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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Archive for the ‘Monkeywrenching’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, January 20th, 2014
  • So, do you think Phil Zimmerman’s Blackphone will become the smartphone of smart people? Or …?
  • It could become a crime in Washington state to help the NSA. Government contractors or workers providing electricity or water to an agency violating the Fourth Amendment would be criminals. (They ought to do this in Utah, where that hellish data center gobbles millions of gallons of precious dry-state water.) H/T PT
  • Another of the many ways in which Obamacare is helping.
  • Clever or creepy? Yeah, depends on who (or which alphabet soupers) get their hands on these snake, worm, and otherwise creepy-crawly robots. (H/T O)
  • One might wish that the charming soul who monkeywrenched the ATF booth at last week’s SHOT Show had a better command of spelling. But his (her?) heart was certainly in the right place. View one. View two. (H/T JB)
  • Another Officer Friendly. Yes, another Beloved Hero in Blue, protecting and serving in the style that’s become so reliable lately. Why this creep isn’t a) in prison and b) on the sex-offender registry for the rest of its days is a wonder to me. Oh, but she was “disciplined.” I guess that makes it okay. (Corrected: There were two officers, both female, and both apparently “corrections officers,” not cops. Both were involved, though apparently only one did the worst deed. Personally, I’m still going with “Officer Friendly” because IMHO, there’s a distinction, but not much of a difference, between cops and COs. Thanks, G. for the heads up.)
  • Did hackers recently perform the first malicious act utilizing the “Internet of things”? That is, did they turn everything from “smart” refrigerators and home camera systems into a bot net? So said many reports. Borepatch doubts it.

There are five finalists in the Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” ad contest. “Cowboy Kid” is the clear winner. If any of the other four beat it, I’m suspecting bribery, collusion, and all manner of other evil. This may be one case where v*ting is okay. As long as you vote my way, of course. ;-)

Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, December 12th, 2013
Claire Wolfe

Help build the haystacks

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

When I heard that the NSA was not only gobbling up email, but also hacking address books by the millions, my first impulse … well, it wasn’t to laugh.

But Carl-Bear, stepping into the breach, came up with a sweet little monkeywrench. This works because … wait for it … really … seriously the NSA can’t filter spam.

You can filter spam. Your grandmother can filter spam. Thunderbird can filter spam. Everybody and his uncle’s ISP can filter spam. The NSA … not so much.

So go. Monkeywrench away. Instead of abandoning Gmail and Hotmail and all those other snoop-ready services, you can, should you so choose, make the very, very best of them.

Claire Wolfe

The Lavabit shutdown: details (and a monkeywrench!) revealed

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Wired has the background on just what the fedspies did that prompted Ladar Levison to shut down the privacymail service, Lavabit.

It was a heck of a principled thing Levison did, and a gutsy one, shutting down a service with 400,000 paying (including about 10k paying; correction from Steve in comments) customers rather than betray those who trusted him.

We already knew that. What we didn’t know (among other things) was how he handled the fed demand when he was finally forced into a corner after a hard fight:

The judge also rejected Lavabit’s motion to unseal the record. “This is an ongoing criminal investigation, and there’s no leeway to disclose any information about it.”

In an interesting work-around, Levison complied the next day by turning over the private SSL keys as an 11 page printout in 4-point type. The government, not unreasonably, called the printout “illegible.”

“To make use of these keys, the FBI would have to manually input all 2,560 characters, and one incorrect keystroke in this laborious process would render the FBI collection system incapable of collecting decrypted data,” prosecutors wrote.

Carl Bussjaeger, who sent the Wired link, says, “Life imitates Art.”

From Carl’s novel Net Assets (Page 127. Scene: Feds have subpoenaed the Launcher Company’s financial records. The company complies, but in the interest of security, have encrypted the files.):

“Oh, yeah,” Neville said, once reminded of the encryption aspect of this charade. “You have that crypto key with you? Eventually, they’re bound t’ think of gettin’ an order for that. Might as well have it ready.”

