The Tor challenge: run a Tor node for great justice

EFF, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Free Software Foundation and The Tor Project have launched The Tor Challenge, a campaign to encourage people to run Tor nodes. "Tor is a powerful tool that helps you stay anonymous online. It can protect your privacy as you browse the Internet and circumvent government censorship of the webpages you visit. We need your help to keep Tor strong. Run a Tor relay today." Here's how to get started.

Lavabit founder Levison: decision to close was like 'putting a beloved pet to sleep'

Amy Goodman at Democracy Now interviewed Ladar Levison, founder/owner/operator of Lavabit, the security-focused email service Edward Snowden used to invite attendees to a Moscow press conference; the service was abruptly closed last week with an explanation pointing to US government interference. He joined the show from Washington DC with his lawyer, Jesse Binnall. Goodman asks Levison to explain why he closed the company:

Read the rest

70-year old wartime cipher uncracked

"A World War Two code found strapped to the leg of a dead pigeon stuck in a chimney for the last 70 years may never be broken, a British intelligence agency said on Friday."

Cartoon explains how world's cutest encrypted chat service works

Cryptocat Adventure! from Nadim Kobeissi on Vimeo.

Sean Bonner shared this cute video for Cryptocat, a web-based service that enables secure, encrypted online chatting and file transfer between two parties.

The creator of Cryptocat, a 22-year old named Nadim Kobeissi, says Cryptocat has earned him the dreaded "SSSS" mark of suspicion on his boarding passes. From Wired:

When he flies through the US, he’s generally had the notorious “SSSS” printed on his boarding pass, marking him for searches and interrogations — which Kobeissi says have focused on his development of the chat client.

His SSSS’s can mean hours of waiting, and Kobeissi says he has been searched, questioned, had his bags and even his passport taken away and returned later. But he’s kept his sense of humor about the experience, even joking from the airport on his Twitter account.

Cryptocat

US doxes Bin Laden (always use encryption, kids)

CNET's Emil Protalinski reports that Osama bin Laden did not encrypt the thousands of files stored in the Pakistani compound where he was killed, and "17 of the 6,000 documents have now been publicly released." (via @ioerror)

Defendant's encrypted laptop yields secrets

After seizing an encrypted laptop from defendant Ramona Fricosu, prosecutors headed into difficult waters: could she be forced to unlock it? A judge ordered her to give up the password, raising issues of unreasonable search and seizure and the right not to incriminate oneself. Fricosu's lawyers suggested she had forgotten it, but a showdown was averted: she either turned the password over or they figured it out some other way. [Wired]

Prime Suspect, or Random Acts of Keyness

The foundation of Web security rests on the notion that two very large prime numbers, numbers divisible only by themselves and 1, once multiplied together are irreducibly difficult to tease back apart.

Read the rest

How to encrypt your disks

Seth Schoen at the EFF has a suggestion for an extra New Year's Resolution: Full-disk encryption on all your computers.