[tor-talk] Iran cracks down on web dissident technology

Joe Btfsplk joebtfsplk at gmx.com
Wed Mar 23 00:26:42 UTC 2011

On 3/22/2011 3:57 PM, Michael Reed wrote:
> BINGO, we have a winner!  The original *QUESTION* posed that led to 
> the invention of Onion Routing was, "Can we build a system that allows 
> for bi-directional communications over the Internet where the source 
> and destination cannot be determined by a mid-point?"  The *PURPOSE* 
> was for DoD / Intelligence usage (open source intelligence gathering, 
> covering of forward deployed assets, whatever).  ...
> The short answer to your question of "Why would the government do 
> this?" is because it is in the best interests of some parts of the 
> government to have this capability...
> -Michael
> _______________________________________________
Very interesting, Michael.  You were a part of it (or knew of it) & it 
was because govt intelligence (you are aware many - not me - call that 
an oxy moron:)) wanted a system they could use for various purposes, 
where the source & destination can't be determined by one of the mid points?

That does make sense.  BTW, I never said conspiracy - others did.  
Besides, many use the word or concept incorrectly.  A govt developing 
technology to use in defending the country isn't a conspiracy.  Covering 
up illegal activities, for instance, would be a conspiracy (like 
Watergate).  If some govt has figured out how to "decode" Tor traffic 
(or use it to great advantage) to thwart terrorists, that's not conspiracy.

I'm going out on a limb to say that US intelligence does not believe Tor 
gives terrorists a great advantage - for what ever reason(s), or else 
they'd shut it down, or at least stop funding it.  But then, we & other 
countries continue supplying arms to groups in various conflicts, which 
they often shoot back at us.   That said, it may be an earlier poster's 
comment about lack of foresight may apply.  It would seem that enemies 
*might* benefit from it as much as govts, unless govts are capable of 
more than many think they are.  No one, except people w/ high level 
clearance (perhaps various countries) knows the full answer to that, and 
they're not talking.

They thought the A-bomb was a good idea & no other country would get the 
technology.  Huh.  I was on the fence on that one.
It *may* be much like other ideas, such as the famous introduction of 
cats to an island, where they had no natural enemies.  It almost 
destroyed the island's eco system.

For "what did you think might happen" sorts of things that individuals & 
govts do, I now reference them as "Introducing Cats to an Island" 
principles.  Ideas that sound good at 1st, except for forgetting to ask 
(and seriously ponder) the most important question of all, "What's the 
worst that can happen if we..."
"Hey, let's build nuclear reactors on major fault lines all over the 
world."  "Yeah, that sounds good."

Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

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