Category Archives: Technology

Error451: #12 (Efail w/ Micah Lee)

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This week, Bursts spoke with Micah Lee.  Micah is, according to his bio at The Intercept: ”

a computer security engineer and an open source software developer. He writes about technical topics like digital and operational security, encryption tools, whistleblowing, and hacking using language that everyone can understand, but without dumbing it down. An avid user of Qubes and Linux, he develops security tools such as OnionShare.”

Micah is kind enough in this conversation to break down the Efail scandal that rocked security-minded folks in mid-May.  A weakness in the way that many email clients handled PGP & S/MIME came to light months after it was discovered by a team of security investigators.  Micah explains how this encryption works, what was found out, safer approaches to encrypted messaging. We also talk a little about threat modeling and quantum computing.

Send encrypted text messages to Micah using Signal Messenger at (415) 964-1601.  Here’s a link to a cool article Micah published at The Intercept about a method of cheaply creating a second signal account, so you can give out a signal # without giving away your personal phone number.

Check out past episodes of Error451 and hit us up if you have ideas for segments or guests you’d like to hear from.  Check out our contact page!

featured track: “I Did It For The Kids But They’re Gonna PAY” by Spook Rat.

Post-Scarcity, Privilege and Walking Away: A Chat with Cory Doctorow

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
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Cory Doctorow on Post-Scarcity & Sci-Fi

This week, we present an interview that Bursts conducted with the sci-fi and picture book author, technologist and social critic Cory DoctorowCory is an editor of the blog BoingBoing, a fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and his most recent book is entitled Walkaway, out from Head of Zeus and TOR books.  The novel plays with themes of open source technologies, class society, post-scarcity economics, ecological remediation, drop-out culture and liberatory social models. It was released a few days ago in paperback, along with matching re-issues of his other adult sci-fi novels.

For the hour, they chat about themes from the book, sharing, trans-humanism, imagination and monsters.  To find more work by Cory, check out his blog craphound.com.  You can also find him on twitter, free writings on Project Gutenberg, his content on archive.org, or his podcast.

Due to technical difficulties, we have no Sean Swain segment this week.  We hope this will be remedied next episode.

For a slightly longer version of this episode, make sure to check out the podcast version.

Stay tuned mid-week for a podcast special interview with an anarchist from Indonesia about May Day in Yogyakarta and the repression that has followed.  Also, if you haven’t been checking our podcast feed, you’re missing out.  We have been regularly releasing extra content mid-week including our 8th Anniversary episode with interviews of hosts of two Channel Zero Network podcasts.  You’ll also find two episodes of #Error451, our sometimes-weekly tech security podcast from an anarchist perspective.

Announcements

If you’re in Asheville this week, consider attending the Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfair benefit show at the Odditorium on Haywood Road on the West Side. The show starts at 9pm, it features the music of Kortriba, Mother Marrow, Lynathrope and a special battle set of the project Fatal Comfort versus the stylings of FUNK JAMz. If you visit the ACAB table, you could be one of the first one of your friends to grab an ACAB2018 poster hot off the presses or ACAB2018 tshirt, both designed by super awesome local artists. Proceeds from the entry, shirts and posters go to pay for the local anarchist bookfair taking place between June 21st and 24th. More info on the bookfair at acab2018.noblogs.org

Also, this Friday Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross will be hosting it’s monthly presentation of the short documentary series, TROUBLE, by sub.Media. This month we’ll watch the second episode of two on the topic of gentrification and resistance to it. The film will be 30 minutes and then followed by a discussion with prompt questions suited to the Asheville’s specific brand of problems. The show starts at 6:30 and will last roughly an hour. Invite your friends!

playlist

NSA leaks and computer security

nsa_leak
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This week’s episode features two conversations. The first is with Micah Lee of the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the NSA leaks and what information that came out of it (at the time of this show’s airing) was actually new and a general overview of what government surveillance in the U.S. looks like over computers.

The second conversation is with the Bay Area-based hacker, Bill Silverfox. Bill works with Hackmeet.org. We spend most of the hour discussing different communication technologies that most of us take for granted and talk about what can be done to use those mediums more safely.

Here’s a short list of projects worth checking out:

https://ssd.eff.org : The Surviellance Self-Defense project by the EFF has tons of information about technology and what’s known about tracking over those mediums. Also, check out https://www.eff.org for more general information, links to the https everywhere add-on for Mozilla Firefox.

https://optin.stopwatching.us/?r=eff : a petition site set up in response to the NSA spying revelations.

https://torproject.org : Information and tools developed for freer and more secure use of the web. This project helps provide and protect anonymity of activists, journalists and other folks around the world, including in countries with strict internet censorship. You can download a more secure web-browser from them, too! It’s pretty rad. But, as their website points out, it’s not just your browser but how you traverse the web that can be a dealbreaker. This project has helped to secure communications among activists struggle against the state worldwide.

https://www.riseup.net : An amazing resource for anti-state, anti-capitalist, anti-oppression activists. They provide social-networking (via crabgrass), email, lists, information on web security, document sharing (via etherpad), news, chat, vpn and MORE! This project is pretty darn internally secure AND has refused to hand over information before. Plus, these little birds need some funds.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/the-nsa-files : Check out the ever-growing and increasingly embarassing (for the U.S. security apparatus, that is) scandal from the paper that’s releasing Snowden’s reports.

http://hackmeet.org/ : A project created to facilitate the spreading of hacker awareness and skills on the (post)left coast.

http://zinelibrary.info/files/savethecellphonesforthesnitches.pdf : “London Calling: a cellphone and internet security primer for the criminally-minded anarchist” is quite a good read, explaining some of the case histories that are the bases for our knowledge of surveillance and safer operations.

http://www.enigmail.net/ : is one of the better and more accessible pgp (pretty good protection) email interfaces. Works great with Mozilla Thunderbird email.

https://www.noblogs.org This italian-based blog-hoster for political websites. They host OUR archives @ https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org