Former FBI chief takes on encryption

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by Prince_Serendip, Oct 15, 2002.

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  1. Prince_Serendip

    Prince_Serendip Registered Member

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    When Louis Freeh ran the FBI, he loved nothing more than launching into a heartfelt rant against the dangers of encryption technology.

    In dozens of hearings and public speeches, the FBI director would urge Congress to limit encryption products, such as Web browsers and e-mail scrambling utilities, that did not include backdoors for government surveillance.

    Freeh didn't succeed. In fact, the Clinton administration veered in the opposite direction and eventually permitted, with few restrictions, the overseas shipments of data-scrambling products.

    But Freeh, who left the FBI in June 2001, hasn't given up. During an appearance before the Senate Intelligence committee last week, he warned that the political reality after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks means that it's time to reconsider what to do with encryption.

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    Note: For my part, I do not want Big Brother looking over my shoulder while I'm online! There are always angles and people who are going to use/abuse them. The greater crime would be for law-abiding people to give up their Rights in a misguided bid to control criminals!
     
  2. Mike_Healan

    Mike_Healan Registered Member

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    Nothing but a power grab. This guy has been trying to force backdoors into encryption software for years. How sad he's chosen to exploit what happened to start this war for his own purposes.

    I think a perfect balance would be encryption that the NSA CAN crack, but so strong that it takes a costly and determined effort to do so. That leaves them the ability to read the documents of a legitimate target, but discourages them from abusing it to read documents belonging to non-legitimate targets, AKA malcontented but still law-abiding citizens.

    If it takes a week-long effort from $100,000,000 computers to crack the encryption, I'm not going to worry that John Ashcroft is reading my email to my girlfriend anymore than I'm going to worry that $1,000,000,000 recon satellites are watching me burn trash in my backyard illegally.
     
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