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Encryption United States

Jimmy Wales and Former NSA Chief Ridicule Government Plans To Ban Encryption 176

Mickeycaskill writes: Jimmy Wales has said government leaders are "too late" to ban encryption which authorities say is thwarting attempts to protect the public from terrorism and other threats. The Wikipedia founder said any attempt would be "a moronic, very stupid thing to do" and predicted all major web traffic would be encrypted soon. Wikipedia itself has moved towards SSL encryption so all of its users' browsing habits cannot be spied on by intelligence agencies or governments. Indeed, he said the efforts by the likes of the NSA and GCHQ to spy on individuals have actually made it harder to implement mass-surveillance programs because of the public backlash against Edward Snowden's revelations and increased awareness of privacy. Wales also reiterated that his site would never co-operate with the Chinese government on the censorship of Wikipedia. "We've taken a strong stand that access to knowledge is a principle human right," he said. derekmead writes with news that Michael Hayden, the former head of the CIA and the NSA, thinks the US government should stop railing against encryption and should support strong crypto rather than asking for backdoors. The US is "better served by stronger encryption, rather than baking in weaker encryption," he said during a panel on Tuesday.
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Jimmy Wales and Former NSA Chief Ridicule Government Plans To Ban Encryption

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  • The money quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @03:29PM (#50681235) Homepage Journal

    Hayden said that losing the first Crypto War on the Clipper Chip did not stop the US government from obtaining the information it needed.

    âoeIn retrospect, we mastered the problem we created by the lack of the Clipper Chip,â he said. âoeWe were able to do a whole bunch of other things. Some of the other things were metadata, and bulk collection and so on.â

    So... "don't ban encryption, we don't need to!"

    • Exactly, just look for the person not leaking data to google and go after them.

      if you're dumb enough terrorist to leave your location data on I hope the NSA has you covered.

    • Re:The money quote (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @03:49PM (#50681351)

      The members of government that want to ban encryption simply do not understand the information enterprise. They were born and raised in a world where that was not a part of their day-to-day mindspace, so they fundamentally don't get it. They especially don't understand how important it is for ordinary commerce, and the economy as a whole.

      Government is always about a decade or two behind current technological trends, and often passes laws that do great harm and no good because of this. Eventually (10-20 years too late) those laws usually get corrected. But in an age where technology progresses as fast as it does today, a 10-20 year lag can be extremely painful.

      • I was under the impression the Supreme Court had already ruled you can encrypt as the encrypted message is protected speech, too.

        That should be the case if not, but I do remember reading that. This was also why the government could get away wth banning export of encryption devices, but not the speech itself.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        They are not proposing a ban outright, they are proposing to ban products that they can't circumvent.

        Banks will be able to use encryption because they hand over financial records when asked. Shops will be able to use encryption because they need it and the purchase is logged elsewhere for the government to access anyway.

        Facebook, Google and Apple will be banned from using encryption so that the government can simply tap a backbone or two and hoover everything up for later analysis. You won't be able to encr

  • same as guns (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @03:39PM (#50681289)
    So making encryption illegal will stop terrorists from using encryption? You know, the same way that making terrorism illegal stops terrorism. What a joke. It's the same as guns. If you make guns illegal, criminals will still have them. That's why they're criminals. They don't follow laws.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Same as abortions. Wait, what?

      • Sure, before abortions were legal, desperate women would use coat hangers, or go to the local witch doctor.

        • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @04:57PM (#50681719)

          Gee, when I went to the local witch doctor, he just told me, "Ooh ee ooh aah aah, ting tang walla walla bing bang."

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Well, the poorer women did. The upper middle class and rich went to "specialists" or out of country.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So making encryption illegal will stop terrorists from using encryption? You know, the same way that making terrorism illegal stops terrorism.

      In a way it almost could. If encrypted communications are illegal, then any party encrypting their communications can be easily identified, apprehended, and arrested before anything unpleasant happens. You no longer need to care about what was in the communication, the existence of the communication becomes enough of a crime to pursue.

