Cypherpunk Bitstream 0x06: Security II

   |   10 minute read   |   Using 1968 words

We talk about major threats to security, mainly focussed on future threats and the reaction from security services. Some keywords are: Nuclear proliferation, robotic warfare, technology regulation, surveillance state, bioterrorism, and omniviolence.


Show Notes

Section I Future of Security

Introduction: Emotional Reach, Classifying the Population, Keeping the Legitimacy

  • 00:02:16 Crimes that really matter: How do security forces select the crimes they battle against, which ones are ignored.
  • 00:02:33 Limitations of Crimefighting: War on drugs is ongoing, street robberies, etc.
  • 00:03:30 State is focussing on crimes that risk itself, and on high public image.
  • 00:04:30 Public percerption is high when public can identify and empathize with the victim (child abuse, burglary).
  • 00:05:45 Germany: First case of predictive policing was burglary.
  • 00:07:40 The victim matters / vulnerability: People do react less with assault of a 20-30 year old man, than with the elderly, women, or children.
  • 00:09:13 Child porn is the universal crime where everybody gets behind the police, …and that is used for higher surveillance. Child pornography is the abdomination of the 21st century.
  • 00:10:15 A lot of murder, a lot of kidnapping, a lot of burglaries etc, undermindes the belief in the state. Other crimes do not affect the trust so much, i.e. insurance fraud. Nobody’s sorry about big corporations being scammed.

Systemic Risk Categories: Crimes That Matter

First Example

  • 00:11:34 First Example: Proliferation. Atomic weapon possession divide Good states from Bad States.
  • 00:12:05 BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst) and Proliferation.
  • 00:12:30 Enemy States cooperated at the fall of Soviet Block and UdSSR, because of Proliferation.
  • 00:15:20 Blind field of Proliferation: Smuggling of Nuclear Material, Technology, Warheads. Sensor Networks to detect nuclear material (isotope scanners).
  • 00:17:40 Rumors: Unofficial and missing warhead counts (former Soviet, US, Plane incidents over Mediterrean Sea).
  • 00:20:04 Rumors: Cold War Soviet Union Sleeper Agents with Suitcase Bombs (not all recovered).
  • 00:22:00 Small States profit from deterrent threat of Warheads, less likely to actually use them (cannot be retrieved).
  • 00:22:50 Terrorist Organizations and Warheads: rely on secure territory (hollowed out state): Iran, Afghanistan, Mexico.
  • 00:24:07 Example: Afghanistan tolerating Al-Qaeda and 9/11.
  • 00:25:15 Just having the device doesn’t mean you’re able to trigger it: where is it from, maintenance, deploy (actors who follow through, reliable remote triggers), maybe a lot of the old warheads are not usable (physical trigger method is lost).

Second Example

  • 00:30:35 Second Example: Transnational Organized Crime (Narco Cartels, MS-13, Triads, etc).
  • 00:32:00 Safe Havens (no-go-areas) by MS-13 and Al-Qaeda: low level of immunity and souvereignity.
  • 00:35:35 Narco-Terrorism: Cooperations between terrorist organizations and pure criminal organizations.
  • 00:36:50 Iran-Contra (Freedom Fighter VS Terrorist).
  • 00:37:47 A scared population is more likely to use drugs.
  • 00:38:25 Big criminal organizations undermine the state institutions: corruption, blackmail, threats.
  • 00:39:35 Loyalty and Trust within Institutions is undermined, and thus the political head becomes just an illusion of power (Mexico, Miami in the 80s, etc).

Third Example

  • 00:37:47 Third Example: Bioterrorism.
  • 00:43:12 CRISPR sequencing, “build your own smallpox”.
  • 00:44:00 Non-state actors: Aum Shinrikyo (Aleph) and Tokyo Subway Attacks (Sarin Gas).
  • 00:46:19 2001 Anthrax Attacks in the US.
  • 00:47:16 Rumor: Wuhan might be a targeted virus attack, but it’s hard and too early to tell.
  • 00:48:14 For states: bioweapons would also attack own citizens, unlimited transmission, contagion risks high (better: easy to contain, infectious chain are short and unstable).
  • 00:49:30 Terrorists: cannot attach threats or demands, since viruses are non-attributable. Exceptions: doomsday sects, radical environmentalists.

