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Jacob Appelbaum

December 22, 2012 Comments off


a secretive, labyrinth-like system “…Appelbaum, featured in a New York Times story this past Sunday, is a developer for Tor Hidden Services, a secretive, labyrinth-like system that WikiLeaks relies upon to keep its sources anonymous. A host of other organizations and individuals–including the military–also use Tor, which is run by a Massachusetts-based nonprofit. Appelbaum has become an evangelist for TOR, a sometimes spokesperson for WikiLeaks and a subject of FBI scrutiny. Agents questioned him for hours this summer upon his return from a trip to Europe. Appelbaum is continuing to work on Tor at the UW, according to his boss, Yoshi Kohno, who runs a lab devoted to computer security and privacy. “His other work for the lab is currently embargoed, so I’m afraid I can’t go into too much detail,” Kohno replies initially when asked about his new employee…” – Nina Shapiro (READ MORE)

access to freedom of speech is a universal right “…The only way we’ll make progress in the human race is if we have dialogue,” he says. “Everyone should honor the United Nations human rights charter that says access to freedom of speech is a universal right. Anonymous communication is a good way for this to happen. Tor is just an implementation that helps spread that idea…Tor works in a similar way. When you use the Internet, your computer makes a connection to the Web server you wish to contact. The server recognizes your computer, notes its IP address and sends back the page you’ve requested. It’s not difficult, however, for a government agency or a malicious hacker to observe this whole transaction: They can monitor the server and see who is contacting it, or they can monitor your computer and see whom you’re trying to contact. Tor prevents such online spying by introducing intermediaries between your computer and the system you’re trying to reach. Say, for example, that you live in San Francisco and you want to send an e-mail to your friend, a high-level mole in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. If you e-mail your friend directly, the Guard’s network could easily see your computer’s IP address, and discover your name and personal information. But if you’ve installed Tor, your e-mail gets routed to one of 2,000 relays — computers running Tor — scattered across the world. So your message bounces to a relay in Paris, which forwards it to a second relay in Tokyo, which sends it on to a third relay in Amsterdam, where it is finally transmitted to your friend in Tehran. The Iranian Guard can only see that an e-mail has been sent from Amsterdam. Anyone spying on your computer would only see that you sent an e-mail to someone in Paris. There is no direct connection between San Francisco and Tehran. The content of your e-mail is not hidden — for that, you need encryption technology — but your location is secure…” – Nathaniel Rich (READ MORE)

wide-open eyes “…It’s only been a single day and the entire world is talking about this information. The collaborative effort put into the initial analysis of these documents is unprecedented, and the foundation laid by New York Times, Guardian and Der Spiegel in respect to initial analysis of the material will certainly serve as a sound basis for further investigations by the media, historians and researchers, as well as general public scrutiny. People in the United States of America have the ability to democratically change this situation if they are unhappy with the truth; they now have information that will assist them in having a clearer picture. Perhaps they will demand more transparency and more accountability. It is clear that they will find out how the war is actually going, and see what they’re financing. This isn’t unique to the United States: it impacts the people of every country with troops in Afghanistan. The world has wide-open eyes. Together, we can make better, more honest decisions. Furthermore, the people of Afghanistan are not shocked by this information. Nobody needs to tell them what the conditions are like on the ground. They don’t have reports with this level of specificity, rather they live with everyday terror and fear. In some cases, we can see more clearly now that the Taliban are doing terrible things, and they’re far better equipped than the “camel jockeys” they’re portrayed as in the American media. These are scary guys with scary capabilities. Why aren’t we being told this truth regularly after nine years? Why would the US government hide this from the world? Why are the rest of the governments complicit in this silence? Additionally, it sounds like our allies are the ones supplying them with some of those capabilities. Some wings of the US government were apparently aware of that. But I’d wager that most Americans were unaware. This strongly suggests a need for policy change. How can the people of the US fund another situation that is not unlike when America was using Afghanistan as proxy during the Cold War? Didn’t we learn our lesson the first half dozen times we did something like this? If not, let’s learn it now…” – Xeni Jardin (READ MORE)

Jacob Appelbaum is an independent computer security researcher and hacker. He is currently employed by the University of Washington, and is a core member of the Tor project. Appelbaum is known for representing Wikileaks at the 2010 Hope conference. He has subsequently been repeatedly targeted by US law enforcement agencies, who obtained a court order for his Twitter account data, detained him 12 times at the US border after trips abroad, and seized a laptop and several mobile phones. Appelbaum, under the handle “ioerror”, has been an active member of the Cult of the Dead Cow hacker collective since 2008, and is the co-founder of the San Francisco hackerspace Noisebridge with Mitch Altman. He has worked for Greenpeace and has volunteered for the Ruckus Society and the Rainforest Action Network. He is also a photographer and ambassador for the art group monochrom. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Related Reading:
The Tor Project
The FreedomBox Foundation
Gnome
Researchers Find Way to Steal Encrypted Data
Jacob Appelbaum Detained At Keflavík Airport
Surveillance State evils
Secret Orders Target Email
“We Don’t Live in a Free Country”: Jacob Appelbaum on Being Target of Widespread Gov’t Surveillance (Video)

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