DNI chief and FISC judge agree Snowden leaks prompted important civil debate


#1

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#2

The narrative to malign Snowden continues to fall apart. How about some apologies, folks? Then again, the type of people that attacked Snowden aren't really known for their ability to admit faults/mistakes and stoop to dignified things like apologies when they're wrong...


#3

These two seem so Monty Python-esqu that after making these comments I feel like they paused then screamed "He's a witch! burn him, burn the witch..."


#4

Xeni, you say they "admit [the] leaks were in the public interest," but I don't think that's a fair characterization of what they said. The DNI is quoted as saying, "If there’s a good side to this, maybe that’s it." Obviously actions can have good effects without being, on the whole, in the public interest.


#5

Well they can't exactly say that the leaks are the greatest thing since sliced bread because then they look ridiculous for being secretive and calling Snowden a traitor in the first place.


#6

Then you'll start asking for apologies about WMD in Iraq, and then something else, and so and so forth until we'll all be hippy communists with AIDS.

I for one will not fall for your slippery slope, sir.


#7

Yeah, there's no way Snowden isn't an American Hero for forcing this issue into mainstream discussion.

Seriously, how would anyone have even found out about the "this is so secret you can't even talk about it" club, much less gotten mainstream attention on the issue?

This kind of institutionalized, no-oversight secrecy is poison to democracy. It has to change.


#8

I was posting a somewhat unrelated question on the Apple discussion forums in regards to whether or not any third party has verified that Apple's dmg format has backdoors or not. I asked this question since it's well known that Apple circumvents the security on the iPhone for law enforcement. This is the text:

DMG backdoor

Hi, I'm trying to determine this for many of my business clients who are considering switching away from Apple products to Open Source due to the recent NSA disclosures.

Does Apple's DMG format have a backdoor to allow Apple access to the data within them to comply with government?

I'm not suggesting that I believe the AES encryption itself has an inherent issue, I want to know if anyone has been able to independently verify that Apple's implementation with DMG is lacking a backdoor that can bypass AES.

We already know there's a backdoor for iPhones that Apple will access for law enforcement.

Is an Apple DMG also subverted with a backdoor as well?

Thank you.

The first time I did posted it, the Apple lackeys deleted the thread almost immediately. I put it up a second time a few days later and surprisingly it stayed up and the conversation started fairly amicable which gave me some hope the Apple establishment would live up to some of Steve Jobs and Woz's supposed anti-establishment "ideals".

But, It didn't take long before some uninformed Apple fanboy buffoons steered the conversation towards Snowden, called him a liar/traitor and said he should be executed. Of course this same buffoon also tried to say I was anti-American (for being against the unconstitutional NSA spying) and anti-Apple for even asking such things about their dmg security. He also had very little grasp of the situation with Snowden and was pretty uninformed in general (surprise).

On the positive side, there was one person or maybe two that defended Snowden. Of course, once I politely got the best of the idiots with facts, sources, links (i.e. the FISA court found NSA spying unconstitutional in 2011, etc.) -- they promptly deleted the thread like cowards.

I mentioned that there's people in the U.S. government that admit Snowden prompted needed discussion and that some even outright support him, but they were just dumbfounded by that prospect and thought I was lying.

We've got a long, long way to go to educate more Americans on what Snowden really did for this country. There's many angry, ignorant Americans that still think he's a traitor who spied on the USA for Russia and other inane, untrue and downright stupid convictions. I would normally think the extreme invective was coming from trolls, but these were some Level 7 support people. They don't necessarily work for Apple, but they earn the forum level by assisting people for long periods of time with Apple support questions and don't get to that point by trolling. Obviously, they're allowed to be obtuse dickheads there. Although they don't represent Apple, it still leaves a very bad taste in my mouth towards Apple that they edited my posts but left their invective intact along with deleting the thread entirely once I showed facts about NSA spying, etc.

The more they delete the questions on DMGs, the more I'm becoming suspicious that Apple does have a backdoor for their DMGs. If they've got nothing to hide, I would think they'd welcome the question and discount it outright and/or invite third parties to test the code. Not try to hide like cowards and hope the questions go away.


#9

Does it matter? Even if they did, they couldn't tell you. I don't understand what the point of bringing this up on a public support forum is, other than to poke a beehive and see who gets stung.

Any company is subject to the rules of the government under which it was incorporated. If you want to change something that matters, work towards changing the government policies. Everything else is a waste of time.


#10

Does it matter? Even if they did, they couldn't tell you.

I don't think you understand, the forums aren't for Apple employees. It's a collection of Apple users (for the most part). I don't expect a representative from Apple to answer the forum post. I mean, if Apple had guts they would, but I'm sure they'll act like cowards like Google, Microsoft, etc.

