Questions tagged [government]

A group of people that governs a community or unit.

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161
votes
8answers
28k views

What are the implications of NSA surveillance on the average internet user?

It would appear as though the tinfoil hat-wearing were vindicated today, as news broke of the true scale of the U.S. government's surveillance of its citizens' online activities, conducted primarily ...
115
votes
4answers
20k views

How would a resourceful government block Tor?

I came across this article saying that after the November 2015 Paris attacks, some French police officers proposed to ban Tor. Tor is used to circumvent censorship! What security techniques would ...
60
votes
4answers
9k views

Is there a way to make sure my government does not swap out SSL certificates?

I was recently wondering whether there exists a way to make sure my government is not swapping out SSL certificates in order to intercept the traffic. I know almost all browsers are complaining in ...
58
votes
13answers
27k views

Why not use a national ID as username for every website?

Everyday we visit many websites, including our university's website, maybe Google, Yahoo, etc. But on each of them, we have a unique username, while each person in a country can have a "national code" ...
56
votes
17answers
4k views

Can we still provide confidentiality when cryptography is outlawed?

In certain jurisdictions, use of cryptography by the private sector is limited: e.g. there are reports that in the UAE and other countries not all of the encryption capabilities of the BlackBerry are ...
54
votes
2answers
10k views

How do US government agencies open their email attachments?

I suppose the FBI receives email with attachments, like any other government agency: documents, resumes/CVs, etc. I also suppose they are very careful not to get infected, more than the average user, ...
50
votes
3answers
5k views

Why would the government collect Wi-Fi SSIDs via manual door-to-door questioning of citizens?

I live in a country with little freedom on the Internet (not as strict as in China, but some sites, particularly anti-government sites are inaccessible without a VPN). Recently the government just ...
31
votes
1answer
1k views

Any known cases of government backdoors creating exploitable security holes? [closed]

As the Apple v FBI battle unfolds, government backdoors will become a hot topic. As background to that, I have two questions: Are there any known cases where governments have forced tech companies to ...
30
votes
4answers
5k views

NSA Suite A Cryptography: Security through obscurity?

What is the opinion of scholars, cryptographers on NSA Suite A? Containing unpublished algorithms. Could it really be that much better than the published algorithms besides being obscure and not ...
29
votes
7answers
2k views

Protecting critical state infrastructure from the aftermath of a nuclear blast

Countries rely on computer infrastructure for a huge percentage of communications and military management, as well as utilities like electricity. Unfortunately, nuclear attacks release massive ...
24
votes
7answers
8k views

A government agency sent our website admin an email that our website had been defaced

We got an official email saying that our website had been hacked. They cited the URL to use to see the new suspicious file that had been dropped in our web root folder (s.htm). Just some text about a "...
22
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the best way to respond to phishing emails sent from a government domain?

In the past day or so, I've received two emails from different .gov addresses that purport to be from Intuit and encourage me to click on a link to "restore access to your QuickBooks account." They ...
21
votes
6answers
13k views

Why does the government/military not use special operating systems?

Why does military and government not use special operating systems? I mean, if they do not use generic operating system based on Windows, Linux and Mac and create their own operating system, they will ...
19
votes
4answers
5k views

Is strategic cyber-warfare feasible today?

Cyber attacks that target a nation's infrastructure are a documented fact and as such a danger that political and military leadership across the world needs to worry about and act proactively. These ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Online Government Elections System - Is it possible?

I am from Bulgaria and currently some groups here are promoting the idea of referendum among the people, about the possibility for establishing a system for ONLINE GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS. The idea is ...
15
votes
5answers
700 views

How can citizens prevent government-led Internet blackouts?

The United Nations now considers Internet access a basic human right. [PDF] Despite the questionable effectiveness of Internet blackouts in silencing a populace and preventing uprisings1, it's ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Why would an organization like the DoD prefer to use its own Root Certificate(s)?

