Urban boyscout.Tech-whisperer.
556 stories
·
5 followers

With appeals ruling, the United States has effectively outlawed file encryption

1 Comment

An appeals court has denied the appeal of a person who is jailed indefinitely for refusing to decrypt files. The man has not been charged with anything, but was ordered to hand over the unencrypted contents on police assertion of what the contents were. When this can result in lifetime imprisonment under “contempt of court”, the United States has effectively outlawed file-level encryption – without even going through Congress.

Yesterday, a US Appeals Court ruled against the person now detained for almost 18 months for refusing to decrypt a hard drive. The man has not been charged with anything, but authorities assert that the drive contains child pornography, and they want to charge him for it. As this is a toxic subject that easily spins off into threads of its own, for the sake of argument here and for sticking to the 10,000-foot principles, let’s say the authorities instead claim there are documents showing tax evasion on the drive. The principles would be the same.

Authorities are justifying the continued detention of this person – this uncharged person – with two arguments that are seemingly contradictory: First, they say they already know in detail what documents are on the drive, so the person’s guilt is a “foregone conclusion”, and second, they refuse to charge him until they have said documents decrypted. This does not make sense: either they have enough evidence to charge, in which case they should, or they don’t have enough evidence, in which case there’s also not enough evidence to claim with this kind of certainty there are illegal documents on the drive.

In any case, this loss in the Appeals Court effectively means that file- and volume-level encryption is now illegal in the United States.

Without going through Congress, without public debate, without anything, the fuzzy “contempt of court” has been used to outlaw encryption of files. When authorities can jail you indefinitely – indefinitely! – for encrypting files out of their reach, the net effect of this is that file level encryption has been outlawed. (Encryption of transmissions, like with a VPN, has never been threatened this way – transmissions are transient in nature and therefore can’t be seized.)

So were there illegal documents on the drive? We don’t know. That’s the whole point. But we do know that you can be sent to prison on a mere assertion of what’s on your drive, without even a charge – effectively for life, even worse than the UK law which will jail you for up to five years for refusing to decrypt and which at least has some semblance of due process.

The point here isn’t that the man “was probably a monster”. The point is that the authorities claimed that there was something on his encrypted drive, and used that assertion as justification to send him to prison for life (unless he complies), with no charges filed. There’s absolutely nothing saying the same US authorities won’t claim the same thing about your drive tomorrow. Falsely, most likely. The point is that, with this ruling, it doesn’t matter.

Privacy remains your own responsibility.

The post With appeals ruling, the United States has effectively outlawed file encryption appeared first on Privacy Online News.

Read the whole story
chrisrosa
1 day ago
reply
sigh
San Francisco, CA
Share this story
Delete

On the Hackintosh

1 Comment

I really like my iMac, but every once in a while I do wish Apple was shipping a cheese-grater Mac Pro with modern internals. I’d love to shove some of my external drives into a tower that could keep my desk nice and tidy, not to mention having more horsepower for audio and video editing.

In the current vacuum of updated Pro hardware from Apple, some are turning to Hackintoshes. These custom-built PCs are designed to run macOS, giving users great flexibility to build their own setups for running Mac software.

A couple of days ago, RealMac’s Dan Counsell shared a bit about his new desktop:

I spent a week or so researching how to build a Hackintosh, I watched plenty of YouTube videos, read articles, and spent a lot of time on the tonymacx86 website. As many others have pointed out, this is time well spent, and probably the best way to learn how to do it. There are basically three parts to building a Hackintosh; picking the right components, actually building the thing, and finally getting macOS installed and running. As long as you take your time, and research each part properly you’ll be fine.

I wanted to build a machine that was faster than my current Macbook Pro and would be able to replace my gaming PC. This basically boiled down to picking the fastest CPU and GPU that macOS supports without resorting to any hacks.

Dan’s machine isn’t quite as fast as the 2013 Mac Pro in multi-core scoring, but beats both it and the, but did MacBook Pro in single-core tasks. While he didn’t include it on his charts, it also appears to beat the current iMacs at the Geekbench 4 benchmark test.

tonymacx86 publishes monthly guides that make picking compatible hardware easy. Dan spent less than $2,000, and you could spend far less than that if you didn’t want an all-SSD system.

I’m not feeling particularly itchy about building my own macOS-compatible computer. My iMac is great, and even though keeping macOS happy on these computers is easier than ever, I am hesitant to run my business on unsupported Mac hardware. However, I find the project and community around in really interesting. These users are passionate about what they are doing, and I think that is really exciting.

