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(Guardian)   "Levison handed over the SSL keys as an 11-page printout in 4-point type which the government called 'illegible'"   (theguardian.com) divider line 128
    More: Hero, FBI, gag orders, encryption, criminal contempt, hand over  
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17634 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Oct 2013 at 2:14 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-03 01:28:10 PM  
The more I hear about this story, the more I like this guy!
 
2013-10-03 01:33:31 PM  
Land of the free, my ass.
 
2013-10-03 01:50:30 PM  
Levison handed over the SSL keys as an 11-page printout in 4-point type which the government called "illegible".

That is beautiful.
 
2013-10-03 01:51:05 PM  
Meant to add:

To make use of these keys, the FBI would have to manually input all 2,560 characters, and one incorrect keystroke in this laborious process would render the FBI collection system incapable of collecting decrypted data," prosecutors said.
 
2013-10-03 01:55:31 PM  

Nadie_AZ: all 2,560 characters,


only 2560 characters?

in the grand scheme of things, that's not a whole lot.
 
2013-10-03 01:58:08 PM  

ManateeGag: Nadie_AZ: all 2,560 characters,

only 2560 characters?

in the grand scheme of things, that's not a whole lot.


11 pages of 4 point text would be a heck of a lot more than 2,560 characters, so, something is off in that article.
 
2013-10-03 02:02:40 PM  
I printed it out on my printer. Now I think I should send everything to the government in 4-point type.

To make use of these keys, the FBI would have to manually input all 2,560 characters, and one incorrect keystroke in this laborious process would render the FBI collection system incapable of collecting decrypted data," prosecutors said.

I guess they've never seen a tax form. One incorrect keystroke and you could land in jail. Deal with it, crybabies.
 
2013-10-03 02:03:01 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: ManateeGag: Nadie_AZ: all 2,560 characters,

only 2560 characters?

in the grand scheme of things, that's not a whole lot.

11 pages of 4 point text would be a heck of a lot more than 2,560 characters, so, something is off in that article.


yeah, I realized that after I hit enter.  unless they did something like split it up and didn't number the pages.  that would be a biatch.
 
2013-10-03 02:03:33 PM  

Nadie_AZ: To make use of these keys, the FBI would have to manually input all 2,560 characters, and one incorrect keystroke in this laborious process would render the FBI collection system incapable of collecting decrypted data,"


I disagree with his intent. He was most likely printing out so that he can show the judge that he was doing what they asked. Our document archivist was able to do this accurately. 

The justice department is so retarded. The FBI is incapable of changing the resolution on their scanner so that they can't upload the key? 400 DPI should be sufficient and even then take a few different scans and look for errors.

Seriously I could do this in an hour.
 
2013-10-03 02:03:59 PM  

SnapeShots: I printed it out on my printer. Now I think I should send everything to the government in 4-point type.

To make use of these keys, the FBI would have to manually input all 2,560 characters, and one incorrect keystroke in this laborious process would render the FBI collection system incapable of collecting decrypted data," prosecutors said.

I guess they've never seen a tax form. One incorrect keystroke and you could land in jail. Deal with it, crybabies.


in correct keystroke nothing!  forget to check one box and you're farked.
 
2013-10-03 02:04:21 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: ManateeGag: Nadie_AZ: all 2,560 characters,

only 2560 characters?

in the grand scheme of things, that's not a whole lot.

11 pages of 4 point text would be a heck of a lot more than 2,560 characters, so, something is off in that article.


in the article comments someone speculated that the thing could have been "first character=9 second character=D" and so on.

That amuses me, if that is indeed what he did. Almost as amusing as the billionaire "libertarians" funding hundreds of millions of dollars to support nutters who shut down the government over health care, but don't actually support libertarian policies like helping fight off this surveillance. So far, Levinson has only raised somewhere around $57k for his legal fight.
 
2013-10-03 02:07:30 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: ManateeGag: Nadie_AZ: all 2,560 characters,

only 2560 characters?

in the grand scheme of things, that's not a whole lot.

11 pages of 4 point text would be a heck of a lot more than 2,560 characters, so, something is off in that article.