I don't understand what the point of bringing this up on a public support forum is

Then you might as well ask why it's brought up on Boing Boing. Where should it be brought up? In a private closet in the dark?

Any company is subject to the rules of the government under which it was incorporated.

Sure, but the users aren't. Also, keep in mind that some companys like LavaBit can and do take a stand and when they do, it has a wide impact.

It's not always up to the government to do everything. Can we stop giving people who run companies a pass to do the right thing? That's getting to be a very old and tired narrative that needs to stop.

Responsibility shouldn't end at the front door of every business in America because they're filled with cowards who want to hide under an LLC, etc.

If you want to change something that matters, work towards changing the government policies.

Been there, done that and still doing it. But, there's not going to be any support without awareness.

Everything else is a waste of time.

I disagree and I sadly think you're suffering from black and white thinking there. There's many avenues that should be taken via many fronts.


#11

Yeah, I guess, but there's a fine line between "I'm making people aware" and "I'm being a sanctimonious, judgmental pest".

I mean, things like

Doesn't imply you have any respect or empathy for the people you're attempting to engage in so-called discourse. That's kind of.. important.


#12

Are you just trying to lecture me or do you want to actually engage in a discussion? Speaking of disrespectful, I asked you some questions in my previous post and you ignored them.

It almost seems like you've got a bug up your ass and you just want to disagree. I mean, what the fuck is that comment about not using public forums? I asked you about that and you just blew it off. Like I said, if you want to lecture me at least come from a position that makes sense.

Yeah, I guess, but there's a fine line between "I'm making people aware" and "I'm being a sanctimonious, judgmental pest".

You mean like pulling things out of context and starting fights? I didn't do that. But, you're kind of fucking with me for some reason at this point. Why?

Cowicide said: uninformed Apple fanboy buffoons
Cowicide said: they promptly deleted the thread like cowards
Cowicide said: once I politely got the best of the idiots with facts, sources, links
Cowicide said: many angry, ignorant Americans
Cowicide said: I'm sure they'll act like cowards

Doesn't imply you have any respect or empathy for the people you're attempting to engage in so-called discourse. That's kind of.. important.

Dude, give me a fucking break. I didn't say those things to them, I'm just expressing some angst after dealing with them and being treated like shit after politely asking about dmg security.

Aside from the detractors I mentioned, people thanked me for posting the questions and others agreed with me. I wasn't just in there casting insults at people. I (and others) were polite and despite that we were treated like trash in return.

I showed you what I actually posted. How was that sanctimonious or judgmental? It was just a fucking question about whether or not a third party has examined Apple's dmg's for backdoors.

I approached them respectfully and I got rude, knee-jerk reactions. I wasn't alone, others that just attempted to address the issue also got attacked. You're kind of being pompous and making assumptions against me.

uninformed Apple fanboy buffoons

Um, once again, just venting after being called "anti-Apple and anti-American" and other rude insults unprovoked. Forgive me for being human and disappointed when I politely ask some valid security questions and then receive a ration of shit in return. If I had been dismissive or impolite, I'd tell you. I wasn't. Once again, you can read my post above where I quoted exactly what I said.

That's kind of.. important.

You should look into it yourself, frankly. I'll avoid expressing myself with you in the future. I don't need, nor deserve this shit from you.


#13

Do you think that the Snowden Attack Squad thinks that 'important civil debate' is a good outcome? Or that the FISC justices should do anything other than shut their robey mouths and get back to rubber stamping, almost as good as the old days; back before that 'Church Comission' bullshit ruined the fun?


#14

I just feel like you are not participating on those forums for typical reasons, but rather as part of a thinly veiled, evangelical mission -- and the audience there can see through you. That may be why you are not getting the responses you want.

Or you know, because they are all stupid morons, like you keep telling us. But not us, right, we're cool?


#15

I just feel like you are not participating on those forums for typical reasons, but rather as part of a thinly veiled, evangelical mission

Well, you're pretentious and you're wrong. I have several clients that have contacted me and they have DMGs ingrained into their workflows including scripts, embedded in custom apps, and various other implementations.

They've asked me about the security of the Apple DMG format since the NSA revelations. Like I've done in the past, I've recommended that they switch to TrueCrypt, but it'll be a very expensive proposition for some of them to do so. I've been researching this situation and one of the obvious places to look for info would be the Apple Discussions forum.

I've tried other security forums including some that are private that I have to pay for access to and no one seems to have good answers. So, I reached out at the Apple forums as well. A place filled with people who are focused on Apple technology sounds like a good choice to me, anyway.

Are you upset because I didn't use your beloved stack exchange? wink

and the audience there can see through you. That may be why you are not getting the responses you want.

