Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Nov 2013 23:46 UTC
Internet & Networking

"We can end government censorship in a decade," Schmidt said during a speech in Washington. "The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything."

Setting aside the entertaining aspect of the source of said statement, I don't think encryption in and of itself is enough. Encryption performed by companies is useless, since we know by now that companies - US or otherwise - are more than eager to bend over backwards to please their governments.

What we need is encryption that we perform ourselves, so that neither governments nor companies are involved. I imagine some sort of box between your home network and the internet, that encrypts and decrypts everything, regardless of source or destination. This box obviously needs to run open source software, otherwise we'd be right back where we started.

Is something like that even possible?

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Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Fri 22nd Nov 2013 07:46 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

Isn't the government elected by the people and representing the interests of the people?

I think we should always try and make systems and communications more secure, but it's rather strange and a rather unwanted situation that we should be protecting us against people we choose to protect us.

Okay, I guess it's naive to even hope one day governments stop trying to lie, cheat and f*ck us over, but I don't think we should just accept that as a fact and treat it as normal.

If we increase our defenses they'll just step up their offenses. Encryption of certain data could be come illegal, encryption of any data will become illegal after that. If they can't snoop digitally they just start driving through the streets or post in front of your house. They stop having to prove you are guilty, you will have to start prove you are not.

What we need civil digital rights have these made constitutional.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by kwan_e on Fri 22nd Nov 2013 08:01 in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I see it differently.

The government should really be encouraging everyone to encrypt. They may think they're getting national security by allowing NSA backdoors, but in reality a backdoor is open to anyone with the same expertise and thus jeopardizes national security.

The government should encourage everyone to get encrypted as it does with vaccination.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Fri 22nd Nov 2013 08:14 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I agree, but I have little faith in the capabilities of the average user.

A few weeks ago a co-worked called me with a problem. I told him to repeat his story in our ticket system. He didn't know what that was, despite me sending several emails with explanations, screenshots with huge arrows. He denied it. So I asked him to fire up his browser, he didn't know what a browser was.

Another person lost all her files. She was trying to open Word files from Excel. Then she lost a bunch of emails, turned out she made a subfolder in Outlook with the same name at 3 different locations and spilt the emails over them.

I can't ask them to encrypt their stuff. Even if they manage to I'm sure many people then won't be able to get their stuff back. Forgetting a password is inconvenient, forgetting a decryption key is game over.

How many people refuse to abandon Windows XP? I doubt these people would even do encryption even if the state begged them to.

Sure we need education and motivation from the government, but a lot and perhaps most people just don't understand because they either can't or won't and a number that do give it a go may either encrypt their data and lose access to it or think they have encrypted it and actually haven't done so.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by WereCatf on Fri 22nd Nov 2013 08:06 in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Isn't the government elected by the people and representing the interests of the people?


Since when? Governments in all their various forms have always been about enforcement of the views and ideas of the elite running them; you raise certain people on a pedestal if they aren't there already and they'll proceed to strengthen that pedestal with fences, turrets and traps.

I think we should always try and make systems and communications more secure, but it's rather strange and a rather unwanted situation that we should be protecting us against people we choose to protect us.


In most cases you don't choose anyone, it's an illusion. Votes are easy to manipulate and you're never actually given the choice of choosing anyone you'd like, you're only given the option of choosing from a group of people already chosen for you. Are you really being given a total freedom to choose as you see fit if you're being told that you can only choose from a given set of choices?

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Fri 22nd Nov 2013 08:18 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

How you describe it is what it is in reality, I just don't think we should just accept that and I accept my idea is both naive and unrealistic given the history of mankind so far.

But then we at least should protect ourselves with a feeling that we should't be and this is wrong and not protect ourselves just accepting that governments, politicians and generally people in charge don't have our best interests high on their priority list.

Reply Parent Score: 3