Wrap-Up Section I

  • 00:50:47 Wrap-Up first Part: Crimes That Matter. All are technology supported crimes.
  • 00:51:33 Transnational organized crime is a late development (cheap travels, cheap organization and management technologies, cheap communication), also a part of globalization.
  • 00:52:49 Technological developments are supporting two classes of criminals: random criminals, child pornography.
  • 00:53:05 Random Criminal: uses technology to amplyfy his effect.
  • 00:53:25 Child Pornography: digital cameras and internet made it really problematic, because it became cheap and easy (all you need is a mobile phone).

Section II Dystopian Side

Cybercrime, Robotic Warfare, Omniviolence

  • 00:56:38 Skimming: copying credit cards, via cheap tech from the darknet and Aliexpress.
  • 00:58:35 Issue of non-attribution in Cybercrime: you don’t have to be very smart, you randomly target victims, plus degree of seperation (=every idiot can become a phisher).
  • 00:59:34 High IQ cyber-criminals plus tech: bigger and much more efficient organizations are possible (Paul LeRoux).
  • 01:01:10 Strategic thinking criminals: do no make random mistakes, access to cheap and easy components (Shenzhen), low morals, power-hungry individuals.
  • 01:03:00 Omniviolence: Killer to killed persons ratio increases, systemic risks to countries, maybe entire planet (Example: nuclear and bio weapons).
  • 01:04:22 Robotic warfare: Drones plus biometrics.
  • 01:06:00 The State and Omniviolence: Intelligence services already working on it. Threat becomes increasingly realistic, while not being trivial to deal with, or understand. Thing that is most likely to shape the future.
  • 01:07:19 Realistic scenario by now: Quadrocopter drones, single shot explosive inside, plus facial recognition (ESP32 development kit).
  • 01:08:55 Ground based autonomous vehicles is in the future of next generation: DJi RoboMaster-s1, educational toy for children, available today. Already has face and object recognition, autonomy features.
  • 01:10:21 Next 5-10 years: First autonomous robot school killing is realistic.
  • 01:10:38 There happen to be people out there, who are relatively smart, and there happens to be a huge technological toolbox to select from. Given it enough intelligence, and enough energy, drive, and goals, you can be really dangerous these days.
  • 01:11:10 Book: “Gefährliche Menschen (Dangerous Humans)” near-future dystopian world where the whole system is focussed on preventing omniviolence.
  • 01:12:47 State tries to counteract omniviolence and others by regulating technology.

Drugs and Butterflies

  • 01:13:07 How can you control potentially dangerous people?
  • 01:13:50 The tech industry and self-medicating with legal and illegal drugs, and an unrealistic dream.
  • 01:15:38 Advertisement of drugs as “rebellious”. Drugs being marketed as rebellion,… (they) don’t help you to become an actual rebel, and actually being effective.
  • 01:16:24 Academia: The clever people trap, researching butterflies (you are being seen and heard, aurelians and lepidopterists, and your work matters).

Preventive detention

  • 01:17:47 Preventive detention. “If I lock this person up, I can prevent crime in the future.”
  • 01:19:05 Psychiatric detention, used to silence people and put them away (Gustl Mollath).
  • 01:20:40 New preventive detention laws: limiting personal liberty to prevent crimes? Social and economic consequences.

