[nSLUG] Re: Wikipedia changes/limits protocols?

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Wed Jul 15 03:14:28 ADT 2015

George N. White III wrote:

> If you only encrypt traffic to one site that tells an eavesdropper
> something about your activities.
> If all internet traffic is strongly encrypted that makes it harder
> for eavesdroppers to identify "interesting" traffic.

Hypothetically (I don't bank by net), suppose I only encrypt traffic
to TD Bank.  Anyone who can eavesdrop on my traffic will infer that
such a connection relates to money.  Similar, mutatis mutandis, for,
say, encrypted connection to travel (going to travel
sometime?) or theatre (spending some evening out?) ticket sales.
HTTPS doesn't conceal the destination of packets.

> https also increases the chances that your are connected with the
> real wikipedia rather than some version your government created to
> hide articles they don't like or that they consider to violate some
> rules.

Right.  By all means, *allow* and support HTTPS connections.

> I use the EFF's HTTPS Everywhere browser extension, and have noticed
> an increase in transient glitches.  A paranoid would think either a)
> someone is DOSing https to discourage wider adoption, or b) someone
> doing deep packet inspection and running into resource limits as the
> https traffic volumes increase.

Do you mean, unpacking the IP packets and attempting to decrypt the

Some time ago I posted about a little experiment I did that proved
some entity in an email path was unpacking email, undoing base64
encoding, then re-encoding before delivery.  I'm more paranoid about
email surveillance than web, but perhaps only because I use hardly any
of the Ajax/web 2.0 services.  I keep meaning to beat up gpg RSN but then,
most of my email correspondents are doing well to do email at all,
never mind getting them to implement encryption.

Until I've bitten the bullet and read a lot of hard stuff that I
haven't read, I might have a wholly wrong idea.  I'm inclined to think
that the weak point in the HTTPS business is the certificates (which,
admittedly, I don't understand.)  They're issued by, now, any of a
large number of corporate entities.  Your browser (not *you*, doing
your homework) has to have verification data for current authorized
certs/issuers including revocations.  The issuing entities are
themselves enticing targets; if you penetrate or co-opt them, you get
widespread "authority", not just one individual or transaction.  And
there have been several instances now of fraudulent, penetrated or
attack-vulnerable cert mechanisms. (That's intentional vague because I
forget the details.)  I've read Schneier's *other* book, too, the one
on trust and it wasn't very convincing wrt corporate entities and
government agencies.

What "transient glitches" are you seeing?

- Mike

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

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