Discussion:
USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
(too old to reply)
Roland Perry
2004-10-06 14:44:53 UTC
Permalink
They then invent wild conspiracy theories, in which BT is deliberately
hobbling ADSL for some reason, usually to protect their leased line
business.
If it was only as easy to debunk the "wild conspiracy theories" floating
about regarding the wicked forces of law and order [tm]. It's as clear
to me as what you say about BT (that such theories are nonsense and all
we really have are a lot of people trying to do an honest day's work). A
bit more difficult to express in terms of amps and volts, though.
--
Roland Perry
Roland Perry
2004-10-06 14:39:50 UTC
Permalink
The real issue is that we can never envisage what bandwidth is needed
for the next generation of (unknown) services so the bandwidth is never
available at the start of the market.
Up to a point. The stuff I was working on in 1998 very clearly envisaged
how much bandwidth was required (about 1MBit a user), and the only
available solution, had we persevered, was IP over DVB.
--
Roland Perry
Brian Morrison
2004-10-06 15:14:22 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 6 Oct 2004 15:39:50 +0100 in
Post by Roland Perry
The real issue is that we can never envisage what bandwidth is needed
for the next generation of (unknown) services so the bandwidth is
never available at the start of the market.
Up to a point. The stuff I was working on in 1998 very clearly
envisaged how much bandwidth was required (about 1MBit a user), and
the only available solution, had we persevered, was IP over DVB.
The application you had was operating within the achievable bandwidth
for the era though. I was really referring to the interplay between what
is needed for a given task and whether anyone will develop a technology
when the infrastructure to support it is not widespread.

There are no easy answers of course, but it looks to me to make sense to
put in fibre to the home on new built properties even if the ends of
that cable are unterminated now. At least then there is a high bandwidth
local loop in place at the cost of a length of cable, because a lot of
the cost comes in digging things up. And the downside is that if it is
never used then the loss of cash on this investment is fairly small.
--
Brian Morrison

bdm at fenrir dot org dot uk

GnuPG key ID DE32E5C5 - http://wwwkeys.uk.pgp.net/pgpnet/wwwkeys.html
Roland Perry
2004-10-06 15:23:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Morrison
Post by Roland Perry
The real issue is that we can never envisage what bandwidth is needed
for the next generation of (unknown) services so the bandwidth is
never available at the start of the market.
Up to a point. The stuff I was working on in 1998 very clearly
envisaged how much bandwidth was required (about 1MBit a user), and
the only available solution, had we persevered, was IP over DVB.
The application you had was operating within the achievable bandwidth
for the era though.
Only by doing daft things like renting whole satellite transponders. It
was significantly outside the capability of narrowband, which was pretty
much all that was available at a mass market price.
Post by Brian Morrison
I was really referring to the interplay between what
is needed for a given task and whether anyone will develop a technology
when the infrastructure to support it is not widespread.
Well, my then employers came unstuck developing their bit of the product
mix, when the infrastructure to deliver it wasn't widespread :-(
Post by Brian Morrison
There are no easy answers of course, but it looks to me to make sense to
put in fibre to the home on new built properties even if the ends of
that cable are unterminated now. At least then there is a high bandwidth
local loop in place at the cost of a length of cable, because a lot of
the cost comes in digging things up. And the downside is that if it is
never used then the loss of cash on this investment is fairly small.
All new developments I've seen for at least 5 years have had "drainpipe"
sized conduit for BT and cable TV to every front door.
--
Roland Perry
Brian Morrison
2004-10-06 14:53:20 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 6 Oct 2004 11:56:02 +0100 in
available at the start of the market. Many places are leapfrogging
to higher local bandwidths (I think backhaul is easier in general,
it just
Local is the key word. Just because one block of flats in a country
has an STM-16 to every lavatory doesn't mean that rural paddy fields
are so equipped.
Indeed not, but how to predict whether said paddy fields will need 10x
that bandwidth in a decade or two?
--
Brian Morrison

bdm at fenrir dot org dot uk

GnuPG key ID DE32E5C5 - http://wwwkeys.uk.pgp.net/pgpnet/wwwkeys.html
Brian Gladman
2004-10-06 14:53:55 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 06 October 2004 00:03
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
[snip]
You are living in the past if you think that the functionality of modern
hardware is fundamentally more controllable than software.
You tilt at the wrong windmill. Technical capabilities can take
functionality where it will. Law constrains the commercial
production of,
trade in and sometimes the application of many if not most
artefacts. This
is, I think, beyond dispute.
About the most that can be said here is that the law is often used in
attempts to constrain trade. In practice however the human instinct to
trade is so strong that this is rarely fully successful and is very
often a complete failure. The drugs trade is just one example of this.
And that is why the regulation of trade is far more successful than outright
prohibition, I'd guess that the increase in success in in some direct ratio
to the common with for any specific item.
I am afraid not - many trade regulations are not worth the paper they
are written on and are very widely flouted. Moreover the very
governments who are supposed to police these regulations are frequently
very well aware that they are being breached and simply turn a blind eye
to this.

