Life imitates William Gibson?

Showing 1-21 of 21 messages
Life imitates William Gibson? Paul Ciszek 9/6/12 9:20 AM
Someone claims to have obtained copies of Mitt Romney's tax returns and
mailed them to multiple recipients on encrypted flash drives.  Unless they
receive <Dr. Evil voice> one million dollars </Dr. Evil voice> in bitcoins
by September 28th, they will release the decryption key.  Meanwhile, they
have set up a competing bitcoin account; if that one receives $1 million
first, they will release the key immediately.

This may very well be a hoax, but such a crime is totally do-able
nowadays.  Apparently bitcoins have made it possible to sell illegal
drugs online Amazon-style.  (How do they arrange deliver, though?)

--
Please reply to:         | "We establish no religion in this country, we
pciszek at panix dot com |  command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor
Autoreply is disabled    |  will we ever.  Church and state are, and must
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Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Scott Dorsey 9/6/12 9:58 AM
Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
>
>This may very well be a hoax, but such a crime is totally do-able
>nowadays.  Apparently bitcoins have made it possible to sell illegal
>drugs online Amazon-style.  (How do they arrange deliver, though?)

New York has had a dial-a-drug service at least since the eighties.  Call
the number, give your credit card number and address and what you want, and
a messenger comes out with it in short order after they have verified your
credit is good.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Dorothy J Heydt 9/6/12 10:53 AM
In article <k2aihb$gt9$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
>Someone claims to have obtained copies of Mitt Romney's tax returns and
>mailed them to multiple recipients on encrypted flash drives.  Unless they
>receive <Dr. Evil voice> one million dollars </Dr. Evil voice> in bitcoins
>by September 28th, they will release the decryption key.  Meanwhile, they
>have set up a competing bitcoin account; if that one receives $1 million
>first, they will release the key immediately.
>
>This may very well be a hoax, but such a crime is totally do-able
>nowadays.

My, my.  Living in the future.  If it isn't a hoax, I am going to
have to grip my lower nature with both hands to avoid saying, "It
couldn't happen to a nicer guy."

  Apparently bitcoins have made it possible to sell illegal
>drugs online Amazon-style.  (How do they arrange delivery, though?)

Uh .... FedEx?

--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Should you wish to email me, you'd better use the gmail edress.
Kithrup's all spammy and hotmail's been hacked.
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Paul Ciszek 9/6/12 12:35 PM

In article <M9xwD...@kithrup.com>,
Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
>In article <k2aihb$gt9$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
>Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
>>Someone claims to have obtained copies of Mitt Romney's tax returns and
>>mailed them to multiple recipients on encrypted flash drives.  Unless they
>>receive <Dr. Evil voice> one million dollars </Dr. Evil voice> in bitcoins
>>by September 28th, they will release the decryption key.  Meanwhile, they
>>have set up a competing bitcoin account; if that one receives $1 million
>>first, they will release the key immediately.
>>
>>This may very well be a hoax, but such a crime is totally do-able
>>nowadays.
>
>My, my.  Living in the future.  If it isn't a hoax, I am going to
>have to grip my lower nature with both hands to avoid saying, "It
>couldn't happen to a nicer guy."
>
>  Apparently bitcoins have made it possible to sell illegal
>>drugs online Amazon-style.  (How do they arrange delivery, though?)
>
>Uh .... FedEx?

After a few "asset forfeitures", FedEx would stop picking up from those
locations, or dealing with whichever foreign shipping companies were
forwarding the stuff to FedEx.  Or does the DEA leave businesses alone?
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? John Geoffrey 9/6/12 1:29 PM
On Thu, 6 Sep 2012 19:35:45 +0000 (UTC)
nos...@nospam.com (Paul Ciszek) wrote:

> >
> >  Apparently bitcoins have made it possible to sell illegal
> >>drugs online Amazon-style.  (How do they arrange delivery, though?)
> >
> >Uh .... FedEx?
>
> After a few "asset forfeitures", FedEx would stop picking up from
> those locations, or dealing with whichever foreign shipping companies
> were forwarding the stuff to FedEx.  Or does the DEA leave businesses
> alone?
>

The idea with the bitcoins is that you can easily launder them and
nobody can really trace where they come from. Well, not yet at least.
It's just convenient for drug pushers to have a currency that is not
dependant on any government and that can be transferred as easily as
bitcoins.
--
J.E.Geoffrey
Stuffed Crocodile Weblog
http://gmkeros.wordpress.com


Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Nate Edel 9/6/12 3:52 PM
Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
> Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:
> >Uh .... FedEx?
>
> After a few "asset forfeitures", FedEx would stop picking up from those
> locations, or dealing with whichever foreign shipping companies were
> forwarding the stuff to FedEx.  Or does the DEA leave businesses alone?