      However this will just lead to a dramatic increase in use of steganography instead of encryption. Funny cat pics will have embedded text and amateur porn videos will have d

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If encrypted communications were illegal, then everyone who ever buys anything online would be instantly hacked and their bank accounts drained. All internet-facing businesses would basically have to go offline because it would be too easy for people to hack them and steal all the info they have on their customers, including payment information, etc.

        The first world, as we know it today, can no longer function without encryption.

        Incidentally, computer hacking is already illegal, and we cannot today just fin

    • by kbg ( 241421 )

      No it's not the same as guns. Guns are physical objects, encryption is not. Encryption is nothing else than a few mathematical formulas. It is impossible to ban thoughts and speech however you can ban guns.

      • by fred911 ( 83970 )

        Um... tell that to Phil Zimmerman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] .

      • No it's not the same as guns. Guns are physical objects, encryption is not. Encryption is nothing else than a few mathematical formulas. It is impossible to ban thoughts and speech however you can ban guns.

        Right. Works as good as banning drugs, right?

        • by kbg ( 241421 )

          Drugs are not the same as guns. You don't get physically addicted to guns. You are comparing apples and oranges.

          • Drugs are not the same as guns. You don't get physically addicted to guns. You are comparing apples and oranges.

            You said banning guns would be easier than encryption because guns are physical objects. When I pointed out drugs are physical objects, too, and bans fail, you move the goal post. So... you think the only people using illegal drugs are physically addicted?

            I assume you, like most people, don't really want to ban guns, but just provide certain people with a monopoly on using them. More people have been killed by their own government than by any other cause.

            • by kbg ( 241421 )

              No you are confused. Guns, drugs and encryption are not the same things. Guns are objects designed to kill people, drug is a material designed to give you euphoria and are physically addictive, encryption is a mathematical concept. It is possible to ban or limit guns, it is very hard to ban drugs because once people get addicted their only purpose in life is to get more drugs, encryption is extremely hard to ban because it is a mathematical concept.

              What is so hard to understand?

              More people have been killed by their own government than by any other cause

              And so what? It just means yo

              • So you're one of those "ban guns" - except for the police, a bunch of bureaucrats, some government officials, approved security people for the wealthy, and other elites that need protection from the unwashed masses that are not allowed to have guns - people.
                • by kbg ( 241421 )

                  No I think mostly only the police should be allowed to own guns. Security people should not, if they need guns for something they should call the police.

                  • No I think mostly only the police should be allowed to own guns. Security people should not, if they need guns for something they should call the police.

                    LOL. Okay, dude. You're naive, at best. You trust the police? Apparently you haven't been paying attention lately. The police, who are now using military surplus on people in the streets, that are never held accountable for excessive use of force? The police, which the courts have already established have NO obligation to protect anyone?

                    Here's a clue for you: this will never happen. Banning guns starts with the debate on who will actually have a monopoly on having guns. It will NOT be "just the po

              • Drugs need not be addictive, eg: dope is generally considered to be non-addictive.

                I agree the US has a gun 'problem', you are ~40X as likely to get murdered by a gunman in the US as you are in UK/AU. It's not just about the lack of regulation in the US, it's a cultural thing. Even when handguns were legal here in Oz and sold in hardware stores (yes, I am that old), most people held the same attitude as they do now - "only cowards and crooks need a gun for self defense". The vast majority of Aussies stron
          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            One thing about guns that is very similar to drugs, legal varieties of course. Want to reduce their use, then ensure the taxes on them reflect the harm they cause. User pays means the group that users those items, drugs or guns should pay for all the damages caused by those items, no more privatising the profits and socialising the losses. There should be sufficient tax placed upon guns and bullets to ensure that all the damage caused by their illicit, ignorant, clumsy, foolish use is paid for and not by p

      • "No it's not the same as guns. Guns are physical objects"

        Read my .sig

        'nuff said?

        In case not, allow me to elaborate. Encryption is performed with some kind of physical object. They won't outlaw the concept, since that is impossible. They will outlaw the tools. You see, it is the same thing as guns. You just haven't thought it through before posting.

