The global internal rot of digital technology dependence appears doing quite well by inducing ever greater investment and reliance upon it. Will over-reliance upon secret cryptography be its Achilles heel? Let us hope so. Conumdrum is that wholesale monitoring is the result of ubiquitous digital technology, networks and programs thickly hidden by secret cryptography, thinly protected, if at all, by never quite effective public cryptography, ineffective by law by design, by implementation and by endless excuses to do better next time. The correlation between the rise of the Internet to advance global surveillance and public cryptography to persuade the populace there is hope the surveillance can be countered, is occasionally noted but not by cryptography fetishists who promote the notion it is possible to have a global platform of diverse levels for multiple open and secret uses but still protect at least a few of the levels with encryption. This despite the legacy of cryptography as a deceptive technology through and through and foremost, in particular by misleading about its strengths and weaknesses, its treachery and double-dealing, its cheating and betraying, its false promises and "confessed" failures. No doubt all forms of security share these characteristics, eventual failure is the fundamental outcome of a security system subject to ceaseless attack. Every fortress fails, every weapon is surpassed, every peace treaty is transgressed, every ideology collapses, every nation is overturned; in all cases by excessive conviction that failure will not happen, and when it does, it occurs by the least expected means. After a few attempts to repair the majestic defense and prolong a regime, it finally implodes most often due to internal rot of those unable to give up comfortable convictions that munitions are invulnerable, that supreme command and control is protected against tampering, that oaths and rewards of fealty to the homeland are insurpassable. Except for the planted cheats of anonymizers and encryption.
What we are seeing today is unprecedented in American history: Wholesale monitoring of entire populations, "just in case" the information might be "needed" later. Saying "beware, someone evil like Nixon could use this stuff" *misses the point*: It's bad *even if never abused*. Its mere *existence* is abuse, no matter who controls it. If the system were under the control of a saintly administration consisting of nothing but good actors, and there were a magic button that would be pressed just before they handed over the reigns to someone not so saintly that magically erased all the stored information and destroyed the information-gathering systems ... it would *still* be wrong.