Computer underground Digest Sun June 5, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 49 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Sun June 5, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 49 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Retiring Shadow Archivist: Stanton McCandlish Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson Copy Dittoer: Etaoian Shrdlu CONTENTS, #6.49 (June 5, 1994) File 1--AT&T Lab Scientist Discovers Flaw in Clipper Chip File 2--Jacking in from the SNAFU Port (Clipper Snafu update) File 3--Jacking in from the "We Knew It All Along" Port (Clipper) File 4--Crackdown on Italian BBSes Continues File 5--Norwegian BBS Busts / BitPeace File 6--BSA: Software Piracy Problem Shows no Sign of Easing File 7--Re: "Problems at TCOE" (CuD 6.47) File 8--Is there an MIT/NSA link-up for PGP 2.6? Some Info Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. 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EUROPE: from the ComNet in LUXEMBOURG BBS (++352) 466893; In ITALY: Bits against the Empire BBS: +39-461-980493 UNITED STATES: ( in /pub/CuD/ ( in /pub/Publications/CuD ( in /pub/eff/cud/ in /src/wuarchive/doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ in /pub/wuarchive/doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ in /doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ EUROPE: in pub/doc/cud/ (Finland) in pub/cud/ (United Kingdom) JAPAN: /mirror/ COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of diverse views. CuD material may be reprinted for non-profit as long as the source is cited. Authors hold a presumptive copyright, and they should be contacted for reprint permission. It is assumed that non-personal mail to the moderators may be reprinted unless otherwise specified. Readers are encouraged to submit reasoned articles relating to computer culture and communication. Articles are preferred to short responses. Please avoid quoting previous posts unless absolutely necessary. DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of the moderators. Digest contributors assume all responsibility for ensuring that articles submitted do not violate copyright protections. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 2 June, 1994 23:54:21 EDT From: anon Subject: File 1--AT&T Lab Scientist Discovers Flaw in Clipper Chip (The government's proposed encryption technology may not be as secure as proponents want us to think. This might be of interest to you--anon). Scientist Insists U.S. Computer Chip has Big Flaw By John Markoff Extracted from the New York Times, June 2, 1994 Technology that the Clinton administration has been promoting for use by law enforcement officials to eavesdrop on electronically scrambled telephone and computer conversations is flawed and can be defeated, a computer scientist says. Someone with sufficient computer skills can defeat the government's technology by using it to encode messages so that not even the government can crack them, according to AT&T Bell Laboratories researcher Matthew Blaze. (The article explains the background to the fight to implement Clipper by the Clinton Adminstration as a means to help law enforcment, and notes that the technolgoy has been widely criticized by communications executives and others) The industry also fears foreign customers might shun equipment if Washington keeps a set of electronic keys. But now Blaze. as a result of his independent testing of Clipper, is putting forth perhaps the most compelling criticism yet: The technology simply doesn't work as advertised. Blaze spelled out his findings in a draft report that he has been ciculat-ing quietly among computer researchers and federal agencies in recent weeks. "The government is fighting an uphill battle," said Martin Hellman. a Stanford University computer scientist who has read Blaze's paper and who is an expert in data encryption. "People who want to work around Clipper will be able to do it." But the National Security Agency. the government's electronic spying agency, said Wednesday that Clipper remained useful, despite the flaw uncovered by Blaze. "Anyone interested in circumventing law enforcement access would most likely choose simpler alternatives," Michael Smith, the agency's director of policy. said in a written statement. "More difficult and time consuming efforts. like those discussed in the Blaze paper, are very unlikely to be employed." (The article summarizes the government's defense for Clipper) But industry executives have resisted adopting Clipper. Because the underlying mathematics of the technology remain a classified government secret, industry officials say there is no way to be certain that it is as secure as encoding techniques already on the market. They also fear that Clipper's electronic back door, which is designed for legal wiretapping of communications. could make it subject to abuse by the government or civilian computer experts. Privacy-rights advocates have cited similar concerns. Industry executives also have worried that making Clipper a fed-eral government standard would be a first step