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CryptoCat Developer Questioned At US-Canadian Border 271

Dangerous_Minds writes "ZeroPaid is documenting some comments made by an encrypted chat developer who was interrogated at the U.S. border recently. According to the CryptoCat developer, border guards confiscated his passport and interrogated him about the application he developed. Most notably, he commented, "The interrogator (who claimed 22 years of computer experience) asked me which algorithms Cryptocat used and about its censorship resistance.""
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CryptoCat Developer Questioned At US-Canadian Border

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:50AM (#40243071)

    Seriously. It's only going to get worse.


  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:52AM (#40243093) Journal

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. A secondary screening can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours normally. It'll be much longer if they really think they have something on you. But going through an hour of the bureaucracy and questioning isn't something to really write a letter home about. A footnote, maybe, but not a letter.

    Would the dev felt better if it was an hour of pointless and inane questions?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @08:59AM (#40243143)

    I've crossed the border between Russia and just about anywhere you can think of that shares a border with Russia. I have never ever been interrogated at their border. I've even crossed the Ukrainian Moldovan border with another individual who overstayed his visa for months. They barely asked any questions even then, they just walked him to a nearby bank and had him pay a fine (the fine is paid directly to the bank to prevent the possibility of the border guard pocketing it). I even overstayed my own visa while exiting Ukraine. I didn't even miss my flight.
    People need to realize that the United States has a very brutal regime in charge at the moment.

  • by shogun ( 657 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @09:25AM (#40243391)

    If they think he's carrying around a simple solution to breaking AES256 in a timely manner maybe they did fail the minesweeper cert after all..

  • by zero.kalvin ( 1231372 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @09:33AM (#40243481)

    There is your answer right there.

    Actually he is not only arabic, his background ( for which I could be mistaken ) is shiite muslim ( but he may not be religious ). In lebanon, the largest shiite parties are anti-american like Hizbollah and Amal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @09:51AM (#40243679)

    They'll treat you like any Allied nation would treat a Nazi war criminal.

    You mean, invite you to head up their space program? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun

  • by anwaya ( 574190 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:06AM (#40243851)

    "Brutal" is perhaps a little extreme: "Authoritarian" may be more appropriate.

    I also have an anecdote. I moved to the US in 1994, and at one time, maybe I overstayed my visa-waiver, or maybe the I-94 was lost, either by me or the airline or US Immigration. In 1995 I got an H1-B and I've had a Green Card now for over 10 years. Every time since 9/11 it's a toss-up when I go through Immigration to enter the US whether the the DHS will Select me for Secondary Screening, even though I am a legal, documented immigrant, my papers are in order, and the only flag raised has to be a tiny one, at least 16 years old. And yes, it takes the goons an hour.

  • by wpi97 ( 901954 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:28AM (#40244175)
    The "Occupiers" were able to protest for many days or even months in many US cities. Some were arrested for disturbing the peace or for refusing to leave after *very* long time. According to Wikipedia, the protest in Boston lasted for over 70 days. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Boston [wikipedia.org] During that time 186 people have been arrested, with NO injuries.

    There is no comparison to Russia, where people have been arrested and beaten in the streets with no justification at all. Some opposition leaders have been arrested right after leaving their houses, before they even got to a protests.

    On a related note, in Russia people are protesting massive election fraud by the ruling party and massive corruption in all levels of government. I am still trying to figure out what exactly the "Occupiers" in the US are protesting against.

    IMHO, there is no comparison between the occupy movement in the US and the protests in Russia.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:31AM (#40244203)

    It possible to get a waiver on religious grounds for the part of the oath that requires you to bear arms. See http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/chapter5.pdf

    I don't think your relatives looked very carefully at the citizenship process.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:51AM (#40244459)

    Except that the restrictions on even peaceful protest in the united states has exceeded a reasonable level. Protesting outside of a 'designated zone' (which will be so far away from what you are attempting to protest as to be effectively censorship of your statement); arrest.

    Failure to identify your intent to protest; arrest.

    Challenge a politician with a non-vetted question during a presentation at a public location- fine+removal, refuse to leave; arrest.

    Protesting for too long; eviction, arrest, and fines.

    Actually effectively delivering your message via a gimmick; fine, told to stop, arrest if you refuse (under 'obstructing traffic, or public nuisance)

    Chanting your slogan fine, told to stop, arrest if you refuse (under 'obstructing traffic', or public nuisance)

    Essentially protesting, even peaceful protesting, is now a fine-able or arrestable offence.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @11:05AM (#40244693) Journal

    Protesting in a way that results in a fine is not something you are supposed to do at all

    When the government doesn't respect your right to peaceably assemble, how else are you supposed to protest?

    The only protests worth participating in are the ones that could actually change something. Those are the protests that the government will fight with all of its power. That power includes arresting protesters for simply protesting. This is what we saw happen last fall from NY to Oakland.

    Think of it this way, if Mubarak had tried to forcibly clear Tahrir square with the excuse of "health and safety", the international community wouldn't have bought that excuse for a second. Yet the US is allowed to get away with claiming "health and safety" as a reason to break up peaceable assembleys like Occupy. And nobody bats an eye.

    If you could trust the government to follow the rule of law, you'd have a point. But we're far, far past that point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @12:27PM (#40245863)

    I will say the US is not like Egypt where people are literally starving.

    However, the people protesting are not just some stoned college students who are angry at life because they have a 32GB iPhone 4S and not a 64GB model.

    When I graduated high school, it didn't matter what you majored in college. You got your degree in underwater fart-lighting, and you could get a decent job somewhere.

    Recently, I was at a college job fair. The people there were a bank or two looking for low end tellers. The US embassy system was looking for some diplomats from the political science majors. The FBI was there recruiting from the criminal justice majors.

    The computer science and STEM majors? There was the Army recruiter who would happily give them the rank of PFC as soon as they got out of Basic training. Of course, if they wanted in, they would get MOS 11X because the Army needs infantry.

    The ONLY way a STEM major can find work is if they have an internship. If someone doesn't have either the social networking or has been an intern, they will be out on the streets with their degree pounding the pavement indefinitely.

    First, job positions these days are not made public.

    To boot, most employers run a NCIC check on resumes before they even hit interviewers. If someone has an *arrest* (not conviction) for anything, their resume gets tossed. This is extremely common.

    Don't forget Facebook access, either as a friend or a demand for the username/password.

    So, for a 20-something to get a job, they have a lot of hurdles to get through. They couldn't have been tossed in the drunk tank during a frat party. They have to have a fake and hoky Facebook account. They had to get the news of the opening through a friend or a network.

    So, it isn't just spoiled trust fund babies not getting their CEO job. Where I live, even McDonalds gets people actually writing resumes and 20 applicants for one position.

  • by tibman ( 623933 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:29PM (#40246687) Homepage

    Actually, i have been maced (and not that baby stuff the police use) and tazered.

    If you have to choose, always take the taze. It will only last for as long as a charge is being sent. The very moment the charge stops you have nearly full function again and there is no pain. You don't fall unconscious like they show in the movies. It merely makes you lose control of your body and you collapse.. it is an odd feeling.

    Chemicals in the face suck and are designed to stick around. You can't just splash some water on your face and call it good. In fact, splashing water on your face will make it far far worse.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter