January 2008 Archives

The case for encrypted text messaging


In the wake of an embarrasing and very public display of misdeeds by Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, I immediately understood the importance of data encryption. Especially, when the information could be official government business or a personal piece of text that you do not want anyone but the recipient to see. I suppose the problem with the current SMS model is that the ILECbehave as a proxy for all information that passes through their servers. So by law, if say AT&T was subpoened for police officials, they would be inclined to give up the data. That simply is bad business. However, what if you could erect your own proxy before the data ever reached their servers?

From my limited knowledge of SMS, I believe it contains similar message headers to that of email. So, I imagine that encryption methods like GPG would suffice to prevent clear text SMS transmissions.

Recently, I was doing a bit of debugging with my ekiga softphone. Running the application with the following flag 'ekiga -d 4 ' revealed all of the message headers associated with initiating a VOIP conversation the To and From headers are very similar to SMTP headers. The ACK and INVITE headers were also quite familiar.

Phil Zimmermann's ZFone application encrypts VOIP traffic quite easily. More accurately, all VOIP traffic that uses established RFC standards. ZFone does not encrypt Skype traffic because Skype does not use SIP or any other industry standard protocol.

I will be looking for an SMS encryption method, you should too..

Strange Omen?

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These past two months, I have discovered two birds in my home. Not exactly sure how they gained entry into the house, but it is rather weird. Luckily, I was able to get them out without them paying with their lives.

The first trespasser was a mere Sparrow, last week I found a Starlett.. Very strange indeed.

Profiting on misfortune

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As I watch the economy in S.E Mich. bottom out, the running joke is the only businesses which patronize the area are the banking institutions. It was a bit curious that Quicken Loans decided to expand its operations in Detroit-Metro area. Can you say sub-prime haven? Anyway, the politicians are also taking the opportunity to cash in the economic plight of the area.

The blitzkrieg of political sound bites and campaign advertisments are quite amusing. For instance, Mitt Romney whose family has a dubious history in this region, uttered some rheotoric about 'leveling the economic playing field' in the state of Michigan. I thought this was a bit odd, as he suggested that the developing nations have some unfair advantage over American manufacturing efforts. For the life of me, I do not understand why this sort of conversation is so popular in this region.

Perhaps it is because I am a native New Yorker, and growing up in a factory is so very foreign to me? Nonetheless, all of the major rust belt cities have been forced to develop another value proposition. For instance, Indianapolis has two diverse industries in their city. Pharmaceuticals and Aerospace. Of course, Rolls Royce (formerly Allison Engine) is largely a manufacturing operation, but it is not the primary employer for the city. Eli-Lilly is the 2nd largest employer in the city. Indy also has the distinction of being the amateur sports capital of the world.

What will be Detroit's new value proposition? For that matter what will be Michigan's legacy going forward? Your guess is as good as mine. Clearly, radical change is necessary and I disagree that developing nations are to blame for the demise of this region.

Win The G

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I'm thrilled with inspired play of the G-Men. Though Eli is still learning, he played within the system and did not lose the game. The defense did not give up very many big plays, they were very disciplined.. A stark contrast to previous years under Coughlin. One can only hope this will continue at Lambeau Field next weekend.

links for 2008-01-01

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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