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(Some Guy)   Man detained and interrogated at US border. This is because he a) Made stupid bomb jokes on Twitter, b) Shares the same first name as a terrorist, c) Developed an open source encrypted chat program   (zeropaid.com) divider line 65
    More: Scary  
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4657 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Jun 2012 at 11:22 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-07 11:24:54 AM
It seems a little suspicious that a border guard would be asking about encryption algorithms.
 
2012-06-07 11:28:30 AM
Well ya know what?

I'm gonna go run and grab that app as fast as my little legs can carry me.
 
2012-06-07 11:29:19 AM
[Obvious]
 
2012-06-07 11:31:28 AM
Already have it. I haven't tested it out yet.
 
2012-06-07 11:31:58 AM

pxlboy: It seems a little suspicious that a border guard would be asking about encryption algorithms.


Not really. If you're coming across the border, and there's a "hit" on their system, they usually follow up with why the person needs to be detained. Also, depending on where he's crossing, there could easily be an NSA or FBI office nearby.

Now, whether they'd understand what he was saying, that's doubtful. But they could easily relay the information on to others.
 
2012-06-07 11:35:34 AM
oops.

I am not geek enough to understand this thing. What do?

https://github.com/kaepora/cryptocat/blob/master/README.md
 
2012-06-07 11:36:15 AM
FTA:"The interrogator (who claimed 22 years of computer experience) asked me which algorithms Cryptocat used and about its censorship resistance."

Really? 22 years exp and he has to ask the developer? I do not think he knows what open source is. I found the source code in 30 seconds on google.
 
2012-06-07 11:40:43 AM

sammyk: FTA:"The interrogator (who claimed 22 years of computer experience) asked me which algorithms Cryptocat used and about its censorship resistance."

Really? 22 years exp and he has to ask the developer? I do not think he knows what open source is. I found the source code in 30 seconds on google.


He didn't say programming experience.

In any case, export of cryptographic software is somewhat restricted by the government.

FTWiki: "Furthermore, encryption registration with the BIS is required for the export of "mass market encryption commodities, software and components with encryption exceeding 64 bits" (75 F.R. 36494). In addition, other items require a one-time review by or notification to BIS prior to export to most countries.[9] For instance, the BIS must be notified before open-source cryptographic software is made publicly available on the Internet, though no review is required.[10]"

I'm not saying Cryptocat runs afoul of any laws, but the government isn't exactly hands-off in these situations.
 
2012-06-07 11:45:22 AM

Kittypie070: Well ya know what?

I'm gonna go run and grab that app as fast as my little legs can carry me.


Well, don't get too excited. It has one major security flaw: It runs on a computer.
 
2012-06-07 11:50:06 AM

Kittypie070: I am not geek enough to understand this thing. What do?


RTFM
 
2012-06-07 11:51:43 AM
This is not the only example of this. Apparently the U.S. has developed an entrenched, systematic policy that agencies should coordinate to take advantage of the pretext of border inspection to search and interrogate a list of undesirables who inconveniently don't break the law and thus otherwise would never be detainable.

This is not overzealous border agents arbitrarily being jerks on some days. There is a list of people who, if they cross the border, notification is given to someone who has been waiting for the chance to interrogate that individual.
 
2012-06-07 11:56:17 AM
They went after Phil Zimmermann in the 90's for PGP. Seems even though they would never ever read electronic files they want to be able to.
 
2012-06-07 11:59:40 AM

Cheron: They went after Phil Zimmermann in the 90's for PGP. Seems even though they would never ever read electronic files they want to be able to.


PGP did technically run afoul of US export law; the key lengths were too long and so the software was classified as a "munition".
 
2012-06-07 11:59:57 AM
Good thing we elected a freedom loving democrat to the White House.

It's great that the Fed agencies he runs now Liberty and respect the rights of the individual.
 
2012-06-07 12:01:08 PM

qorkfiend: I'm not saying Cryptocat runs afoul of any laws, but the government isn't exactly hands-off in these situations.


I was going to point out that the author is Canadian and the domain name is registered in Canada, but it looks like the site is hosted in New Jersey so the export control issue is valid.

Personally, I much prefer as it works over any IM network and doesn't require any sort of central service like Cryptocat.
 
2012-06-07 12:05:13 PM

heypete: Personally, I much prefer as it works over any IM network and doesn't require any sort of central service like Cryptocat.


Preview is my friend. I meant to say that I prefer Off-The-Record Messaging. Sorry.
 