While browsing some US military and governmental sites, I noticed their HTTPS connection to rely on DoD Root Certificates. As most of us know, web browsers are pre-loaded with a default set of root ...
13
votes
5answers
815 views

What steps should one take to provide “reasonable” levels of privacy from a government?

I'm highly uncomfortable with the recent news surrounding government snooping in the UK. If we define a typical user to mean somebody who: Browses web sites such as BBC News and Stack Overflow Uses "...
13
votes
2answers
465 views

Let's Encrypt is based in the US and subject to US laws

Let's Encrypt is based in the United States and subject to the laws of the United States, including National Security Letters. What are the implications for foreign sites that use Let's Encrypt? Here'...
12
votes
3answers
854 views

Can we make sure that the new Lavabit certificate is not under control of the FBI?

After the Lavabit shutdown, Ladar Levison (founder of Lavabit) announced that he’s "looking into setting up a site where users can download their data". Such a site is now online: https://liberty....
11
votes
5answers
487 views

Government / State cyberwarfare organizations

I am working on some research regarding advanced persistent threats. Within this effort, discussion of cyber-warfare started. Looking further into the subject, I have found a plethora of links ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Can a VPN avoid the Prism Surveillance Programme?

This is causing me major concern and i can understand it is for a lot of users as well. I have nothing to hide but it's the moral aspect of snooping which has ticked me off. Can a VPN avoid the ...
9
votes
1answer
195 views

What was the issue the UAE had with RIM/Blackberry and what was the outcome? What countries have similar agreements?

I'd like to understand what came out of UAE's desire to monitor RIM traffic, and what technical compromise was made. Do other countries have similar agreements with RIM? What are the details? ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What countries are at highest risk of espionage on personal devices? [closed]

When co-workers travel internationally for business there seems to be risk of bringing a regular work laptop to some countries: the risk is that the government might try to spy on the dta stored on ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How are leaked government credentials possible and what's the point?

In the wake of all these leaked/stolen/hacked government login/passwords being stolen it got me thinking. How is the leaking of these passwords even possible? Or are they of any real use? Aren't all ...
7
votes
2answers
568 views

Is personal email hosting really secure?

One of my friends has his own personal email hosting. Let's assume for the sake of argument that it is "secure", meaning that no third party can read the emails in his server either through hacking or ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How do people in China get past the Great Firewall in practice?

I know that China prevents access to many resources/content on the Internet via a "great firewall". While there are multiple ways of getting past/through this firewall - some are more involved and ...
7
votes
1answer
580 views

What does Obama's phone say about Android and phone hardware?

The recent article Goodbye Obamaberry, hello Obamadroid describes the decision to move Obama's phone from the Blackberry to the Samsung Galaxy S4. The Galaxy 4S is of course an old, foreign phone. ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

How does a government shutdown Internet (and how to bypass it)?

Recently the government of India shutdown Internet in the state of Gujarat due to riots. How does this "internet shutdown" work? How can someone who is in the country circumvent this? What can a ...
7
votes
3answers
289 views

Found a security vulnerability on gov related site

So I'm unsure how to go about dealing with what I found. It's a really simple security hole, but opens lots of personal data if exploited. I was on a government utility (being vague intentionally) ...
6
votes
2answers
384 views

Design proposals for enhanced security for parts of Internet, e.g. for banking?

There is some recent discussion of some sort of "multilevel" internet, with e.g. a level defined for banking in which access is only granted after special authentication with "true names", special ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Apple vs DOJ - how strong is the 10-try wipe brute force barrier?

Out of curiosity and with the hope of helping other beginners and journalists. The current Apple vs DOJ standoff in a nutshell - Apple is resisting DOJ with statements like what they're asking is "...
5
votes
2answers
314 views

Configuring election website to prevent MITM attacks

Consider an election web site that will be used for voting over the Internet. What steps should the administrator of such a web site take to provide adequate security against man-in-the-middle attacks ...
5
votes
1answer
506 views

Government/ISP tracking of internet activity trivial to evade?

