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Security Privacy United States Technology

Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics 575

mi writes Attorney General Eric Holder called it is "worrisome" that tech companies are providing default encryption on consumer electronics, adding that locking authorities out of being able to access the contents of devices puts children at risk. “It is fully possible to permit law enforcement to do its job while still adequately protecting personal privacy,” Holder said at a conference on child sexual abuse, according to a text of his prepared remarks. “When a child is in danger, law enforcement needs to be able to take every legally available step to quickly find and protect the child and to stop those that abuse children. It is worrisome to see companies thwarting our ability to do so.”
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

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  • by spiritplumber ( 1944222 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:13PM (#48040125) Homepage
    Any sort of securista ploy to invade private property like this that starts with "think of the children" should be automatically subject to Reductio ad Hitlerum.
    • by Scottingham ( 2036128 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:16PM (#48040163)
      Seconded. Maybe Mrs. Lovejoy's law? https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
      • by Verdatum ( 1257828 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:32PM (#48040453)
        Perfection. I'm now considering this as a perfectly cromulent term. I look forward to using it in conversation.
        • by Gription ( 1006467 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:53PM (#48040745)
          I'm wondering if there is an official guideline that the administration has to spin anything into a child safety issue. "Just follow this simple flow chart before releasing to the press."

          The whole "safety, safety, safety" bit has gotten so ridiculous and I am endlessly surprised by the fact that a majority of people haven't cried "bullshit" on it. We are in the safest time in history. The thing that has changed is that a single instance of some wack job doing something crazy is blasted out of every media channel and people believe that it is a credible threat. (That explains lottery ticket sales.)

          Reality check: When you have 300,000,000+ people in a country every single day there are going to be a multi digit number of them that do something so horrendous as to drop your jaw. That doesn't make it a credible threat. Hell, if you were actually on a US domestic flight on Sept 11th 2001 you would have only have a 1 in 10,000 chance of being on a doomed flight. We aren't at a credible level of risk beyond your chance of slipping in the shower or down the stairs.

          The government IS NOT a responsible agency to be given the master keys to your life (or even a valet key!). If you had a teenage child with the same level of fiscal responsibility and the same way of dancing around the truth, you would ground them for life.
          Yeah, I will take a .00000001% increase in risk in exchange for .1% increase in safety from being screwed with by a government agency.
          • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @03:05PM (#48040897) Homepage Journal

            "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Grishnakh ( 216268 )

            The whole "safety, safety, safety" bit has gotten so ridiculous and I am endlessly surprised by the fact that a majority of people haven't cried "bullshit" on it.

            If Obama were a Republican, you would be hearing a much bigger outcry (esp. in tech circles) about this bullshit. However, since he's a Democrat and he's the "savior", the liberals refuse to criticize him and will just back everything he does, even when it's exactly the same as what Bush did, or worse.

          • by SourceFrog ( 627014 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @07:04PM (#48043069)
            The biggest irony is that nobody seems to care about actual dangers that actually harm children - for example, one of the top causes of teen death is suicide, and a major contributing cause is bullying - there is neither an outcry, nor political effort to even try come up with solutions - we cry "ZOMG think of the children oh noes, ban encryption and implement government surveillance" while simultaneously daily shuttling our depressed victimized alienated kids into the very school system that will inflict so much abuse on them that they commit suicide, without thinking anything of it, just telling them to "ignore" what is inflicted on them.
    • by AvitarX ( 172628 ) <me@brandywinehun ... org minus distro> on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:19PM (#48040219) Journal

      What I don't understand is the lack of concern about security.

      I'm far more afraid of a terrorist/criminal organization getting access to these back doors, and reading all of the encrypted documents that companies (including government contractors) want to secure, than hidden communication allowing them to get away.

      How is the government not concerned about corporate espionage, terrorism, and other criminal activity, you'd think from a security standpoint, they would want encryption to be legit.

      • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <sjc&carpanet,net> on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:38PM (#48040537) Homepage

        > I'm far more afraid of a terrorist/criminal organization getting access to these back doors, and reading all of the
        > encrypted documents that companies (including government contractors) want to secure, than hidden
        > communication allowing them to get away.

        Well overall, terrorists are the least concern since there are really so few of them and they hardly need this sort of break. If anything, they are helped more by the encryption than hindered by it....but....who cares? They are a minor concern at best, regardless of what they want you to think.