Perhaps there's a common-carrier exception?

--
Nate Edel                               http://www.cubiclehermit.com/
 preferred email  |
 is "nate" at the | "I do have a cause, though.  It's obscenity. I'm
 posting domain   |  for it."
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Keith F. Lynch 9/7/12 6:52 PM
Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
> New York has had a dial-a-drug service at least since the eighties.
> Call the number, give your credit card number and address and what
> you want, and a messenger comes out with it in short order after
> they have verified your credit is good.

How do they verify that you're not a narc?  I don't think Experian or
Equifax provides that information.
--
Keith F. Lynch - http://keithlynch.net/
Please see http://keithlynch.net/email.html before emailing me.
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Scott Dorsey 9/8/12 6:45 AM
Keith F. Lynch <kfl@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
>> New York has had a dial-a-drug service at least since the eighties.
>> Call the number, give your credit card number and address and what
>> you want, and a messenger comes out with it in short order after
>> they have verified your credit is good.
>
>How do they verify that you're not a narc?  I don't think Experian or
>Equifax provides that information.

I don't know, I imagine they expect to lose a runner now and then as
part of the cost of doing business.
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Keith F. Lynch 9/9/12 12:49 PM
Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
> Keith F. Lynch <kfl@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>> Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
>>> New York has had a dial-a-drug service at least since the
>>> eighties.  Call the number, give your credit card number and
>>> address and what you want, and a messenger comes out with it
>>> in short order after they have verified your credit is good.

>> How do they verify that you're not a narc?  I don't think Experian
>> or Equifax provides that information.

> I don't know, I imagine they expect to lose a runner now and then as
> part of the cost of doing business.

The police won't just lock up the runner; they will pressure him to
name his suppliers, promising to drop all charges against him if he
does so and to lock him up for a long time if he refuses.

Of course this means anyone falsely charged with being a runner will
serve a much more severe sentence than someone who is actually guilty.
Unless the falsely accused person names someone at random, who is
then arrested and pressured in turn.  This can result in numerous
completely innocent people being locked up as part of a wholly
imaginary crime ring, as happened in Salem centuries ago, in Tulia
and Wenatchee in recent years, and no doubt in numerous other places
that never came to light.
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? David Friedman 9/9/12 1:18 PM
In article <k2irsm$qog$2...@reader1.panix.com>,
 "Keith F. Lynch" <kfl@KeithLynch.net> wrote:

> Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
> > Keith F. Lynch <kfl@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
> >> Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
> >>> New York has had a dial-a-drug service at least since the
> >>> eighties.  Call the number, give your credit card number and
> >>> address and what you want, and a messenger comes out with it
> >>> in short order after they have verified your credit is good.
>
> >> How do they verify that you're not a narc?  I don't think Experian
> >> or Equifax provides that information.
>
> > I don't know, I imagine they expect to lose a runner now and then as
> > part of the cost of doing business.
>
> The police won't just lock up the runner; they will pressure him to
> name his suppliers, promising to drop all charges against him if he
> does so and to lock him up for a long time if he refuses.
>
> Of course this means anyone falsely charged with being a runner will
> serve a much more severe sentence than someone who is actually guilty.
> Unless the falsely accused person names someone at random, who is
> then arrested and pressured in turn.  This can result in numerous
> completely innocent people being locked up as part of a wholly
> imaginary crime ring, as happened in Salem centuries ago, in Tulia
> and Wenatchee in recent years, and no doubt in numerous other places
> that never came to light.

_The Conspiracy of Silence_ is an account of the Great Purge by someone
who was caught up in it, and describes that pattern. He mentions one
victim who was a physician and the president of his city's physician
association, and had a good memory. When pressed to name his fellow
conspirators, he gave them a list of every doctor in the city--and not
even Stalin's secret police were willing to arrest all of them. They
wanted to know who were the leading conspirators. He replied that he was
the leader, everyone else was equal below him.

