Notes from the Logan Symposium

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 16.57.33

Watching the CIJ’s Logan Symposium. From Saturday’s 4pm session, Strategies for Survival.

Annie Machon
“Post-Snowden, when we know that drones can hover up to 2km away and still read what is on your computer, when they can hear remotely from a mile away what you might be saying, the only really secure way of communicating with another human being the ultra paranoid secure way is a pane of glass, one sheet of paper, you write on it under a cover. Then you get the person you want to communicate with to read what you’ve written, under the cover, and then you shred it up, you burn it, you grind it up, and you flush it down the loo. That is the only secure way we now can guarantee that we can communicate privately with each other , we have to be that paranoid.”

[Question] But what about re: facial recognition, numberplate recognition?
“Yes, but it get’s worse: a program called ‘Trapwire’ is a melding of surveillance programs, to produce a realtime predictive behavioural analysis of ways you walk and travel around.”

Jake Appelbaum
“When you use proprietary software (like this absolute fucking garbage Skype software) … when you use things like Skype, when you use things like a mobile phone you are using tools that are collaborating with not only the surveillance state but helping to build a surveillance society, so it’s almost impossible to use them safely.

If we keep this in this doesn’t mean you should never use them because sometimes getting the signal out is more important, but do not believe the fallacy that there’s simply too much data you will simply escape the analysis space, that just will not happen.”

On local anonymity. “You want to think about it in terms of the local network being very unfriendly to you. If you’re using your home network that’s especially the case.”

“You have to think about not only the computer you use and the network you use but the things that are around it, the things that are part of the information society, essentially, that can be used to betray the efforts that can be put in.”

“If you have an iPhone and you live in the United Kingdom then the government has weaponised toolkits to break into your phone and what you need is to live in a free society which, currently, you don’t.”

Regin: State Sponsored Malware


The intercept has a good analysis of GCHQ’s ‘Regin’ Malware, including a breakdown of its likely stealthy, modular installation process.

“The malware, which steals data from infected systems and disguises itself as legitimate Microsoft software, has also been identified on the same European Union computer systems that were targeted for surveillance by the National Security Agency.”

It’s a long term piece of software, and not just in its slow installation, the article reckons it was in development for over a decade and has been spread as widely as “Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Ireland, Belgium, and Iran”.