Leroy slipped a large folded envelope from a rear pocket. “Here you go. Two hundred kilobit ASCII, printed out in 6 point Staccato font, bold face and italic, guaranteed OCR unreadable and to induce terminal eyestrain in the first ten people trying to enter it manually.”

I hope Levison can eventually reopen Lavabit in some freer country. Now, there’s a man who has earned the trust people gave him.

Claire Wolfe

Not me! Creepily useful? Or just creepy?

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Jim smacked me with this Google screen-grab*:

Claire Wolfe_mis-photo_Google_032113

Anybody who’s ever met me or anybody who knows my famous camera-shyness knows that ain’t me.

There’s another woman out there who shares my name and does some public speaking in her professional specialty (nursing, I think). She’s probably long rued her accidental Google connections with me. My first thought was, What? Is Google now just grabbing photos of any old Claire Wolfe and pairing them with me? I figured that was probably a photo of poor Nurse Wolfe, who would no doubt now have even more reason to hope I get cooties and die.

Then Jim pointed out what media-avoiding me missed: that’s not a photo of any Claire Wolfe. Not Outlaw Wolfe. Not Nurse Wolfe. No. It’s Nazgul Sonia Sotomayor.

Now, much though I’d love to know how Google’s magical algorithm came up with that astoundingly inept connection, I’m wondering even more if it might be a useful bit of misdirection.

Hm. If “they” decide to ship us all off to camps, will they maybe toss Sonia in the boxcar instead of me? If they come to my house bearing Google images to ID the “domestic terrorists,” will they notice that I don’t have chipmunk cheeks or dyed black hair, say, “Sorry, M’am” and move on?

You tell me. Just plain creepy? Or creepy but potentially useful?

Or maybe just worth a few LOLs?

—–

* (If you can’t see what I’m chuffed about I think you can click the image to “embiggen” as Joel would say. On my system, I have to click twice; once to get a thumbnail, then once to embiggenate.)

Claire Wolfe

Friday freedom question: monkeywrenching

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Monkeywrenching seems sadly neglected these days. Do a search on the word and you’ll mostly turn up references to Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang or various acts eco-defense (or eco-terrorism, depending on who’s writing about it).

Since the Homeland (Achtung!) Security State has gotten us in its grip, it seems the peasants are afraid to toss their sabots into the machinery of tyranny. Then, too, things are different in a non-industrial society. You could say that Anonymous is a champion of monkeywrenching — just on a technological level.

Monkeywrenching, in one form or another will always have a place in the eternal struggle of the small and free against the big and unfree. But it seems a neglected art at the moment. So the question for today is: What are some great monkeywrenching ideas and/or resources for Freedom Outlaws of the twenty-first century?

And remember, keep it theoretical. The management of the Living Freedom blog doesn’t endorse any particular forms of crime, even while recognizing that three felonies a day is something most of us accomplish before finishing off our morning Rice Krispies.

—–

I also invite everybody to keep visiting and participating in the continuing story of “Tansy Shrugged,” which is wandering off in strange new directions via the comment section.

Claire Wolfe

Nooz and a good laugh

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

You know, it takes a lot more brainpower to write long, thoughtful, personal posts than it does to toss out a little news (maybe accompanied by a bit of snark or righteous indignation). So while I continue working on the “Perspective” Blog Tome, news (and one really good laugh) it is for today.

Now for the hilarity. This isn’t new, either. But if it doesn’t give you a belly laugh even after repeated viewings, check your pulse because you must be dead.

(Source for those who can’t see the embed. Tip o’ hat to L.)

Claire Wolfe

People hate spycams? No problem!

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Just put up some more cams to monitor the spycams!

Claire Wolfe

“Dark Satanic Cubicles” and other rants against jobs

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Reader just waiting put me on the Memory Lane Express. A link to Sean Gabb’s retrospective on the late, great Loompanics led him to take his copy of Loomps’ 2005 catalog off the shelf, where he discovered an old article of mine: “Dark Satanic Cubicles.”

I didn’t remember it. Only vaguely recalled the title. But it sounded brilliant. :-)

Took quite a bit of hunting to find. Had to go through some interesting byways.

But here it is: imperfectly archived on the old Loompanics site.

just waiting also sent me .jpg copies (thank you), from which come the stark Nick Bougas artwork up there at the top.

The article gets off to a good start. Did you know that the old faux folk song “Sixteen Tons” got its original writer/performer branded a “commie sympathizer”? Just for writing a fable that didn’t speak highly of laboring for a boss? Oh well.

I had fun re-reading it and hope you do, too.

Then the Memory Express rolled on and led me to similar writings from the same time:

“The Joys of Idleness”

Hardyville: “How to Avoid Work, Part 1″

Hardyville: “How to Avoid Work, Part II”

These were all on the same theme as one of my better, but less successful, books. Boy, I was thinking about work a lot, back then.

Now I’m just too darned busy working to think about it. But still and always … not laboring for “the man.” Nope. Just freelancing so I … get to crack the whip over my own back.

Claire Wolfe

Disabling cameras remotely

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Apple has gotten a patent to remotely disable features on wireless devices based on their location. (This is from a not-always-reliable source, but is verified elsewhere.)

I can’t think of a single legitimate reason to impose blanket blackouts like that based on location (language in the patent to the contrary).

Lots of illegitimate ones, though. Halt recording at protests or public meetings. Or at cop checkpoints. Keep protestors from coordinating with each other on the spot.

Not clear at the moment whether Apple plans to do this only on iPhones (one more reason not to have a smartphone). But no matter what the plans, if such a tech ever actually gets into popular use … well, we will have some monkeywrenching to do, won’t we?

(Tip o’ hat to C^2.)

Claire Wolfe

Would you stiff a bank?

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

The Dollar Vigilante has a new feature — a monthly advice column called “Dear Slavey.” It started off with a bang on July 2, when “Slavey” advised some poor credit-card serf to “Just. Don’t. Pay.”

No surprise, this drew feedback and some heated back-and-forthing about the morality of keeping one’s pledges.

Slavey’s position is that banks are corrupt from top to bottom and unilaterally change their “agreements” with us at will, so eff ‘em all. Besides, businesses walk away from billions of dollars in debt without an eyeblink.

He does warn, however, that in some states you can now be sent to jail for not paying even supposedly unsecured debt (e.g. credit cards). And isn’t it ironic that the Land of the Free is reintroducing debtors prison (albeit under a different pretext) at the very time bankers are swindling entire countries and paying no consequences?

Paying no consequences? Heck, they’re reaping rewards.

Cartoon of a bank holding up its customers

And now we’ve got the LIBOR scam, whose teeny little iceberg tip reveals a pervasive cynicism in the banking industry that some say should, or will, be the death of banking. The murder of trust, it’s been called. But was trust still breathing, even before that?

So … back to the question posed in the headline: Would YOU stiff a bank? Would you walk out on your credit card payments or walk away from institutional debt of any sort? “Just. Don’t. Pay”?

We freedomistas have always saluted the sanctity of contracts. Most of us have scoffed at people who get themselves into ridiculous levels of debt. We tend to have fine, high senses of honor. Most of us, I suspect, would plunk down to our last dollar on a debt, just to be the kind of person we can stand to look at in the mirror.

Or at least that’s the way it’s been in the past.

But are we being honorable — or are we just being played for a bunch of suckers? Are we upholding the values of free markets (even as the folks on the other end of the deal no longer do)? Or are we just rubes playing by the rules in a casino that no longer even bothers to pretend that the game isn’t rigged?

Would YOU walk away? Would YOU stiff a bank?

Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, June 25th, 2012

And finally, with thanks to K …

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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