toward prescribing the technology for private industry or requiring that it be included in sophisticated computing and communications devices that are to be exported. Blaze said that the flaw he discovered in the Clipper design would not permit a third party to break a coded computer conversation. But it would enable two people to have a secret conversation that law enforcement officials could not unscramble. And that could render Clipper no more useful to the government than encryption technology already on the market to which it does not hold the mathematical keys. "Nothing I've found affects the security of the Clipper system from the point of view of people who might want to break the system." Blaze said. "This does quite the opposite. Somebody can use it to circumvent the law enforcement surveillance mechanism." The article concludes by noting that Blaze said that several simple changes to the Clipper design could fix the flow, but that this might be difficult because the changes would require the government to start over in designing clipper. The governmetn has already started ordering telephones containing the Clipper chip for federal agencies. ------------------------------ Date: Thu, Jun 2 1994 17:33:21 PDT From: Brock Meeks Subject: File 2--Jacking in from the SNAFU Port (Clipper Snafu update) ((Moderators' Note: The following article may not be reprinted or reproduced without the explicit consent of the author)). CyberWire Dispatch // Copyright (c) 1994 // Jacking in from the SNAFU Port: Washington, DC -- Matthew Blaze never intended to make the front page of the New York Times. He was just doing his job: Nose around inside the government's most secret, most revered encryption code to see if he could "break it." Blaze, a researcher for AT&T Bell Labs, was good at this particular job. Maybe a bit too good. Although he didn't actually "break" the code, he did bend the fuck out of it. That feat landed him a front page story in the June 2 issue of the New York Times. What Blaze found -- and quietly distributed among colleagues and federal agencies in a draft paper -- was that design bugs in Skipjack, the computer code that underlies the Clipper Chip encryption scheme, can be jacked around, and re-scrambled so that not even the Feds can crack it. This of course defeats the whole purpose of the Clipper Chip, which is to allow ONLY the government the ability to eavesdrop on Clipper encoded conversations, faxes, data transmissions, etc. What Blaze's research attacks is something called the LEAF, short for "Law Enforcement Access Field." The LEAF contains the secret access code needed by law enforcement agents to decode the scrambled messages. Blaze discovered that the LEAF uses only a 16- bit checksum, which is a kind of self-checking mathematical equation. When the checksum equations match up, the code is valid and everything's golden. The cops get to unscramble the conversations and another kiddie porn ring is brought to justice. (This is what the FBI will tell you... again and again and again and... ) But you can generate a valid 16-bit checksum in about 20 minutes, according to those crypto-rebels that traffic the Internet's Cypherpunks mailing list. "A 16-bit checksum is fucking joke," one cryptographic expert from the list told Dispatch. "If it weren't so laughable, I'd be insulted that all this tax payer money has gone into the R&D of something so flawed." But the New York Times got the story *wrong* or at least it gave only part of the story. "What the New York Times story didn't say was that the findings... had nothing to do with the Government standard, which covers voice, facsimile and low-speed data transmission," said an AT&T spokesman. AT&T was the first company to publicly support the Clipper Chip. A stance that was essentially bought and paid for by the U.S. government with the promise it would get big government contracts to sell Clipper equipped phones to Uncle Sam, according to documents previously obtained by Dispatch. The AT&T spokesman said the "frailty" that Blaze discovered doesn't actually exist in the Clipper Chip applications. "Our scientists, working with National Security Agency (NSA) scientists, were conducting research on proposed future extensions of the standard," he said. Those "future extensions" are the so-called Tessera chip, intended to be embedded in a PCMCIA credit card sized device that fits into a slot in your computer. When the NSA trotted out its Tessera card, it invited Blaze, among others, to review the technology, essentially becoming a beta-tester for the NSA. No formal contract was signed, no money changed hands. Blaze took on the job in a volunteer role. Using a prototype Tessera chip installed on a PCMCIA card, he broke the damn thing. AT&T claims the whole scenario is different from the Clipper because the LEAF generated by Clipper "is a real time application... with Tessera it's static," the spokesman said. He said Tessera would be used to encrypt stored communications or Email. "And with Tessera, the user has the ability to get at the LEAF," he said, "with Clipper, you