[Cu-wireless] Wireless as Suspicious Activity

Illustrious niteshad niteshad at linuxmail.org
Wed Feb 26 15:04:14 CST 2003

> On Wed, 26 Feb 2003, Mike Lehman wrote:
> > <http://canada.com/national/story.asp?id=%7B25C5CE8F-6388-46EA-9741-65A7F3593C47%7D>
> >
> > Courtesy of Cryptome.
> I always suspected that Stephane was a threat to Canada -- now I have the
> smoking gun.

While I must admit that Stephane's usual net-stubling attire, a long black woolen coat and black felt Stetson, does lend him a certain, well, cloak & dagger look, I must come to his defense in this McCarthite witch hunt of net-stumblers.  While he _does_ speak French, which may automatically put him on some anglophile CSIS agent's blacklist, he poses no threat whatsoever to Canada's War on Whatever (personal civil liberties, perhaps?)  The reason being is that (heads up CSIS agents, here's the good bit) 802.11B has practical range limitations due to the FCC ERP cap, which for all intents and purposes is one Watt.  If anyone in CU-wireless can do a single point-to-point (i.e. no repeaters or routers between the two end-points) link from CU to _anyplace_ in Canada.  Sault St. Marie or Thunder Bay are probably your best bets, and lots of luck transmitting through all those trees in Wisconsin and/or Michigan.

Speaking of the north country, I do have to object to the unnecessary smearing of duck hunting, as it is a perfectly legal, if licensed and regulated, activity in both the United States and Canada.  Circumventing network security measures for the purposes of unauthorized entry, however, is a crime in both countries.  So is unwarranted surveillance of law abiding citizens, but hey, who's counting?  It's not like the Fourth Amendment really _means_ anything, eh, John Ashcroft?  Not.

On a less Gonzo and more serious note, I'm really getting irritated by the general cluelessness of the press with regards to network security in general and wireless network security in particular.  Run SSH _always_, keep up with the security patches and you won't have any problems; it's that simple.  Oh, you might want to tweak SSH a bit so that it has a longer, more secure key, right now, I'm thinking that 8192 bits ought to do the trick.  (Caveat: this is incredibly long for a public key, but this length has been selected based upon the assumption that the NSA has already secretly implemented means of speeding any search through the RSA key-space.  Personally, and this is merely because I value my privacy, I want to be long dead of natural causes before _anyone_ stumbles across my private key.)

Peace out,


Peace out,

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