Saturday, March 5, 2016

"Privacy" vs. "Security"

From The Reg:

This is from the FBI vs. Apple court case.  If you don't know what it's a bout, you must have been living on a mountaintop.

In short (very) The FBI wants Apple to cerate a backdoor into their iPhones so that FBI or other Government agencies can extract information from anyone's phone.
No, they can't just chop it open and take the data. Apple spenat a lot of money and time to make sure of that.  

Apple argues that as soon as they do make a hack, the software will leak and nobody's iPhone data will be safe.  Bearing in mind that Apple is currently trying to sell everyone on ApplePay, a system that uses your iPhone for money transactions,  they need people's trust to keep selling iPhones, but deeper than that, it is a serious issue: one of the few safeguards against crimes of the future (distant or near) is that we still have some data privacy. I don't really have anything to hide or be ashamed of, but if crooks can steal my data they will be able to steal everything else too. 
Down here in Oz I have not seen ApplePay and may never, but the "privacy" vs. "security" thing is a hot subject for sure.

I have one observation to make: From the article on The Reg -

"So the question then becomes: what is the solution? And where does the balance lie? Unfortunately for law enforcement, the Snowden revelations have given everyone reason to question any assertion that the authorities will only be accessing the data of suspect people.
We know that the US government kept the records of every single one of our phone calls. We know that they spied on everything everyone did online. We know that they tapped data centers and fiber optic cables and decided the best way for them to do their jobs was to assume everyone was guilty and gather all possible information on them in case it comes in handy later.
And we know they went out of their way to make sure no one knew about what they were doing. After all that, making the basic argument of "trust us" sounds, at best, hollow."

 Why don't the FBI simply ask the NSA for the information (assuming they have it)? Could it be that these two Government Organisations don't collaborate as well as they should? 

Note also this article which points out that using encrypted communications immediately flags you in the NSA spying system as a potential threat. You have been warned.

Personally I go with the DBS principle - that's Death By Stupidity. The previous is a perfect example of that - get all paraniod about Spies spying on you , encrypt everything, and the Spooks will start poking around in your electronic closet looking for anything naughty, which might just lead to them clobbering you.