zen.org Communal Weblog

May 16, 2012

Interview on EastCoast FM

Filed under: — elana @ 11:03 IST

I realized I never posted the interview on here! Here’s me talking to Declan Meehan from EastCoast FM about life, love and digital legacy. Very general interview, but wow it went fast!

Life, Love and Digital Legacy with Elana Kehoe

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June 16, 2009

Make a proxy so people in Iran can get the truth out

Filed under: — brendan @ 14:21 IST

I set up a proxy to contribute to the effort to get information out of Iran after the nutzo election. Whether Linux, Mac, or Windows, you can too.

cf. http://blog.austinheap.com/

P.S. I think you need a static IP address, otherwise when you reconnect your broadband the address you shared will no longer work. It should also be a system that isn’t closed/turned off.

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December 15, 2007

They can't force you to give up your encryption key

Filed under: — brendan @ 19:17 IST

http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9834495-38.html

A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can’t force a
criminal defendant accused of having illegal images on his hard drive
to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerome Niedermeier ruled that a man charged with
transporting child pornography on his laptop across the Canadian
border has a Fifth Amendment right not to turn over the
passphrase to prosecutors. The Fifth Amendment protects the right
to avoid self-incrimination.

Niedermeier tossed out a grand jury’s subpoena that directed Sebastien
Boucher to provide “any passwords” used with the Alienware
laptop. “Compelling Boucher to enter the password forces him to
produce evidence that could be used to incriminate him,” the judge
wrote in an order dated November 29 that went unnoticed until this
week. “Producing the password, as if it were a key to a locked
container, forces Boucher to produce the contents of his laptop.”

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June 29, 2006

Canada's got its own porn, eh?

Filed under: — brendan @ 00:29 IST

Going through immigration in Ottawa yesterday, the nice lady asked me a bunch of questions. She finished with, “Do you have a computer with you?” I replied that yes, I had a laptop (as would lots of other people at the GCC Developers Summit I’m attending). Boy was “yes” a wrong answer.
I was sent to a mystical back room for a further search. A big guy in a police uniform did a cursory look at my two bags, then focused primarily on my laptop. He opened it, turned it on, asked me to log in, and with the screen turned away from me proceeded to click his way around the system. (It’s my backup laptop running a 2-letter commercial O$ … I so wished I had Linux on it instead, just to see if they’ve any idea what to do.)

He explained he was looking for “objectionable material, which most people think is just child pornography.” Nope, it’s anything that may cause offence (left to be defined) including “beastiality” and anything that is “traitorous”.

I asked if there’s a list somewhere listing what they go looking for; he repiled, “Well, if there’s any kind of a match there’s a database we consult,” and continued—click, clickclick. “Do you use your computer to connect to the Internet?”

What the hell kind of question is that? I felt like I was back in 1984 dialing up to Telenet.

I just stood there looking around, my brain pondering all sorts of things: is the arbitrary examination of your personal files legal? What would he do if it were any other OS? Why would anyone transporting illegal stuff like child porn leave it in any form this guy with Windows Explorer could find? Why not encrypt it all and rename it to “quicken.exe”? Why not just wait and download everything over a secure link once you’ve gotten to your hotel? The possibilites are endless.

When he’d finally seen enough to satisfy himself, he gave me the laptop back and said I could leave. Meanwhile my friend Doug’s out in the baggage area waiting to see if I’d ever show up after walking up to the immigration people at the same time.

I still wonder if it’s equally legal to open up a binder full of paper and start reading what’s on the sheets, waiting to see something derogatory about the Prime Minister.

Canada appears to have its own Department of Homeland Decency.

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May 14, 2006

The true use of Mother's Day

Filed under: — brendan @ 13:50 IST

“The NSA wants to remind everyone to call their mothers this¬† Sunday.¬† They need to calibrate their system.”

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March 13, 2006

Claim your Sony cash

Filed under: — elana @ 08:41 IST

According to the latest EFF: DeepLinks, it’s time to claim your money/replacement/downloads from SonyBMG for the lovely XCP/MediaMax debacle. This is mainly for US people, since I don’t think they’re replacing for non-US CDs (hello…DRI?).

Regardless, spread the word. Sony needs to know they screwed up, and that consumers feel really upset about this.

[tags] eff, sonybmg, xcp, mediamax[/tags]

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January 13, 2006

Data Retention in EU

Filed under: — elana @ 14:27 IST

Karlin Lillington, a tech writer based in Dublin and one of the best in Ireland, wrote an article in the Irish Times about the crappy way the EU rushed through the data retention scheme and how ultimately embarassing it is for all of us. Luckily, since the IT is a pay site, Karlin posted it to her blog as well. Good on ya. Someone that the gov might actually listen to, considering they’re not listening to the average Joe on this one.

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December 30, 2005

No RFID attack on my wallet!

Filed under: — brendan @ 09:26 IST

A fun bit of craftsmanship: handy instructions on how to make a RFID blocking wallet using duct tape, helping the passionate privacy advocate fend against the RFID‘s own pervasive version of a pandemic. EPIC has a similar fix on a postcard, theirs involving aluminum foil to protect your passport.

Why worry about your passport? Check out Bruce Schneier’s recent article in Wired, where he points out a fatal flaw in how the U.S. State Department will be issuing passports containing RFIDs starting in October 2006. The chip in the passport could be readable by someone up to 69 feet away from you.

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November 12, 2005

Privacy != Gmail

Filed under: — brendan @ 08:59 IST

It’s sure got a fast easy interface, but there’s nasty stuff lurking in the engine room.

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November 5, 2005

Digitally assured destruction

Filed under: — elana @ 20:19 IST

Digitally assured destruction – Business – International Herald Tribune

An excellent article from the IH-T on protecting your info once you delete it on your personal computer.

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