Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Nov 2010 22:34 UTC
In the News As none other I know how problematic it is to discuss matters related to politics on the web. However, every now and then, there's no way around it, and this is one of those moments. There's this thing going on at airports in the US, and while many will see it as a separate issue, the body scanner issue, and the sad stories it has spawned, are symptoms of a far larger problem that is a direct threat to everything we've fought for during and since the Enlightenment.
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darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

You say it sarcastically, but you're more right than you know. Those skilled at crime and terror will always get around the security measures. It's a universal principal: Where there is security, there is always someone smart enough to foil it. All the security measures do is give the sheeple an illusion of safety. You can be licensed to carry a firearm on a plane: typically these licenses are given out only to select military officials, but anything can be forged given someone with enough know how and the right equipment. In practice though, there's no real purpose to bring a gun into the plane. Sure they can kill people with it, but typically they want to inspire terror in the living. A plane crash, even with reports of a crazed lunatic with a gun, isn't as heart-jerking as something like 911. They don't just want death, they want to terrorize. Big content using this illusion as a way to push through mandatory device scanning is scary. I am puzzled, however, as to how they're going to scan my drive effectively when I've got it heavily encrypted? I don't at the moment, but if they start doing this you can bet that I will. It's the principal of the thing, they have no right to what doesn't belong to them and the contents of my device belong to me. I'm also puzzled as to how they'd force me to install mandatory monitoring software? Software must be installed or else inserted into hardware, and there's no way I'm installing any software *or* hardware that would do such a thing. I like Windows 7 but it's no big hassle for me to switch to Linux on those machines should it come to that and the monitoring software be inserted into the os itself (very possible). So how exactly are they going to mandate something which, by its very nature, must be installed by the user? Even if they mandate it be put in new machines or Windows itself, they'll not monitor a large majority of the population who either won't be buying new equipment nor upgrading their os. It's not lagistically practical.

Reply Parent Score: 6

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Big content using this illusion as a way to push through mandatory device scanning is scary. I am puzzled, however, as to how they're going to scan my drive effectively when I've got it heavily encrypted?


I'm more puzzled as to how device scanning could possibly help security in the first place. What am I gonna do, crash the plane with some appliation on the disk? Assault the pilot with my pirate MP3's?

So how exactly are they going to mandate something which, by its very nature, must be installed by the user?


By making it an offense not to?

Reply Parent Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

"So how exactly are they going to mandate something which, by its very nature, must be installed by the user?


By making it an offense not to?
"

Right, because that works so well every other time we've made something an offense. Ask the White House how their so-called war on drugs is coming along. They can make it an offense for me not to install it, but what're they going to do? Support every os under the sun? Will it be illegal for me to use an open source os next? Completely impractical, since aside from illegally searching my machines they won't even know what I'm running to begin with.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I am puzzled, however, as to how they're going to scan my drive effectively when I've got it heavily encrypted?

I can answer to this one : they'll put you in jail until you give the key to them.

Heavy encryption that the police can't bypass easily was illegal in the US, last time I checked.

Back on the topic of plane security, this is exactly the reason why I never travel by plane unless forced to do so (as long as I travel in the EU, the train network is not bad if you don't mind some extra delays for long travels).

In a democratic society, people are innocents unless proven guilty. Without that kind of confidence, no government giving some kind of freedom to its citizens can work. But plane security is often the opposite of that.

Edited 2010-11-17 07:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Heavy encryption that the police can't bypass easily was illegal in the US, last time I checked.


I'm going to assume you are ignorant of the facts and not trying to troll or deliberately misinform others.

The encryption itself, and utilizing it, are not at all illegal in the U.S. If that were the case, no wireless router, no operating system, indeed no automobile would be legal to sell, own or use.

Two things surrounding encryption are illegal in the U.S.: Exporting tools (hardware or software) which enable high-level encryption to certain foreign countries, and using encryption to commit a crime or obstruct a criminal investigation.

In other words, it's perfectly legal to secure your WiFi using AES (in fact one day it may become illegal not to), and it's perfectly legal to encrypt the contents of your hard drive using Truecrypt or similar. It is absolutely illegal to not divulge the key when presented with a valid warrant for the key.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If the police have the document and ask you to open your locked car or home, you are obliged to do so. If they ask you to open a safe or provide the combination and they have the document, you are obliged to. If the border guard asks for the combination to your encrypted hard drive, the document is assumed, you are obliged to provide decryption keys.

Now, what happens if you don't open your car/home or provide the safe combination? What do you think happens when you won't provide the decryption keys?

Reply Parent Score: 2