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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Craig Labovitz from Security to the Core has some interesting observations on the Iranian firewall. I was most interested in what traffic isn’t filtered:

While the rapidly evolving Iranian firewall has blocked web, video and most forms of interactive communication, not all Internet applications appear impacted. Interestingly, game protocols like xbox and World of Warcraft show little evidence of government manipulation.

Perhaps games provide a possible source of covert channels (e.g. “Bring your elves to the castle on the island of Azeroth and we’ll plan the next Ahmadinejad protest rally?”)

Of course, World of Warcraft has not escaped the scrutiny of the ODNI and others in the United States. For commentary, see these posts at Danger Room (here and here) and Schneier on Security.

Check out Arbor Network’s “Security to the Core” for more.

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In “Gun Sales Thriving In Uncertain Times,” Fredrick Kunkle discusses rising gun sales in the United States with the election as yet undecided:

Americans have cut back on buying cars, furniture and clothes in a tough economy, but there’s one consumer item that’s still enjoying healthy sales: guns. Purchases of firearms and ammunition have risen 8 to 10 percent this year, according to state and federal data.

Several variables drive sales, but many dealers, buyers and experts attribute the increase in part to concerns about the economy and fears that if Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois wins the presidency, he will join with fellow Democrats in Congress to enact new gun controls. Obama has said that he believes in an individual right to bear arms but that he also supports “common-sense safety measures.”

“Even though [Obama] has a lot going for him, he’s not very pro-gun,” said Paul Pluff, a spokesman for Massachusetts-based Smith & Wesson, which has reported higher sales. Gun enthusiasts are “going to go out and get [firearms] while they still can.”

Read more at The Washington Post.

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