        Criminal orgs however, now we are talking. This sort of backdoor can be used for everything from extortion to corperate espionage. I am far more afraid that this will be used by someone with an agenda to find people in positions of power he can blackmail. I am FAR more worried about the influences of modern day J Edgars than a few organized criminals so despised that they need to hide from everyone at every turn already.

        Thing is, we would never really even know the extent of the damage done because so much of it would be so quietly kept.

        • by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:55PM (#48040781) Journal

          I don't know, we call just about everything a terrorist act these days. Anything high profile they try to announce that it WASN'T called a terrorist attack. Look at the Chicago airport issue last week, many news outlets lead with "In what is not a terrorist attack, a fire in an ATC building..." I've seen news reports that call simple street vandalism and muggings "domestic terrorism".

          However, I completely agree with you. Holder's statement basically says personal devices should be inherently insecure, but it is okay for corporations to have a little bit of security. How many companies have BYOD policies? How many companies buy consumer parts?

          Is he thinking the government can compel Apple to make "iPhone 7 Unencrypted Consumer Edition", and "iPhone 7 Corporate Secure Edition"? Or similarly force Android, with Google and LG and Samsung and others to split into an insecure consumer version and a more secure corporate version? I don't know, maybe they could. Of course, even the non-technical sheep could be taught to notice and push back.

      • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:41PM (#48040587) Homepage

        What I don't understand is the lack of concern about security.

        Because they don't give a shit about your security or anybody else's, and they're too stupid to realize that by weakening it for them it weakens it for anybody.

        They just want unlimited ability to get any piece of data they want without warrant, oversight, or obstacles.

        They want it to be illegal for you to have information they can't readily get.

        The scary thing is, they couldn't possibly not know that "what about the children" is a bullshit argument designed to get people to go along with it. Every mother in America says "well, if it's to protect the children, it must be good".

        In reality, children and terrorism have become the magic keys to unlock the kingdom, and bypass any pesky laws and constitutional protections.

        And anybody who disagrees with them is clearly in favor of kiddy fiddlers and terrorists.

        If this kind of thing isn't fixed soon, America is marching into becoming a facist state, while pretending to still be defenders of freedom and justice. And people are applauding this as it goes along.

      • by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @03:00PM (#48040859)

        Bingo. This exact same argument was made in the early 1990s about the Clipper Chip and banning encryption other than Clipper/Skipjack. Since Skipjack was broken, the bad guys would have access to the LEAF (law enforcement access field), and could zero out the ones on their chips. Great for them, an uncorrectable security nightmare for anyone who chose to abide by the law.

        This also brings in the US's Third Amendment. Can spyware be considered an electronic soldier? Or perhaps the Fifth Amendment about being deprived of property (spyware uses RAM/disk/network bandwidth/CPU cycles) without due process.) Micing someone's place is one thing, making them pay for being spied on is another.

        • by sconeu ( 64226 )

          One could conceivably make a Second Amendment argument as well. Until the Clinton Administration, crypto was classified as an armament, and export was regulated under ITAR.

      • The mere existence of such a backdoor or master key would result in it's eventual leak, more likely sooner than later. The government isn't the best keeper of secrets by a longshot. Their main advantage is sheer size and bureaucracy. However, if you know exactly what you want, a competent group with a bit of cracking or more likely some social engineering, will obtain what they are after.
        Additionally, the sheer number of people that would have to be involved to do this on an industry wide scale makes the nu
    • by Tokolosh ( 1256448 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:19PM (#48040227)

      They sow these seeds because there is a vast acreage of fertile ground.

      The US is in a complete state of nervous prostration. Home of the brave, my arse!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:25PM (#48040321)

        They sow these seeds because there is a vast acreage of fertile ground.

        The US is in a complete state of nervous prostration. Home of the brave, my arse!

        There's nothing wrong with being a little cautious or careful or nervous. Nature rewards aggression. If you can't see it coming, you're toast.

        The problem, though, is that the US government now sees its own citizens as the threat.

        It's one thing to defend the US from outside dangers. It's quite another to regard the citizens themselves as the danger.

        That's what's changed recently.

    • He's right! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DigitAl56K ( 805623 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:45PM (#48040629)

      “It is fully possible to permit law enforcement to do its job while still adequately protecting personal privacy,”

      Maybe it is, when law enforcement isn't brazenly violating every single principle of personal privacy for all persons without redress. You got us here, Bush and Obama administrations. You. Not us. You.