I was involved in conducting a survey during the 1990s of the extent to
which different countries enforced the then in force regulations on
cryptographic export. It turned out that there were a vary large number
of companies and countries who did not pay even the slightest regard to
these regulations. And when the evidence for this was presented to the
governments concerned - including the UK government - not even a single
prosecution followed.

Trade regulations are, in general, only succesful when the important
producer and consumer nations involved believe in them. Trade
regulations that are designed to control the export of non-military
cryptography are a complete farce precisely because those nations who
are their strongest advocates are very well known for their complete
duplicity in seeking such constraints.
And it is regulation one is considering here and not prohibition (other than
is a particularly narrow sense).
At very best laws only constrain trade when (a) there is worldwide
agreement among producer and/or consumer countries on the law (or laws)
in question, and (b) these countries all implement and apply any such
law(s) with the same degree of determination and success.
You might think so but there in no universal truth there. From personal
knowledge, the French exercise some particular controls on certain items
through a licencing system. Of course, the control is not complete but by
observation, it *is* largely effective.
I suspect that the French are worst than most countries when it comes to
the selective application of international trade laws. No doubt there
are regulations that they see as in their national interests and in
which they invest policing effort.

That one country has some success with a few selected trade regulations
in which they have a national interest does nothing to change my view of
the ineffectiveness of any such regulations that might seek to control
the export of low end commercial routers that contain cryptography.

I will leave you to wallow in this quagmire as I don't have even the
slightest concern about it having any impact whatsoever on the sort of
encrypted P2P services that I envisage. I would be amused and truly
delighted were the UK government to decide that this is a way of
rescuing RIPA.

[snip]
I would not claim that this thinking is original. Whether or not router
licencing coupled with a national regulation of some aspects of their design
comes to pass we shall find out in due course. You say you find such an idea
impossible. Me, well, I'd say it was odds-on. Of course regulations can be
flouted but not noticeably and within a legitimate mass market; it just does
not happen.
This is only true in the sense of a defintion.

Brian Gladman
Owen Lewis
2004-10-06 15:20:33 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 06 October 2004 15:54
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 06 October 2004 00:03
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
..... Whether or not router
licencing coupled with a national regulation of some aspects of
their design
comes to pass we shall find out in due course. You say you find
such an idea
impossible. Me, well, I'd say it was odds-on. Of course
regulations can be
flouted but not noticeably and within a legitimate mass market;
it just does
not happen.
This is only true in the sense of a definition.
Then we shall see in due course, shall we not?

Owen
Roland Perry
2004-10-06 14:53:21 UTC
Permalink
The Commissioner's report does specify the number of warrants (which are
in effect one per person). It's an exercise for the reader to estimate
whether or not crooks make more calls per day than non-crooks.
That does not tell the whole story though.
It tells you how many people's letters/phones are intercepted in a year,
and how many at one point in a year (from which you can estimate churn).
Also the average number of times these people change from one address or
phone number to another, requiring a modification to the warrant.

It doesn't say how many people have their letters *or* phones
intercepted, rather than letters *and* phones.
The many changes made with RIP all make it more difficult to work out
what is going on from such figures. I don't believe this was an
accident.
From what I see, it is regretted (not celebrated) that the number of
warrants for all types of communication have been merged.
--
Roland Perry
Ian Johnson
2004-10-06 14:59:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
They then invent wild conspiracy theories, in which BT is deliberately
hobbling ADSL for some reason, usually to protect their leased line
business.
If it was only as easy to debunk the "wild conspiracy theories" floating
about regarding the wicked forces of law and order [tm]. It's as clear
to me as what you say about BT (that such theories are nonsense and all
we really have are a lot of people trying to do an honest day's work).
Sorry Roland, but we have a history of serious abuse of Police powers in
this country which hardly ever are prosecuted. Whether it was the
Birmingham 6, Criminal behaviour during the miners strike or shooting
naked unarmed men in their bedrooms. I could go on for ever :) The
evidence of the abuse of powers is widespread, the evidence of the lack
of prosecutions is also widespread.

