Date: November 08, 2012
Filed in: concepts, frontpage

Anonymity - Online and Offline - Part I

This series explains the theory of Anonymity and what factors influence anonymity in online communication and offline interaction. The goal is to provide necessary background information to make educated judgements on the effectiveness of methods to increase anonymity.

Let us start out with a definition of the term and then explore its implications:

Anonymity is the degree of uncertainty in relating a person to an event, action or property.

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Date: November 08, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, news

News: DHS will scan payment cards at borders

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will scan payment cards at borders: Travelers leaving or entering the U.S. have to declare aggregated cash and other monetary instruments exceeding $10,000. Under a proposed amendment to the Bank Secrecy Act, FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) will also add the value of prepaid cards to this. The DHS develops advanced handheld card readers to differentiate between a credit card, a debit card, and a prepaid card.

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Date: November 08, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, howto

Secure and professional Bitcoin OTC exchanges

The article Necessary conditions for the long-term success of Bitcoin has shown why widespread availability of over-the-counter (OTC) Bitcoin exchangers is crucial for Bitcoin to succeed in the long-run and give us more freedom. This article will explain how to exchange Bitcoin OTC securely and professionally. It should be of interest for Bitcoin users who want to get their coins anonymously from OTC exchangers and for people who want to earn a second income as Bitcoin OTC exchangers in the counter-economy.

If you are dealing Bitcoin on the OTC market you have to consider two kinds of enemies: the state and evil customers (for example, fraudsters). To deal securely you have to mitigate the corresponding risks. That is, you have to drive up the cost of a successful attack and make it unlikely.

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Date: November 07, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, opinion

Necessary conditions for the long-term success of Bitcoin

In this article I present my answer to the the question: What does Bitcoin need to succeed in the long-run? Before we consider the question, let’s put Bitcoin into the wider context of the counter-economy.

The Counter-Economy

The counter-economy (a.k.a. the informal economy) in general is all economic activity which is not fully regulated, taxed, or controlled by the state. In its simplest form it is a Lemonade stand which operates without a license, it partly includes a mom-and-pop store which optimizes its taxes by running some of its business off the books, and in the dark corners of it you can find completely separate market places like Silk Road.

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Date: November 05, 2012
Filed in: concepts, opinion

The Treasure which is Privacy

The Philosophy of Privacy Extremism emphasizes that privacy should be maintained in all situations; that if in question, privacy should be given preference, unless sufficient arguments to the contrary apply to the specific  situation.

Privacy serves as a necessary condition for engaging in meaningful and truthful interpersonal relationships.

Furthermore privacy is a necessary condition under which a person can develop a self and embrace individual responsibility for decisions and actions that result from them.

A denial of privacy to the contrary establishes and maintains a lack and loss of esteem, respect and value in and for things and other persons.

Privacy should therefor be the strong standard for personal behavior, normative for those that thrive towards personal human positive development.

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Date: November 05, 2012
Filed in: concepts, frontpage

Encryption algorithms: a primer

Encryption algorithms are used to secure the content of communications and stored data.  An algorithm in general is a recipe for calculations which can be performed automatically by a computer. An encryption algorithm (also called a cipher) encrypts a readable plaintext into an unreadable ciphertext. A cipher can usually also perform the reverse operation of decrypting an unreadable ciphertext into a readable plaintext.  For encryption and decryption a cipher needs a key. The security of a cipher depends on the secrecy of the used key.  Two general categories of encryption algorithms exist:

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Date: November 05, 2012
Filed in: concepts, frontpage, opinion

Global Spying: Realistic Probabilities In Modern Signals Intelligence

A paper on the probabilities of global internet surviellance, presented in 2010 at the Defcon conference in Las Vegas, proving to be close to what becomes common knowledge today.

In this article, we will present insight to the realistic possibilities of Internet mass surveillance. When talking about the threat of Internet surveillance, the common argument is that there is so much traffic that any one conversation or email won’t be picked up unless  there is reason to suspect those concerned; it is impossible that “they” can listen to us all.

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