Surveillance, Cryptography, and Regulations

  • 01:21:50 Surveillance is everywhere.
  • 01:22:33 Growth of surveillance: Commercial interest, collecting data, nudging.
  • 01:22:50 Using surveillance data for AI training, run through neural networks (health: predict illnesses), can also be used to predict behavior.
  • 01:24:05 Nation-States surveil the shit out of everything to increase their security status (international trend).
  • 01:24:17 New proposals for regulation, or ban, of face-recognition (EU, some US states).
  • 01:25:00 Limitations of face-recognition: black people with dark skin. AI training sets are mostly light-skinned.
  • 01:26:25 Why states might be open to proposals: Accusations of racial bias, easy thing to give up (it’s commercialized already, see ClearView AI).
  • 01:27:17 Face Recognition Apps (Russia: FindFace App), Face Recognition Spiders (原谅宝官方 yuanliang bao guanfang,,
  • 01:28:13 Navigate the tech landscape through regulations: example drone sector.
  • 01:31:00 Regulating cryptography: access to good cryptography for average joe is hard.
  • 01:31:22 Even for relatively smart and motivated people, … implementing cryptographic systems by people who are not specialized in that, usually goes wrong. It’s really hard to build secure cryptographic software, even with libraries out there, etc.
  • 01:33:20 Regulations of sales controls: example chemicals, pharmarcies.
  • 01:34:00 State will increase security in the future by regulating technology (regulating both components and knowledge).
  • 01:34:50 Dystopian Vision, “black ball events”: Omniviolence will be prevented by total surveillance combined with AI. (Bostrom: Vulnerable World Paper)
  • 01:36:04 Anomaly detection: preventing anyone from building potentially threatening tech, without actually understanding or knowing what this tech is.
  • 01:36:59 Securocrat’s decisions are based on body-count and not on life quality.
  • 01:37:20 Some cattle farmer talk: Consume, pay taxes, and put your VR goggles on.
  • 01:40:10 Preventing people who are too intelligent, too creative, from getting anywhere in life.
  • 01:41:00 Cambridge Analytics for the Masses, Psychography: limit access, social scoring systems (today mostly reactive).
  • 01:42:20 Predictive Technologies: sentencing rules in US.
  • 01:43:20 Creativity problem: detect outliers, categorize in good or bad, adjust access to technology. (Ender’s Game pilots)
  • 01:44:44 Already using licensing by personality: bank accounts, gun licenses. Where does the reliability score come from? Future might be more automated.
  • 01:46:50 Future: Same thing, but advanced by modern technology.
  • 01:47:08 Reactive scores, predicitive regulation: lawyers, MDs, pilot and weapon licenses. If you have a lot of points, they won’t give you the license.
  • 01:47:32 e-Government: maybe no human judgement in the future needed.
  • 01:49:00 Looking at the Chinese petri dish: since Wuhan epidemic, deploying surveillance is cranked up.
  • 01:50:37 Data Analysis, Laboratory for Surveillance: Locking down neighborhoods, limit travel within city, using drones, using CCTV cameras to check masks and temperature, booking details, location tracking, etc.
  • 01:55:00 Wuhan as a dystopian prison: at least as frightening as the pandemic.
  • 01:56:03 Control ratio: the amount of people you need to control a huge population is going down.
  • 01:56:20 Conflict Turkey-Syria, Idlib region: areal control by grenade launchers, automatically engaged.
  • 01:58:48 South Korea Border Patrol Bots: automated targeting (Sentry SGR-A1, Hankook Mirae Method-2?)
  • 01:59:33 UAV Drones: autonomous suicide drones, waiting for target or flying into target.
  • 02:00:09 Germany declared AI a “critical defense technology” = weapon technology for killing people.

Section III Less Dystopian Side

  • 02:01:44 Donation Report
  • 02:04:25 Forum/ BBS: Async.pre

Frank and Smuggler answering your questions!

  • 02:05:49 Question Section
  • 02:05:57 Forum: How would the average aspiring second-realmer get their nym used in legal documents or at their work place? Is that a realistic goal?
  • 02:14:00 Forum: I’d really like to see you guys cover the art of clandestine purchasing. For example, do 3D printers have hidden tracking codes like paper printers? Discussing details on aquiring something like this with a pre-paid credit card and how to ship it to a non-attributate address would be cool.
  • 02:15:35 Forum: One Issue that I always find very hard is receiving shipments by mail. Not necessarily very illegal items, but maybe items you just don’t want to receive at an attributable adress and that are larger than what fits in a standard letterbox. How to receive things in another name and where with the least amount of trouble and risk?
  • 02:20:25 Forum: How to beat facial recognition during drop-operations and otherwise? What methods are effective? How often worn outside the TAZ?
  • 02:23:25 Twitter: How to go into darknet? Virtual box and TOR? Which OS?
  • 02:25:27 Twitter: In terms of cyber-warfare, which state (or state proxy) has the most tactical technical capacity for attacks and defense?
  • 02:33:55 Thoughts on accelerationism?
  • 02:37:14 Mail: I find very helpful, even though it is outdated and US-centric. Are there more current and EU-centric versions of the topic, how can I make my life as anonymous as possible?

Minimum Wage Report

  • 02:45:58 Minimum Wage Report

Reading Recommendations


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