Archangel / May 15, 2014 / Personal / 0 Comments

I’m so out of my mind angry

The government wants access to private SSL keys.

For those of you who aren’t technical, please allow me to explain what this means. SSL and TLS are the basis for nearly all secured internet communications. Log into your bank? You used SSL. Buy a sexy toy from You used SSL. Log into Facebook to change your password? You used SSL. Rent a book online from your local library? You used SSL. Hell… google secures their searches with SSL. You can default all your Facebook, twitter, MySpace and virtually every other popular social network or experience with SSL. SSL hides your information from prying eyes. It keeps people who can see your traffic from being able to understand it.

With the private SSL certificate signing keys, the NSA/U.S. Government can do a couple things:
1.) If they have a system in place to intercept your traffic… something called PRISM perhaps… they wouldn’t need the cooperation of any corporation, their network or their server administrators to get, log, and monitor your information and traffic. They’d just need a data center, say in Utah, that has the computing power to analyze the traffic and trap and store salient information. For what its worth… they could also trap every password change ever made for what ever purpose they want.
2.) Since SSL is based on key signing authorities and public key cryptography, if the government gets access to the private key of an issuing authority (aka Root authorities/certificates), they could easily generate their own keys and completely impersonate a company or operate as a man in the middle. This is particularly important because if they have access to someone who signed the certificates for a company that refused to give the NSA access… they just need to impersonate the certificates and voila!

Mind you… I’m not using hyperbole. I used to do certificate authentication for IKE tunnels for IPSec VPN and tunnel encryption and authorization for SSL VPN for a living and some of these things were part of my test cases.

GET ANGRY. I’m normally happy enough that someone cares enough to click like on Facebook… but that simply not good enough now. The government wants every post, every purchase, every IM, every email, everything you do to be private between you, the person you sent it to, and them! AYFKM! GET ANGRY! DO SOMETHING! Post your own anger. Tell your other friends and everyone you know that apathy is not an option. The government can find something wrong with every person in this country. They’ve made an impossible web of contradictory laws and regulations and you are guaranteed to have done something illegal! GET ANGRY!


I completely forgot the reason I wanted to post here instead of Facebook.

I’m thinking now is the time to begin an actual campaign to vote against and replace every incumbent, period. I don’t care if we’re replacing Republicans with Democrats or Libertarians with Socialists. I vehemently believe its time that we inform our legislature and executives, in the most obvious and painful way that we peacefully can, that the government works for us. Works on our whim and that our rights are not a negotiating point or a campaign strategy.

Anyone out there willing to try this? Anyone willing to figure out what it takes to change the government? To put your money into a cause and push blindly until you’re done?

Archangel / July 25, 2013 / Personal, Political / 0 Comments

What to think?

I’ve had a very hard time over the last 4-5 days with this whole spying thing. I’m angry… damn angry… but what makes me angriest isn’t what you might expect.

For those that are angry at the phone taping and the data mining… don’t be angry at Obama… or at least don’t direct your anger solely at him. Multiple Senators and Congressmen have come out saying that the full Senate was briefed on these programs and various Congressional committees. If people like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz knew about this… these people who claim to be champions of civil rights and defenders of the Constitution… if they were briefed on this as the reports say… where the hell is their outrage? Not just today, but from the moment they learned about the programs? IT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO SAY “IT’S CLASSIFIED”. If you believe at your core that something is unconstitutional, you betray everything you’ve ever said about that document, everything you’ve ever said about civil liberties by remaining silent. I want to go to jail about as much as the next guy… but this is far more important than getting the AG to say that the president doesn’t have the power to drone Joe Blow at Starbucks.

For those that aren’t angry at what the government is doing… I think I’m more angry at you. “Meh”… “Doesn’t bother me”…. “I’ve got nothing to hide”… The total lack of any depth of thought is breath taking. Let me give you a premise from which all of my political thoughts stem: Our government is not, has never been and will never be an altruistic entity the exists solely to serve the well being and best interests of The People. Our government was created as an adversarial system where various people try to get everything they want and in the process are forced to compromise and hopefully end up in the happy middle. The state we are in is not a happy middle. The federal government has stripped away any facade of transparency and service to The People and left The People with exactly zero privacy. We haven’t, apparently, just sacrificed just “a little bit” of freedom for a little bit of security, we’ve sacrificed just about all of our freedom for nearly no security. For those who aren’t angry, I understand why the Second Amendment might not matter to you, but the Fourth Amendment exists to protect the innocent far more than it does the guilty. Without it, the government can merely use suspicion as justification for arrest and search. Without it, rules of evidence fall away and the burden of proof falls to the innocent instead of the prosecution. But then… you’ve got “nothing to hide”.

