Encryption, privacy and security...
Terrorists used Telegram
to exchange encrypted messages before they struck in Germany and killed a priest — and other people as well. Now the media focus on Telegram *because* it's been used by terrorists... slightly but surely making us feel ashamed if we ever wanted to or used such services, right?
I'm sick of that propaganda.
Terrorists used nails (as in «hammer», not in «finger») in their bombs. Did we condemn DIY stores?
Terrorists used tin cans to make their bombs. Did we condemn metallurgy industries for helping them build weapons of massive killing?
Terrorists and war agents also use post offices to communicate. Did we ever think of questioning the principles of our democracies?
Doesn't "overbroad" chime in?
Should we close an entire service just because it has issues?
Should we stay alone because we once failed to make contact with someone?
Shall we bomb a state because one person cheated on us?
Should we stop trying because we failed once?
Should we stop being happy because we're afraid of dying?
Should we give up our rights and freedom just because violence is an inherent part of our democracies?
- Are you kidding?
In our constitutions, democracies in general, crimes must be perpetrated before
they can be punished. In short: lives must be taken before the assassins can be punished. Yes, there must be death so life can be defended.
We've all signed for it: we live in a democracy.
You cannot and may not prevent crimes because it would otherwise tear our essential rights apart: police forces would have to constantly spy any form of communication, potentially storing it for as long as they can and we would of course have no right over what is stored about us and why. If we continue to ignore what's at stakes, nothing will guard against dangerous drifts and abuse since the security agencies have all the power they claim to try and control any of our activities.
Huh?... wait, they already do!
London is a place with CCD cameras implanted in every section. There's no spot you're not under the angle of a CCD camera. And even you are excited in installing cameras, for security matters, of course, with direct access from the internet to watch your children?
With the digital era came the ease of use... but also the ease of spying: any form of communication between two digital peers, like two computers, requires both peers to identify themselves. That's quite handy for anyone wanting to spy on us and for two reasons: he would know who's who and where but mostly tapping would go unnoticed. Why? Because the digital technology allows it, by repeating over and over the information until it reaches the end it's supposed to reach. It's called a network. The obvious consequence is this: if our rights were broken, we would not notice.
There is also a way to put a dent into the tapping desires of our silent listeners: it's called encryption. Just note that encryption still allows identifying where the exchanging peers are located, when and how long they communicate. It's called metadata. Reminds you of something? Of course, encryption doesn't make security agencies happy...
Privacy is gone with Yahoo, Google, Outlook... in short: any communication service that remotely or closely relates with the American state. In other words, American authorities can dig *without a warrant* into what we all say, write, send, receive... regardless of whether we're american citizens or not.
For our security, of course.
That freaking scares me!
Until not so long ago, post offices guaranteed that any letter we wrote would never be opened or intercepted by anyone during transport. Why? Because it's one of the fundamental pillars of our democracy and one of our essential rights: privacy. Privacy guarantees freedom. Freedom guarantees democracy. Remove one, remove all
«But... I have nothing to hide!»
Excerpt from the article:
So, it doesn’t bother you that the government has logged, collated, deciphered and indefinitely stored your entire internet browsing history and habits – what websites you visited, what you posted on social media and chat forums, your search engine queries and even what you watched.
It also doesn’t bother you that they have at their disposal the whole content of every single call and text you’ve ever made, instant messages, Skype and normal telephone calls in addition to their metadata – who you have called, how and when you called them, the location you called them from, and how long you called them for.
After all, only if you have done something wrong, or if you have got something to hide should you be worried, right?
Oh, in that case then, could you please kindly do something for me?
I want you to voluntarily send me all of your passwords, a copy of all your text messages, work and personal emails, your browsing history together with your bank and medical records just so that I can have a quick ‘gander’ through them.
It is essential for democracies to punish crimes. But it is also essential to grant freedoms. To *everyone*. Should those freedoms be given up for more security?
But not every state is as «gentle» towards its citizens as... ours, right? Note that in certain countries you can be put in jail or sentenced to death if your «conduct» doesn't please those who write laws. But, wait... that's fine, isn't it?
What if you're sentenced to jail because you're convicted to deal drugs as someone profited from a moment of distraction from you to put substances in your pockets and by the law there's no lawyer to defend you? What if you risk the death penalty for disagreeing with your government? Or the local religion? Being a journalist in such countries is no good. What if they're caught spreading «heretic» ideas outside the frontiers of the state? Does the safety of a government now prime over that of the citizens it's supposed to defend?
Encryption allows journalists — as well as ordinary people — to report facts and be safe. If we ban encryption we're signing their death penalty. Are we ready for that? Oh, never mind, that was just one
example. If we ban encryption, do you think whoever really wants to use it will never find his way?
Evil does not exist because of technology. Evil exists because it's inherent to human nature. There's absolutely no
technological cure to violence. It's up to us to see the evil or the good in anyone else's actions. Or both! It's up to us to see the balance. It's up to us
to actually do
the balance, in fact.
Should we accept or demand that privacy be abandoned just because we [are lead to] focus on the most violent who use it against us?
Should we give up all we have because we chose to blind ourselves?
There's no cure to evil but education and instruction. Oh, and any form of propaganda is none of them...
So, think twice.