    • by jae471 ( 1102461 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @04:13PM (#48041639) Journal
      "Think of the children" Godwin's itself. It's not Reductio ad Hitlerum if Hitler *actually* said it: The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.
  • by erp_consultant ( 2614861 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:14PM (#48040137)

    It's all about control. Once the Federal government gets its nose in your business it never leaves.

    • No one doesn't call BS on this one.

    • Obama is a Democrat? Are we sure Bush still isn't in charge?
      What is the difference between Democrat and Republican again?
      • by GlennC ( 96879 )

        What is the difference between Democrat and Republican again?

        One is "Team Red" and the other is "Team Blue"...duh!

        • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )

          What is the difference between Democrat and Republican again?

          One is "Team Red" and the other is "Team Blue"...duh!

          Really. US politics are like football games, only two teams. Each team has strategies which they don't share with other team and the spectators. Prior to plays, team huddles to discuss plans for a play but spectators can only observe, kind of like what politicos do when they huddle in closed rooms. Teams know strategic plans and actions to be taken, spectators can only cheer or boo but have little influence on what team will win or lose.

  • Save the children! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:14PM (#48040147)

    The excused used by dictators since the dawn of time to rob you of your liberty.

  • by ChrisKnight ( 16039 ) <merlinNO@SPAMghostwheel.com> on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:16PM (#48040165) Homepage

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    No matter how many times I read that, I can't seem to find the clause that says "Except when..."

    • by itzly ( 3699663 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:19PM (#48040221)
      Apparently, the Founding Fathers didn't think of the children. We're fixing that now.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by ebno-10db ( 1459097 )

        The Bill of Rights was was written by 18th century terrorists and c***d molesters. It would never pass congress today.

      • by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:42PM (#48040593) Journal
        If they really wanted to "think of the children", they'd take a realistic look at where the problems are, and help more children for the same money spent, without invading anyone's privacy.

        A parent beating their kids is probably not going to be sending photos or texts bragging about what they did. The same for most cases of sexual assault by parents or relatives. And there's a heck of a lot more abuse by parents and relatives than by child pornographers.

        Putting money into raising the standard of living reduces the stresses on parents who are trying to make ends meet and just run out of patience one day and take it out on the kids. Same with equal access to employment so there's no more gender inequality on the job, so that women can more easily leave a bad situation with the kids. Kids who feel more secure, who don't run away from home to escape being abused, are less likely to fall for predators.

        Similarly, by reducing the level of domestic violence, kids don't learn by example that it's "okay" for an adult to abuse either another adult or them, so their sense of "this isn't right" when someone else tries to do something to them remains intact, and they're more likely to treat that adult as an anomaly, and seek the help of other adults who they feel they can trust (teachers, neighbors, their parents, a store clerk, even total strangers just passing by on the street), rather than treat all adults as a possible source of abuse.

        Additionally, we could work to remove the stigma of depression, so that adults caught in such scenarios can have enough self-actualization to seek help.

        Doing more of this would "save more kids" by removing the scenarios that put many of them in harms way in the first place and by making help more accessible. And it will be cheaper, and not involve depriving everyone of their rights.

        Ain't gonna happen, though, because politicians like "big and shiny." Why? Because it's easier to point to "we're doing something about it", with yet another big program, than to explain to voters that putting more money into social services, education, and mental health isn't seen as "yet another slide down the road to a nanny state." For some reason, they prefer Big Brother.

      • by Tom ( 822 )

        They probably did think of children differently than many parents today. The word "helicopter mom" hadn't been invented yet, and not for lack of helicopters.

        For many parts of history, children were not seen as cute little treasures, to be protected at all costs until the day they leave your house and you cry for three weeks. They were seen as dirty, loud little brats in desperate need of some discipline and teaching so they could finally become full human beings to help the family out with its business (whe

    • by aaron4801 ( 3007881 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:25PM (#48040339)
      "I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter." "Unless it's politically expedient to change the rules, in which case, fuck you."
    • Here it is:

      but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

      Presumably this is about searching with a warrent.

      • Exactly. If they have a warrant, they should be able to search something, plain and simple. I think the problem, and what the constitution didn't (and couldn't) foresee was that math and science created a lock that couldn't be broken. 200 years ago, the only way to protect your papers was locking them away in a safe. If you didn't want to give them the combination to the safe, then they could find other ways of brute forcing it open. Now with technology, you can store all your personal papers and effects
    • They could quibble over what's "unreasonable."
  • Clipper Chip Anyone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ronin Developer ( 67677 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:17PM (#48040181)

    Who remembers the failed Clipper chip pushed during the Clinton administration and advocated by VP Gore?