        • by kbg ( 241421 )

          In case not, allow me to elaborate. Encryption is performed with some kind of physical object. They won't outlaw the concept, since that is impossible. They will outlaw the tools. You see, it is the same thing as guns. You just haven't thought it through before posting.

          No it is not the same thing, you just haven't thought it through before posting. Encryption is performed by a computing device. You can't ban computers as a whole, because computers are useful devices for a lot of things. Just like cars are dangerous devices but we don't ban cars because they are designed as transport and are useful in society. Guns are designed for only one thing to kill people, they are not useful for anything else. Now you might argue that you can use guns for hunting animals. Yes but th

          • "No it is not the same thing, you just haven't thought it through before posting."

            Let me begin by saying that you have shown yourself to be a complete idiot, and parroting my words isn't helping your case any. You see, I thought it through. I just understand computers much better than you do apparently. A gun is a barrel, plus a firing pin, etc. An encryption device is, for example, a general purpose computer + software that performs encryption. Barrels aren't banned. Firing pins aren't banned. Metal

            • by kbg ( 241421 )

              A gun is a barrel, plus a firing pin, etc. An encryption device is, for example, a general purpose computer + software that performs encryption. Barrels aren't banned. Firing pins aren't banned. Metal isn't banned. The banning is of the complete system. Computers aren't going to be banned. Software isn't going to be banned. The complete system will be banned (as there is no other way to do it.) See? No difference.

              Well you could try to do that but since encryption is just math, banning it realistically in any way or form is basically impossible. The difference is that guns are physical objects and that is a lot easier to handle or ban, guns are also a lot harder to create than software. To create encryption you only need a general purpose computer and the thoughts in your brain. To use encryption you only need to download it from somewhere. It's like the difference between a store selling physical counterfet copies o

              • "Yes that is correct you don't need to own an encryption program to write documents, but you do need encryption to use the Internet. "

                Who the fuck told you that? The internet pre-dates SSL by quite some time. I am not even going to address what you wrote, since it is merely a re-hashing of your cluelessness. Since you clearly can't understand what I'm writing, have no idea what you are talking about, and refuse to learn anything it's time for this sound: Plonk

                • by kbg ( 241421 )

                  "Yes that is correct you don't need to own an encryption program to write documents, but you do need encryption to use the Internet. "

                  Who the fuck told you that? The internet pre-dates SSL by quite some time. I am not even going to address what you wrote, since it is merely a re-hashing of your cluelessness. Since you clearly can't understand what I'm writing, have no idea what you are talking about, and refuse to learn anything it's time for this sound: Plonk

                  And that is exactly why the old Interweb was totally unsafe. If you do any online shopping or handle critical documents you need encryption period. Don't let the plonk hit you on your way out.

      • No it's not the same as guns. Guns are physical objects, encryption is not. Encryption is nothing else than a few mathematical formulas. It is impossible to ban thoughts and speech however you can ban guns.

        Ah. The abstinence approach to guns... Why would you think abstinence works with guns? We've seen it not work with sex. What *did* work in reducing teenage pregnancies was sex education, not preaching abstinence.

        • by kbg ( 241421 )

          Ah. The abstinence approach to guns... Why would you think abstinence works with guns? We've seen it not work with sex. What *did* work in reducing teenage pregnancies was sex education, not preaching abstinence.

          That is because sex and guns are not the same things. Just like drugs, there is a chemical element to it that motivates you physically to have sex. You can't ban sex and expect it to just work, because your body (teenagers especially) is constantly pumping out hormones to make you want to have sex. If there was no chemical element to it, banning it would be really easy. In the same way totally banning all drugs isn't going to work in the long run.

          I don't see why this is so hard to understand, just because y

          • Ah. The abstinence approach to guns... Why would you think abstinence works with guns? We've seen it not work with sex. What *did* work in reducing teenage pregnancies was sex education, not preaching abstinence.