One line per page? That would be awesome.
 
2013-10-03 02:15:42 PM  
Scan, OCR, C&P.  What's the problem?
 
2013-10-03 02:16:47 PM  
imgs.xkcd.com
 
2013-10-03 02:17:27 PM  
Obstruction of Justice: check
Aiding and Abetting: check
Espionage: Check

Would be a shame if the Lavabit guy lost control of his car one day and got into an accident, just sayin...
 
2013-10-03 02:18:12 PM  

Gyro the Greek Sandwich Pirate: Scan, OCR, C&P.  What's the problem?


The government is dumb.
 
2013-10-03 02:20:08 PM  

YixilTesiphon: Gyro the Greek Sandwich Pirate: Scan, OCR, C&P.  What's the problem?

The government is dumb.


the government is also cheap and doesn't upgrade technology until the old stuff breaks.
 
2013-10-03 02:21:20 PM  

Nadie_AZ: That is beautiful.


I would have rathered 2560 separate pages with the keys printed in 300 point font. Hope you don't drop it!
 
2013-10-03 02:21:34 PM  
Control A
Change font to 10 point Arial (12 point for the gummint)

Bill the gummint elevnty million for data remediation
 
2013-10-03 02:23:15 PM  
And now Lavabit is shut down.

I hear Crazy John McAfee has an encryption thing he wants to sell.
 
2013-10-03 02:23:27 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: 11 pages of 4 point text would be a heck of a lot more than 2,560 characters, so, something is off in that article.


I just assumed there was more than one key, and each key was 2,560 characters.  That might add up depending on how many keys there were.
 
2013-10-03 02:26:51 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: And now Lavabit is shut down.

I hear Crazy John McAfee has an encryption thing he wants to sell.


...but only if he can drop by and shoot your dog, of course.
 
2013-10-03 02:26:58 PM  

Harry Freakstorm: Control A
Change font to 10 point Arial (12 point for the gummint)

Bill the gummint elevnty million for data remediation


How do you control-A on a piece of paper?
 
2013-10-03 02:27:52 PM  

jigger: How do you control-A on a piece of paper?


Pick it up.
 
2013-10-03 02:27:56 PM  
The court ordered Levison to be fined $5,000 a day beginning 6 August until he handed over electronic copies of the keys. Two days later Levison handed over the keys hours after he shuttered Lavabit.

He is continuing to appeal the search warrant and subpoenas demanding access to his service.


Well that didn't quite work out.
 
2013-10-03 02:28:08 PM  
Should have scribbled them on a series of sticky notes.
 
2013-10-03 02:28:50 PM  
Like the other farkers have said OCR, it should be a snap. I've done thousands of pages from books one page at a time before they had that auto page turning scanner tech. I'm sure the gov could have the new guy in the office with a sheet fed scanner bang this out in a few.
 
2013-10-03 02:29:13 PM  

lemurs: TuteTibiImperes: 11 pages of 4 point text would be a heck of a lot more than 2,560 characters, so, something is off in that article.

I just assumed there was more than one key, and each key was 2,560 characters.  That might add up depending on how many keys there were.


Ah, that could be true.  It would be awesome if they were all dumped as a flat file with no line breaks or spaces between the individual keys.
 
2013-10-03 02:29:41 PM  

Fubini: Nadie_AZ: That is beautiful.

I would have rathered 2560 separate pages with the keys printed in 300 point font. Hope you don't drop it!


That's phase two... which usually notated as "???" for the rest of us.
 
2013-10-03 02:30:05 PM  
Just a quick test, it looks like at 4 points with Cambria font on 1x1x1.25x1.25 margins, I get around 26k characters on a page.

Maybe there's 11 keys taking up just 10% of each page, or maybe the FBI just sucks at teh math.
 
2013-10-03 02:31:53 PM  
He has, in the past, cooperated with authorities on a case by case basis.  When handed a court order for a specific account, no problem.  The FBI, however, doesn't like to go through those Constitutionally required annoyances, so they were demanding the keys to the castle.   Unless you think the Feds can be trusted with privacy, you should be fully supporting this guy's actions.
 