And got away with it--they didn't arrest any of the others.

--
http://www.daviddfriedman.com/
http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/
_Salamander_: http://tinyurl.com/6957y7e
_How to Milk an Almond,..._ http://tinyurl.com/63xg8gx
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Keith F. Lynch 9/9/12 2:18 PM
Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
> This may very well be a hoax, but such a crime is totally do-able
> nowadays.  Apparently bitcoins have made it possible to sell illegal
> drugs online Amazon-style.  (How do they arrange deliver, though?)

Even scarier to the authorities, anonymous untraceable digital cash
enables a free market in assassinations.  And delivery isn't an issue.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_market
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Seth 10/17/12 1:16 PM
In article <k2fi5r$fcs$1...@panix2.panix.com>,
Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
>Keith F. Lynch <kfl@KeithLynch.net> wrote:

>>How do they verify that you're not a narc?  I don't think Experian or
>>Equifax provides that information.
>
>I don't know, I imagine they expect to lose a runner now and then as
>part of the cost of doing business.

They probably use 14-year-old runners.

Seth
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Seth 10/17/12 1:17 PM
In article <k2atuh$db2$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
Paul Ciszek <nos...@nospam.com> wrote:
>In article <M9xwD...@kithrup.com>,
>Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote:

>>Uh .... FedEx?
>
>After a few "asset forfeitures", FedEx would stop picking up from those
>locations, or dealing with whichever foreign shipping companies were
>forwarding the stuff to FedEx.  Or does the DEA leave businesses alone?

What locations?  I can walk into a FedEx office (some of them, anyway)
and pay cash.

Or mail a package.  Postage stamps are pretty anonymous.

Seth
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Keith F. Lynch 10/17/12 4:57 PM
Seth <se...@panix.com> wrote:
> Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote:
>> Keith F. Lynch <kfl@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>>> How do they verify that you're not a narc?  I don't think Experian
>>> or Equifax provides that information.

>> I don't know, I imagine they expect to lose a runner now and then
>> as part of the cost of doing business.

> They probably use 14-year-old runners.

Again, what keeps the police from pressuring the runner to rat you out?
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Mark Zenier 10/18/12 9:52 AM
Have you bought postage lately?  Last time I went to the automated
kiosk in the post office lobby, the machine doesn't take cash (so they
get your credit card data) and they don't dispense preprinted stamps.
The stamps are printed (in black and white) on the spot, with the local
zip code in text and a block of 2D barcode that contain who knows what.

Mark Zenier  mze...@eskimo.com  
Googleproofaddress(account:mzenier provider:eskimo domain:com)

Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Dan Goodman 10/19/12 11:34 AM
My local supermarkets sell postage stamps.  As does Office Depot.


--
Dan Goodman
Whatever you wish for me, may you have twice as much.
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Keith F. Lynch 10/19/12 6:29 PM
Mark Zenier <mze...@eskimo.com> wrote:
> Seth <se...@panix.com> wrote:
>> Or mail a package.  Postage stamps are pretty anonymous.

> Have you bought postage lately?  Last time I went to the automated
> kiosk in the post office lobby, the machine doesn't take cash (so
> they get your credit card data) and they don't dispense preprinted
> stamps.  The stamps are printed (in black and white) on the spot,
> with the local zip code in text and a block of 2D barcode that
> contain who knows what.

Huh?  You can buy postage stamps almost anywhere.

They never did figure out who sent those anthrax letters.  And they
only caught the Unabomber because his brother turned him in.  So the
USPS is a good way to maintain anonymity.  Just make sure you don't
leave fingerprints or use a mailbox very close to your home.

