AuthorTopic: Security experts question link between encryption and terror  (Read 859 times)

Offline RE

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Security experts question link between encryption and terror
« on: December 18, 2015, 05:04:27 AM »
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/12/17/gop-debate-highlights-confusion-over-link-between-encryption-and-terror.html

Security experts question link between encryption and terror


Politicians say encrypted online communications make it harder to crack down on ISIL, but experts are skeptical

December 17, 2015 3:00PM ET
by Michael Pizzi @michaelwpizzi

The debate over whether tech companies should be required to break encrypted Internet communications for national security reasons has heated up since the Dec. 2 attack in San Bernardino, California, and reports on Friday that suspects in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks used the encrypted platform WhatsApp to plan their deadly rampage. Presidential candidates and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for new laws that force tech companies to grant law enforcement greater access to encryption, with Ohio Gov. John Kasich going so far at Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate as to name encryption the “enemy.”

But most digital security experts say that, beneath the tough talk, many politicians do not seem to appreciate the implications of what they are asking. Tech companies provide encryption for the benefit of all their users, not just those planning armed attacks. If a “key” or “backdoor” to encrypted communications were created, it would be highly valuable not only to law enforcement but to hackers, foreign governments and even groups like ISIL, too.

To be sure, there is considerable evidence that ISIL supporters make use of encryption to communicate with each other. The group has even circulated documents to its followers that rank applications from most encrypted to least. The shooters in the San Bernardino attack, FBI officials said Wednesday, expressed their support for “jihad” in private communications online two years prior to the attack. Law enforcement officials have suggested that these red flags went unnoticed because companies like Facebook and WhatsApp refuse to break encryption for fear of compromising user privacy.

FBI Director James Comey argues that law enforcement should be able to spy on a suspect’s online communication if there is adequate evidence for a warrant – a procedure similar to what they would use for a phone tap. He has endorsed the “backdoor” proposal, reportedly the subject of a bill being drafted in Congress, that would require companies to create and hold onto a secret “key” to be turned over to law enforcement only on court order. Comey has downplayed privacy concerns, saying that adding a "backdoor" was fundamentally a "business model question" for Silicon Valley.

But this proposal is out of step with trends in recent years, which have seen tech companies become much more sensitive to accusations of complicity in government surveillance — ever since their past cooperation with National Security Agency data collection came to light, with the Edward Snowden leaks. Apple CEO Tim Cook, for example, has recently described user privacy as a human right.

Many companies, including Apple, have embraced “end-to-end” encryption, which protects data shared between two parties even when it transits between a compromised third-party — like an Internet service provider. Apple has adopted end-to-end encryption for its iMessage application, meaning that even if law enforcement can intercept the data from the ISP, it can only be decrypted by the users on either end.

Breaking that encryption carries significant risks, according to Matt Blaze, a computer scientist at the University of Pennsylvania and foremost critic of the “backdoor” approach. “Just as the local police department might want to decrypt a phone of a criminal suspect, so would the Chinese or the Russian or the Iranian intelligence agencies like to be able to do exactly the same thing,” he told Politico. “If it were possible to hold onto this sort of database and really be assured that only good guys get access to it, we might have a different discussion than we're having. Unfortunately, we don't know how to build systems that work that way. We don't know how to do this without creating a big target and a big vulnerability.”

Still others question the very premise of the debate — that encryption played a key role in recent attacks. Comey has said that one of the gunmen in a thwarted attack on a Muhammad-drawing cartoon exhibit in Garland, Texas, in May exchanged more than 100 messages with an “overseas terrorist” — but the FBI was unable to read them because they were encrypted. Other than that example, however, digital security experts argue there is relatively limited evidence that encryption was a critical factor in any specific terror attacks.

In the case of the San Bernardino shooters, Tashfeen Malik and Syed Razwan Farook, for example, the assumption lawmakers seem to be making is that the couple's “private” messages could have been decrypted and flagged prior to the attack, or at least prior to Malik's entrance into the U.S. on a fiancée visa. But it isn't clear that they would have even been using these platforms to share their views in the first place if they didn't think they were secure. And as a married couple living in a house together, they also wouldn’t need encryption to plan the actual attack.

In that light, the debate over encryption “doesn’t seem like a tailored response to the threat" but rather, "something law enforcement have been trying to pursue" for some time, said Andy Sellars, a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and an advocate for digital rights. "Encryption is how we bank online, share medical records, private emails, etc.,” he added, so what lawmakers are proposing “could compromise our daily activities in a way ISIS never could.”
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Offline g

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Re: Security experts question link between encryption and terror
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2015, 05:16:54 AM »

Quote
In that light, the debate over encryption “doesn’t seem like a tailored response to the threat" but rather, "something law enforcement have been trying to pursue" for some time, said Andy Sellars, a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and an advocate for digital rights. "Encryption is how we bank online, share medical records, private emails, etc.,” he added, so what lawmakers are proposing “could compromise our daily activities in a way ISIS never could.”


Some dummies, like the Libertarians, think the fucking government is out of control; and it's not about plowing snow from the streets.

Where could they ever get such an idea.  :icon_scratch:

Offline RE

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Re: Security experts question link between encryption and terror
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2015, 05:56:25 AM »

Some dummies, like the Libertarians, think the fucking government is out of control; and it's not about plowing snow from the streets.

Dummy neo-tribalists like me agree with Dummy libertarians like you on this topic.  :icon_sunny:

RE
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Offline K-Dog

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Re: Security experts question link between encryption and terror
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 08:03:49 AM »

Some dummies, like the Libertarians, think the fucking government is out of control; and it's not about plowing snow from the streets.

Dummy neo-tribalists like me agree with Dummy libertarians like you on this topic.  :icon_sunny:

RE

It is not a matter of agreement but simply if one has experienced fuckification by government or not.  I have, and it is no more a matter of belief to me than if the the sun will rise in the tomorrow in the east. 

Quote
The shooters in the San Bernardino attack, FBI officials said Wednesday, expressed their support for “jihad” in private communications online two years prior to the attack.

What, calling communications private 'makes it so'.  I think not.  Their communications were known by the FBI if they used Microsoft Windows.  It is as simple as that.  Back doors are already in place and have been for years.


The greatest hackers in the world are the government and they are watching us right now.  They would like to disarm America and deny citizens encryption.  That is why they orchestrate terrorism and your belief in it.  Their goal is to emasculate patriots and control all communications for the benefit of the 1% of the 1% in order to preserve the status-quo to the very end of the road to ruin.  So far they have been successful in progressing towards their goals.  This will not change.

The biggest terrorist in the world is 'one' with encryption and they use it all the time.   They are using it to plan their next terrorist attack right now.

The truth is we have already been assimilated and almost everybody remains ignorant of that fact.

Our modern brain sodden with video age can no longer tell the difference between reality and its simulacrum.  This is a literal statement.



Behold, the encryption of truth.
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

 

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