2012-06-07 12:10:50 PM

heypete: heypete: Personally, I much prefer as it works over any IM network and doesn't require any sort of central service like Cryptocat.

Preview is my friend. I meant to say that I prefer Off-The-Record Messaging. Sorry.


No, it was more amusing the first time.
 
2012-06-07 12:20:47 PM
I get where they're coming from. It's a software program thingy. It's not like the source for it is just open for anyone to see. It's not like they can just git a copy and read it. Why should he get to be all secretive and not the rest of us?
 
2012-06-07 12:21:31 PM

treesloth: I get where they're coming from. It's a software program thingy. It's not like the source for it is just open for anyone to see. It's not like they can just git a copy and read it. Why should he get to be all secretive and not the rest of us?


Oops, that's "get a copy...". Silly me.
 
2012-06-07 12:22:44 PM

Nem Wan: This is not the only example of this. Apparently the U.S. has developed an entrenched, systematic policy that agencies should coordinate to take advantage of the pretext of border inspection to search and interrogate a list of undesirables who inconveniently don't break the law and thus otherwise would never be detainable.

This is not overzealous border agents arbitrarily being jerks on some days. There is a list of people who, if they cross the border, notification is given to someone who has been waiting for the chance to interrogate that individual.


Yup, Bush's new world order, modified by Clinton's new world order, modified by Bush's new world order, modified by Obama's new world order.

The thing is, these limp dicks realize that people outside the US can program stuff too, and there's no friggin way they can control this stuff. These events are nothing more than intimidation and threats to brutalize those that could hurt "national security" but don't bother.

The farkers.
 
2012-06-07 12:29:26 PM

treesloth: treesloth: I get where they're coming from. It's a software program thingy. It's not like the source for it is just open for anyone to see. It's not like they can just git a copy and read it. Why should he get to be all secretive and not the rest of us?

Oops, that's "get a copy...". Silly me.


Works the first way.
 
2012-06-07 12:43:48 PM
on Windows: Pidgin +OTR = Awesome

on Mac, Adium + OTR = Awesome
 
2012-06-07 12:44:38 PM

qorkfiend: treesloth: treesloth: I get where they're coming from. It's a software program thingy. It's not like the source for it is just open for anyone to see. It's not like they can just git a copy and read it. Why should he get to be all secretive and not the rest of us?

Oops, that's "get a copy...". Silly me.

Works the first way.


thatsthejoke.jpg
 
2012-06-07 01:50:23 PM

qorkfiend: FTWiki: "Furthermore, encryption registration with the BIS is required for the export of "mass market encryption commodities, software and components with encryption exceeding 64 bits" (75 F.R. 36494). In addition, other items require a one-time review by or notification to BIS prior to export to most countries.[9] For instance, the BIS must be notified before open-source cryptographic software is made publicly available on the Internet, though no review is required.[10]"


Which is why it is usually easier to distribute stuff like this from a point outside of the USA--that way, it doesn't have to be exported, only imported.
 
2012-06-07 02:03:26 PM
Try not to take it personally chat encrypter guy. I have a friend who was harrassed by US border guards for flying to Cuba to go on vacation. And he's Canadian and not subject to US laws.

I, myself was harrassed just for asking why when I was questioned when the last time I had sex was. As if that is appropriate question to ask.

Have not been to the US in 8 years, don't plan on doing so ever again
even though I live 20 minutes away
 
2012-06-07 02:13:16 PM
I've had worse at the Canadian border for just being a dumb college kid.

Border Patrol assumed we were carrying a lot of drugs and alcohol, but we were just up there to party, not planning on bringing any back. They let us got after an hour and a half when in rolled this huge fan full of black guys. I laughed my ass off when the guys opened their vehicle doors and a huge cloud of smoke came out.

Busted!
 
2012-06-07 02:19:46 PM
Let's be honest here....

Privacy is great. But if you *really* need to use an open-source chat program with ultra high levels of encryption; you probably shouldn't be. Just sayin...
 
2012-06-07 02:33:41 PM

qorkfiend: sammyk: FTA:"The interrogator (who claimed 22 years of computer experience) asked me which algorithms Cryptocat used and about its censorship resistance."

Really? 22 years exp and he has to ask the developer? I do not think he knows what open source is. I found the source code in 30 seconds on google.

He didn't say programming experience.

In any case, export of cryptographic software is somewhat restricted by the government.

