It's time for technology companies to cooperate with security officials

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by CalWizrd, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. CalWizrd Suspended

    CalWizrd

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    #1
    OK. This will be a very unpopular concept, but I think it's time for technology companies (Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.) to find common ground for cooperation with security officials with regard to messaging/mail encryption protocols.

    One of the few methods open to security/law enforcement personnel to prevent a "Paris type" terrorist incident is to pick up advance chatter and messaging between/among terrorist cells. This effort is significantly crippled by current encryption techniques.

    Before anyone quotes it, I'm certainly well aware of the thoughts of Benjamin Franklin regarding (paraphrased) "... he who gives up liberty for security will have neither...".

    I don't care.

    I for one would gladly give up my "unbreakable" messaging capability in favor of giving security personnel the ability to pick up on these types of scenarios. Frankly, screw Snowden, I'd much prefer keeping us a little bit safer from terrorist lunatics.

    Let the uproar begin...
     
  2. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #2
    The Fourth Amendment says "**** that dumb ****."
     
  3. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #4
    The recent Paris attacks, like any terrorist incident, were the culmination of a lengthy chain of events and circumstances. This includes the emergence of groups such as ISIL in the Middle East; along with large disaffected Muslim communities in western European countries; the relative ease of travel between those nations; lax and poorly organized security protocols in Paris itself. The manner of communication between terrorist organizations such as ISIL and the perpetrators of the Paris attacks is but a tiny part of that chain.

    Handing over access to Government security and intelligence services to literally every type of electronic communication for every citizen is a mistake. It provides the illusion of security - while doing all but nothing to dissuade the most determined of attackers. And at the same time fatally compromises the privacy and - ultimately - freedom of every citizen of this and other countries.

    From a technological standpoint, we need to understand this very clearly: Without unbreakable digital encryption - electronic commerce simply cannot take place. If tech companies put in a "backdoor" for the NSA or GCHQ - then it is only a matter of time before that same backdoor is uncovered and exploited by organized criminals and hostile foreign Governments.

    The secret to defeating groups like ISIL lies in good intelligence work; relentless, methodical law enforcement; a well thought-out approach to military and political nation-building in the Middle East; and a thorough and professional evaluation of security procedures at each and every public gathering place (from the smallest restaurant to the largest stadium) in our own countries.

    Handing over our privacy to Government snoopers comes at too high a price, and at too low a benefit, to be a reasonable option.

    No to Tech Companies creating "backdoors" for spies. Ours, or anybody else's.
     
  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #5
    Good thread, but hell no.

    Backdoors are security vulnerabilities, and ones that won't just be exploited by governments (including Russia, China etc) but also by criminals.

    And yes its a smaller thing each time, but those thousand cuts add up to more than this attack.

    Improved community relations and policing should help.
     
  5. chown33, Nov 15, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015

    chown33 macrumors 604

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    #6
    This assumes that all encryption is either breakable or can be subverted by the cooperation of a technology company. In other words, it assumes it's impossible for anyone to use, create, or obtain unassailable encryption.

    That's simply wrong.

    Encryption algorithms and protocols are public knowledge. Anyone with adequate skills can implement them, then do with them what they please. That isn't theoretical either, see cryptlib and openssl.

    If tech companies start "cooperating with security officials" in ways that undermine the officially supported encryption, then the Bad Guys will simply stop using that encryption and hire someone to make their own. There's no shortage of programmers already working for various malware interests, and they certainly aren't amateurs when it comes to crypto or security.

    When only the Bad Guys have unassailable encryption, and everyone else has the "weak crap", then the best that "security officials" can hope for is to monitor metadata: who contacts whom, who seems to be using unassailable encryption, etc.

    Funny thing is: the security officials can already do that, and are almost certainly doing so.

    So the net results are:
    - Ordinary people have crappy encryption (breakable, or subvertible by corporations).
    - Bad Guys are the only ones with real unassailable encryption.
    - "Security officials" are in the same boat they are now: monitoring metadata, breaking weak encryption, getting other encryption subverted by corporations.

    And remember that breakable or subvertible encryption means that the holder of the subversion keys becomes a high-value target, worth spending time and resources to break into or subvert.
     
  6. Praxis91 macrumors regular

    Praxis91

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    #7
    The Bill of Rights is non-negotiable. Natural rights are for the state to acknowledge, not take away.
     
  7. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    #8
    In spite of blanket surveillance (and supposedly also a warning from Iraqi security services that something would go down), the West was taken by surprise by the Paris attack. Some believe the answer is more pointless ease-dropping by governments (do not be so foolish as to think a back-door developed for, say, the US would not also be used by, say, PRC).