If I ever find a way to quickly factor numbers, I would send my proof
that I had such a method anonymously via snail mail.  I'd also say
that I would reveal to the world the method in one year, to give
everyone a chance to switch to different methods of encryption, and to
protect myself against the risk of "rubber hose cryptanalysis," both
from governments and from free-lance thugs.  I'd reveal my identity
when revealing the method, unless the government had threatened to
prosecute whoever reveals the method.  In that case I'd anonymously
reveal the method on schedule, but wait until the statute of
limitations ran out before revealing my identity.
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Mark Zenier 10/20/12 12:11 PM
In article <k5suqf$19u$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
Keith F. Lynch <kfl@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>Mark Zenier <mze...@eskimo.com> wrote:
>> Seth <se...@panix.com> wrote:
>>> Or mail a package.  Postage stamps are pretty anonymous.
>
>> Have you bought postage lately?  Last time I went to the automated
>> kiosk in the post office lobby, the machine doesn't take cash (so
>> they get your credit card data) and they don't dispense preprinted
>> stamps.  The stamps are printed (in black and white) on the spot,
>> with the local zip code in text and a block of 2D barcode that
>> contain who knows what.
>
>Huh?  You can buy postage stamps almost anywhere.
>
>They never did figure out who sent those anthrax letters.  And they
>only caught the Unabomber because his brother turned him in.  So the
>USPS is a good way to maintain anonymity.  Just make sure you don't
>leave fingerprints or use a mailbox very close to your home.

And that provides a lot of incentive for the Post Office to buy
"solutions" invented by vendors in the "homeland security" sector.

(A lot of that stuff seems to come from the Virgina tech belt.  The local
newspaper just had an article about a hand held fingerprint scanner
that they're equipping the local sheriff's deputies with, that directly
interfaces to the county's fingerprint matching computer thru bluetooth
and the digital comms in the deputy's car.  From a firm in Virginia).

One of the problems is that the post office vending kiosks were one of
the favorite venues for laundering stolen credit card numbers and PINs.
The dodge was that the front end of the operation was skimming the cards
around the world and the back end was, (probably by another group who
bought the data wholesale off a dark web site), creating mag-stripe cards
with that data.  These were used to buy stamps that were then resold.
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Keith F. Lynch 10/21/12 12:12 PM
Mark Zenier <mze...@eskimo.com> wrote:
> Keith F. Lynch <kfl@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
>> They never did figure out who sent those anthrax letters.  And they
>> only caught the Unabomber because his brother turned him in.  So
>> the USPS is a good way to maintain anonymity.  Just make sure you
>> don't leave fingerprints or use a mailbox very close to your home.

> And that provides a lot of incentive for the Post Office to buy
> "solutions" invented by vendors in the "homeland security" sector.

> (A lot of that stuff seems to come from the Virgina tech belt.  The
> local newspaper just had an article about a hand held fingerprint
> scanner that they're equipping the local sheriff's deputies with,
> that directly interfaces to the county's fingerprint matching
> computer thru bluetooth and the digital comms in the deputy's car.
> From a firm in Virginia).

A hand held fingerprint scanner won't be of any use in tracking the
source of a letter, envelope, or stamp that the sender didn't leave
fingerprints on.

> One of the problems is that the post office vending kiosks were one
> of the favorite venues for laundering stolen credit card numbers
> and PINs.  The dodge was that the front end of the operation was
> skimming the cards around the world and the back end was, (probably
> by another group who bought the data wholesale off a dark web site),
> creating mag-stripe cards with that data.  These were used to buy
> stamps that were then resold.

I don't see how requiring credit cards rather than cash to buy stamps
at a post office vending kiosk would help prevent that at all.  Nor do
I see how that prevents someone from sending anonymous letters so long
as stamps continue to be available elsewhere.
Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Kevrob 10/22/12 5:42 PM
On Oct 21, 3:12 pm, "Keith F. Lynch" <k...@KeithLynch.net> wrote:
> Mark Zenier <mzen...@eskimo.com> wrote:
One could use a prepaid debit card, unless the kiosk required that
such cards have ownership info registered with the issuer.

The company I work for won't process an "unregistered" card: too much
hassle when products are returned, too much fraud risk.

Kevin

Re: Life imitates William Gibson? Keith F. Lynch 10/22/12 6:09 PM
Kevrob <kev...@my-deja.com> wrote:
> One could use a prepaid debit card, unless the kiosk required that
> such cards have ownership info registered with the issuer.

What's that a solution to?  Someone who wants to mail something
anonymously?  As I and other have said, it would be easier to just buy
regular postage stamps from the local grocery store or mall.  The post
office wanting to prevent the use of illegally cloned credit cards at
their kiosks?  I don't see how allowing prepaid debit cards at their
kiosks would help prevent that at all.
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