Discussion in 'privacy general' started by mirimir, May 5, 2012.
And it will happen. They can already do quite a bit, so no one should think if this push were to somehow fail, then it's game over for the Feds. However, these "backdoors" would make life a hell of a lot easier on investigative teams. The big "gotcha" here though, is that they also make it a hell of a lot easier for hackers, other governments and inside malicious people to do the same thing.
There's no easy way to approach such issues since without cooperation some crimes can never be solved. In real time it could mean getting a child home safe, or stopping a terrorist even.
This country has had enough "protect the children" and "national security" cries, to last it a millennium. No kid, or terrorist attack is worth stripping even more Liberty from an entire nation, ask Ben Franklin. Not to mention that terrorists are almost as rare as Hobbits. LE already has the tools to look into whatever online accounts from the major providers, that they want to. This is about snooping into everybody, at anytime, with as little judicial oversight as possible. It's laziness. Just look into all the past abuses of the PATRIOT Act to see where and how this will be abused. I'm sure Anonymous is quaking in their sneakers. Of course they say they need it...NOW! That's what gets laws passed: FUD. You'll never hear a gov official say: "Well, we don't really need it, but it would be nice to have". If they could, they'd search houses better than the Red Coats did.
Easy there, Paul Revere, lol. As much as I detest and am against the ongoing and pervasive erosion of rights in the country, and the Constitution applying more and more to the "right voters" instead of everyone...ol' Benny didn't have the threat of dirty bombs, hackers and other things. Times have greatly changed, but, I still agree that far too many excuses are being used to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
You're wrong about terrorists being rare, by the way. There are cells around this country alone, let alone the world. They've gotten much better at blending in, and, these days, they're likely to be working at your local Walmart instead of trying to get work at Los Alamos. You're also wrong about laziness, there is an intentional desire to gather and keep as much data as possible, and not just the government is wanting it.
There are several groups of people to look at here. One group, and the vast majority of military/LE resides here, is not trying to invade the life of everyone, but can't find a perfect answer in a digital world. An example, if 800+ million people are on Facebook, and several million of those people are up to no good...what do you as LE/NSA/FBI, etc, do? Answer: You hunt Facebook.
Another, much smaller group is concerned with wealth and power. These folks will do whatever it takes, Constitution and laws be damned, to either get what they specifically want, what the people who fill their pockets want, or what the entire group of people want, whether that be some sort of "ideal world" or what have you.
A final group I'll talk about holds up the Constitution as an unchangeable, never wrong "holy grail" of rights. They'd almost rather let bad things happen than tweak rights or update laws to be useful in the age of online life.
Group number 1, imho, is the only group that is completely right. The problem is that folks from group number 2 happen to be in powerful places in group number 1.
wiretapping mean more Protectoin against criminals and child Porn
but i hope this won't get bad and that backdoor will be used for malicious reasons
I have no intentions of being disrespectful, but you are very wrong about terrorist being rare. I have no ideal what would make one draw such a conclusion. I agree that terrorist groups are much less prevalent in some areas of the world than others. I understand no matter what laws are passed there will always be terrorist, but the damage caused by them can be minimized. I'm against infringing on the rights of liberty, and I value my privacy. I just don't want to have to look some family in the eyes, and know that their loved one may have been saved if it wasn't for the fact that I didn't want LE reading my boring emails. I don't want to be on a Jet, and be blown out of the sky because I was unreasonable by not permitting tools that are needed to stop such events. I agree with you that it has potential for abuse, and that in spite of everything I don't want anyone reading into my private life. I will consider a program only if the proper oversight has been implemented into such a program. Its a hard decision to make, and I to have conflicted feelings on this topic.
Yeah, the FEDS etc would say that
The real solution though is, to establish just why some people feel they have to turn to terrorist activities.
Not only that, but NEVER forget that even our own governments, & people hiding behind them etc, have & do commit such evil crimes against their own people, & with the taxpayers own money ! So root out & severely punish those bastards, ASAP.
I believe users of networks such as myspace, facebook, twitter, etc.. should only expect a reasonable amount of privacy. Yes, it would be ideal if they had to request a search warrant, but it may cause agencies not to be able to react to an emergency in time to prevent tragedies from happening. To get a search warrant it may take a long time to collect enough evidence to acquire one. If the right programs were authorized then they would be able to collect valuable data in real time. That data may be totally useless in stopping a horrible event in just minutes, hours or days later.
Advance knowledge by .GOV etc did NOT prevent 9/11 Susan Lindauer "Extreme Prejudice" https://extremeprejudiceusa.wordpress.com
That's because U.S intel (and even regular old LE) agencies have had a habit of keeping information to themselves and not sharing with others like good little girls and boys. It can totally screw up ongoing operations, or, in the case of 9/11, it can lead to a catastrophe. However, I know a mod is just waiting to strike, so let's steer it back to backdoors in social networks and VoIP, eh?
No, he is right. Terrorists *are* very rare. Common sense and elementary statistics should tell you that. Al Quaeda is, what, a couple hundred people? (probably smaller than that now since we have killed a ton of them over the past 10 years with Special Ops and drones, etc.) A few hundred people out of 7 billion is infinitesimally small. Add up all the other Islamic groups (that are operational and organized) and you may have thousands. Still thousands out of 7 billion is a drop in the ocean.