Perhaps I gave you the wrong idea by focusing on the assholes in the thread, but then again, that was kind of my point. But, I see now that you're taking the negative ball and running with it.

Actually, the majority of the people on the forum were helpful (like usual at the Apple forum) and even had solid recommendations. So much so that it sent me into the direction of collecting some acquaintances to reverse engineer the DMG format similar to what was done at this link below:

http://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/Fahrplan/events/1642.en.html

Or you know, because they are all stupid morons, like you keep telling us.

I never said that. Why are you making a false caricature of me? You're very selectively taking my initial post out of context. If you go back and actually read what I wrote, I said that the discussion started out as amicable.

It wasn't until some rude assholes (yes, stupid morons) derailed the thread that things took a turn for the worse. Meanwhile, the rest of us in the thread who were actually looking at answers for the DMG issue continued to be polite even as they attacked us. I even complimented the level 7 dick on his expertise to try to appease the shithead even as he was calling me anti-Apple and anti-American completely unprovoked.

What more do you think we should have done? Did you bother to read where I quoted in my first post the question as posted? This will be the second time I ask you this. What the living fuck was "evangelical" about it?

The majority of people there didn't react negatively. As a matter of fact, as I already told you, some even thanked me for asking an interesting question as well as clicking on the "I also have this question" button.

Once again, you suggested that I shouldn't have used a public forum for this question. If so, I ask you AGAIN... How then do you resolve this issue being brought up on Boing Boing which is a very public place?

Or can I take it that you think Xeni, Cory, etc. are being foolhardy for doing so?

Can you please stop taking things I say out of context? If I started picking your posts apart in this manner, I think that you'd not only get annoyed, but you'd also suspect that I was trolling you. Please knock it off. This passive-aggressive nitpicking is getting stale. Overall, I like you. If you don't like me, then there's more direct, less inane ways than this to let me know.

In the past you've made suggestions to better my posts (too much bolding, etc.) and I've tried to actually take your advice into consideration, I really do. But, I don't really need you badgering me, either. You're just going to annoy me and nothing more. If this is your idea of constructive criticism, then please just knock off the parts where you continue to ignore my questions to you and take things I say out of context.

I'm well aware that you catch more flies with honey, but that wasn't even the point of my thread at Apple's board. It was to get answers on DMG security. I got it, but also along with a ration of shit for even just bringing it up. I think that shows that there's a lot of ignorant, hateful people we all still have to deal with. They escalated from talking about DMG security to killing people. As much as you may like to think it, that wasn't my fault.

Update: I pulled some strings and some people got a "talking to". A new thread has been put back up and everyone is as nice as pie now. I think one of the biggest hurdles surrounding the discussion is people are actually fearful of participating in it. Our government is so out of control, I can't blame them at this point. Going after whistleblowers was meant to send a clear message and it's regrettably worked on many. But, I guess you can blame me for that too. wink Even if the thread gets nuked again by some spineless chickenshit, it's served its purpose for me already anyway. (just thought I'd throw in some bolded insults to goose you)


#16

Well, I'm glad you tried again and things went better.

I just wanted to warn you that you often come across as extremely negative and too-persistent, and that hurts whatever message it is you're so eager to communicate with everyone.

Sometimes it's good to just say your piece in as simple and clear a way you can, and leave it be.


#17

Well, I'm glad you tried again and things went better. I just wanted to warn you that you often come across as extremely negative and too-persistent, and that hurts whatever message it is you're so eager to communicate with everyone.

It's ironic you say that and you're continuing to be presumptuous (which is annoying). I approached the new thread I created in the exact, same manner as before. I literally just copied & pasted what I saved from the previous thread that was nuked.

The difference this time is I raised hell with people I know who work higher up at Apple and it was properly moderated. I got it done and achieved goals, thanks.

My advice and warning to you is to stop taking me out of context, being presumptuous and giving advice to me as if you've got all the answers instead of engaging in dialog with me.

Outright ignoring my questions to you, not engaging in discussion and preaching at me just makes me lose respect for your advice. Want to see less negativity? Practice what you preach, quit being presumptuous and quit acting like you're above discussing my questions to you. It's arrogant and unhelpful.

I'm not going to tip-toe around controversy out of fear and from bullies. That's going to sometimes cause some people to flip out, but that's not going to silence me. Never has and never will. And, I'm not going to resort to nothing but "bumper sticker" posts, cheap slogans, talking points and simplistic stances on complex issues to appease anyone, either.

That said, I will take your advice to avoid the namecalling more often. You're right, it doesn't really help much of anything, although it can be rather cathartic when people are being dicks. Yes, I said dicks. Dicks, dicks, dicks, dicks. wink


#18

Works for me. Cheers. two_men_holding_hands


#19

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