Times to move to Linux

S. Dale Morrey sdalemorrey at gmail.com
Mon Jun 24 21:58:58 MDT 2013

I'm not defending it.  In fact I'm outraged by the snooping.  Not
surprised, just outraged, but then again I've been outraged about it since
the passage of the patriot act and I get more outraged eachtime it gets
reauthorized.  I've also been outraged since before it was first publicly
announced, and outraged again when the AT&T and warrantless wiretapping
thing broke several years ago.  What surprises me more is that folks seem
surprised by it.  Still this isn't "OMG ALL OUR BASE BELONG TO NSA!".  It's
just splitters on fiber sniffing packet data.  Put wireshark on your laptop
and go to a public wifi area and you're doing the exact same thing, just at
a much smaller scale.

The NSAKEY conspiracy is so easy to disprove it's silly.
Plug your computer into a router you have complete control over.  I
recommend purchasing a Linksys WRT54GL and placing a custom firmware on it.
Next watch all the traffic you have going back and forth across the wire.
Look for anything duplicated, or out of the ordinary.  Also watch for
intrusion attempts, i.e. unsolicited incoming connections.
Yes you can in fact catch this stuff at the router level.

Now that isn't to say that there aren't backdoors in Windows specifically
for the aide of law enforcement.  But those backdoors are there for
forensic purposes and anyone who has a need to forensically analyse a
system after the fact has the ability request tools to access to these so
called back doors.  Every good sysadmin has access to similar backdoors in
the systems they manage and those backdoors CAN give you a live view of
what's going on.

Still if you secure your router then those backdoors are blocked, doesn't
matter if it's windows, linux, bsd or other.

My problem here though is with the whole holding up the NSAKEY thing as
some sort of conspiracy.  It doesn't make sense for them to do that.  They
could just as easily have told MS that they needed a copy of the key for
national security purposes and MS would have been required by law to give
it up.  The only thing that fits occams razor here is that the NSA needed a
way to slipstream customized drivers into systems that they bore
responsibility for.  The purpose then being that they can easily verify the
driver signatures on any system that comes under their protection and
determine whether or not it is their drivers or the original being used.
Seriously, doesn't that make so much more sense?

I am not defending the NSA nor am I defending any of the programs that
cause it to violate the constitution of the USA.  However these programs
were authorized by people we elected.  The realistic solution to this mess
is to vote out every single person with an R or D next to their name.  If
that doesn't work, it may be coming time soon to invoke our 2nd Amendment
right so that we can defend the other enumerated rights.

I think I've made my personal opinion clear enough, but let me repeat it
again in case I have been in any way unclear.

Were I ever elected or appointed to a position of real power, my first act
would be to round up every single living politician and charge them with
corruption and as accomplices to War Crimes, Treason and Terrorism (yes we
as a nation are state sponsors of terrorism, but we actually reached that
point almost 100 years ago).

I am not able to draw this line in the sand by myself.  I'm also not crazy
enough to think I could ever be in a position to do so and I sure as heck
ain't going to try it on my own or even as part of an armed group.  I also
don't advocate the violent overthrow of the government.  Nevertheless this
is my opinion and my stance and it has been this way for years.  It seems
the only thing I can do is to keep trying to sound the alarm and making
sure I know the character of the person I am ticking the box for each

In the meantime, let's try to ensure that when we talk about the subject of
what exactly is going on, that we use the best available information and
don't keep repeating things that are so easily disproven.

On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 9:13 PM, keith smith <klsmith2020 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I'm unaware of the public directives for the NSA.  What I do know is that
> it has been leaked that they have been collecting massive amounts of data
> on everyone is the U.S.
> Are you familiar with this?
> http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/
> I too was in the military.  Knew little of what was going on.  That was by
> design, not mine, theirs.  If there was a security breach you may not have
> known because you probably had not need to know.
> ------------------------
> Keith Smith
> --- On Mon, 6/24/13, S. Dale Morrey <sdalemorrey at gmail.com> wrote:
> From: S. Dale Morrey <sdalemorrey at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: Times to move to Linux
> To: "Provo Linux Users Group" <plug at plug.org>
> Date: Monday, June 24, 2013, 7:56 PM
> Imagine someone in a Linux users group evangelizing Linux. :)
> Ok there are ALOT of reasons to choose Linux over Windows.  The whole
> NSAKEY thing is not one of them.
> There is a very good explanation of the controversy over on Wikipedia.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSAKEY
> However if you're going to look at the whole NSAKEY thing and say that this
> is evidence that windows has an NSA backdoor, you need to assume that Linux
> does too.
> I mean seriously have you ever looked at who exactly it was that designed
> and built SELinux?
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security-Enhanced_Linux
> Perhaps we should all move on to OpenBSD *ducks* :)
> Here are the facts.  The NSA has 2 primary directives.  The first directive
> is to analyse foreign signals intelligence.  The second directive is to
> actively work to secure the information infrastructure of the US
> Government, especially the more sensitive bits.  If I had to take a guess I
> would say that both NSAKEY and  SELinux are part of the second directive.
> For instance the NSAKEY would make sense in a situation where the NSA needs
> to look at the source code of drivers, tighten them up, then deploy them.
> Seems logical that windows would allow a driver signed by the NSA without
> any knowledge of the fact from Microsoft et al, especially in light of how
> many .gov workstations are running some flavor or another of windows
> doesn't it?  I mean imagine for a second how embarrassing it would be for
> an aircraft carrier on it's maiden voyage to be compromised by a rootkit
> installed via a drive by download from a sailor surfing porn while at sea.
> Then imagine that rootkit had some really nasty bits that then went on to
> compromise the movements and secrets of the entire Pacific Fleet.  Of
> course nothing like that could have ever happened during my time in the
> military, so I wouldn't be violating the law by disclosing it, just imagine
> it as a hypothetical. :)
> On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 6:04 PM, keith smith <klsmith2020 at yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> > I think it is time to move everything to Linux.  According to this
> article
> > the NSA has had a backdoor to Windows since 95.
> > http://www.wnd.com/2013/06/nsa-has-total-access-via-microsoft-windows/
> >
> > I seem to recall Ubuntu some backdoor also.
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------
> >
> > Keith Smith
> >
> > /*
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