[Cryptography] Fwd: stego mechanism used in real life (presumably), then outed

Zenaan Harkness zen at freedbms.net
Fri Jun 9 18:36:37 PDT 2017

On Fri, Jun 09, 2017 at 07:24:01AM +0200, iang wrote:
> On 09/06/2017 03:12, Zenaan Harkness wrote:
> >What "iang" is perhaps trying to come to grips with here is the
> >concept of tacit consent.
> I prefer to think about what's really going on rather than layers
> of deception.  This way we can design a system that meets needs,
> not strike hidden icebergs.
> Western society does not tacitly consent to spying on self.
> What they do is trust the spies to follow the rules.

And the spies change the rules to suit them, and yes, even break
their own changed rules.

Actions like these university counter-spy studies/ analysis etc, is
active opposition, and breaks the cycle that has been named as tacit

Although technically correct when you say "people expect their spies
to follow the rules, this is not tacit consent", you might find it
hard to deny that most humans are entirely blasé about their security
and privacy in communications (to pick a random example) - click
every doc file, open every zip attachment, go to every website with
full scripting and the rest to enjoy a bouncing unicorn.

Here's the summary:

	Humans, in general, are taken to be affirmative in their
	non-action or non-support of their own privacy.

This affirmative non-action is witnessed in voting, lack of self
discovery of salient current problems, and lack of support for the
few who make a stand.

But, thankfully, this is now changing, as you highlight in a way
which is quite refreshing. "The entitled (university) class has
become active in their research of pathways to opposition of the
spying against society as a whole. And this is being done

This is succinctly put, and a breath of fresh air. I hope it
continues and builds momentum. Technical/ procedural analysis and
technical tools for opposition, is a great start. "Political"
activity requires, in our current "democratic" states, vast numbers
and so is hard to achieve it seems. Legal actions in this direction
may also bear fruit, though not when there are blatant conflicts of
interest of course, such as the hopelessly and cynically agenda
driven (((SPLC))).

> But there is a flaw with that arrangement - secrecy.  The spies
> have to do all in secrecy, and in such level of secrecy they don't
> know themselves what they are doing.

Yes, compartmentalisation is used very effectively to "absolve" the
majority (those with weak personal ethics foundation) from personal

> This makes it easy to capture
> - by themselves, by outside elements, sometimes by the enemy.
> It also makes it easy for them to cross the line without informing
> the public.  To cross the line and put up window dressing or
> emperor's new clothing.
> As we've now seen countless times, accelerated with Snowden but by
> no means unique, the western intel agencies (and others) have
> frequently crossed the line of the law, and have dressed it up
> somehow.  When that dressing is ripped off, and the public sees
> what is really going on, changes are made.

It is a good thing we have seen a bit of this in the last few years.

"Even Comey leaked." :D

> For example, to drag the cyberpolitik back to *crypto*:  when we
> discovered that NSA was collecting all the Internet with watchers
> in every node, that was clearly illegal.  (We desperately need e2e
> and tcpinc, where is it?)  The "dress" they put on the emperor at
> the time was that they weren't collecting because they weren't
> looking. Once the lie was exposed to the public it was clearly
> illegal. There are I hear court cases advancing.

There are two main views of this:

1) Decades of violation is really bad (violation of rights).

2) The depth of the wrong/evil is is the only thing with a chance
   to jolt some of 'the majority' into awareness, and therefore is
   a really good thing.

> That is not tacit consent.  That's illegal behaviour, and society
> failing to see it isn't in any way tacit consent.

Those who are active in their opposition to wrongs, are evidently
not consenting. I agree with that. And that's good to see.

But look at things this way: 9/11 "anti-terror" legislation (in
reality, anti-rights), has been 'on the books' now for 15 years.

CIA has been violating fundamental laws now for how many decades?
What about the NSA?

Is the FISA court even lawful in the "righteous" sense of lawful,
or is it a modern day star chamber?

The fact of the time frames involved for even the beginnings of a
correction, means that the majority in society are indeed tacitly
consenting to bad laws, illegal laws, illegal actions.

When one individual "leaves it up to others", that individual is
tacitly consenting, since they are failing to actively oppose.

OK, if they actually have no knowledge whatsoever, they can be argued
to be ignorant. But as soon as someone becomes aware of a wrong, they
are tacitly consenting for as long as they fail to act in opposition.

The wrong-doers in power, get away with their wrongs for really long
periods of time, due primarily to the failure of the majority to
actively oppose said wrongs in a way which is effective (e.g.
"leaving it up to others - someone will fix it" is not active
opposition), and is almost the definition of tacit consent.

> As a further thing:  what the agencies do *all the time* is
> manipulate the victim into believing that the victim somehow
> allowed this to happen.  It's your fault!  Tacit consent is
> something the agencies will sell to the public.  "Yes, but
> terrorism, danger, fear.... you know we have to do this, and you
> agree."

I agree with the principle you are expressing here. Tacit consent, if
it be tacit consent, is still tacit consent, regardless of who calls

Perhaps a better way to express this particular "don't blame the
victim" sentiment is that tacit consent does not make an illegal or
wrong act either legal nor righteous, and does not make the victim of
spying directly responsible for the spying done against him.

Of course I completely agree - any decent human who is both aware of
and in alignment with right and opposed to wrong, would of course

And to the extent we can provide support, and awareness, and
facilities to those who live in an abusive relationship, to act to
get out of that abusive relationship, we should do so.

But at some point in time, the victim of a crime has a duty to act in
respect of the crime done to him - when he becomes aware, and knows
that he ought do something about the crime, then at that point, if he
does nothing, he is thereafter tacitly consenting to the continuation
of the crime.

Prior to this point in time, the victim is not responsible in any

After this point in time, the victim is not directly responsible,
yet is to some degree, tacitly consenting. Again, this is the
definition of tacit consent - we must not take objectivity the wrong
way (as a blame upon the victim) but merely as an analysis of that
which is actually occurring, and consequently as guidance for further
positive actions; this should go without saying.

> So, no - don't be fooled.  The agencies tell you to tacitly
> consent.  Say no.

I agree, do not tacitly consent. Once you become aware, act in
opposition to the wrongs, the crimes, the evils perpetrated upon
you and others you hopefully care about in this world.

> What is of interest is, once we figure it out, why don't we fix the
> problem?  This is pure power.

Absolutely yes, fix the problem. Totally agree (of course).

And different folk have different skillsets they can bring to bear to
help fix the problem. Great to see "the entitled class" stepping in
to help :)

> The government fights fiercely to defend itself, as all cornered
> animals do.  Now, if the government fights and wins, e.g. quotes
> "state secret" doctrine so we can't enforce society's values, we
> lose.

The government winning one battle, is not the failure of the way,
just a temporary setback.

The war only ends when the participants stop fighting.

And whilst the aggressors and perpetrators of evils continue to
oppress, spy, suppress, and predate upon the rest of us, it is in our
interests to work for something better.

> Again, what's that?  We lost.  But, the agencies will then come
> back around and say "look, see, the courts said it was OK, you've
> agreed, you've given tacit consent."

Let's not conflate concepts. Authority of legal ruling, is quite
different to implied authority assumed as and consequent to, tacit

Great to hear a certain passion for rights, freedom and individual
sovereignty, which must be the foundation for any collective sanity.


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