            That is because sex and guns are not the same things. Just like drugs, there is a chemical element to it that motivates you physically to have sex. You can't ban sex and expect it to just work, because your body (teenagers especially) is constantly pumping out hormones to make you want to have sex. If there was no chemical element to it, banning it would be really easy. In the same way totally banning all drugs isn't going to work in the long run.

            I don't see why this is so hard to understand, just because you don't like it, banning or limiting guns is a possibilty.

            What's hard to understand is the rationale that because 0.001% of $FOO owners are responsible, we need to take away $FOO from the other 99.99% of $FOO owners. It doesn't matter what $FOO actually is - when you propose that the state bans something that is responsibly used by 99.99% of owners you better have a damn good reason, especially when the numbers show that residential swimming pools have a death rate roughly 4-5 *TIMES* higher than residential fiream ownership.

            If you've got a good reason for why you

            • by kbg ( 241421 )

              What's hard to understand is the rationale that because 0.001% of $FOO owners are responsible, we need to take away $FOO from the other 99.99% of $FOO owners. It doesn't matter what $FOO actually is - when you propose that the state bans something that is responsibly used by 99.99% of owners you better have a damn good reason, especially when the numbers show that residential swimming pools have a death rate roughly 4-5 *TIMES* higher than residential fiream ownership.

              Yes it matters what $FOO actually is. It depends on what the thing is used for. Let's do a $FOO=Nuclear weapon, I would think most nuclear weapon owners would be responsible so why ban civilians owning nuclear weapons? What about $FOO=Sarin gas?. You can see your line of reasoning is ridiculous.

              If you've got a good reason for why you'd want to ban guns but not residential swimming pools when the death rate for guns is lower, I'd like to hear it.

              Because guns are designed to kill people, that's why. Swimming pools are not designed primarily to kill people, they actually have other purposes. But yes if swimming pools have a high death rate it also means we nee

              • What's hard to understand is the rationale that because 0.001% of $FOO owners are responsible, we need to take away $FOO from the other 99.99% of $FOO owners. It doesn't matter what $FOO actually is - when you propose that the state bans something that is responsibly used by 99.99% of owners you better have a damn good reason, especially when the numbers show that residential swimming pools have a death rate roughly 4-5 *TIMES* higher than residential fiream ownership.

                Yes it matters what $FOO actually is. It depends on what the thing is used for. Let's do a $FOO=Nuclear weapon, I would think most nuclear weapon owners would be responsible so why ban civilians owning nuclear weapons? What about $FOO=Sarin gas?. You can see your line of reasoning is ridiculous.

                Did you just equate a single firearm with a nuclear weapon?

                If you've got a good reason for why you'd want to ban guns but not residential swimming pools when the death rate for guns is lower, I'd like to hear it.

                Because guns are designed to kill people, that's why. Swimming pools are not designed primarily to kill people, they actually have other purposes. But yes if swimming pools have a high death rate it also means we need more regulations for swimming pools and how they are designed and safety concerns for them, but that only means we need regulation for both swimming pools AND guns.

                The swimming pool death rate is 4x-5x higher than firearm death rate. There is no "IF" about it - both numbers are on the CDC website (different pages on the same website). If we restrict the stats to children only, then the swimming pool death rate is around 20x the firearm death rate.

                Regardless of what $FOO is "designed for", if it is measured, in practice and over the course of decades, to be safer than swimming pools then what it is designed fo

                • by kbg ( 241421 )

                  Did you just equate a single firearm with a nuclear weapon?

                  Yes because that exactly shows why your argument is stupid. Gun nuts like to say that the 2nd amendment gives them right to own *any* weapon with no limitations, even weapons created long after the amendment was written, but then when you ask about a nuclear weapon then of course that isn't in the list. But if the 2nd amendment doesn't have a clause about a nuclear weapon why can't I own one? You can then go down the list and ask about: attack helicopter, missile launcher, tank, land mines, rpg e.t.c

                  There a

      • It may no be a gun but encryption algorithms are classed as a "munition" by US/UK/AU. Exporting a controlled algorithm to a foreign country was tightly controlled up until the late 80's - early 90's when Phil Zimmerman released PGP and demonstrated that the export controls could be circumvented by a changing a #define in legally exportable code.