don't." Blaze will deliver his paper, titled "Protocol Failure in the Escrowed Encryption Standard," this fall during the Fairfax Conference. His findings "should be helpful" to the government "as it explores future applications," of its new encryption technology the AT&T spokesman said. In our view, it's better to learn a technology's limitations while there's time to make revisions before the Government spends large sums to fund development programs." This is an important, if subtle statement. The Clipper Chip never underwent this type of "beta-testing," a fact that's drawn the ire of groups such as Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). When the White House began to take hits over this ugly situation, it agreed to have an independent panel of experts review the classified code to check for any trapdoors. Those experts claim they found nothing fishy, but their report -- alas --has also been classified, leading to further demands for openness and accountability. The White House is stalling, naturally. But in an apparent about face, the NSA allowed an "open" beta- testing for Tess and -- surprise -- we find out there are bugs in the design. Okay, Pop Quiz time: Does the existence of "Blaze Bug" make you feel: (A) More secure about the government's claim that Clipper will only be used to catch criminals and not spy on the citizenry. (B) Less secure about everything you've ever been told about privacy and encryption by the Clinton Administration. (C) Like this entire episode is really an extended "Stupid Pet Tricks" gag being pulled by David Letterman. If you're still unsure about Clipper, check this quote from the AT&T spokesman: "It's worth noting that Clipper Chip wasn't subjected to this type of testing." Ah-huh... any questions? The NSA is trying to downplay the news. "Anyone interested in circumventing law enforcement access would most likely choose simpler alternatives," said Michael Smith, the agency's planning director, as quoted by the New York Times. "More difficult and time-consuming efforts, like those discussed in the Blaze paper, are very unlikely to be employed." He's right. Those "simpler alternatives" include everything from private encryption methods to not using a Clipper equipped phone or fax in the first place. (Of course, the FBI keeps insisting that criminals won't use any of this "simpler" knowledge because they are "dumb.") Despite the NSA's attempt to blow off these findings, the agency is grinding its gears. One NSA source told Dispatch that the Blaze paper is "a major embarrassment for the program." But the situation is "containable" he said. "There will be a fix." Dispatch asked if there would be a similar review of the Clipper protocols to see if it could be jacked around like Tess. "No comment," was all he said. Meeks out... ------------------------------ Date: Thu, Jun 2 1994 17:33:21 PDT From: Brock Meeks Subject: File 3--Jacking in from the "We Knew It All Along" Port (Clipper) ((Moderators' Note: The following article may not be reprinted or reproduced without the explicit consent of the author)). CyberWire Dispatch // Copyright (c) 1994 // Jacking in from the "We Knew It All Along" Port: Washington, DC -- The key technology underlying the Administration's Tessera "Crypto Card" was fatally flawed from its inception, Dispatch has learned. Government researchers working for the National Security Agency have known for months about the flaw, but purposefully withheld that information from the public, a government official acknowledged today to Dispatch. Cryptographic researchers at the super-secret NSA have known all along that the program used to scramble a key part of the government's Clipper system could be thwarted by a computer savvy user with 28 minutes of free time, according to an NSA cryptographic expert that spoke to Dispatch under the condition he not be identified. "Everyone here knew that the LEAF (Law Enforcement Access Field) could be fucked with if someone knew what they were doing," the NSA expert said. "We knew about the flaw well before it became public knowledge. What we didn't know is how long it would take an outside source to discover the flaw." In essence, the NSA decided to play a kind of high-tech cat and mouse game with a technology being hailed as the most secure in the world. So secure, the White House is asking the public to give up a degree of privacy because there's no chance it can be abused. "We figured [the presense of the flaw] was an acceptable risk," the NSA expert said. "If no one found out, we probably would have fixed it sooner or later," he said. "I can't imagine that we would have let that one slip through." But someone spoiled the end game. A 33-year-old AT&T scientist Matthew Blaze discovered the crack in the White House's increasingly crumbling spy vs. citizen technology. Acting as a kind of beta-tester, Blaze found several techniques that could be used to successfully thwart the LEAF, the encrypted data stream needed by law enforcement officers in order to identify what amounts to a social security number for each Clipper or