The recently announced Investigatory Powers Bill in the United Kingdom will mean that ISPs must store the internet activity of everyone for one year. Anyone who wishes to evade such tracking can use ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

Are there any modern governments which use a proprietary encryption algorithm?

Germany used Enigma during WWII. The Soviet Union used GOST during the cold war. USA used to use DES. Now that encryption algorithms are believed best as open source, are there any modern governments ...
5
votes
2answers
312 views

How can intelligence services be so sure that Russia is the culprit? [closed]

Recently, US and non-US media has been publishing many articles regarding Russia being involved in the "Podesta-hack" or even accusing Putin of being directly responsible. For example: "Putin ...
5
votes
2answers
177 views

Standards for hiring trusted personnel - American or Canadian Government?

Is anyone familiar with an ISO standard outlining the hiring of labour for vendors being hired by DHS or Canadian government? I've found security standards but nothing for hiring practices. Edit for ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Government Surveillance VPN or TOR [closed]

As some of you may be aware the UK government has pretty much passed a new surveillance bill. For those that wish to read in more detail can do so here http://www.computerworlduk.com/security/draft-...
4
votes
3answers
543 views

The safest way to circumventing Iran's Internet censorship

We usually buy services like VPN, SOCKS, Kerio [Kerio Connect?]... to circumvent Iran's Internet censorship policy. Recently, one of the shops started selling [one of] Kerio's products, for which I do ...
4
votes
2answers
279 views

What happens if a pro-censor ISP has Telex key(s)?

I've been watching more and more people jump on the idea of Telex as a way to prevent internet censorship (e.g. http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/38207/ -- not my comments at the bottom ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Why aren't there FIPS level 4 devices on the market?

While searching for a secure USB to use, I came across the Aegis secure key, which has FIPS Level 3 (140-2) security. I believe that it's the securest flash drive on the market. I found that the ...
4
votes
3answers
225 views

How significant is the invalid SSL cert at aoprals.state.gov?

For up to 4 weeks, the US Department of State's Office of Allowances web site has been using a security certificate whose chain of trust only goes to the State Dept's own CA, with no root CA. Browsers ...
4
votes
2answers
590 views

Can a Government block a specific app traffic, even with a VPN running?

A few minutes ago, there was a terror attack on a nightclub in Istanbul/Turkey(Thoughts and prayers to the victims and families), usually, the Government limits most of the communications apps traffic ...
4
votes
2answers
664 views

Why is Elliptic Curve Cryptography not used much outside of government? [closed]

It seems that Elliptic Curve Cryptography, being required by the US government, is not being used outside of the government. Why is this? And why does the government support it's use for government? ...
4
votes
1answer
245 views

How were nuclear launch codes authenticated?

What is the history of authenticating nuclear launch codes? Were hashes used for verification? How would a nuclear launch base be able to verify that the code is correct, and how were new codes ...
4
votes
0answers
589 views

How do I avoid drawing the ire of the Department of Homeland Security when prepping to run my RPG? [closed]

So I'm running a long-standing role-playing game wherein the players' characters in the game are unknowingly working for another character who wants access to the data of the United States ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Which forensic techniques should I use to identify intrusion or monitoring of my computer or cellphone

If I suspect my computer or cellphone is being monitored by an unknown attacker, what tools or techniques could I use to detect or identify such monitoring?
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How Is It Possible For Hackers To “Dig Up The Dirt” On People?

Like the title says, I was wondering how its possible for hackers to "dig up the dirt" and get peoples personal information such as address, credit cards, bank accounts, social insurance number, etc? ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to apply FIPS to Microsoft Access database with custom VBA

As the software engineer on a project, I have been asked to make a Microsoft Access application, with custom interfaces running custom VBA. That part is going just fine. Recently though I was asked to ...
3
votes
3answers
610 views

Is encryption key length limitations by governments norm?

Today my internet service provide gave me a customer agreement form to fill in. I found following line in it: Permission limit for Encryption is 40 bit key per length in RSA algorithms, If customer ...