        The horse has bolted, the global financial system depends on encryption for their bread and butter. Doesn't matter what a retired IRA supporter thinks.
        • by kbg ( 241421 )

          It may no be a gun but encryption algorithms are classed as a "munition" by US/UK/AU. Exporting a controlled algorithm to a foreign country was tightly controlled up until the late 80's - early 90's when Phil Zimmerman released PGP and demonstrated that the export controls could be circumvented by a changing a #define in legally exportable code.

          The horse has bolted, the global financial system depends on encryption for their bread and butter. Doesn't matter what a retired IRA supporter thinks.

          Yes and defining encryption as "munition" is beyond stupid. You might as well just ban math for all the good it will do.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The essence of the gun-ban arguments is that the guns will be more difficult for criminals to get a hold of, which means fewer criminals will have them, which means fewer innocent people will die.

      It is obviously quite dubious, since criminals that can't get guns will get other means of killing people. And anyway the numbers of lives that are (in theory) saved pale in comparison to the number of people that die from automobile accidents every day. The motivation is not actually saving lives (since there ar

    • I wish I could agree with you, but I think they actually could enforce a ban against encryption. If encryption is illegal, then Google, Microsoft, Apple, et al can be forced to stop using it. Then whatever small players are left who violate the ban will stick out like a sore thumb. They would then be arrested.
      • It's fairly easy to tell encrypted stuff from unencrypted stuff. It's hard to tell the difference between strong and weak encryption without actually trying to decrypt it.

      • They'd have to arrest everyone pretty quickly, because without any encryption the entire planet's financial system would be compromised and collapse with maybe six months. Russian criminal gangs would OWN the banks overnight, it would be mass chaos. We wouldn't need Tyler Durden, with all financial transactions in the clear.
    • by Boronx ( 228853 )

      Not if you arrest them for having them. How hard a concept is that?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      So making encryption illegal will stop terrorists from using encryption?

      Incredibly it seems that it will, at least for some subset of terrorists.

      If you head over to Facebook or Twitter you can find lots of people and groups supporting terrorism and encouraging people to become terrorists, e.g. by joining IS or committing crimes. It seems crazy because surely they must know that it isn't safe, that their private Facebook messages are not really private, but actually the security services don't try too hard to catch people this way because they want the intel that Facebook chatte

    • by sad_ ( 7868 )

      talking about guns... how is encryption a bigger problem then guns and mass shootings?

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @03:41PM (#50681299)

    Banning encryption seems like the War On Drugs...destined to be an utter failure.

    I hate the way most media portrays users of encryption as probable criminals or as being "up to no good". They rarely see that encryption can be a good thing (and usually is, frankly).

    But lets not get all "facty" and let reality get in the way of scaring the goobers. Besides, they're too busy posting every detail of their life on Facebook to worry about stuff like that.

    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      "destined to be an utter failure" depends what you are trying to accomplish.
      I really think what they are trying to do is create a society where you don't have to hide what you are doing and everything is permissible and acceptable. i think that is a noble goal :)

      • I really think what they are trying to do is create a society where you don't have to hide what you are doing and everything is permissible and acceptable.

        I sense...SARCASM. Let's check...

        Sarcasm Detector activated.....scanning....scanning....sarcasm FOUND.

        Scan finished.

        Start another scan?

        • by zlives ( 2009072 )

          o yea of little utopian faith

          • o yea of little utopian faith

            I have to admit, my faith in anything and everything is at an all-time low these days. I doubt even the most sensitive scientific instruments could detect what little is left.

            • by JazzLad ( 935151 )
              Science makes faith detectors? Sounds like you have more faith in science than I do ...

              ;)
              • Science makes faith detectors? Sounds like you have more faith in science than I do ...

                All-time low = 0%.

