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[liberationtech] Ubuntu Privacy Remix remix?

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at
Wed Nov 6 15:56:18 PST 2013

On 11/06/2013 04:21 PM, Matt Johnson wrote:
> Sorry Eugen, I am still not getting it. You will author content in
> isolation, without reference to any information at all? Or perhaps in
> a library with books on paper? When I author something I constantly
> refer to other material.

You know most computers come standard with harddrives where you can 
store documents and stuff.  It's kind of like the cloud, except on your 
own computer and without a requirement to agree to an incomprehensible, 
probably-evil ToS.

> Lets say you write something, then burn it to CD and transfer it to a
> networked system and send it out. Isn't it now subject to traffic
> analysis and perhaps malware injection?

It's not subject to malware injection if it's signed with a Bitcoin key, 
or a PGP key, etc.

It's not necessarily subject to traffic analysis if one distributes it 
over Tor.  But even if the non-air-gapped machine running Tor gets pwned 
with a zero-day or some other type of attack through the internet, the 
attacker does not get the Bitcoins/PGP private key, etc., because those 
things are only found on the air-gapped machine.

>   It is only secure if you
> author it and never move it from the air gaped computer.

See above.  Even so, you seem to be ignoring the most important use 
cases where the reference material is only stored on the air-gapped 
machine.  I'd assume that's how the journalists reporting on the Snowden 
leaks work.  (Or at least they should.)

> If you take Griffin's point that connecting a USB stick, or external
> hard drive is dangerous, and that PDFs are dangerous then I don't
> think you can do much with that air gaped computer. I am asking a
> serious question, what are realistic use cases for an air gaped
> computer?

Protecting leaked documents and Bitcoin tokens are the two most obvious 
cases.  Essentially any case where you cannot afford for the data to get 
stolen, but where it's impossible or impractical to use non-digital 
media like paper.


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