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View Diary: Can anyone help me set up PGP encrypted E-mail? It's the mark of an investigative reporter, ... (23 comments)

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  •  If we ALL wear targets... (2+ / 0-)
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    wilderness voice, linkage

    Isn't that what the Danes did after the Nazis occupied their country?  IIRC, when the edict went out that Jews had to wear a yellow star, most people in Denmark wore one.  

    They may be able to break PGP encryption, but I don't think it's easy, even for them.  Why let it be easy for them to do something unconstitutional to us?  I can believe that if anyone has found a 'shortcut' way to break PGP coding, it's the NSA; but it's still possible if not likely that their 'shortcut' takes up hours or days of a supercomputer's time.  It may be that they can only crack the codes on a handful of the millions of 'suspicious' E-mails they collect every day.  And if they get faster years down the road, I don't really care if they read something I sent to my accountant for a tax return that went in years earlier.

    Anyway, I'm one of those folks dull or foolish enough to think I don't have anything to hide, so I should be one who tries to make it stylish to wear a target on the back.  It's legal, still...

    And just discussing it does something: It frames the narrative as "them" versus "us".  The founding fathers realized that their own government was the biggest threat to their rights.  I'm happy to remind people of that.

    I don't doubt that the NSA, FBI, and CIA have folks skilled enough to break an old type of privacy -- the seal on a letter -- in a way subtle enough that they could open my mail, read it, and then seal it back up and I wouldn't know it.  But that talent doesn't come cheap.  They can't check everybody's mail.  In the same way, they can't crack the codes on everybody's encrypted email, I hope.  And the more they increase their staff trying to read a bigger fraction of the encrypted E-mail, the more likely they are to hire somebody like Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning who will blow the whistle on them.  

    One of the last steps in creating a surveillance society is when everybody knows they're being spied on but thinks there's nothing to do about it.  So far, the NSA seems absolutely furious people are realizing what they're up to.  When they put up banners saying "Big Brother is Watching" they've won the war and they're rubbing our noses in it.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:34:09 AM PDT

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    •  according to Snowden (1+ / 0-)
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      when they encountered encrypted email rather than try to break it (which may be impossible even for them) they would just trespass on the computer on either end and get it in decrypted form.  

      If you don't actually have anything to hide you could just send encrypted messages telling the snoopers they are really sad and to get a life.  If you do want to hide communications the best way is to post some pictures using steganography.

      As to physical mail they perfected reading it without opening it via laser.  I suppose aluminum foil wrapping would prmote geater interest like encryption.

      •  can't even do that anymore (2+ / 0-)
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        david78209, linkage
        post some pictures using steganography
        DoD has the ability to find hidden communications in images, since 2006 i think.

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:39:42 AM PDT

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      •  There's a great example of this in the play (2+ / 0-)
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        wilderness voice, linkage

        Little Murders by Jules Feiffer.  One of the characters has a long monologue about when they put a mail check on him back in his college days.  The guy was obviously incompetent -- the letters would come torn open and taped closed.  So the guy being spied on started writing letters, mailed to himself but for the spook to read.  He said, in effect, "You must be the office flunky.  I can tell that by the sloppy work you do, and also because they wouldn't waste good talent on a minor 'threat' like me."

        Something reminded me of the play recently, and I found a copy of the script -- a copy full of stage directions, like someone directing it would want.

        Off the subject, there's a hilarious clip of the wedding scene in the movie they made.  A young Donald Sutherland plays the hippie clergyman.  Here's a link:
        It's a little over seven minutes long.

        We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

        by david78209 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:33:10 PM PDT

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