Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Security United States IT

Whitehat Hacker Moxie Marlinspike's Laptop, Cellphones Seized 484

Posted by timothy
from the why-do-you-hate-america dept.
Orome1 writes "The well-known whitehat hacker and security researcher who goes by the handle Moxie Marlinspike has recently experienced firsthand the electronic device search that travelers are sometimes submitted to by border agents when entering the country. He was returning from the Dominican Republic by plane, and when he landed at JFK airport, he was greeted by two US Customs officials and taken to a detention room where they kept him for almost five hours, took his laptop and two cell phones and asked for the passwords needed to access the encrypted material on them."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Whitehat Hacker Moxie Marlinspike's Laptop, Cellphones Seized

Comments Filter:
  • by MrQuacker (1938262) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @01:25AM (#34289294)
    Logic dictates that you'd send an agent at least as smart as the suspect to do the HD search. Granted, this is the government...
  • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @01:37AM (#34289368)

    "Customs is a legitimate and competent part of the government."

    A part of the government that is both legitimate and competent? I never knew such a thing existed!

  • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @01:59AM (#34289458)

    That's not fair. From his Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] page he seems to be obsessed with finding ways to man in the middle SSL connections so he can present them at Black Hat conferences and allow people to commercialise the for as long as possible before they are fixed.

    Where would we be as a society if that it were possible for people to make secure SSL connections to their banks for example? That would be a nightmarish world where it would be impossible to redistribute income from the first world bourgeoisie to more worthy informal entrepreneurs in impoverished countries like China, Eastern Europe or Nigeria.

    I think he's doing socially very useful work. I'd recommend a prize for him, except he's probably not short of cash.

  • Re:4th (Score:3, Funny)

    by Barrinmw (1791848) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @02:05AM (#34289488)
    Cause the government would pay someone to live on each one and we would recognize them as a sovereign nation.
  • Re:4th (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 20, 2010 @02:27AM (#34289568)

    The encrypted material might have contained something hazardous like a Uwe Boll movie. The risk of one of those being released to the public far outweighs any privacy or Constitutional concerns. Memories of House of the Dead and Bloodrayne still make me wake up in a cold sweat. Just imagine one that was considered unreleasable. Terrorist can kill thousands but a Uwe Boll movie can injure millions, or at least the hundreds that actually see them.

  • by zmollusc (763634) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @03:32AM (#34289738)

    Next time, take a broken hard drive with you. That will give them a challenge. :-)

  • by JockTroll (996521) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @03:34AM (#34289744)
    You know, you should have brought the HD to the authorities and explain that some terrorist mole at Customs had placed unknown files, probably containing steganographed information, on your drive for later "retrieval" by burglary and that you were rightfully afraid for your life because the terrorists obviously wouldn't be willing to leave any witnesses behind. That would have been a giant hoot.
  • by zmollusc (763634) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @03:34AM (#34289746)

    Hey, at least get your terminology right, those guys didn't spend all that time at Gooning classes to be called 'thugs'.

  • by vtcodger (957785) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @05:54AM (#34290162)

    ***They are all under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security whose core mission is to annoy, harass, and humiliate law-abiding citizens while letting the crooks slip through the cracks. ***

    Very dubious. The DHS clownshow shows little sign of being competent enough to identify crooks well enough to let them through. Sleep well tonight, terrorists have exactly the same chance of being harassed by the DHS as anyone else.

  • by gklinger (571901) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @06:14AM (#34290224)
    I would gladly submit to detention and interrogation for five hours if I were guaranteed some ice cream and a blow job in return. Given that fact, much like liberty and safety, I probably don't deserve either.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 20, 2010 @06:37AM (#34290278)

    This gives me the idea of building a slightly custom drive. It's not hard to do, really; remove the platters and there's plenty of space inside, then just put a cable to the outside controller board, concealed under it. The first idea that comes to mind is a drive that happily accepts all write and erase commands, yet presents a read-only filesystem.. say, with a troll image.. or better yet a *different* filesystem each time it's powered. Have fun imaging that. If you want writable storage, it could do a straight log of what the intrusive party did to the drive. The technology is near identical to current hybrid hard drives.

  • Re:4th (Score:2, Funny)

    by Mad Hamster (870092) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @06:39AM (#34290286)

    fondling my beasts

    If your beasts are being fondled by the wrong persons, press charges for cruelty to animals.

  • by CarpetShark (865376) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @07:35AM (#34290438)

    "Next time, take a broken hard drive with you. That will give them a challenge. :-)"

    They'll probably just think it's one they've already processed.

  • by JamesP (688957) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @07:47AM (#34290460)

    or better dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdb bs=512

    try decrypting THAT

  • by hedwards (940851) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @10:24AM (#34291004)
    Say, you're not one of those people that visits inmates in prison and acts suspicious on the way in just for the free anal probing are you?
  • by cerberusss (660701) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @10:47AM (#34291098) Homepage Journal

    or better dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sdb bs=512

    try decrypting THAT

    YOU FUCKER! THAT COMMAND OVERWROTE MY WINDOWS PARTITION!

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @11:57AM (#34291418) Journal

    So why are you complaining? ;)

  • Re:4th (Score:3, Funny)

    by slick7 (1703596) on Saturday November 20, 2010 @12:56PM (#34291740)

    Vote with your wallet and don't fly. Deny the airlines money by not using their services.

    It's about psychological impact, not dead people. Life is cheap except when taken in exotic ways with lots of media coverage.

    Resistance is futile! better off with under garment strap-ons and butt plugs. The psychological damage should be the viewer's, not the viewee's.

If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology, if it doesn't work it's physics.

Working...