                Faith? Never had it, never will. Faith is for suckers. It's believing in something without any proof, and homie don' play dat way!

              • by zlives ( 2009072 )

                o i think i have one of those and the dial is stuck on 11/0

    • I hate the way most media portrays users of encryption as probable criminals or as being "up to no good".

      I have only seen quotes of government officials saying this - not reporters. However if a reporter says this, he obviously doesn't know what the little lock icon on his web browser means while he's doing online banking.

    • "Banning encryption seems like the War On Drugs...destined to be an utter success for the power mongers bent on stealing our personal freedoms"

      FTFY

      "I hate the way most media portrays users of drugs as probable criminals or as being "up to no good".

      See how that works?

    • by Boronx ( 228853 )

      The reliability with which all american media takes the government line on any story is disheartening.

  • Couldn't resist suggesting a new headline.
  • That'll be popular (Score:4, Insightful)

    by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @03:42PM (#50681303) Homepage

    Break all ability to make payments or move money online.

    At the very least, any cryptography with known security vulnerabilities (such as the NSA wants) would not be PCI compliant. But it's unlikely that any bank would use an older version of TLS or SSL for online banking either.

    • I just checked a bunch of big banks and credit card companies, plenty still support TLS 1 and 1.1 which will be pci non-compliant next June. chase, discover, BMO harris....

      • Maybe I don't know much about mandatory PCI scanning, but for the organization site I handle PCI compliance for, I was forced to remove TLS 1.0 support to get a passing scan already.

        • It depends which level of PCI compliance your organization was seeking at the time, earlier in the year you could get by with older

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Re "Break all ability to make payments or move money online."
      Most nations have versions of Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
      Real time tracking of all banking. No paperwork needed.
      The other option for all other nations is the setting of standard banking interconnect encryption is set at a tame level and the NSA and GCHQ can read it all in real time.
      • The link you sent didn't say "all banking" - it said transactions of $10,000 or more are reported by the banks, not intercepted. Even the US has similar reporting requirements to the IRS.

        This is about having a tamper-proof connection, safe against crime and anyone else. It's not just the NSA who would benefit from weak encryption.

        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          re 'This is about having a tamper-proof connection, safe against crime and anyone else."
          That is a huge issue. If a nation is too good with banking encryption it gets US diplomatic pressure until its banking system starts to report on every "international" account or movement of funds.
          The issue about "safe against crime and anyone else" is that the US and UK military have so many generations of experts, staff at many shared bases globally that work with local staff on the the same export grade decryptio
  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @03:43PM (#50681311)
    Wait - so if they ban encryption, presumably it means I won't be able to secure my Wifi because after all that uses encryption, so dear government, how do you expect to force me to be responsible for anything that originates from my IP? Surely I must enjoy the same protections as my ISP.
  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @03:50PM (#50681359)
    i got some credit cards i want to snip before that info bounces around the internets in the clear
    • Don't worry, when a big company transmits your name/address/SSN/DOB in the clear with no encryption, some new credit cards will be opened in your name.

    • We had the case not too long ago where the US did not allow exporting of certain encryption technologies. So business would actually use weak encryption with known vulnerabilities. Not quite plain text but pretty bad. Good encryption is of vital importance to commerce.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This debate was settled years ago. It's a bad idea. Can someone please create a FAQ so that we can redirect misguided legislators and media drones?

    • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @04:28PM (#50681573)

      The thing is most government security agencies aren't saying "ban all encryption" but are saying "just give us 'law enforcement only' backdoors into all encryption." They try to present this as some kind of reasonable compromise, but they ignore the giant, gaping hole they'd create. No backdoor can be totally secured as "law enforcement only." At some point, someone will figure out how to spoof their way in. And then that "wonderful-encryption-with-government-backdoors" will be worthless. Except the politicians prefer to ignore this problem and just shout "TERRORISTS COULD USE ENCRYPTION" louder and louder as if that's an argument against it. (Terrorists also breathe air. We should ban all air!)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    North American needs stronger encryption. and more warrants for data collection/seizure. The only thing weak encryption does is support corruption within the criminal justice enforcement system. If a judge issues warrant for whatever material(s) do whatever you will with it. However that's with a warrant. Weak encryption just encourages NSA/DOJ/FBI and local PD. to piggy back bull- boogeyman terrorist/fear policies/practices inherited from the bush administration. I'm all for law enforcement. But there need

  • I'm assuming that the intentionally vague title is just more slashdot trolling.

