Categories
Politics Rants

Break Encryption … For the Children!

“W-whut about the children?!

That old chestnut. This was brought up a while ago, and I’m pretty sure I covered it — though it’s been lost to the ether (or rather, a zipped up Git repo somewhere). The Government super double pinkie swears that it will never let their backdoor key to encryption be used for nefarious purposes and that military and banking solutions won’t be affected.

Yeah. That sounds awesome. If you live in a fantasy. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need encryption at all, because no one would poke into shit that isn’t theirs. Unfortunately we live in a world where world leaders act like teenagers and the rest of the adult population is scarcely above that. The idea that the government would have a double-plus good backdoor key that could never be used by anyone except them, and only for lawful purposes is so laughable, I’m not even sure how it became a talking point.

This, you need to remember, is using it’s allies to spy on it’s own citizens. Hoovers up as much data as it can (especially encrypted data) and stores it on scales scarcely seen before. That information could never be used to bully someone or even creep on women. I’m sure the secret FISA court, that doesn’t have any public records, has the public’s best interests at heart. Well, we’ll just have to trust them, because it’s all top secret.

So, no, I don’t think that the government can be trusted with a secret backdoor that unlocks all my communications, no matter how benign. No one should. You need only to look at Saudi Arabia, China or Russia and even the UK for regimes who routinely abuse their power to bully and influence people with information gathered by massive dragnet systems.

I am, however, afraid that this might already be too late. We’re already willing enough to hand this information over to private corporations, who only have a duty to their shareholders. We see breach after breech happen, spilling all of our personal and private information across the Internet — all to an apathetic public. Maybe I’m just part of the last generation going through the throes of rejection before privacy is fully eradicated.

Update: Can’t forget about them just bypassing normal law to request information from companies. Wouldn’t want that pesky legal process to get in the way of their investigations.

Categories
Computers Rants

Executive Bullshit

I feel a bit smug right now. I know I shouldn’t, because lots of people have been unduly affected by this ridiculous order, but I still feel some level of satisfaction that Adobe has, again, a big pile of egg on their face.

Essentially, under the above order, no companies are allowed to do pretty much any business with persons, companies or governmental organizations in Venezuela. Including Adobe. To the point that anyone in that country will not only loose access to their software, creations and services — but have them deleted outright. No recourse, no refunds, no support, nothing. It goes to show you just how fragile the SaaS model is.

Despite that, these Executive Orders are comically overreaching the Executive Branch’s intended scope. Seriously, just being able to carte blanche embargo a whole country without the Senate or the House (you know, our Legislative branch, who are supposed to enact laws) weighing in on the issue. It’s not just this latest order, it’s all of the Executive Orders being able to be able to bypass the law-making process as being tremendously worrisome.

I know little of the situation in Venezuela, except that things are kind of all over the place. I don’t really have much connection to the area, which makes it hard for me to involve myself. Especially when I have plenty of crap here to consider and worry about.

Open source is the answer, as it is with many other restrictive actions taken against free people. It’s protected (currently) under free speech, because code is speech. It’s difficult to curtail and allows people to create and improve without restriction. Hell, it’s not even sold most of the time, making this very restriction moot.

Bah, fuck this whole travesty. Why do people have to be such assholes?

Categories
Politics

Cautiously Optimistic

The proposed law basically seeks to deter anticompetitive and monopolistic behavior by charging great gobs of money against the companies that get caught doing it. Businesses found to be in violation of certain antitrust laws would owe the greater of either 15% of their annual US revenue or 30% of all revenue over the period of time the unlawful behavior took place.

Kate Cox – ArsTechnica – “Proposed bill would make monopolies pay “serious” fines”