    Who remembers why it failed?

    Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it....even if they have to force it down our throats.

    • by itzly ( 3699663 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:20PM (#48040241)
      And those who understand history are doomed to watch others repeat it.
      • Beacuse those who understand or know history fail to teach the rest of us? Or at least provide a link.

        No - the wikipedia article doesn't relly teach us why it failed. Besides it being obvioulsy a bad idea. Bad ideas have thrived earlier - what made the clipper chip idea different from any other bad idea that passes to a law?

    • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:21PM (#48040263) Homepage Journal

      Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it....even if they have to force it down our throats.

      Holder doesn't fail to understand it - he and his ilk are back for Round 2. They will persist until the liberty is removed, however many rounds that takes. Then they will move on to the next liberty that still stands. If they can't win at the Federal level, they will get it done at the State level (e.g. California's back door requirements for cell phones).

      That's how government works; I guess your point is well-supported by the history after all.

  • The obvious retort (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaizeMan ( 1076255 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:19PM (#48040229) Homepage
    Holder, please investigate why is the NSA putting so many children at risk. But conducting extra-legal (and arguably extra-constitutional) collection of data for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with child abductions, they're driving the adoption default encryption across the US and across the world, making data unavaliable to police and emergency responders in critical situations. Won't the good folks at the NSA please think of the children?
  • by drnb ( 2434720 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:20PM (#48040235)
    Before the digital age how did the police ever mange to protect the children?
    • by blueg3 ( 192743 )

      Before the digital age, they seized physical documents, which were usually trivial to access (with a warrant) and decipher.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:20PM (#48040247)

    As if any crime becomes less serious if it is commited against an adult. Using the biological urge to protect the young of the species to achieve your goals is just despicable.

    • Welcome to politics. You build your argument around a base which allows you to brand those who criticize you with a statement that isn't necessarily true, but makes you seem evil.

      "You oppose this? Really? You want small children to be abused?"

      In Seattle, there were recent bus cuts, being largely blamed on failure of a vote to give the system more money. What do you see in the news? "Blind man's bus cut". So opposing giving money to the bus system means you want disabled people to suffer, you evil
  • by JudgeFurious ( 455868 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:20PM (#48040253)
    I think it's worrisome that my government thinks it should have the ability to get into every single aspect of my life with minimal obstruction because "someone", "somewhere", is doing something they shouldn't be. I am thinking of the children. I'm thinking that unless people stand up to this kind of shit "the children" are going to grow up in a world where they have absolutely no privacy and think it's perfectly acceptable for that to be the case.
  • Backdoors, privacy laws, etc. etc. etc. are all about reacting to problems that have already happened. I wish people would recognize that we have a fundamental "spiritual" problem (not religious) which is that we need to learn to care about others. Any society that focuses on individual satisfaction and freedom is going to loose the balance with good social behaviour. "Save the children" is all about reaction to a society that fundamentally values the individual freedom too highly and over and above soci

  • GTFO. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vettemph ( 540399 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:23PM (#48040287)

    When I buy a device, It is I who gets to decide if the device is an open diary for all to see, or an extension of my private thoughts.
    Get a warrant you filthy pricks.

    • Re:GTFO. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jerquiaga ( 859470 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:40PM (#48040577)

      The problem though, and the point people are missing (I think, though maybe I'm giving Holder too much credit) is that when they do get a warrant, they still can't access the data. Again, maybe I'm giving them too much credit, but law enforcement should be able to get a warrant and then access that data, through a legal search and seizure. At least the way it's being reported, with iOS 8 even if law enforcement brought a legal warrant to Apple, Apple wouldn't be able to decrypt the data. Won't be long before Google and Microsoft follow suit.

      I know, I know, the Slashdot response will be "but NSA!" So be it.

      • Won't be long before Google and Microsoft follow suit.

        Google has never had the ability to decrypt an encrypted Android phone. The key encryption key is derived from the user's password (plus salt), so a brute force search of possible passwords can recover it, but Google hasn't ever had any special back door. If you use a good password, no one is going to be able to get in without your assistance.

        (I'm a member of Google's Android security team. Not speaking as an official representative, mind you, but anyone can look at the code and see exactly how it works,

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:25PM (#48040329)

    When a child is in danger, law enforcement needs to be able to take every legally available step to quickly find and protect the child and to stop those that abuse children.