Tessera chip. Once the LEAF is in hand, law enforcement agents then submit it to the "key escrow agents." These escrow agents are two government authorized agencies that keep watch over all the keys needed to descramble Clipper or Tessera encoded conversations, faxes or data transmissions. Without the keys from these two agencies, the law enforcement agents hear nothing but static. Without the LEAF, the agencies won't cough up the keys. Bottom line: If the LEAF is fucked, so is access to the scrambled communications. What Blaze so eloquently discovered is that someone with a modicum of knowledge could do was jack around with the LEAF, rendering it unusable. What Blaze didn't realize is that he was merely acting as an NSA stooge. But the methods discovered by Blaze, and outlined in a draft paper he'll later present this month during a high brow security shindig known as the Fairfax conference, are cumbersome. "The techniques used to implement (the work arounds) carry enough of a performance penalty, however, to limit their usefulness in real-time voice telephony, which is perhaps the government's richest source of wiretap-based intelligence," Blaze writes in his paper. Notice he says "limit" not "completely render useless." Important distinction. Are there other, faster, more clever ways to circumvent the LEAF? "If there are, I wouldn't tell you," the NSA crypto expert said. Shut Up and Chill Out ===================== The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the agency walking point for the White House on the Clipper issue, takes these revelations all in stride. Sort of a "shut up and chill out" attitude. The techniques described by Blaze "are very unlikely to be used in actual communications," a NIST spokeswoman said. Does that mean they could never be used? "It's very unlikely." NIST, when confronted with the fact that NSA researchers knew all along that the technology was broken, was unapologetic. "All sound cryptographic designs and products consider tradeoffs of one sort or another when design complexities, costs, time and risks are assessed," the NIST spokeswoman said. The Clipper family of encryption technologies "is no exception," she said. NIST said that the Tessera card "isn't a standard yet, so the process of testing it's integrity is ongoing." The technology in Tess is known as the Capstone chip, which, unlike the Clipper Chip, hasn't yet been accepted as a standard, NIST said. Flaws, therefore, are assumably just part of an ongoing game. The fact that the NSA knew about this flaw when it asked people like Blaze to test it was "just part of the ongoing testing procedure," the spokeswoman said. And if Blaze or some other idea hamster hadn't discovered the flaw? You make the call. What about Clipper? Are there such flaws in it? NIST says "no" because it has already been through "independent testing" and accepted as a standard. If there are flaws there, they stay put, or so it seems. Clipper's My Baby ================= Beyond the high risk crypto games the NSA has decided to play, there's another disturbing circumstance that could torpedo the Clipper before it's given its full sailing orders. This obstacle comes in the form of a patent dispute. Silvio Micali, a scientist at the massachusetts Institute of Technology says the Clipper is his baby. He claims to hold two crucial patents that make the Clipper tick. "We are currently in discussions with Mr. Micali," NIST said. "We are aware of his patent claims and we're in the process of addressing those concerns now," a NIST spokeswoman said. She wouldn't go into details about as to the extent of the talks, but obviously, the government is worried. They haven't flatly denied Micali's claims. If this all sounds like a bad nightmare, you're right. NIST ran into the same problems with its Digital Signature Standard, the technology they've adopted as a means to "sign" and verify the validly of electronic mail messages. Others jumped on the government's DSS standard, claiming they were owed royalties because they held patents on the technology. These discussions are still "ongoing" despite the government's adoption of the standard. The same situation is now happening with Clipper. One could make a case that Yogi Berra is the policy wonk for the Clipper program: "It's like deja vu all over again," Berra once said. So it is, Yogi... so it is. Meeks out... ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 4 Jun 1994 00:02:27 -0700 From: Bernardo Parrella Subject: File 4--Crackdown on Italian BBSes Continues Twenty-four days after the first major crackdown on Fidonet Italia BBSes, on Friday June 3, the Taranto Finance Police visited Taras Communications BBS, the main National Peacelink node and data-bank. Acting after a warrant issued by the Prosecutor of the same city, Giovanni Pugliese and his wife were charged for the possession of "illegally copied software and electronic equipment suitable to falsification." After searching their apartment for more than 5 hours (from 5 pm to 10.30 pm), Finance officials sealed off the PC on which the BBS run and seized 174 floppy disks - leaving behind the monitor and the only available modem. Because the Taranto node hosts most of the network archives and all the email traffic, at the moment the entire national Peacelink net is down. Giovanni Pugliese is currently working to start again his system as soon as possible - probably in the next 48 hours. With more than 30 nodes throughout the country, several Fidonet gateways, and a project currently underway to connect directly to Comlink and the other APC Networks, Peacelink is completely dedicated to peace, human rights and ecology issues. Founded in1992 as a specialized conference of Fidonet Italia network, Peacelink became quickly independent and well known even outside Italy. Recently the network hosted a national conference on peace-related matters, becoming also the only communication link for people in the former-Yugoslavia and the outside world. "Taras Communications BBS has never had anything to do with software piracy and is well know for its activities related to humanitarian, peace, social issues," Giovanni Pugliese said. "Peacelink and its sister Fidonet Italia network had always pursued a very restrictive policy against any illegally copied software on their systems. Because Taras Communications BBS is the main National node of Peacelink network, its forced closure, hopefully very short, will result in a great damage for those hundreds of people - including journalists, activists, volunteers - that were widely relying upon its everyday services." The first phase of the crackdown (May 11-13) targeted Fidonet Italia network in several cities in the northern and cental regions of the country. While a still inaccurate number of BBSes (probably from 30 to 60) were searched and dozens were closed down, on May 25 an official press-release of the Finance Police in Torino claimed a seizure "for a value of more than 4 billion of Italian lire (about US $2,5 million), including 17 personal computers; 13,690 floppy disks of illegally copied software," dozens of modems and electronic devices.14 people were charged with "conspiracy with unknown for the crime of software piracy" - but no arrests were made. The new raid hit the online community at the exact moment when sysops, users, media and citizens were waiting for a relaxing and clarifier signal from investigators, including the first decisions about the seized hardware scheduled in these days. Right now, activists are coordinating a series of quick answers, including the foundation of a National association dedicated to the protection of civil rights for Electronic Citizens. - Bernardo Parrella < - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - > electronic distribution of this posting is greatly encouraged, preserving its original version, including the header and this notice < - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - > ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 4 Jun 1994 00:02:27 -0700 From: Bernardo Parrella Subject: File 5--Norwegian BBS Busts / BitPeace Norwegian Bust ==== fwd msg ==== >From Fri Jun 3 12:40:21 1994 General Briefing from BitPeace - the Norwegian BBS Scene -------------------------------------------------------- The Norwegian police acting on initiative from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs has been exasperatingly aggressive since May 25th. Since Tuesday, 3 bulletin boards have been busted, named Zilent BBS, Byte BBS and Scheen BBS. The operator of Zilent BBS is 12 years old, and got busted for a receipe on making your own firecrackers. The police stormed his house, took his equipment and left..:-) Byte BBS got busted for having one (ONE) illegal pornographic picture. Rumours go that this was planted there by a Norwegian computer firm that collaborates with the Oslo District Attorney - as his "experts". Anyway, the SysOp in question was on a 14-day vacation when some luna uploaded the illegal picture to his BBS. Then some other luna (or was it the same guy??) tipped off the Norwegian police, which waited for the poor SysOp when he returned home. He winded up in police custody, and is due to appear before a local magistrate in a few weeks time. These legal proceedings are going to constitute a case of paramount importance - and if the SysOp is acquitted, this law suit would set legal precedence and of course be a great victory for us all. A legal success would lay down precedence for that a Sysop is not responsible for what the users upload, at least not when he's not home, but that the USER has to take this responsibility. Currently one takes a great risk putting up a board up, you may risk loosing all your equipment, which may or may not be returned with or without the whole or parts of the software intact; all according to the free discretion of the local police. (That is, if you can't afford having someone watching the system 24 hours a day.) We are trying to organize some kind of association to protect SysOp rights. We also produce software to reduce the damage for the sysop if he or she gets busted. We are also to organize political protests, and many Sysops