Obstruction of justice and crypto: a plausible defense

Obstruction of justice and crypto: a plausible defense

I was reading DeepDotWeb and there was news a pedophile nubcake, little technical details were in it, however in the article there was the signs of someone who is absolutely finished. Files were recovered from one hard drive and as the article says there is a good chance they will find videos on a second drive. In this sort of situation someone could simply not hand over their passwords. However, that could open someone up to obstruction of justice.

There has to be evidence for a charge of obstruction of justice, in this case there was through bad OPSEC or slopsec of the pedophile. However another pedophile got away with allegedly possessing child pornography because his lawyers demanded the exploit itself be submitted to the court and thus the public eye, as you can read in this Wired article. Without that evidence they could not prove there was anything protected by cryptography of his hard drives.

It is said by many that cryptography doesn’t matter except to protect you against hackers and governments have the rubber hose. While they do, if you live in a country with due process where you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law proper OPSEC can save your cryptography. Its simply very important to not leave a trail, use a secure system, and not make identifying mistakes. There is a defense against the rubber hose of obstruction of justice: you must assert that there is no evidence you are hiding anything, and demand they respect your privacy.

You have to realize there is a distinct difference between paranoia and actual security. If you are paranoid and fear the government and the courts too much you might cave in when you really don’t need to. Keep a cool head and consider the chain of evidence leading to your systems. However, it is possible they will withhold evidence without your lawyers knowing which later proves the obstruction of justice charges. Prosecutors and surprise evidence is nothing new.

There is also the old tale of Al Capone getting done for tax evasion. There are many laws and many illegal things that they might use against you. My favorite thinker Ayn Rand and many others like to call it selective enforcement of the law. They might not be able to prove your server hosts a drug market with circumstantial evidence from an exploit they are unwilling to reveal. However there are other circumstances which could lead to criminal charges, such as tax issues, crypto-currency analysis and such which could reveal you are breaking other laws.

This means you should put a lot of thought into your life when you’re unplugged. Keeping a low profile isn’t everything, when it means you look like a man who makes something from nothing with chain analysis, banking records, and how much money you spend behind time. Make some investments when you get bigger, open a cafe, donate to charity, and keep yourself busy. Russ Ulbricht was a very rich man sitting in a socialist library, don’t be that guy. It would be better to be sitting at the CEOs desk on a company selling information technology, or a small back office in a pizzeria.

Somethings safer on the clear web

When it comes to OPSEC many like to keep their activity within their Tor environment. There is a new music streaming service based on the spotify API which sits behind a hidden service called ImuCast. Some might praise one for bringing entertainment to the dark web however I want to point some things out about this particular service. It uses a lot of third party javascript over the clearnet, and this goes over Tor exits. It does this a lot and its core functionality requires it.

So the result is that when using a service like ImuCast is you’re making a big footprint of clearnet activity that clearly belongs to a Tor user. It thus opens you up to exit relay abuse and more third party inteference than if you were just using Spotify over the clearnet. On Tor using a big Javascript music service just opens you up to those who abuse Tor. It is needless complexity.

Many things are better over the clearnet than Tor, especially when it comes to things everyone enjoys online. Everyone enjoys music and since ImuCast just uses the Spotify API you might as well just use Spotify. There is no point opening yourself up to all the problems a big Javascript / clearnet based app uses no matter the hidden service branding. It will just draw attention to your session and your identity.

Deep Cuck Web

I was reading about the bust of Alexandre Sitnikov a russian deepweb drug Kingpin on deepdotweb. The article was pretty detailed but I don’t like the second-hander wording of it. I find this is becoming common with DeepDotWeb: it uses the vocabulary of our enemies.

He graduated from a technical University, is a fluent English speaker – but he failed to put skills and talents to good use.    

I don’t like the moral indignation used there, that this wasn’t a good use. What he did to many, including myself, is considered heroic.

DeepDotWeb these days seem to just copy other news sources far too much, and words like this end up in there. It isn’t very supportive of the movement. We’re never going to have a revolution with writers like this as our friends.

We must strongly assert the core of our beliefs: our metaphysics and morality. We do this not only to enrich ourselves but to disrupt an immoral establishment. We assert the right to control our bodies, the right to be responsible for ourselves because we understand our nature as rational animals. That being, we have to choose to sustain our existence. These choices are based on our thoughts. Whether we are successful or not in being rational enough to survive and attain happiness is our own decision and responsibility.

When we let our enemies thoughts become injected in our narrative like has happened here, we become corrupt. I see this again and again with deepdotweb, and I think they are corrupt. Certainly, the wording of this article is corrupt. I hope this can change for the better with time and not for the worse.

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