People have a tendency to overlook real threats and vastly exaggerate rare threats. You see it in everyday life. People think nothing of getting in their car and driving around, but they get really worried about getting on a plane and have a terrorist blow it up. The *fact* is you are *much* more likely to be killed while driving your car than being killed by a terrorist on a plane. In fact, you are much more likely to die in a car accident than flying in general.
I personally know quite a few people in my life who have died in car accidents (if I tally up all the people from high school till now, it is in the dozens). I know people who have died in work accidents. I know people who have died from drugs. I know people who have died because of botched surgeries. I know several people who have died from smoking and alcoholism. I even know a guy who has been struck by lightning (he survived) Yet, not a single person I know has ever been killed by Al Quaeda or any other terrorist group. In fact, I don't know of a single friend who knows anyone else that has ever been killed by a terrorist. In order to find someone who has been killed by a terrorist, I would have to go WAY down the line in my friend chain (like friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend who's uncle's brother-in-law's sister knows some guy who was at 911).
I'm sorry, but those are the facts and all the FBI scare-mongering can't change facts.
Now is this to say we should completely ignore terrorists and just let them go on their way? No. Not at all. I hate terrorists. If the government would let me, I would happily participate in a firing squad of convicted terrorists. But let's keep things in perspective here. A terrorist attack should be the last thing on your list of worries in life. You are much more likely to be harmed by things you don't even give a second thought to.
Bruce Schneier gave an excellent talk (at TED) a few years ago on this exact topic. I highly recommend you watch it. It's 20 minutes long and well worth the time.
Not only is Bruce a cryptographer, mathematician and computer security expert, he is also a philosopher of people in general. He is the man.
If the government thinks the situation is dire enough (or it just wants something quite frankly), there are numerous ways around that pesky search warrant. Digital information flowing freely across the internet has turned law on its head. I'm in the camp that you shouldn't have to watch every word you type be recorded and stored away forever (which is too bad since they actually are..nothing "goes away"). However, I also believe that if you're expecting to have the same amount of privacy on the internet as you would behind the closed doors and windows of your house, you're frankly naive and dreaming.
This situation with backdoors is about getting easier access to information these companies are already logging and storing away.
Edit: @Chrono: You're leaving out the fact that there are far more terrorists that aren't Islamic, and you seem to be referring to the "traditional" terrorist, you know the guy, AK-47 wielding dude on a 747. The terms terrorist and terrorism refer to people who cause terror and use terror as a weapon. They aren't confined to race, religion or country. Here, have a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_designated_terrorist_organizations . That's just a start, some aren't even on that list, and some may not even be known yet, since we have to factor in Lone Wolves as well.
Does anyone honestly believe that wiretapping facebook, or whatever, will slow down or make life more difficult for terrorists in any way? I mean, really? they'll start using any of thousands of other means of communication. And what then, do we keep wiretapping one service after the other? the people who are up to no good are always one step ahead of restrictions - we can't catch up with them by applying more and more restrictions.
the government wants to fight the terrorists, this ain't the way to go about it. What is? I don't know. But this definitely isn't it.
Overall, I will agree with this. However, there is a difference between a pure terrorist attack, and the average day-to-day problems we face. If, say, you get hit by a car, or fall of the stars and break your neck, or anything in between - the scope of this tragedy is limited to a few dozen people at most. A terrorist attack, however, even if it only takes one victim, can plant fear in the harts of millions. So on the one hand, I understand why the government might want to try to stop this "by any means necessary", but at the same time I don't believe they are going about it in the right way. But well, it is easy to talk
Not really. If that's all they wanted, they would just take a warrant to the company for information stored about John Q. Terrorist. They wouldn't need any extra laws or provisions for that.
No, what they are mad about here is that Skype and other VoIP providers are encrypting the data end-to-end. So, they are wanting to expand CALEA to not only include backdoors at the ISP's (which they already have) but actual backdoors in encrypted VoIP providers (i.e., to force Skype to place a backdoor which can produce plaintext at will). And they are not after only VoIP but any form of communication such as AIM, MSN and other IM services which may provide some sort of encryption.
The problem with their proposal is it will only keep honest people honest. It will do nothing to guarantee an intercept of a determined criminal's communications. There are so many ways around using Skype that any regular Internet user already knows about them. I could name many of them now, but I wont bother. They would have no way to "force" decryption of end-to-end communications if the two users are both doing it on their individual machines. This has already been settled -- you have a 1st amendment right to encrypt your own data. So, short of banning all encryption (which is unconstitutional), their proposal will not stop anyone.
Another thing they haven't considered is the security holes the backdoors will introduce. When you create an intentional security hole (that's what a backdoor is by definition) you have to spend that much more effort trying to secure it. This takes lots of personnel and money. And guess who will be paying for it? That's right, the customer.
Even worse, they have to fear insider attacks or rogue FBI agents (or rogue Skype developers) using it to spy on friends or relatives, etc. This happened with ECHELON back in the 80's. NSA analysts were using ECHELON to intercept the phone calls of U.S. Senators without warrants (Strom Thurmond is one that was mentioned during the ECHELON investigation). Tell me how you propose we stop that kind of thing? It's nearly impossible.
We have already done this song and dance in the 90's with the clipper chip debate. The Feds failed to convince Congress then. I suspect they wont convince them now.
Political discussion best left for forums catering for such.
Separate names with a comma.