have requested political asylum in the Italian embassy. (Because that was the only embassy that even allowed us to TALK with them.) Politicians in Norway have moved a law proposal that would make Norwegian sysops editorially responsible to the law for whatever software or messages happening to be present at his / her board at any time. Preventing this bill from being passed is our main objective - and we have a hard fight ahead if we are to avoid this. That's what we've got to do, and I hope that you organize and work against the same type of political sencorship and random ransacking and confiscations at the free will and discretion of any local police attorney. We would also be extremely glad if you helped us - if you're an Italian citizen, please address your letter of protest to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Rome. If writing from outside Italy, you may direct your letters to the Royal Norwegian Foreign Office in Oslo. The adresses are as follows: Reale Ambasciata di Norvegia Via delle Terme Deciane 7 I-00153 Roma ITALY Royal Norwegian Foreign Office Haakon VII's plass Oslo 1 NORWAY The authors of this briefing is availiable through mail; Peter Svaar Jac. Aallsgt.21 0364 Oslo 3 BBS: +47 22 567 008 (Bulletronics BBS) Voice: +47 22 69 59 94 (Between 15:00 and 23:00 CET) Ingar Holst Niels Juelsgt. 41a 0257 Oslo ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 21:18:43 PDT From: Anonymous Subject: File 6--BSA: Software Piracy Problem Shows no Sign of Easing This came across the nets and should be of interested to CuD readers -- anon ====================== From: Computer Age New worldwide piracy estimates just released by the Business Software Alliance show that massive global theft of software continues unabated with annual losses to publishers and distributors of at least $12 billion. Use of pirated software ranges in some Asian countries up to 99 percent. In Europe, estimates run as high as 86 percent. They are 85 percent in some parts of Latin America. To help fight the problem, the Washington, D.C.based trade group has just expanded its European Regional Program to offer membership -- at no cost for the first year -- to small European software publishers with less than $10 million in worldwide revenues. The new program offers publishers BSA's help through public policy proposals to strengthen copyright protection for software, legal action to enforce copyright laws against infringers, and market projects to promote use of original software. The following chart provides a country-by-country breakdown of the estimated percentage of software in use that is pirated, and the dollar losses this represents to software makers: Percentage Dollar Country of Piracy Losses Australia/New Zealand 45% 160 million Benelux 66% 419 million France 73% 1.2 billion Germany 62% 1 billion Italy 86% 550 million Japan 92% 3 billion Korea 82% 648 million Singapore 41% 24 million Spain 86% 362 million Sweden 60% 171 million Taiwan 93% 585 million Thailand 99% 181 million UK 54% 685 million United States 35% 1.9 billion Argentina 80% 38 million Brazil 80% 91 million Chile 75% 28 million Colombia 85% 18 million Mexico 85% 206 million Venezuela 85% 91 million Other Latin American Countries 72 million ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 02 Jun 1994 07:07:36 -0700 (MST) From: Joel M Snyder Subject: File 7--Re: "Problems at TCOE" (CuD 6.47) I'm writing to respond to the message by Jim Maroon, forwarded by Stanton McCandlish ( This sort of conjecture and hearsay really does the cause of electronic freedom (if there is such a thing) more harm than good. It's obvious that there's some sort of problem going on at the Tulare County Office of Education, but posting this one-sided diatribe probably won't help the situation there or anywhere. In any case, the larger problem with this post is a dive into "amateur lawyer" which seems to happen so often in USENET news. This paragraph begins with "TCOE is bound by the First Amendment" (which we know not to be true), stomps through a whole series of very complex issues involving use of public facilities, with a variety of incorrect statements, ending with "The courts have found that publicly funded universities could not remove Internet listservs based on objection the content of those listservs..." (which we know not to be true) and coming to the conclusion that: > A BBS is just a bunch of folks sitting around talking. You can't > dictate what speech is allowed and what speech is not allowed on a BBS > run by a government institution. This final statement is specifically unsupportable in this context. My response is simple: this is not a legal issue. It is a political issue. If you truly believe that the TCOE is obligated to offer an unfettered forum (if it offers a forum at all), then the way to fight for your beliefs is using exactly the same technique you found objectionable in the first place: political pressure. Threatening legal action where none can be brought forward will only bring you the jeers and annoyance of the system operators. However, using the traditional political weapons of publicity, public meetings, and "going over your head" will most likely create one of two results: 1- the system will be shut down, as no one wants to be in such a mess, or, 2- some obscure set of conditions where the sysop erred will be found and he will be appropriately wrist-slapped -- with that example serving to draw the line at what is appropriate and what is inappropriate behavior. Without knowing anything about the particulars, I suspect that (1) is the most likely candidate. ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 30 May 1994 18:04:50 -0500 (CDT) From: tlawless@WHALE.ST.USM.EDU(Timothy Mark Lawless) Subject: File 8--Is there an MIT/NSA link-up for PGP 2.6? Some Info For the past week our Unix machine has been down (Might have gotten some mail bounces) because of a security violation. Durring that week i re-discovered bbs's. One peice of info i found (And also got the authors's permission to reprint (At the end) relevent to pgp I thought i would pass on. D Area: CypherMail DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD Msg#: 19 Date: 05-24-94 19:47 From: Leland Ray Read: Yes Replied: No To: All Mark: Subj: More on PGP 2.5 & 2.6 DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- The following is the complete, unedited plaintext of a message I received via CompuServe from Christopher W. Geib, a software developer who spent several years as a military intelligence officer. Chris has written a very fine Windows interface for PGP which I'll be uploading as soon as I get the newest release (with Chris's permission, of course). I trust his judgment on this one. ~~~ =====(Begin plaintext)===== Leland, I sent this to Mich Kabay of the NCSA Forum. Thought you might find it of interest. Note that 2.5 is also a MIT/NSA concoction. Chris ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Mich, As I reflected on more and more on this posting, it occurred to me that I was smelling a rat. The NCSA Forum members and others who visit here should give thought to this issue. A puzzle of sorts seems to be developing regarding PGP in general, and private possession of crypto in particular. Let me provide some pieces to this puzzle, and perhaps you and others may begin to see the bigger picture that seems to be unfolding. Piece #1: As you may already know, MIT is the single largest ($'s) outside contractor to the NSA. Piece #2: MIT is frustrated they feel that they have been somehow cheated financially by the proliferation of PGP 2.3a as freeware. (I still think that is insane as RSA was developed using public funding) Piece #3: NSA is frustrated because of the apparent strength of the imported Idea(tm) cipher. Piece #4: NSA is pushing the Clipper crypto technology so that Big Brother can have a free and easy backdoor to violate the privacy of Americans. Note too, that Clipper technology was assisted along by MIT. Piece #5: PGP 2.6 will *not* be compatible with 2.3a after Sept 1994 for 2-way encryption. This accomplishes reduced international secure traffic by private individuals and businesses. This is exactly the same problem that Clipper has. Have you begun to see the big Puzzle Palace picture yet? Unless my eyes deceive me, I would say this, MIT and NSA have teamed up together on PGP 2.6! This version, until proven otherwise (through examination of the source code, etc.), is likely to contain a backdoor big enough to drive a Mack truck through it. The back door is likely similar to Clipper and for the same intent. Given how much flak NSA has gotten over Clipper, NSA will very likely stay very mum about the whole issue. The big winners are NSA and MIT. They both get exactly what each has wanted all along. MIT gets royalties they think they deserve, NSA gets what they intend to have anyway, a means to continue listening into citizens private conversations. NSA also wins on the international front by reducing it's workload of analyzing international encrypted traffic. Business and the citizens lose because it isolates the US from Europe and the international marketplace. I strongly recommend that anyone who acquires PGP 2.6 do so with a jaundiced eye. Until the private sector can review, and analyze this new MIT/NSA system, one *must* assume that it is as if it contained a virus, one you may never know it has. I for one will continue with the present version as it's inventors have no reason to capture private communications. If you think appropriate, please upload to Internet Risks with my blessings. Respectfully, Christopher W. Geib ~~~ =====(End of plaintext)===== So you decide, guys. Is it worth the risk? Again, just some thoughts, but remember this: if you go to either ver. 2.5 or 2.6, you'll probably have to revoke your ver. 2.3 keys and start afresh with new ones, which might not be secure in the first place. LR ... If the Pope's phones weren't secure, PGP would be a sacrament. ((Post obtaining reprint permission deleted)) ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #6.49 ************************************


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