A poem written by Martin Niemöller over a century ago:

First they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

If you won’t defend me today… there may be no one to defend you tomorrow. Rights aren’t things. They’re not a default existence. You don’t have a right because you say you do and you don’t have a right because I say you do. Rights are rights only as long as you are willing to defend them. My next question is a bit extreme, and I don’t mean to imply the situation is dire and the “guberment is comin’ for me”, I mean it as way to think about the future and what it COULD bring: What are you willing to die for? Will you cower in fear when all rights are gone or will you die for freedom defending your, your family’s and my right to a righteous existence free of suspicion and fear?

Archangel / June 11, 2013 / Personal / 5 Comments

Archangel / May 22, 2013 / Personal / 0 Comments

Letters to the government

I swear… I really wanted my last post to be the last on this topic… but then I got my city newspaper this morning.

The top headline this morning: Morrisville mayor asks retailer to halt some gun sales. This was a request, an open letter actually, and had no force of law. It seems both Morrisville and Cary recognize that their options are pretty much nil so my outrage is fairly blunted, but still, this had me seeing red for a couple minutes. So, I did my civic duty.

Here is a letter to the newspaper which is apparently going to be included as a letter to the editor in an upcoming print:

Mayor Holcombe,

In regard to your open letter to Gander Mountain, you recently mentioned we need to “look at what the Second Amendment means and what it was intended to do.” The Second Amendment was written to be the last source of power the American people have to force our will upon our government. You seem to want to have a discussion on how to avoid or eliminate the Second Amendment, and I find that horribly inappropriate. We must find the reasons for these tragedies and deal with the issues that cause them. Finding ways, even by simple request, to limit the rights of Americans is a solution in search of a problem and will do nothing to lessen the scope, number, or impact these tragedies have.

And a full letter I’ve written directly to the mayor:

Mayor Holcombe,

As a resident of Morrisville, I am deeply concerned by your open letter to Gander Mountain and your comments on it. Two items in particular are very concerning to me.

First, you mentioned, “People have said they feel so unsafe when I see how packed the parking lot is at Gander Mountain,” as if that should be a point of concern for anyone. People don’t have the right to feel safe by what ever measure they choose. They have the right to be safe in their person. Just because someone feels unsafe, doesn’t mean they are, and it certainly doesn’t mean something must be done to make them feel better.

Second, and more seriously, you said, “We need to look at what the Second Amendment means and what it was intended to do.” The second amendment, was written with the expressed purpose of being the last resort for Americans to force their will on the government. We may live in a democratic republic, but we don’t get to choose who runs for office and we’re not allowed to leave an office empty if no candidate is worthy of our votes. There may come a day when our government no longer serves us and the second amendment is the only measure we have to protect ourselves. Any government office at any level attempting to have a discussion on what limits are appropriate and what they can do to curb the rights of Americans for the “public good” is tantamount to saying we have no rights and the only protection Americans have against the government is the government itself.

I beg you to reconsider your position. We, as a society, must stop blaming to the tools that people use to harm others and instead get at the root of the problem. Without addressing the emotional issues that cause people to commit mass murders, we will always have them no matter what tools are available. First and foremost, we must stop the 24hour multi-day news cycle that follows any atrocity. All we do when we give these events publicity is validate the emotional need for recognition and show these deranged people how to become infamous. Worse, it seems we’re doing everything we can to scare the public every time something like Sandy Hook happens, which may in itself be a means to an end.

Thank you for reading

I’ll post back any replies or hate mail I get 🙂

Also, for good measure, here is a letter I sent to my federal and state representatives some time ago:

Statistics the world over have shown that specific weapon bans and even magazine capacity bans have a negligible effect on gun violence. Our own country has shown that, even while gun laws are becoming more forgiving, violent crime and even gun crime is down by massive amounts over the last 10 years and especially the last 50 years.

History also shows what happens when a government slowly erodes the individual’s right to own and use firearms. I don’t believe for a second any of my representatives are bent on totalitarian rule, but I do believe it is imperative to protect my right to defend myself, my family, and my country should the need arise against all enemies with the most effective tools available.

I beg you to reject any and all legislation limiting the weapons and rights that a law abiding citizen has and can use. I implore you to recognize any law requiring me to register myself and my firearms with any government entity as a violation of my 1st and 2nd Amendment rights and a future violation of my 4th Amendment rights. Instead, I ask you to consider the following measures which have a possibility of helping to actually prevent future crime:
– Define federal minimums for background checking to own firearms.
– Remove all “gun free zones” from law for conceal carry permit holders whose states meet minimum background check requirements.
– Make it illegal for anyone not licensed/permitted to conceal carry in a state meeting federal minimums for background checking to cross state lines with a loaded/unsafe weapon.
– Require anyone buying or transferring a weapon privately or commercially to undergo minimum background checking.
– Require all weapons in a home where a person may not legally own a weapon (underage, felon, etc) to be rendered inaccessible/inoperable while not in possession of a person who can legally own a weapon.

Obviously… I won’t promise this to be my last post on the topic again… but I do promise I’m done being angry about it, or at least done posting angry stuff.

Archangel / January 9, 2013 / Personal / 1 Comment

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