- Palin e-mail hack details emerge
- VP contender Sarah Palin hacked
- US election: Republicans fight to block inquiry into Palin’s ‘Troopergate’ affair
- Palin’s e-mail problems spread
- Governor Is Asked To Release E-Mails
- Once Elected, Palin Hired Friends and Lashed Foes
- Group Posts E-Mail Hacked From Palin Account — Update
- Palin E-Mail Hacker Says It Was Easy
- Hacker impersonated Palin, stole e-mail password
- Memo to US Secret Service: Net proxy may pinpoint Palin email hackers
The recent furore in America over VP candidate Sarah Palin’s Yahoo! email account being cracked has missed a few points…
Briefly, here’s a recap on the events above:
- Palin is from Alaska and is current Governor there.
- Palin falls out with brother-in-law and lawsuit starts
- Palin refuses to release emails as part of investigation
- Palin uses her Yahoo! email account for government business (proved by later screenshots).
- All US government business must be transacted over secure US Gov email system for “Freedom of Information” purposes – to stop corruption basically, and allow “the people” to see what “their representatives” get up to. So…
- Palin is using her Yahoo account for illegal activities.
- Palin’s Yahoo! account is cracked and details posted on the web
- The crack is through a “anonymous proxy service” run by cTunnel.com
- US Secret Service ask Associated Press(AP) for copies of emails, who refuse.
- Yahoo, all this time still has all emails on it’s servers as required by various laws (Patriot Act etc). (Same in GB Inc.)
- cTunnel says he’s willing to check or hand over his logs to US Secret Service to determine the hacker (more correctly, a cracker – it’s called password cracking, not hacking)
- cTunnel is run by a guy called who has over 100 other domains, mostly anonymous proxies.
- cTunnel opens with the tagline: Ctunnel is here to protect your anonymity online!
- lives in Fairbanks, Alaska!
So now the circle is complete. Proxy.org has this to say (copied verbatim):
Proxy.org is the pragmatic Web surfer’s guide to online privacy and anonymous web surfing. We give you the information and tools you need to be confident and in command of your Web surfing experience. Here you’ll find information on the latest privacy issues facing Web consumers and links to relevant privacy technology. Proxy.org has the most comprehensive list of working proxies in the most convienient form.
Your right to anonymity
Amendments 4 and 5 of The United States Bill Of Rights protect the right to be free of unwarranted and unwanted government intrusion into one’s personal and private affairs, papers, and possessions. Article 12 of The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”
Despite some charges to the contrary, anonymous Web surfing is not the sole province of criminals. Anonymity also serves whistle blowers, free speech advocates, and people just looking for personal privacy online. Privacy is not a crime and anonymity is not morally ambiguous or wrong, they are your right.
I’ve laboured at length on the US and UK and their loose interpretation of our rights as seen in the links above. I’ve hammered on about ID Cards and data loss, privacy and freedom. The US, in it’s current incarnation, seems intent on chasing the password cracker and not Palin who is doing the string of corrupt actions.
Fortunately, Jonathan Swift has come to our rescue from across time. In his satire on corruption and stupidity in government and society Gulliver’s Travels, there are a bunch of allegorical beings representing the distasteful materialism and ignorant elitism Swift encountered in Britain at that time. He described them like so:
[…] are primitive creatures obsessed with pretty stones they find by digging in mud […]and[…] are vile and savage creatures, filthy and with unpleasant habits, resembling human beings far too closely […]
The book has been in continuous print since 1726, fifty years older than the United States’ Constitution.!!!
The creatures Swift called Yahoos, from where we derive the term “illiterate yahoo” and in a roundabout fashion, where the email account that Sarah Palin used illegally and in a corrupt fashion, gets it’s name.
It says it all, doesn’t it?