[FoRK] Fear of Repression Spurs Scholars and Activists to Build Alternate Internets

Gregory Alan Bolcer greg at bolcer.org
Wed Sep 21 07:06:02 PDT 2011

On 9/21/2011 6:55 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> End user owned infrastructure allows trusted hardware and
> makes placing network probes (to use traffic timing attack
> to reverse mix cascades) more difficult.

I agree it increases the trust, but the network is only secure as it's 
weakest link.  They mentioned plugging in someplace.

> If this is LoS long-distance links they're harder to sniff
> than omni wireless by unmarked van. NSA is likely to be able to get
> at that via their LEO sigint network (though I doubt about 60 GHz
> WiFi). I see no reason why fiber won't get cheap enough
> (e.g. via Thunderbolt-like technology) to run short runs across
> property boundaries, at full galvanic separation. Also,
> VPN over broadband fiber.

I agree a clever encryption scheme and fiber is better, but still, you 
have that many more places to compromise it.  Unless you have some 
complex light-bouncing statistics to ensure the integrity of the glass 
(which modern intel light interconnect could probably hide the side 
effects of), there's still a lot of space to protect.

They still use unmarked vans? :-)

> Freedom boxes are owned and operated by end users.

The scenario they gave was some professor working for a university was 
upset they wanted to read his university email.  I'm assuming they meant 
he'd stop using email and use whatever communication tools that were on 
the freedom network.

> Facebook? Is that something like an AOL or a CompuServe?

I wish I could find that comic strip....


greg at bolcer.org, http://bolcer.org, c: +1.714.928.5476

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