Ohio man cuffed for shagging picnic table • The Register

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/31/picnic_table_incident/

the critical question here is whether it was a public or private performance. I can concede the complaint if it was public, but if it was private, what business is it of any third party? Or are we supposed to assume that anything which can be captured on video by nosy neighbours is automatically public from now on?

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Assyrian clay tablet points to Sodom and Gomorrah asteroid • The Register

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/31/kofels_asteroid/

fascinating. almost prehistoric eyewitness record of an asteroid collision…

Get your German interior ministers fingerprint here • The Register

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/30/german_interior_minister_fingerprint_appropriated/

This illustrates both the weakness of fingerprints as a method of access control and the naivete of politicians who think biometrics are the sole solution to access control. It’s all very well finding a unique biometric but if it is relatively easy to steal and duplicate – as this example demonstrates, then it has NO value in any security situation that MATTERS.

Knowing, for example, what you now know about how easy it is to steal and use your fingerprint, would you be happy to grant access to your house or car based on fingerprint alone? Of course not. So why should we imagine that fingerprints are a remotely sensible way to protect access to aircraft or sensitive databases? (abuse of which could do far more damage to society than having your own house broken into or car stolen)

This is not to say that biometrics are not useful. But the only biometrics, so far, which cannot be trivially stolen and copied are your dna fingerprint (which still takes too long to be used for access control) and your retina print – which can be performed in a couple of seconds. And even then, we can only trust it if the test is performed in our presence with kit we control.

Conclusion, the only safe and practical biometric is the retina print and it is only guaranteed secure when used on trusted kit on trusted premises and supervised by trusted guards. Anything less is “Security Theatre”

There is an interesting suggestion on the comments page, however, where “Jerry” suggests that one way we can defeat the State bully and their abuse of exclusive access to such data is to publish our own biometrics ourselves.

This is almost attractive. We could then legitimately claim, for example, that if our spoor is ever detected at the scene of a crime, it could have been planted there by a hostile party wishing to frame us. This could, at least, provide Juries with enough doubt to make the prosecutors’ task much more difficult.

But we cannot glibly ignore the downside of that breach of our own privacy. It would, for example, make us much easier prey for stalkers, private detectives, government agents and other hostile attackers who may not wish to frame us but do wish to spy on us.

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Reggie Watts

http://www.reggiewatts.com/

Huge talent, bit light on material, but give him time…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/29/AR2008032900676.html

tnx to Xtine66 for this one. This is an example of where Trusted Surveillance would improve

privacy: no video footage available to arbitrary police or others with access to the video control points or network;

accountability: whoever was involved in the transaction would be identifiable through key escrow, provided a jury agreed that identity retrieval was justified and

security: knowing that id fraud was not sustainable, much less of it will be attempted.

In other words, under TS, this kind of cockup could not happen. First, nobody would know anything at all about this – or any other – transaction unless one of the parties has cause to complain and choose to release their own copy of the evidence (in private and even anonymously if they prefer) to show that an offence has been committed.

Once such a complaint has been made, and assuming that TS is active at the relevant time and place, it is impossible either for a guilty party to prove their innocence, or for an over enthusiastic police force to prove the guilt of an innocent party. At the same time, TS can make it trivial to prove ones own innocence, and, in most cases, to do that anonymously.

http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/03/from-0004-to-20.html

this aint just a movie, of course. It’s yet another example of the benefits and relative ease of implementing Trusted Surveillance. There wouldn’t be any My Lai massacres or Abu Ghraibs if all the troops were automatically and painlessly recorded every step of the way.