FTWiki: "Furthermore, encryption registration with the BIS is required for the export of "mass market encryption commodities, software and components with encryption exceeding 64 bits" (75 F.R. 36494). In addition, other items require a one-time review by or notification to BIS prior to export to most countries.[9] For instance, the BIS must be notified before open-source cryptographic software is made publicly available on the Internet, though no review is required.[10]"

I'm not saying Cryptocat runs afoul of any laws, but the government isn't exactly hands-off in these situations.


I'm pretty sure that US export law doesn't apply to encryption developed by a Canadian in Canuckistan. Canada is like almost another, sovereign, independent country.
 
2012-06-07 02:36:18 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb and say this never happened. Sounds like he's just trying to drum up publicity for his little project.
 
2012-06-07 02:44:33 PM

JesusJuice: I'm going to go out on a limb and say this never happened. Sounds like he's just trying to drum up publicity for his little project.


you don't understand.. Canadians are always harassed when they cross the border
no matter if they are polite or rude
 
2012-06-07 03:11:34 PM

sammyk: FTA:"The interrogator (who claimed 22 years of computer experience) asked me which algorithms Cryptocat used and about its censorship resistance."

Really? 22 years exp and he has to ask the developer? I do not think he knows what open source is. I found the source code in 30 seconds on google.


I'd be more concerned with what a guy with 22 years of IT experience is doing working as a border guard.

ontariolightning: JesusJuice: I'm going to go out on a limb and say this never happened. Sounds like he's just trying to drum up publicity for his little project.

you don't understand.. Canadians are always harassed when they cross the border
no matter if they are polite or rude


Sad but true.
 
2012-06-07 03:18:16 PM

Gonz: Kittypie070: I am not geek enough to understand this thing. What do?

RTFM


You guys set this up. Right?
 
2012-06-07 04:13:28 PM

qorkfiend: Cheron: They went after Phil Zimmermann in the 90's for PGP. Seems even though they would never ever read electronic files they want to be able to.

PGP did technically run afoul of US export law; the key lengths were too long and so the software was classified as a "munition".


What was especially funny was how he got around that: he published the source code as a book.

Then it became perfectly legal to export
 
2012-06-07 04:18:15 PM

pxlboy: It seems a little suspicious that a border guard would be asking about encryption algorithms.


His story rings of bullshiat to drum up word of mouth for his chat program.

I was detained for 30 mins at the Canadian border once, they actually confiscated some sparklers and fireworks I had in the trunk. Big deal.
 
2012-06-07 04:21:59 PM

ontariolightning: JesusJuice: I'm going to go out on a limb and say this never happened. Sounds like he's just trying to drum up publicity for his little project.

you don't understand.. Canadians are always harassed when they cross the border
no matter if they are polite or rude


Don't take it personally. I'm a US Citizen and I'm always harassed coming back into the US.

I've never had problems moving between other countries but coming back home is always unpleasant.
 
2012-06-07 04:37:09 PM
I sympathize, but "almost an hour" is not so extreme, though at the point where it becomes extreme we may not have heard anything from him ever again.
 
2012-06-07 04:45:26 PM

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: ontariolightning: JesusJuice: I'm going to go out on a limb and say this never happened. Sounds like he's just trying to drum up publicity for his little project.

you don't understand.. Canadians are always harassed when they cross the border
no matter if they are polite or rude

Don't take it personally. I'm a US Citizen and I'm always harassed coming back into the US.

I've never had problems moving between other countries but coming back home is always unpleasant.


1000 times this, we breezed right through London, paris, and Amsterdam but it took us longer to get back into the USA than it did getting into every other country over there. Atlanta also had this stupid double check in where you had to wait with passengers flying back out even if Atlanta was your final destination, so we had 45 mins in customs then over an hour winding through another line. It was a pain but supposedly they have now fixed it now.
 
2012-06-07 05:22:52 PM
pxlboy:

It seems a little suspicious that a border guard would be asking about encryption algorithms.

I remember when PGP was a WMD.
 
2012-06-07 05:31:11 PM

heypete: heypete: Personally, I much prefer as it works over any IM network and doesn't require any sort of central service like Cryptocat.

Preview is my friend. I meant to say that I prefer Off-The-Record Messaging. Sorry.


There's no premade binary for Linux; I'll see if the source compiles.
 
2012-06-07 05:42:08 PM

Deneb81: heypete: heypete: Personally, I much prefer as it works over any IM network and doesn't require any sort of central service like Cryptocat.

Preview is my friend. I meant to say that I prefer Off-The-Record Messaging. Sorry.

No, it was more amusing the first time.


Freaked me out that's for sure.
 