2013-10-03 02:32:27 PM  
It's now apparent  that locating your secure service in a jurisdiction subject to pressure from the US is a mistake. So is using anything other than end-to-end encryption.
 
2013-10-03 02:32:30 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: It would be awesome if they were all dumped as a flat file with no line breaks or spaces between the individual keys.


It would be awesome if you realized that the key terminates at 2,560 characters and line breaks and spaces do not matter.
 
2013-10-03 02:33:21 PM  

lemurs: TuteTibiImperes: 11 pages of 4 point text would be a heck of a lot more than 2,560 characters, so, something is off in that article.

I just assumed there was more than one key, and each key was 2,560 characters.  That might add up depending on how many keys there were.


They did ask for all encryption keys which "could" be used to encrypt Snowden's data, which under technical definition means any encryption key used by the site.  So yeah, definitely adds up.

That in mind, no wonder the guy objected to the subpoena.  He offered to decrypt anything from Snowden's account on demand for as long as they wanted and they said, "nope, not good enough, we want all your keys."  It basically was the government demanding that he make the site completely, 100% transparent to them for the duration of it existing, entirely defeating the purpose of the service.  Yeah, he definitely made the right call there.  Being forced to turn over those keys was the death of Lavabit anyway.  At this point he's only being sued because the feds lost out on their sweet honeypot.
 
jvl
2013-10-03 02:33:28 PM  
Protip: If you want to sell people a secure messaging service and you possess the keys for decrypting the message, you are a moron.
 
2013-10-03 02:33:58 PM  

ManateeGag: Nadie_AZ: all 2,560 characters,

only 2560 characters?

in the grand scheme of things, that's not a whole lot.


Pay someone $500 and they'd be able to enter it twice as a double check.
 
2013-10-03 02:35:03 PM  

special20: TuteTibiImperes: It would be awesome if they were all dumped as a flat file with no line breaks or spaces between the individual keys.

It would be awesome if you realized that the key terminates at 2,560 characters and line breaks and spaces do not matter.


True, but it would add an extra layer of difficulty in inputting them, having to go through the entire document counting characters and marking off where one key ends and one begins so that when it's time to input the next key you know where to start.
 
2013-10-03 02:36:20 PM  

Ambivalence: TuteTibiImperes: ManateeGag: Nadie_AZ: all 2,560 characters,

only 2560 characters?

in the grand scheme of things, that's not a whole lot.

11 pages of 4 point text would be a heck of a lot more than 2,560 characters, so, something is off in that article.

One line per page? That would be awesome.


That was the only thing I could come up with, too. I tested it in Word, and it makes sense. 2560 random alphanumeric characters in 4pt Calibri hits right in the 11-12 lines range.

But that's stupid and counterintuitive to whatever roadblock he would have been creating. It would have made the FBI's job easier. Get 11 people with magnifiers, and now each one is only in charge of a single page of ~230 characters. Each one could retype his page a half a dozen times before lunch, average the mistakes to get a single good copy, and then everybody show their work at the end of the day. Problem solved.
 
2013-10-03 02:38:42 PM  
Transcribe it twice and diff the versions. But to be fair I would be lazy, too, if I could subpoena people.
 
2013-10-03 02:38:48 PM  

YixilTesiphon: Gyro the Greek Sandwich Pirate: Scan, OCR, C&P.  What's the problem?

The government is dumb.


Doesn't say what typeface Levison used on the printout, either, or whether he screwed with the kerning, or whether he used a faulty inkjet or something to actually print it out. Depending on the OCR software available to the FBI (You'd think it would be all of it, but who knows?), the document could be virtually illegible even to the OCR.

It's probably that the government is dumb. But OCRs are dumb, too. Don't forget that part of the equation.

/Lots of experience with ABBYY FineReader
//It hates old typewritten documents, and also numbers
///Good on Levison, btw
 
2013-10-03 02:38:59 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: special20: TuteTibiImperes: It would be awesome if they were all dumped as a flat file with no line breaks or spaces between the individual keys.