    The UK government it talking about it -- the US government is requiring all government agencies to stop using HTTP [cio.gov], while ignoring the problems it might cause.

    They're trying to get us to all go to HTTPS, but I'm planning on making everything available over FTP instead.

  • I'm wondering if the URL encoded in a browser SSL connection as well?

    I had a particularly anal landlord not long ago, and we relied on their wifi, and he didn't want anyone downloading torrents, and went so far as to block nearly every port, as well as blocking any URL containing 'torrent'. So of course a torrent file couldn't be downloaded, but searching Google for 'torrent' would result in no page loading, and even news sites like TorrentFreak.com came up blank. (Yes, a brilliant strategy. I wasn't act
    • They can see the IP address you connect to, yes. As for the hostname of the HTTP endpoint, the answer is maybe. As for the path portion of the URL (the specific page) you are getting, the answer is no. However, some places use proxies to forceably MITM the connection, but that can usually be detected by a client if the user is sophisticated.
      • My work MITMs https. The browsers that the company installs include their CA certs, so detecting it takes manual effort ("hmmm, why is Google's cert issued by "<CORP> SSL Decryption Authority"??"). If you install another browser without the certs, you'll get a nice warning screen saying that someone is doing something nasty, and it takes some effort to tell the browser to ignore the problem. So I'd assume that even an unsophisticated user would recognize that there's a problem...although they wouldn't
    • that's insane. I would be forced to move, because every few weeks I have to do weekend coverage from home and require a VPN back into HP's network. Was that in your rental contract, like "no VPNs"? Did the landlord come by and cut up all the wires too? I'm not joking, that's what my current apartment complex did several years ago...they decided to be an "AT&T Community" and somehow every cable in the complex got cut inside the various enclosures.
      • It was my partners rental suite, basement in a house, before we got a place together. Not worried about agreements, etc, they aren't renting any longer.

        More interested in how secure and private HTTPS is - I have a feeling that there are aspects that are more public than we'd think... Anyone want to configure their router so that it blocks particular terms like this, and see what happens when you try it with an HTTPS URL? (I never asked how he did it, it might be something like a 'parental blocking' feat
  • My opinion of Hayden just bumped up by quite a bit. It is common sense (not to mention historically rigorous and logically sound) to suggest we need strong encryption and that back doors are a terrible idea. But, what a victory to hear a public official take this position. So much more of this needs to be happening!
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The US and UK hope they can induce the public to react in ways that expose privacy and anonymity at all levels.
      A face to face meeting to exchange one time pads set up on a leaky computer network ;)
      Using advance encryption from a web site thats always been under constant observation.
      The software works but just been interested made all network connections by a person to that website interesting.
      The public is been pushed to find, use or seek or consider different strong encryption. The very act of loo
  • by caviare ( 830421 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @08:36PM (#50683009)
    Quoting directly from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]: "Content will be removed if it is judged to violate Wikipedia policies (especially those on biographies of living persons and neutral point of view) or the laws of the United States".

    In fact wikipedia is not censored according to the laws of China, but it is censored according to the laws of United States. Naturally this doesn't appeal to the Chinese government when it's available to Chinese citizens. No doubt if it wasn't censored according to the laws of United States then this wouldn't appeal to the United States government (or other governments with similar views to the US).
  • Really? Are they going to start jailing kids for speaking Pig Latin [wikipedia.org] and Ubbi Dubbi [wikipedia.org] too?

    This is yet another instance of ignorant fear mongers attempting to ban what they don't understand.

It seems that more and more mathematicians are using a new, high level language named "research student".

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