What we have with interception powers etc., is the above people doing
something without public scrutiny. We know they're quite happy to abuse
the public and break the law when subject to scrutiny, why should anyone
believe they suddenly develop morals when no longer in the public view?

regards

Ian
Roland Perry
2004-10-06 15:15:10 UTC
Permalink
In article <1097074743.6410.8.camel-***@public.gmane.org>, Ian Johnson
<Ian.Johnson-yseewfJ6skFaa/***@public.gmane.org> writes:

... repeating some of the long standing conspiracy theories...
Post by Ian Johnson
Sorry Roland, but we have a history of serious abuse of Police powers in
this country which hardly ever are prosecuted. Whether it was the
Birmingham 6, Criminal behaviour during the miners strike or shooting
naked unarmed men in their bedrooms. I could go on for ever :) The
evidence of the abuse of powers is widespread, the evidence of the lack
of prosecutions is also widespread.
And I have as long a list of cock-ups by BT. The misdeeds and mistakes
of a few say nothing of the long term "corporate" integrity. I agree
that a bit more publicity regarding the fate of the few wouldn't go
amiss, though.
--
Roland Perry
Ian Johnson
2004-10-06 15:33:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
... repeating some of the long standing conspiracy theories...
So which aren't accurate?
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Ian Johnson
Sorry Roland, but we have a history of serious abuse of Police powers in
this country which hardly ever are prosecuted. Whether it was the
Birmingham 6, Criminal behaviour during the miners strike or shooting
naked unarmed men in their bedrooms. I could go on for ever :) The
evidence of the abuse of powers is widespread, the evidence of the lack
of prosecutions is also widespread.
And I have as long a list of cock-ups by BT.
Which is not quite the same. I don't believe BT would get away with
pepper spraying a pensioner in a car...
Post by Roland Perry
The misdeeds and mistakes
of a few say nothing of the long term "corporate" integrity. I agree
that a bit more publicity regarding the fate of the few wouldn't go
amiss, though.
The misdeeds of the many seem to be supported by the "corporate" entity.

regards,

Ian
Roland Perry
2004-10-06 15:04:32 UTC
Permalink
Both can of course be steered by suitable happenings, whether they are
"real" or "made up".
Sadly, the difference between the two is no longer as great as it once was I
think. These days what matters is not what may be real or true but what is
widely reported and editorialised - and what is not.
Is Ken Bigley's plight real, or made up?

If there was a policeman who asked the British public "I have this
button here that I can press to intercept the kidnappers' phone, from
which we'll be able to work out where they are, and have the SAS round
there in half an hour. Should I press it, or should I respect the
kidnappers' privacy?

What do you think the vote would look like?
--
Roland Perry
Owen Lewis
2004-10-06 15:40:49 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 06 October 2004 16:05
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
Both can of course be steered by suitable happenings, whether they are
"real" or "made up".
Sadly, the difference between the two is no longer as great as
it once was I
think. These days what matters is not what may be real or true
but what is
widely reported and editorialised - and what is not.
Is Ken Bigley's plight real, or made up?
That's actually a much bigger question than you may have intended.

His abduction is certain and it is a tragedy for him and his family. The
widespread and almost salacious reportage of his fear for his life, his
pleadings and of the details of his probable fate, this can only serve the
interests of those who abducted him - like meat to market - and those who
hold and terrorise him as an exercise in banditry and the abuse of power and
make the more likely that others will tread the same horrid path as he.

No possible good end is served by the titillation of the daily reportage and
editorialisation.
If there was a policeman who asked the British public "I have this
button here that I can press to intercept the kidnappers' phone, from
which we'll be able to work out where they are, and have the SAS round
there in half an hour. Should I press it, or should I respect the
kidnappers' privacy?
If you think that question need to be asked, you are asking it of the wrong
man :-)
What do you think the vote would look like?
I think that, on this occasion, one could expect a result by acclamation
with no need for a count. Which is why LI access is here to stay.

