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Saudi Arabian Telecom Pitches to Moxie Marlinspike 128

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the indirect-terrorism dept.
An anonymous reader sent in this excerpt from Moxie Marlinspike's weblog: "Last week I was contacted by an agent of Mobily, one of two telecoms operating in Saudi Arabia, about a surveillance project that they're working on in that country. Having published two reasonably popular MITM tools, it's not uncommon for me to get emails requesting that I help people with their interception projects. I typically don't respond, but this one (an email titled 'Solution for monitoring encrypted data on telecom') caught my eye. ... The requirements are the ability to both monitor and block mobile data communication, and apparently they already have blocking setup. ... When they eventually asked me for a price quote, and I indicated that I wasn't interested in the job for privacy reasons, they responded with this: ' I know that already and I have same thoughts like you freedom and respecting privacy, actually Saudi has a big terrorist problem and they are misusing these services for spreading terrorism and contacting and spreading their cause that's why I took this and I seek your help. If you are not interested than maybe you are on indirectly helping those who curb the freedom with their brutal activities.'"
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Saudi Arabian Telecom Pitches to Moxie Marlinspike

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  • Re:Dumbass. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @03:31AM (#43717637)

    I think the western governments would be a bit more clever than that. They have the resources to develop their own home grown spying tools. They don't need an outside consultant, which is what this guy would have been. Otherwise you'd be hearing about this kind of stuff all the time.

  • Re:Dumbass. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cenan (1892902) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @03:45AM (#43717673)

    Well I guess that's your view then. I specifically didn't mention any nation, only "the job".

    It's about high fucking time people in the western world realise that freedom cannot be passive. You can't just sit back in your armchair and blab. Be offensive, do a number on these scumbags. If he really, really cared about privacy he would have fought for the millions of people who are going to be spied on anyway, just not with his tool. This applies equally to the UK as it does to Saudi Arabia, this story just happens to be set in a country most people around here don't like.

    People like the guy in the story makes me fucking sick. You realise that where you are born and the freedoms you enjoy are all PURE LUCK, and one of the few things in your life you have no control over. Why should freedom be restrained to people lucky enough to be born under a constitution? Spread the wealth.

  • Re:Dumbass. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @03:47AM (#43717679)

    I bet if it was the US or UK government or some such that came a-knockin this person wouldn't have blabbed that fact all over the internets. But it's the Saudis and they're evil. Ok, I have no proof whatsoever of any potential double-standards and I'm no saint myself but just sayin.

    Then you clearly don't know who Moxie Marlinspike is (which seems kind of odd, as he's an extremely well known security researcher).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moxie_Marlinspike
    Aside fromt he fact that he's been championing against the certificate authority sytem because it gives the US too much power, there's also the fact that he's an anarchist (he's written anarchist pieces completely unrelated to technology, and founded the Anarchist Yacht Club). That the Saudis contacted him speaks volumes to their incompetence, imho.

  • Re:He's right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @03:53AM (#43717701)

    Wait... so your conditions for a government being able to intercept all communications consist solely of their "human rights record"? And you see nothing wrong with this?

  • Re:Dictatorship (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @04:06AM (#43717747)

    Saudi Arabia is a dictatorship, they rule by an army inducing terror on a populace, not because the populace chose the leadership.

    The problem is that in Muslim countries the political system they chose is invariably worse. Libya is worse than it was under Gaddafi [rt.com], Egypt is worse now than under Mubarak [telegraph.co.uk], Iraq is worse than under Saddam Husain [newstatesman.com], and Afghanistan is infinitely worse off than it was under Soviet rule [guardian.co.uk].

    Yes, Saudi Arabia is bad, but anything that keeps the Muslims under control is better than letting them have their way .... which is not giving them freedom but allowing them to murder, kill, and rape others as well as killing eachother and removing freedoms under sectarian Sharia militias.

  • Fucktard (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @04:22AM (#43717797)
    He didn't come running to slash dot he posted it to his blog! Someone else posted it to slash dot so take your foot out of your mouth and shove it back up your arse.
  • Point of view (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @04:38AM (#43717841) Homepage
    One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
  • Re:Dumbass. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @06:37AM (#43718243) Journal

    I think the western governments would be a bit more clever than that. They have the resources to develop their own home grown spying tools. They don't need an outside consultant, which is what this guy would have been. Otherwise you'd be hearing about this kind of stuff all the time.

    Western governments employ a more than a few [washingtonpost.com] outside contractors for 'electronic operations'(and quite a few others for other purposes). They just aren't generally foolish enough to contact known, high-profile, security researchers with a history of publicity for sensitive work...

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