The following should be a joke. I am sad to say it is not.
You are guilty.
And it is diablog’s fault, or rather mine.
In 2011 we set up a Tor Bridge, as written here. Tor is an onion network, where internet traffic goes through various servers, thus protecting the user from spying and surveillance. You can hide your identity better, when using Tor. It is a good thing. It was partially funded by the US government.
New research by the often mentioned Jacob Applebaum is out, (quote,emphasis by me):
The investigation discloses the following:
Merely searching the web for the privacy-enhancing software tools outlined in the XKeyscore rules causes the NSA to mark and track the IP address of the person doing the search. Not only are German privacy software users tracked, but the source code shows that privacy software users worldwide are tracked by the NSA.
Among the NSA’s targets is the Tor network funded primarily by the US government to aid democracy advocates in authoritarian states.
The XKeyscore rules reveal that the NSA tracks all connections to a server that hosts part of an anonymous email service at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It also records details about visits to a popular internet journal for Linux operating system users called “the Linux Journal – the Original Magazine of the Linux Community”, and calls it an “extremist forum”.
Supporting Tor makes us extremists. And me reading the Linux Journal makes me even more of an extremist. And, thanks to the NSA / GHCQ following the medieval concept of “guilty by association”, you are an extremist too.
Now you might want to check, what your individual government holds in store for “extremists”.
Needless to say, stopping to read diablog does not help. The damage is done.
And in case you wonder: No, I am not sorry.
Here is why:
The Linux Journal is a perfectly legal publication. And the last time I checked, reading wasn’t illegal yet.
Every system administrator worth a penny knows and/or uses linux. Over 50% of the internet runs on linux. Millions of people are using linux and are informing themselves about linux, among other sources from the Linux Journal.
The likelihood, that you know another person, who reads or has read the Linux Journal is between 50 and 100%. For example the system administrator at your workplace. Or the support person at your internet service provider you talked to. Or the person, who set up your website. Or the person, who sold you the computer.
What happens in the unlikely case, that you do not know anyone, who reads the Linux Journal?
The NSA and GCHQ take “guilty by association” up to the 3rd level. That means, you do not have to know a person, who reads the Linux Journal. You are also under suspicion of being an extremist, if you know a person, who knows a person, who does.
All this sounds Kafkaesque, utterly stupid, ridiculous, or like a bad joke. Sadly it is not.
And it shows, that Glynsky and his palls, who say “our government are the good guys”, “our secret service people know what they are doing”, “nothing bad will ever happen to me, because I obey the law”, are just fooling themselves.
In the UK the border force can hold you as a suspected extremist for up to three days without legal counsel, without a court order, without an arrest. You have to answer their questions, all your belongings can be searched, you have to give them all your passwords.
And they can do that to you now. If this is the state you want to live in, keep calm and carry on.
If it is not, do something.