Owen
Owen Lewis
2004-10-06 15:10:28 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 06 October 2004 13:21
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
C'mon.
Hardware can be well regulated. A part of that regulation can be
to require
design such that firmware can only be updated/changed
successfully without
disturbing or overriding certain embedded protocols required by the
regulations.
C'mon, yourself.
You propose banning the shipment of General Purpose Computing Devices?
No.
Or limiting PCs to a single ethenet port and banning the sale of
ethernet cards?
No.
If the special purpose hardware is restricted, then it will
lose its market immediately to small PC running a full blown, if
stripped down, OS.
(You can get a 3 ethernet port PC compatible board for perhaps
EUR 120-200;
possibly including a PCMCIA/Cardbus or PCI slot; it will run several
different Unix variants)
You are effectively proposing a ban on specific capabilities in software;
capabilities which now exist in all OSes I am familiar with (Windows,
Solaris, Linux, *BSD).
I think you chase a different point. Mine was that if this govt wishes to
licence and tax internet connection it can make it law to do so. If it
wishes to licence and regulate routers used in this country on private
networks it can do so (though that is harder to police - but is more
amenable to the employment of auxiliary lawful eavesdropping techniques).

Our ruling clique is sovereign in all, except that it cannot bind its
successors. Technology has little to do with it. If such a law is passed (or
more properly is one term of some portmanteau Act), the main manufacturers
and ISPs will comply and therefore, de facto, so will most users here. That
there will be a minority who will choose to disobey is to be expected - but
this happens in respect of all our laws and does not thereby remove the
desirability of many of our laws.

The concern here will be, I believe, to ensure, in the most cost effective
way and to a cost effective level, that electronic communications can be
intercepted and read where that is authorised by lawful process. This does
not require the 'banning' of anything but a process of licencing and
regulation which, admittedly will never be completely effective but will
leave those acting outside the law in risk of attracting attention to
themselves.

Owen
Brian Gladman
2004-10-06 15:22:30 UTC
Permalink
Owen Lewis wrote:

[snip]
Post by Owen Lewis
Our ruling clique is sovereign in all, except that it cannot bind its
successors.
Not always so. In the end even they are subservient to the will of the
people when a sufficient number of citizens are prepared to disobey any
law that they pass.

This was the way the Poll Tax was removed - and this was not the first
time that this sort of thing has happened.

[snip]
Brian Gladman
Roland Perry
2004-10-06 15:29:11 UTC
Permalink
In the end even they are subservient to the will of the people when a
sufficient number of citizens are prepared to disobey any law that they
pass.
This was the way the Poll Tax was removed - and this was not the first
time that this sort of thing has happened.
Poll Tax was special because disobedience hit revenue collection
head-on. "Something" had to be done. As illegal foxhunting doesn't
sabotage a major revenue stream, don't expect that law to be repealed
any time soon, whatever public opinion thinks.
--
Roland Perry
Owen Lewis
2004-10-06 15:40:50 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Sent: 06 October 2004 16:23
Subject: Re: USA ID card for federal employees and contractors
[snip]
Post by Owen Lewis
Our ruling clique is sovereign in all, except that it cannot bind its
successors.
Not always so. In the end even they are subservient to the will of the
people when a sufficient number of citizens are prepared to disobey any
law that they pass.
This was the way the Poll Tax was removed - and this was not the first
time that this sort of thing has happened.
Nor will it be the last.

I asked you how you rated the chances of the Countryside Alliance with about
1M supporter in getting the Hunting with Dogs Act repealed. You never
answered :-)

Owen
Peter Tomlinson
2004-10-06 15:18:21 UTC
Permalink
So for ADSL, everyone has to have the same upstream allocation. As
512/256 is a reasonable split for most users, that's what you get.
Those of us on standard spec Telewest cable have a 768/128 split. What
thinks the experts about using VoIP (Skype) over that?

Peter
Roland Perry
2004-10-06 15:25:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Tomlinson
Those of us on standard spec Telewest cable have a 768/128 split. What
thinks the experts about using VoIP (Skype) over that?
I had 1.5MB/128k ADSL when I was in the USA recently, and Skype to the
UK was fine.
--
Roland Perry
Roland Perry
2004-10-06 14:23:19 UTC
Permalink
As I said at the start, such a data grab should have been authorised
by the Home Secretary or Prime Minister in my view. So far you have
not provided any information that it was.
To do so would be inappropriate in a public forum.
And there I was thinking that high office of that nature should require
that such information *is* placed where the public can verify the
identity of the people that are taking decisions and exercising powers
legislated on their behalf.
A rather naive view. The relevant cabinet papers will no doubt be
available on the usual timescales.
--
Roland Perry
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