is not monitored or monitorable with the exception of unsecurred WireLess networks.
3a) even that won't help unless you can reliably configure your notebook to NOT give you away.
4) next time you vote take a good close look at the ballot.

The above points are WITH current technology and current monitoring resources that the NSA currently uses world wide.

Second point:

Those who said that you either have the courage of your convictions or you do not are 100% correct. You MUST be willing to stand behind your views 100% or they are worthless to you. You cannot effect change if you will not stand behind those willing to make the changes or if you will not make those changes yourself.

If you do not vocally and identifiably stand up and reject these stupid laws you are passing in your country then your voice will be silenced.

-- It may be that your sole purpose is to server as a warning to others . . . at least I have one!

Courage of Convictions (none / 0) (#209)
by sgp on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 06:48:36 PM EST

You MUST be willing to stand behind your views 100% or they are worthless to you.

What if my views are "My government have just killed my family but did not find me - I must get this message out to the world" (yes, it has happened, often enough, without resorting to mentioning Hitler)

In that case, I'd rather not put my name to it, if it's all the same to you....

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

for those wanting to protect their stuff.... (5.00 / 1) (#202)
by dormat on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 02:14:36 PM EST

You might want to check out this artice in Phrack #51. It's kinda old, but interesting, none the less.

Also, in #60 (bleeding edge as of this post), theres a good article for those wanting to hide what they've been up to. Take a look.


correction... (5.00 / 1) (#203)
by dormat on Sun Dec 29, 2002 at 02:17:36 PM EST

that should be 59, not 60. so its not quite bleeding edge. still relevant and topical.

[ Parent ]
Call Box (none / 0) (#208)
by sgp on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 06:44:53 PM EST

Creating an account over a dial-up modem with an acoustic-coupler from a call-box (making sure there are no CCTV cameras around) could be one method....

Using a stolen ISP account could help, too - especially if the person whose account you're stealing can prove that they were not involved, and have no idea who used their account.

Apparently (in the UK), in a State of Emergency, all phone lines can be killed, but, for emergency use, public phone boxes will still be available. (To do otherwise is the Gov't cutting off its nose to spite its face, of course)

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Why can't you (none / 0) (#218)
by Orion Blastar on Thu Jan 23, 2003 at 10:34:48 PM EST

just find a college or library somewhere that either does not have security cameras or the current ones are broken or out of order, and then find someone who forgot to sign out of their workstation and then use that account for a while? Then make up an alibi that you were someplace else and get a friend to cover for you. Either that or get a fake ID, get a good disguise, and then use the machines at Kinko's. Pay in cash. :)
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
I guess you want to look into JAP (none / 0) (#220)
by spacebrain on Sat Feb 08, 2003 at 04:22:19 PM EST


From the website: "We offer an easy to use Open-Source software for everybody: JAP helps to protect your privacy and covers all digital traffic. Most existing systems for anonymous communication reduce the security to achieve higher performance. Our final system provides strong anonymity; i.e. the system withstands so-called traffic analysis. That means, even an adversary who could eavesdrop any Internet communication or link will not get any information about who is communicating with whom."

Debian users can simply install the package anon-proxy :-)

How To Post Absolutely Anonymously? (Internet) (none / 0) (#221)
by forc on Sat May 10, 2003 at 02:31:24 PM EST

It's easy, you use common encryption tech.

You have OpenSSH, OpenSSL, Gnu PGP, and for hiding your
identity when posting a message to say usenet or the
to the company you _used_ to work, a remailer.


If you are truly paranoid, get a GPRS cellular and post
while driving around in your car. ;-)

How To Post Absolutely Anonymously? | 221 comments (207 topical, 14 editorial, 4 hidden)
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