2012-06-07 05:44:12 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: Let's be honest here....

Privacy is great. But if you *really* need to use an open-source chat program with ultra high levels of encryption; you probably shouldn't be. Just sayin...


Why not?
 
2012-06-07 05:46:59 PM

The One True TheDavid: heypete: heypete: Personally, I much prefer as it works over any IM network and doesn't require any sort of central service like Cryptocat.

Preview is my friend. I meant to say that I prefer Off-The-Record Messaging. Sorry.

There's no premade binary for Linux; I'll see if the source compiles.


It compiled and installed; once I'm sober & conscious I'll want to learn how to use it. Who wantsto teach me? I'm a quick study, when I'm not snoring.

EIP.
 
2012-06-07 06:16:27 PM

The One True TheDavid: pxlboy:

It seems a little suspicious that a border guard would be asking about encryption algorithms.

I remember when PGP was a WMD.


It used to be that anything bigger than a small minicomputer was a restricted item as it could be used in the design of nukes. There was a very long list of countries that were on the restriction list.
 
2012-06-07 06:25:17 PM
I am not tech smrt, so could someone who is tell me:

Why would you ask an open-source developer to explain his product? If it is open-source, then you can hire someone to examine its inner-workings. You don't need the developer to explain it.
 
2012-06-07 06:32:44 PM
Anyone got a source for this that doesn't base itself on the guy's tweets?
 
2012-06-07 06:38:48 PM

MBA Whore: I am not tech smrt, so could someone who is tell me:

Why would you ask an open-source developer to explain his product? If it is open-source, then you can hire someone to examine its inner-workings. You don't need the developer to explain it.


www.terrariaonline.com
 
2012-06-07 07:57:47 PM

MBA Whore: I am not tech smrt, so could someone who is tell me:

Why would you ask an open-source developer to explain his product? If it is open-source, then you can hire someone to examine its inner-workings. You don't need the developer to explain it.


That's not really the issue. The EAR and the ITAR and so forth are written to control the export of technologies considered so sensitive and so important that sale to unauthorized buyers would threaten the country. Most export-controlled items are in fact either government-produced or government-sponsored. People can and have independently generated information, products, and services which qualify for restriction under the EAR, ITAR, etc. PGP (at the time) was a case where this happened.

As for TFA, it doesn't matter that it was created by a Canadian. It was apparently hosted on a website within the USA. That makes it subject to export-control restrictions. At any point, the Canadian in question should have said "I am not a USA citizen and either you prevent me from crossing the border without due process or you present me with a warrant provided by my country for my detainment." Or something to that effect.

It's very complicated and lawyer-y, unfortunately, and there's not really any good answers. And due to the way the mess is written, both innocuous and laughably dated technologies fall under the umbrella of export-controlled technology. Junk we left behind in the Civil War will in many cases be considered export-controlled despite the zero demand worldwide for that level of tech. The government casts such a wide net because it's not possible to specify exactly what needs to be controlled and why at all times. Sometimes emerging technology catches you off-guard. Sometimes our true foes find new ways to utilize old technology to our detriment. It's easy to laugh when the regulations are applied in a stodgy manner for something that "should" be obvious, but it's pretty tough to have a chuckle when we experience an actual attack on our soil.
 
2012-06-07 08:58:18 PM

Cornelis de Gyselaer: Gonz: Kittypie070: I am not geek enough to understand this thing. What do?

RTFM

You guys set this up. Right?


Right, because there's no way someone on the Geek tab would be slightly antisocial, especially towards someone who's technologically challenged and displays furry tendencies.
 
2012-06-07 09:52:43 PM

JesusJuice: I'm going to go out on a limb and say this never happened. Sounds like he's just trying to drum up publicity for his little project.


Yup, that's what I get from the story.
 
2012-06-08 12:54:20 AM

HellRaisingHoosier: I've had worse at the Canadian border for just being a dumb college kid.

Border Patrol assumed we were carrying a lot of drugs and alcohol, but we were just up there to party, not planning on bringing any back. They let us got after an hour and a half when in rolled this huge fan full of black guys. I laughed my ass off when the guys opened their vehicle doors and a huge cloud of smoke came out.

Busted!


I'm a Detroiter and picked up a single female Australian friend who was studying in Toronto at the bus station in Windsor. She was visitng for a long weekend. They stopped up and grilled us about being boyfriend/girlfriend, was she planning on marrying me and applying for a green card, etc. Then the tunnel bus arrived and a bunch of Arabs got off it and they practically threw us out of the building.
 
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