[cryptome] Re: [cryptography] Internet Giants erect barriers to spy agencies

  • From: Shaun O'Connor <capricorn8159@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 07 Jun 2014 21:11:05 +0100

encryption is only as good as
1) the algorithm applied
2)the people employing the cryptographic measures.
the human element is usually the weakest link in the chain.

On 07/06/2014 20:20, doug wrote:
> Dear John Young & Colleagues,
> Hasn't encryption been a "con" since it was first invented?  From my
> understanding of the history of communications, encryption and
> decryption has been like the "Cold War" arms race.  No matter how
> clever the encryption, there has always been some way of defeating
> it...with a few exceptions to the rule.  The ingenuity of human
> beings, their curiosity and inventiveness, their ability to work
> individually as geniuses or collectively in organisations, their hard
> slog, their patience, their persistence and their perspicacity and
> above all, the dictatorship of necessity, has led to increasingly
> complex encryption and other methods of decryption.
>   Their collective experience in the learning institutions over
> hundreds of years and the seminal documents of those historians
> interested in the subject, have shown that it is a game between those
> who design encryption and those who crack it, whether it be by nation
> states, or conglomerations of nation states, or private corporations
> both national and international, or private individuals.  The coming
> of information technology and the development of electronic machines
> and computer technology has made no difference to this game. All it
> has done is to speed up the competition and, as computers, tablets,
> mobile phones and other devices have been invented and become more
> sophisticated and cheaper, and at the same time, easier to use, more
> people in the world have been able to particpate in the game in all
> sorts of different ways.
> Here in the UK for instance, we had Bletchley Park and Collossus,
> which interestingly, Churchill had dismantled after the World War 2
> because he considered the instution and computers as a real danger to
> democracy and human rights.  This "luddite" concept never worked of
> course, Bletchley Park rose again from the ashes in the form of GCHQ...
> The problem I have, if I may be personal for a moment, is how I secure
> and keep private my family, financial and business relationships so
> that I can conduct my life without having to worry about being "set
> up" or my confidential information, being used secretly or even worse,
> twisted or made up, or my personal relationship or my reputation with
> my fellow human beings and institutions o the world.  It is preserving
> this concept so that every other individual in world can enjoy it,
> which in my mind, is the most important.  The problem is the dual or
> multiple use o such technology for achieving other aims. As a
> resource, as an educational tool, the internet and the world wide web
> have certainly opened up learning and communications to the whole
> world.  I personally, much appreciate such progress.  I would never
> have learned as much as I know now, if it hadn't been for computer and
> information technology.  I learned to type using Mavis, Touch Type
> Tutor.  If it hadn't been for her, I would never have written more
> than 5 words, as my writing was atrocious...and still is.
>   However, the other side of the bitcoin, is that anonimity and
> secrecy can be used by criminals whether it be by the terrorist, the
> liberation fighter, drugs baron, sex offender, the charitable or
> philanthropic instution or the state.  The question for me is how,
> what measures we can advocate which will protect the liberty, privacy,
> and the security of the individual and the institution, which will at
> the same time allow the criminal element to be monitored and evidence
> collected about wrongdoing.
> Mass monitoring and mass surveillance of the population and their
> communications is the way which has been chosen by the nation states
> of the world, and they do it through their intelligence services, with
> little accountability or remedies for abuse.  The danger with this
> approach is that the abuses are leading to an undermining of the
> belief and faith systems which people have in using the internet for
> the likes of banking, business and financial practices.    There is no
> doubt, particularly since the information provided by Snowden el al,
> that an increased awareness is taking place amongst the thinking
> classes, as well as the terrorists and criminals, that perhaps our
> various establishments are throwing out the baby with the bathwater,
> as evidence by less international trust and loss of business or US 
> I.T. provision companies.  This is not to say, of course that the U.S.
> state are the only culprits.    They are all at it, it is just that
> the U.S. has more spare cash to throw at it, and has more people,
> organisations and institutions involved in the industry; and of
> course, considers itself as the police of the world, regarding what
> regimes are considered as advantageous to U.S. interests, and that
> human rights, American style and the American way of life should be
> the norm throughout the world.  It is a wonderful dream, but contains
> within, like all processes, all empires, the seeds of its own
> destruction...
> Just a few thoughts on the subject...
> Douglas Rankine
> On 07/06/14 19:04, John Young wrote:
>> Maarten Billemont writes:
>> "I feel there's an important implicit reference there I'm missing.
>> What con in the 90s are you referring to?"
>> The crypto wars of the 90s appeared to have been won, but instead
>> were lost by misunderstanding of the deeper battlefield, and the craven
>> patriotic nationalistic retreat from global devotion after 9/11.
>> Dissidents
>> became quiescent about NSA, warned of popular backlash to
>> funding and reputation by challenging authority during crisis.
>> Crypto and comsec promotion was curtailed, sensitive files
>> were withdrawn, private words were whispered to "don't go too far."
>> Protect the nation became dominant, to hell with foreigners as
>> foreigners said to hell with the US. Music to all nationalistic spies
>> industries
>> Snowden's nationalism (don't harm the US) has brought nationalism
>> back into fashion as US firms struggle to maintain global markets,
>> not least by deploying technology funded by US spy industry, now
>> as in the 1990s. Technology which the Snowden outlets continue
>> to withhold, allegedly due to a pact with Snowden (withheld 97%
>> of Guardian's claim, 99.999% of what DoD claimed).
>> So rigged crypto is again being touted as the holy grail of comsec
>> and privacy, by pretty much the same parties united in the 1990s
>> by common nationalistic and economic interests cloaked in
>> globalist market-freedom propaganda. "We have to help our
>> spies because they help their spies steal economic secrets."
>> 9/11 failure of spies continues to be used as a rationale for
>> more obsequiously, subversively, secretly empowing them.
>> Is Snowden a tool, witting or unwitting, for this, hard to say,
>> but his claim of "encryption works" certainly has the ring of
>> enthusiastic crypto deception of the 1990s. Ring so beloved
>> of the legal teams fronting the "lawful interception" deception
>> movement, then and now.
>> Note that all the hurrah about Reset the Net embraces the
>> notion that corporations will institute cryptographic protection
>> subject to lawful interception, the timeless evasion of faulty security
>> where comsec promises are never fulfilled, and only fools would
>> believe them, for goodness sake, have you no understanding
>> of the real world?
>> Comsec wizards chuckle on mail lists and at industry standards
>> settings, our industry is fundamentally cheating, lying, stealing
>> and taking adherents for a ride, spies our principal customers.
>> At 09:47 AM 6/7/2014, you wrote:
>>> On Jun 7, 2014, at 8:08, John Young <jya@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> > No they haven't, Jim, you know that is a con from the 1990s.
>>> > Same type of corporations pushing the deceptive scheme,
>>> > matched by "displeasure" of the spies.
>>> I feel there's an important implicit reference there I'm missing. 
>>> What con in the 90s are you referring to?


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