Read the whole story
chrisrosa
3 days ago
reply
same
San Francisco, CA
MotherHydra
3 days ago
My how times have changed. Folks used to look askance at the hackintosh community but now that Apple's ceded the high end it's no longer a laughing matter.
chrisrosa
3 days ago
Desperate times. iMac: 524 days. Mac mini: 886 days. Mac Pro: 1187 days.
MotherHydra
2 days ago
chrisrosa, you really drive the desperation point home by quantifying the situation. None of those day counts are anything to be remotely proud of.
chrisrosa
1 day ago
new ipad and red iphone. woo.
Share this story
Delete

Apple quietly hires renowned iPhone security expert

BGR
1 Comment
In a blog post today, famous iPhone security expert Jonathan Zdziarski announced that he's going to work for Apple. It's an unusual announcement for a number of reasons -- firstly, people don't normally know or care who's working on Apple's security team -- but Zdziarski is a little different. Zdziarski is a prominent security consultant who's also been a thorn in Apple's side for years. Most notably, he's called out Apple for shipping a version of iOS without an encrypted kernel, pulled apart Facebook's iOS code to reveal "malware-like" code, and been a vital source of information during Apple's short war with the FBI. In his blog post, Zdziarski briefly summarized his reasons for the move:
I’m pleased to announce that I’ve accepted a position with Apple’s Security Engineering and Architecture team, and am very excited to be working with a group of like minded individuals so passionate about protecting the security and privacy of others. This decision marks the conclusion of what I feel has been a matter of conscience for me over time. Privacy is sacred; our digital lives can reveal so much about us – our interests, our deepest thoughts, and even who we love. I am thrilled to be working with such an exceptional group of people who share a passion to protect that.
Zdziarski has long been an advocate for customer privacy and strong encryption. Apple's hiring move is likely just a coincidence, a case of a company picking up a talented employee where possible. But in the current climate, going and finding a security engineer who is also well known for his ethical stance on hacking certainly sounds like a message.



Read the whole story
chrisrosa
8 days ago
reply
awesome
San Francisco, CA
Share this story
Delete

Dirtybird's Christian Martin Explains Why Guest DJs Can Be A Waste

1 Comment

Christian Martin will play well over 150 gigs this year around the world. Some will be solo, but many will be as part of the Dirtybird crew, which Martin founded with his brother Justin and friends Claude Vonstroke and Worthy. Today, they might all be international headlining DJ, but when Dirtybird began as an intimate daytime BBQ party in Golden Gate Park, and then a residency at San Francisco venue Shine, the four core DJs kept the decks to themselves.

"We wanted to sink or swim on our own merits," Martin reflects, adding. "I wanted us to have our own unique sound."

That attitude continued, even as the crew began to grow. Dirtybird parties started to pop-off around the world, and while the members started to play out on their own, they still managed to perform together often, creating one of the strongest house music brands in all of the American dance scene.

That DIY attitude is more relevant than ever. As dance music continues to grow, pushing DJ fees higher and higher as it goes, there's starting to be a sense that the bubble could burst. That's why the lessons in independence that Martin tells are so essential. You can hear them all on this episode of the Rave Curious Podcast.

Subscribe to the Rave Curious Podcast on iTunes or listen on Soundcloud, and get a new episode every other week, plus download past interviews with Adam Beyer, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia, Radio Slave, Cassy and more. While you're at it, you can also follow Rave Curious on Facebook and Twitter.



Read the whole story
chrisrosa
8 days ago
reply
thump w/ @SFdirtybird
San Francisco, CA
Share this story
Delete

Grime in 1:20 Scale: Gritty Dollhouse-Sized Urban Architectural Models

1 Share
[ By SA Rogers in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

urban architectural models

The kind of graffiti-covered, poster-plastered, weathered and visibly aging architecture that once characterized many big cities and has now largely been demolished is recreated in miniature by artist Joshua Smith. Every aspect of Smith’s tiny urban environments is crafted in loving detail, with absolutely nothing overlooked. Photographs of each miniature will make you wish you could examine them in person with a magnifying glass, appreciating the realism in every sidewalk crack, weed, pebble and fallen leaf.

urban architectural models 2

urban architectural models 9

urban architectural odels 5

A dumpster at the Oakland Docks is packed full of tiny trash, some strewn around its base, a plastic bag fluttering on the barbed wire fence behind it. Melbourne’s Liberated X Bookshop and Shoe repairs features some fantastic Bladerunner-inspired wheat pasting, peeling plywood and the world’s tiniest padlocks. Big Bang Fireworks Company, based on 15 Pell Street in New York City’s Chinatown looks like you could slide those windows open and find a tiny family dining inside.

chinatown

dumpster

urban architectural models 9

urban architectural models 10

Based in South Australia, Smith previously worked for sixteen years as a stencil artist, and has now shifted his focus to model-making. The artist recently granted an interview to ArchDaily about his modeling process.

urban architectural models 3

urban architectural models 4

urban architectural models 7

“The longest build, which was my Kowloon Miniature, took three solid months working on average six to seven days a week and eight to sixteen hour-long days,” says Smith. “I strive to create a reality. I take as many reference photos as possible to mimic every single streak of rust, grime and chipping of stonework. I want viewers to be fooled, if I are a photo of the completed work in sunlight, to think it is the real thing.”

Take a closer look at some high-resolution images at Joshua Smith’s website.

Share on Facebook

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Sculpture & Craft. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


Read the whole story
chrisrosa
9 days ago
reply
San Francisco, CA
Share this story
Delete

Action Mobil Globecruiser 7500

1 Comment

Action Mobil Globecruiser 7500

Link

If given the choice between the EM50 Urban Assault Vehicle and the Action Mobil Globecruiser 7500, we’d go with this one. This mobile home has a 532 hp engine, an off-road capable 6×6 drivetrain, plentiful interior space, and even has a motorcycle dock out back.

Read the whole story
chrisrosa
9 days ago
reply
i don't ask for much, but....
San Francisco, CA
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories