Meet the Extremist

Posted on 14. July 2014

by Stephan Kool

stephan-kool-modifiedA small recap – about 6 months ago, I wrote about online anonymity and the TOR project (link). I wrote how online anonymity should not be criminalized, despite criminals who also use the cloak of anonymity for their actions and that the tool for anonymity was TOR.

But now a part of the inner workings of an NSA algorithm (the source code) has been published revealing that TOR is a “comsec [communication security] mechanism advocated by extremists on extremist forums”.  In other words, my pitch for online anonymity made me an extremist and the FutureLab blog an extremist forum. And since you’ve read it, you are an extremist as well. Congratulations!

I do not have any access to the NSA databases to verify whether I have been under surveillance. But I suspect the right question to ask is under how much surveillance I’ve been.  I’m getting the impression that the NSA doesn’t like people that know a thing or two about information security. Yet information security is one of the courses I follow at my university and we discussed tools that are in a very dark grey area. So did my education just make me an extremist?

My point is that the NSA has gone too far and European Governments should finally act together and make a clear statement against the indiscriminate surveillance of citizens. And the terrorism-prevention argument is from this moment on nothing more than a farce. Remember, I am an extremist, and so are you for reading this.

 

Extra readings:

Extract of the source code of XKeyScore: http://daserste.ndr.de/panorama/xkeyscorerules100.txt

Interpretation of the source code: http://www.zeit.de/digital/datenschutz/2014-07/nsa-markiert-alle-tor-nutzer-als-extremisten