    Because when a child is in danger all our rights go out the window. Next up "when a politician is n danger ...".
    How many times has the problem for stopping child abuse been "we can't decrypt these files"?
    It seems to me far more often it's "the child is making it up", or no the foster family isn't harming your child now shut up or lose visitation.
    Maybe they should take a look at that before putting security holes in every single device for some sort of hypothetical situation.

  • signed The World. So how is tapping my phone going to save starving third world child soldiers mining for gold and stones. Oh yah don't don't live here...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:26PM (#48040347)

    They put it in there to thwart *anybody* who might be trying to listen in on private communications or steal information. This is a necessary thing in an age when information is flitting around wirelessly and when physical property containing vast amounts of personal information can be easily stolen. In other words, it's in there as much to thwart would-be criminals as it is to thwart anyone who might have legitimate reasons for access. Illegitimate or legitimate, the technology makes no distinction.

    Deal with it. Get a warrant. Legally compel people to provide keys. Whatever. I don't see the justification for intentionally putting in back doors that can be discovered and abused by criminals as easily as law enforcement could use it for legitimate purposes. And never mind the implication that law enforcement or others in the government could themselves be illegally getting access.

    What you're talking about is intentionally inserting flaws in a technology that is there for good reasons.

  • by thevirtualcat ( 1071504 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:27PM (#48040365)

    Person in a position of power says something to convince large amounts of people to undermine their own best interests.

  • True security will happen when we have law enforcement monitoring everyone everywhere all the time. I mean we're 1/2 way there anyway, why not go the last mile and commit to absolutely zero personal privacy.

  • by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:27PM (#48040381) Journal
    If the government hadn't been stomping all over its authority (and limits thereof), then perhaps such measures wouldn't be needed.

    Holder contends that "It is fully possible to permit law enforcement to do its job while still adequately protecting personal privacy.” that may be possible in theory, but governments everywhere have demonstrated repeatedly that they can't be trusted to protect personal privacy. In other words: allowing law enforcement the ability to search through a phone's contents willy nilly, trusting them not to abuse that authority, is a nice-to-have. And because of their actions, we can't have nice things.
  • Whiny law enforcement being forced to actually do their job.... News at a11....

    No surprise the broke out the "think of the children" straw man right away though....

  • "Think of the children" FUD does not trump them.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:36PM (#48040505) Homepage

    These guys have decided to go straight for the "it's for the children" argument.

    It's a stupid argument. It says that in order to protect hypothetical children from hypothetical threats, all people must give up their rights to make it easier for law enforcement to get information without cause or warrant.

    And since you've already had your rights taken away, we will also use this for plenty of other things. Like parallel construction of what we charge you for, and whatever else we can think of to misuse this information for.

    Fucking lying assholes and fascists.

    America is pretty much screwed at this point, and unfortunately, that is affecting everyone else on the damned planet.

    Obama is just as happy to create the surveillance state as Bush was. Audacity of Hope is such a fucking lie.

  • The last bastion of desperate statists.

  • The most transparent administration ever wants YOU to be transparent FIRST, before its own transparency kicks in. They are dedicated to chipping away at the first, second, fourth, ninth and tenth amendments, instead of upholding them in accordance with their oath of office. That's half of the Bill of Rights that they treat as obstacles to exercising their power, instead of critical rights the people have charged them to protect.
  • by Bruce66423 ( 1678196 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:52PM (#48040737)
    In an international free market, if US companies are seen to succumb to this pressure, open source and foreign companies will come along and sell items that (they claim( don't have the back doors. Either the US can shut up about this, or it can lose its companies...
  • by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @02:53PM (#48040749) Homepage Journal

    “It is fully possible to permit law enforcement to do its job while still adequately protecting personal privacy,”

    It is if we are permitted to keep our own information secret from law enforcement except when compelled to deliver it by warrant.

    As if regular examples of law enforcement taking advantage of their access to data to spy on current and ex-spouses,boy/girlfriends, family, etc aren't enough of a warning to say NO to this, the fact that they wish to have the Fourth and Fifth Amendments circumvented in law should be enough to deny this.

    We must say no.

  • by mu51c10rd ( 187182 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @03:19PM (#48041051)

    I have kids. I think of them. I have no need for these backdoors Eric Holder wants. I know what my kids do and who is with them. Please stop the "think of the children" excuses for these intrusions.

  • Kidnapping? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @03:26PM (#48041153) Homepage

    "Only about 100 missing-child reports each year fit the profile of a stereotypical abduction by a stranger or vague acquaintance." [crimelibrary.com] Those are the real kidnapping cases, and there's usually no identified suspect whose phone law enforcement could dump.