    Our intelligence services need to get more focused, and that does not entail indiscriminate snooping. Honestly, I'd prefer our intelligence services cyber-attacking all of the extremist recruiting sites and accounts so that they just give up using the internet. I'd fill jihadist web sites and forums with so much spam they wouldn't know who or what to trust. Also, I find it curious that ISIS is in Syria but manages to get information out - why hasn't Syria's internet link been cut or censored?
     
  8. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #9
    Based on leaks they have been, and it hasn't worked to stop attacks as we can see with Paris. Part of the problem is that we are intercepting so much data that we can't actually analyze it all. I believe they said that at least one of the Paris attackers was already known to security forces, the problem is we may have their name on a list, but our broad surveillance measures ensures that a lot of innocent people end up on those lists along with the actual terrorists so we don't have the manpower to monitor all of them and we don't have good ways of knowing who on the list is a legitimate threat and who isn't.
     
  9. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #10
    300+ million in the US. 500+ million in the EU. I think we have enough manpower to investigate everybody who needs investigation (when last I heard, a few thousand). The issue is political will and the elites' sense of power that they can read everybody's e-mails. They want more.
     
  10. zin macrumors 6502

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    #11
    The Fourth Amendment is not a blanket protection against this kind of surveillance. The Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. It's the reason somebody can do a full body search on you at the airport without a warrant, because given the risk it is not an unreasonable search.

    Whether or not government backdoors such as this constitute unreasonable searches is something to be determined.
     
  11. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #12
    A reasonably minded person would consider it to be an unreasonable search. See: Digital 4th
     
  12. shinji macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Not everyone agrees the TSA's policies are behavior are constitutional, and if you ever want to see how easily abused broad government powers like theirs can be, you need only look at their awful track record.
     
  13. zin macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I'm not sure a reasonable minded person would be able to form an opinion right now because we don't have access to the same information as the security agencies. We know nothing about the risks and therefore I don't think you could say that it is an outright unreasonable type of search.

    For all we know, the people in our security agencies are working flat out, finding it increasingly difficult to trace terrorist communications, and sincerely believe that they need these tools to stay ahead of the criminals.

    An alternative that you also haven't even considered is that this kind of surveillance is not even a search. The 4A only protects persons, papers, houses, and effects. Is your cloud data an effect? If it's not then it cannot be protected by the 4A.

    Either way I simply don't know enough about the risks to form an opinion on these surveillance tools and whether they are necessary.
     
  14. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #15
    How ****ing paranoid does a person have to become to be willing to up one's liberties?

    Franklin was right.
     
  15. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #16
    scary isn't it.
     
  16. stroked Suspended

    stroked

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    #17
    Cloud data, is today's papers.
     
  17. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    #18
    a reasonable search would need to be based upon probable cause. The gov't has no probable cause to search my communications.
     
  18. zioxide, Nov 15, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015

    zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #19
    The problem is as soon as you put a "backdoor" into something like RSA, you make everything on the internet completely insecure. Companies and people won't be able to transmit personal data or financial transactions securely. Cybercrime, phishing, and identify theft would skyrocket.

    Terrorists will just use secure software anyways. There's tons of open source encryption solutions on the internet. You can't force them to use American software.

    I'm not risking the security of my finances over a 0.00000001% chance of being killed by some "terrorist".
     
  19. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    #20
    Not quite correct. The TSA and airport screening decisions were made exempt from the 4A back in 1973 after a rules in U.S. vs Davis, 482 F2d 893, 908. The key wording in this ruling includes noting that airport screenings are considered to be administrative searches because they are conducted as part of a general regulatory scheme, where the essential administrative purpose is to prevent the carrying of weapons or explosives aboard aircraft.”

    At the end of the day, we as travelers aren't "forced" into the searches as we may avoid them at any time by electing not to fly. We grant permission by our willingness to use the transportation services we are selecting through the purchase of our airline ticket.
     
  20. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #21
    I hate to tell you but the problem that the French and other nations haven't really vetted or tracked citizens that went to fight for ISIL and returning home! IMHO this is what's going on. Also wasn't it just a little while ago many European Media welcome all these new immigration rush? This has come back to bite them in the arse!!!

    Plus I think Sweden has left has gone off the rails A Swedish Offical Wants to Help ISIS Soliders Coming Home!
     
  21. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #22
    What exactly are you trying to say here? Refugees are terrorists?
     
  22. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #23
    some sure are, say the Boston bombers.
     
  23. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #24
    Those brothers were refugees? Really? Please provide a source.
     

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