Paranoia (was Re: TEMPEST protection (was Rolm Computers: 1602, 1602A, 1602B, 1666, MSExx))

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at
Thu May 5 16:01:31 CDT 2016

On Thu, 5 May 2016, Erik Baigar wrote:
> One does not really want to know what is possible (and done) today - 
> where there is no need to dig tunnels any more ;-)

I don't really want to know because it'd probably be dangerous to know 
such things. So, I heartily agree. 

What I figure is that "they" (the NSA, CIA, gubment, whatever) have 
probably all the capabilities that were hinted at in the Snowden files, 
plus a few that were beyond his sight. However, it's a fairly squishy 
bunch of speculation at this point.

The great thing is that I'm so dull nowadays, anyone who spies on me will 
simply be bored to death. So, that's my secret defense.

My paranoia is really for the *future*:

* Phones have already been used as wireless listening devices, so have 
  "smart" televisions. I assume this will be new normal. Devices will 
  start not only listening, but doing speech-to-text conversion and 
  reacting to certain phrases etc.. If you can blackmail people by 
  encrypting their data, then they will soon do it with audio clips of 
  folks saying potentially embarrassing things. (ie.. you ring buffer the 
  audio so if your T2S engine detects something potentially juicy, you 
  save the preceding 2-3 minutes of audio.) 

* Too many devices come with cameras (phones come to mind first, but 
  tablets etc..). These cameras supposedly have software controls but 
  methinks those are oft easily bypassed. If one was to create an 
  algorithm to detect a naked person (probably already patented), then 
  next we'll get blackmailed with naked pictures because we left the phone 
  in bathroom while taking a shower, et al. 

* I remember back in the day when folks would worry about tty security and 
  how various secure applications would handle input and output buffering 
  from the keyboard. Now, that type of thing is soooo far beneath 
  abstraction layers galore I'd despair of _ever_ securing it. Complexity 
  is the enemy of security.

* GPS and "location based services" are already a big juicy target, but 
  imagine what you could do with a little AI. Imagine some group like the 
  East German Stazi with that kind of power. "Ah, vee see that you left a 
  political rally and went to a hardware store. You were buying materials 
  for weapons weren't you? Admit it. Why cannot you sign the papers old 
  man? "  Then there is the potential for catching cheating spouses. I'd 
  posit this can be done (somewhat in some cases) via algorithms on your 
  phone. Imagine what people would pay then...


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