  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @03:30PM (#48041199) Journal

    Backdoors are a threat to national security; because there is ALWAYS a risk they will be discovered by other parties or that the mechanism for their operation will prove to be exploitable.

    That could leave us in a situation where an enemy, very likely even an enemy without state resources could find themselves in a position where they can disrupt/eavesdrop/other wise access just about all non-military equipment. Its terrible idea when we face threats like ISIS to deliberately weaken our information security posture. It could be economically crippling.

    I am leaving out all arguments about civil liberties basic freedoms etc because the Intelligence committee types, and the FUCKING FREEDOM HATING ASSHOLES like Holder don't care about those arguments.

    It comes down to this while backdoor the whole world might prevent a tiny number of crimes against children it puts the entire American way of life at risk. We had this conversation before in the 90's with Skipjack and our society made the right choice back then, for whatever reasons wrong or right. It was only 20 some years ago, the world has not changed that much; this is not the time to re-evaluate this.

    Holder is bad rubbish and its good a thing he will soon be gone.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @04:19PM (#48041697)

    Any deliberately installed backdoor is usually trivial to find with a forensic analysis and it doesn't take a "licensed" forensic analyst to find it. How long do you think it would take until knowledge of how to use that backdoor to enter your kids' appliances reaches the circles that are interested in peeping into your kids' bedrooms?

    Dear Obama administration: Bullshitting people with the old "won't someone PLEASE think of the children" works both ways. In this case, I doubt that you have the better arguments. Faced with the choice of you not having access to their kids' systems and your access offering predators access to them as well, I kinda doubt concerned parents will side with you!

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @05:04PM (#48042087) Homepage Journal

    What if the information on my phone could be abused to abduct children? What if Chester Molester figures out the back door? Why doesn't the DOJ care about the safety of children?

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @05:35PM (#48042403) Homepage Journal

    Thank you Mr. Holder. I *have* thought of the children.
    They have exactly NOTHING to do with my desire not to have my devices and data compromised. Either by tech-savvy criminals, terrorists or a government panopticon run amok.

    Ammendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    You were hired to do a job. DO YOUR JOB. DO IT THE RIGHT WAY! Stop whining that everything isn't handed to you on a silver plate.
    I (and many like me) refuse to abrogate our rights just to make your life easier.
    I (and many like me) refuse to be pre-criminalized just to make your life easier.
    I (and many like me) refuse to be treated like criminals or monsters simply because you play demagogue when we don't make your life easier.
    If you can't do your job without violating the law and people's rights, please quit and allow someone COMPETENT to take up your position. There's nothing shameful about acknowledging your own limitations.

  • by BringsApples ( 3418089 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2014 @06:52PM (#48042981)
    Think of the children when you take away their health insurance.
    Think of the children when you tax the shit out of the lower class mommys and daddys.
    Think of the children when you declare war.

    There are many more, but let's be honest, if anyone in the government gave half of a shit about kids, children wouldn't be molested/beaten as much as they are these days. None of the ridiculous shit that the government can do, not even send someone into your house to monitor you 24/7 would stop child abuse of any kind. Keep alcohol legal, keep taxing the hell out of daddy and mommy, keep the streets as full of potholes as possible, keep the police as nervous as hell, keep the ability of corporations to pay government officials to sway law enactment, and you'll never, ever, ever, ever, EVER keep the children, or the adults, safe.
  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @02:11AM (#48044729) Homepage Journal

    âoeIt is fully possible to permit law enforcement to do its job while still adequately protecting personal privacy,â

    Yes, but the way to do so is to get a document signed by a court and give it to a human being who will then do what it orders, like unlock his phone and give it to you.

    It is absolutely, 100% not possible to put a backdoor into a system without compromising the system. If it has a backdoor, the backdoor will be abused. If it is protected by a unique key, the key will be lost. If it is protected by encryption (key/certificate authentication), the signing certificate will be stolen or leaked (it would become the master-key target that every criminal in the sphere would be after, only a matter of time until one of them succeeds).

  • Lost Trust (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Thursday October 02, 2014 @04:43AM (#48045105)
    I think that the invasion of Iraq and the lies propagated by the Bush administration as well as the Reagan scandal of arms for contras was the last straw for the public trusting the government. Lack of prison sentences for the mortgage scandals haven't helped one bit either. And then there is the issue of the use of torture on POWs. At some point one begins to think of the US as a banana republic that operates without any morality at all.

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie

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