1. 50
  1.  

  2. 15

    The secure option when crossing unfriendly borders is to carry wiped devices and download your (encrypted) data once you’ve arrived at your destination. It sounds impractical but considering that all phone contents can be backed up and restored from iCloud/Google, and that most productivity can happen in the cloud or on remote systems, it’s quite feasible.

    1. 8

      Sorry this happened. As a US resident, I didn’t realize how crazy it can be entering or leaving the United States until I did so for the first time. The US was by far the hardest country to get into for me (even though I’m a citizen). It’s a shame that interactions with customs is such a mixed bag, and I worry that it is actually going to get worse for the time being.

      1. 3

        I cross the border every single day (not a citizen), and have only ever been brought in once. But I also don’t do anything that would be considered suspicious by anyone.?

        1. 11

          “I don’t mind <blank> because I have nothing to hide” is a slippery slope.

          1. 6

            I don’t think that @zzing is making that argument.

      2. 6

        Does anyone have the TL;DR on this Vincent Canfield guy? Sounds like he’s be the center of a scandal or two, but everything he’s worked on looks NSFW to click-through (e.g. cock.li).

        1. 11

          He made cock.li, email host with offensive joke domain names. It got pretty popular, and people used it for illegal stuff. (Hoax bomb threats, etc) He responded to several subpoenas, but then the German police came and took one of the drives out of his RAID1. He was quite upset about this (they just siezed everyone’s emails and his ISP, Hetzner, had let them do it) but he was considerably more upset when they came back and seized the second drive, leaving him without a copy of his users' email.

          Now cock.li is hosted with Flokinet, vc moved to Romania and his income comes from CockBox, a VPS hosting platform that he runs.

          1. 4

            He responded to several subpoenas

            Yeah, well, with insults.

            1. 2

              Thank you! I feel much more informed now ?

              1. 2

                Hmm I kinda want a CockBox now…

                1. 2

                  Go for it, you get a nice box with personal support and no problems (afaik) with hosting anything as long as it’s legal in Romania. vc himself runs a few tor exits there.

                  Oh, and the AS name is “PHALLIC INDUSTRIES”

              2. 3

                He has an email host site but didn’t want to kowtow to the mighty USA when they asked him for data. Needless to say, they obviously put him on some kind of blacklist and so they will now make his life as difficult as possible, and the border is one such place where they could do it because of the border exemption on personal rights that would otherwise be protected within the USA.

              3. 7

                This really makes me not want to come to US for any reason at all. Why does your country have such an unfriendly policy towards security researchers and liberal activists? Every time I read an article like this you seem more and more like a third world country under a dictator rather than a civilized republic.

                1. 7

                  In case you were looking for a real answer to your “why” question: I would guess it’s the enormous concentrations of capital which are based here, as well as the most powerful military and intelligence operations in the world, all of which grow out of the circumstances at the end of WWII. Those concentrations of power have a corrupting effect on society, reducing organized labor and other grassroots political organizations and bending the political milieu because of our self-appointed status as the world’s police. These forces applied over decades result in more of a consumer culture, more sensationalized media, more corrupt politicians, and customs fuckery like you see here.

                  1. 2

                    Thanks for an honest answer. I have been more trolling than actually asking, as you have correctly guessed.

                    I am not sure about the reasons you have listed, though. I live in central Europe and media here look pretty sensationalist to me, party currently governing Prague have just spent $2.000.000 on accounting software (20% of that on unspecified integration works with no source code) so I guess the politicians here are not clean either. No customs fuckery to be seen, though.

                    The trend can be seen everywhere in the western world and it, true, mostly started in the US. I have no idea why is it so hard for the world to converge on openness. But then I look back home and see how few people are actually working towards it. Thanks for any effort on that front. And for your positive approach.

                    1. 2

                      I have no idea why is it so hard for the world to converge on openness.

                      What do you mean by this? Open borders?

                      1. 6

                        I mean in general. We have invented speech, writing, libraries, money, patents, print, internet and people still do not understand the benefits of collaboration and sharing knowledge. US want to go to a trade war with China, UK left the EU and both EU and US still run the Indian patent racket…

                        Everyone is protectionist while we should be working on a global carbon accounting instead. And maybe even start with water accounting, since we are going to run out on several places and people are going to move elsewhere. Nobody wants to talk about that, since it means a lot of work and some structural changes.

                        (Global warming will negatively affect our water supply. European conservatives who do not believe in the global warming will be unpleasantly surprised by all the Arabs who will move north just because they won’t have enough water.)

                        Open borders… We need open minds. And to agree that we are all in this together. Not a feeling that everyone coming into our country wants to bomb us to death or turn off our power plants using their Kindle.

                        – Sorry for the rant.

                  2. 2

                    like a third world country under a dictator rather than a civilized republic

                    I mean, you’re not far from the truth depending on which part of the US you’re talking about.

                    “If it were a nation state, North Carolina would rank right in the middle of the global league table—a deeply flawed, partly-free, democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world”

                    source: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article122593759.html

                    1. 1

                      Is this for real? I always thought the states were all pretty much integrated. Is this about periphery vs. large cities, or really about the states as such?

                      1. 5

                        The conservatives lobby for having strong autonomy for states. The more conservative the state, the more they can get away with. For example: Louisiana’s prisons are privatized, and most are owned by sheriffs, which is an inherent conflict of interest. This would never fly in more liberal states like New York or California.

                        Also politicians can win with a minority vote through a process called “gerrymandering”. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/01/this-is-the-best-explanation-of-gerrymandering-you-will-ever-see/?utm_term=.268c3f366446

                        1. 1

                          Is a sheriff owning a prison that different from the state owning it, considering it’s the state who decides who goes in there?

                          1. 3

                            State has no income from prison. Also, there are no no bonuses for higher inmate count, I guess?

                            1. 1

                              Which is less relevant because the sheriff can’t arbitrarily toss people in to make a bonus. They have to be found guilty first.

                              The state will make enough income in taxes to pay for this so even that’s not comparable. If need be, costs will be cut to the detriment of the inmates and/or taxes raised.

                        2. 4

                          Individual states have vast differences in culture and in how they’re doing economically (see Wikipedia’s list of their respective GDPs). There’s been a longstanding tendency to ignore bad parts of culture, even within the US. I don’t want to mention that without also mentioning that there’s a corresponding tendency to pretend that all bad things about US culture are in certain regions, which is also untrue.

                          Separately, cities and rural areas also have such differences.

                          North Carolina is a swing state - one which is “in play” for national elections - due to having a more dramatically heterogenous mix of cultures than most states.

                          With all that said, I’m certain that few residents of North Carolina agree with this article. I have seen it before and do believe it makes valid points.

                          1. 3

                            Most people would call that perspective sensationalist, though not entirely off-base. The federal government provides certain legal “guarantees” (most of which require a lawyer to enforce, which requires a lot of money and time; but in practice, they’re rarely violated) and a great deal of money, so North Carolina is not actually a failing, poverty-stricken police state. However, a lot of stuff (relevant here are things like medicaid spending, welfare spending, infrastructure priorities, education policy) is handled by the states, and so wealth (or more accurately, lack thereof) and baseline quality of living varies a great deal state-to-state, even between states with similar levels of urbanization. Oklahoma, for instance, recently came entirely under the control of the GOP, which slashed spending and social services and (to the surprise of absolutely nobody with any education on the topic) consequently tanked their own economy.

                            The rural/urban divide is an entirely separate issue, present in nearly every state. It may be exacerbated by the policies of any given state, but it’s always there.