It would be awesome if you realized that the key terminates at 2,560 characters and line breaks and spaces do not matter.

True, but it would add an extra layer of difficulty in inputting them, having to go through the entire document counting characters and marking off where one key ends and one begins so that when it's time to input the next key you know where to start.


Nope. Enter the whole thing and let a computer split by character count later.
 
2013-10-03 02:39:07 PM  

jvl: Protip: If you want to sell people a secure messaging service and you possess the keys for decrypting the message, you are a moron.


I believe that if you base your service in the US you're required by law to maintain the ability to decrypt and provide law enforcement with data from your service upon receipt of a valid search order or subpoena.  It's the same reason why companies are required to maintain server logs for a certain amount of time showing which IP accessed which material at which date and time.
 
2013-10-03 02:40:31 PM  

OgreMagi: He has, in the past, cooperated with authorities on a case by case basis.  When handed a court order for a specific account, no problem.  The FBI, however, doesn't like to go through those Constitutionally required annoyances, so they were demanding the keys to the castle.   Unless you think the Feds can be trusted with privacy, you should be fully supporting this guy's actions.


QFT. Seems like nearly everybody commenting in this thread needs Lucy to do some 'splaining to them. Also, I like the idea of going with one giant character per page.

Anyone who runs a site where user content can be a matter for legal action, knows the drill - don't come asking without the authority, and paperwork. I have the highest respect for what Ladar Levison is doing. Even going so far as to shut down the services he provided, which ostensibly was to protect those who used it, is something I can get behind.
 
2013-10-03 02:41:05 PM  
why didn't they just order a better scanner with end of year funds? i mean, they can wait to get monitors that are 1-inch bigger than last years a year later.
 
2013-10-03 02:41:07 PM  

DanZero: [imgs.xkcd.com image 448x274]


Yep.

FTA: The court ordered Levison to be fined $5,000 a day beginning 6 August until he handed over electronic copies of the keys. Two days later Levison handed over the keys hours after he shuttered Lavabit.

I would have liked to see him do a followup to his 4-point printout by printing it all out in 96 font, so each letter filled an entire page and then handing over the whole lot on un-numbered pages held together with paperclips.
 
2013-10-03 02:43:30 PM  
"To make use of these keys, the FBI would have to manually input all 2,560 characters, and one incorrect keystroke in this laborious process would render the FBI collection system incapable of collecting decrypted data," prosecutors said.

Oh, man.  It would be so freaking spectacularly awesome if he finally handed over the digital version of the keys, and the FBI snooped in and found an email from Snowden with an encrypted message printed in 4-point type and scanned in as an attachment.

Also, this "waah I have to type it all in" is pretty hypocritical, given the way the federal government cracked down on "machine readable" strong crypto in the 1990s.
 
2013-10-03 02:44:55 PM  

genepool lifeboat: jigger: How do you control-A on a piece of paper?

Pick it up.


I laughed a little too much at that.
 
2013-10-03 02:49:41 PM  

Xcott: Also, this "waah I have to type it all in" is pretty hypocritical, given the way the federal government cracked down on "machine readable" strong crypto in the 1990s.


And the fact that until just...5-6? years ago, none of the PDFs the Feds put out were searchable. Just scanned papers, artifacts and all.
 
2013-10-03 02:49:43 PM  

Fubini: Nadie_AZ: That is beautiful.

I would have rathered 2560 separate pages with the keys printed in 300 point font. Hope you don't drop it!


this, but rifle shuffle them a few times.

be nice and tell them the first and last character.
 
2013-10-03 02:55:30 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: True, but it would add an extra layer of difficulty in inputting them, having to go through the entire document counting characters and marking off where one key ends and one begins so that when it's time to input the next key you know where to start.


Ahoy! magazine has a utility for that, called Bug Repellent.  You just type in the bytes and verify the checksum at the end of each line as printed on the paper.

It's only like 35 lines and you can get it on floppy disk if you're lazy, so I don't see what they're whining about---especially if you combine it with Flankspeed, so you don't need to hit the [Return] key.
 
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