Date: October 07, 2013
Filed in: dossiers, frontpage, opinion

Tracking the Silk Road - Lessons for darknet services

On Oct 2nd 2013, a person was arrested in San Francisco (CA USA) who allegedly operated the darknet marketplace website “The Silk Road”. Shortly after, the Silk Road went offline.

Within minutes discussions on the Internet sprung up with thousands of people trying to cope with their loss, trying to make sense of what happened. Several “official” documents (a criminal complaint and an indictment) were released shortly after which, in turn, lead to commentators rushing to explain what stupid mistakes DPR – the Silk Road operator – had committed. Now, after a few days have passed, I’d like to give analysis a try myself.

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Date: December 01, 2012
Filed in: concepts, frontpage

No place to hide. Anonymity - Online and Offline - Part III

In this article we are going to explore how anonymity in the physical world is eroded through technologies and conventions that have been introduced over the last 30 years. Most people assume that their physical behavior is mostly disconnected from the world of bits and bytes, databases and surveillance (see part I on the Theory of Anonymity, and part II about Online Anonymity). Sadly, this increasingly proves to be an illusion.

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Date: November 14, 2012
Filed in: frontpage, opinion

Spying on Petraeus, or how emails quickly become incriminating evidence [Updated 2012-11-15]

The current story of Gen. PETRAEUS and his affair BROADWELL shines a light at the possibilities of digital surveillance and tracing of crumbs of information. It can serve as an example and a warning against insufficient digital tradecraft. Though news reports about the exact order and nature of the events are imprecise, unreliable and contradictory, we are trying to put them together into a plausible series of events and give some background on techniques that were, or might have been, used to intrude on the privacy of both BROADWELL and PETRAEUS.

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Date: November 12, 2012
Filed in: concepts, frontpage

Anonymity – Online and Offline – Part II

This article explores how much anonymity really exists online, and how anonymity is reduced by everyday technologies used in Internet communication (please check out Part I of this series for the theory behind anonymity).

Many people expect their actions online to be far removed from their physical identity which often leads them to behave in ways they would never dare when their name were connected to it. But how well founded is this belief in online anonymity?

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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 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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