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Paris reignites the "back door" debate

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by Biker, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    As expected, in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, the usual suspects are howling over their inability to snoop on private communications via iPhones and in some cases, Android (you ARE using Signal, yes?).

    As much as I despise Snowden and his methods, his revelations into the methods of the intelligence agencies should be enough for everyone to take every step necessary to prevent whole scale intrusions by the government. This includes using encryption on their mobile devices whenever possible (you ARE using Signal, yes?) and telling the various lawmakers that privacy is paramount and any attempt by the government to require back doors is totally unacceptable.

    It's incumbent upon us all to thwart the government's attempts to intrude on our privacy in the name of security. This includes using encryption whenever possible, not only on your mobile devices, but your computers as well. And while encryption on your PC isn't exactly seamless as yet, there are promising projects that may make this easier, especially for email.

    Some interesting reading here: Paris Attacks Reignite Debate Over Encryption Practices by Apple, Google, Facebook — Basically, All Tech Companies | Re/code

    and here: After Paris, Encryption Will Be a Key Issue in the 2016 Race
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    And here we have it in a nutshell.

    After Paris attacks, the CIA Director is pushing for encryption backdoors. Here's what he gets wrong.

  3. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    Thanks for the great articles!

    I don't have any secrets or anybody to share them with, but I did bookmark the Signal page in case I meet up with somebody in the future and don't want Uncle Sam being the third party. I presume Signal has to be installed on both devices (obviously). Nobody I know needs it, but it's good it's there.

    Encryption and guns are similar in that there is no inherent evil in either one, it's how you use them. Probably most gun owners have never fired their weapons at anything that didn't have concentric circles on it. On the other hand, our Constitution guarantees our right to privacy from government snooping, and I'm glad Snowden showed how really nosy our dear uncle has been.

    I just have to laugh about I don't know how much information our government has stored about me, the amount of money they've wasted on snooping me and people like me. Other than tax information there isn't anything else they have or could get, or even that I have, that is worth storing or looking at.

    Much of our government is a colossal waste of money, and it's no wonder our country is doing so poorly. And yet when it comes to real security, some of those idiots think the biggest threat is global warming, not Jihadist terrorism. They should take some of that money they waste spying on us and put it to work killing Jihadists in their homeland before they have the opportunity to come to America and kill our citizens.

    It's ironic that the most important function of government is to protect its citizens. I don't think the biggest danger is either global warming or Muslim extremists, I think the biggest threat is our own government and its desire to limit our freedom and control our lives.
  4. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

  5. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    Broadly speaking I've always thought the 21st Century complaints in the US about our lack of or eroding of privacy have either been exaggerated or hysterical in the degree of the alleged loss of "privacy" to the government. They've as often as not IMO been unwarranted. (Now if the complaints had been directed more toward the private or non-governmental public sector then I would have been on board.)

    Nevertheless, I think that there definitely IS a line that when crossed by the government we have a serious and true loss of true privacy. The proposal for backdoors to encrypted/encryption communications, providers or vendors is certainly one of those cases.

    I've believed for a long time that there are certain case by case instances where the government has had secret backdoors, as in the public was not aware of it and in some cases neither were the private entities. (Just ask Google *what they found when they examined a lot of their code several years back.)

    *As I write this Google and other like entities are a much greater violator and abuser of of our privacy than the government. That can change or at least change the degree of tilt between private and government if the government gets its way on backdoors.
  6. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    TPP, CISPA, SOPA, PIPA for starters.

    Then there's the NSA programs.

    Need I say more?

    Obviously, you haven't followed the governments attempts at weakening existing laws and attempting to pass new ones that either degrade or do away with privacy when it comes to online activities.
  7. Greg

    Greg Full Member

    No, that's not quite what I meant. I don't have anything the government would be interested in (outside of taxes which I supply them the info anyway) but I EXTREMELY OBJECT to them just taking my information at random just because they decided to sweep up everybody.

    The Constitution says we have a right to privacy and that it cannot be breached without due cause, as determined by a court hearing. And I don't mean a court hearing where they say it's okay to intercept everybody in New York or in Los Angeles, I mean a court hearing specifically for me, by name, and the gummint should be able to state a valid reason for snooping me other than I'm just another of the 330,000,000 people in the US.

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