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Security quotes of the week

Security quotes of the week

Posted Jun 22, 2013 17:57 UTC (Sat) by kleptog (subscriber, #1183)
Parent article: Security quotes of the week

The thing I find most interesting about this is that while everybody talks about 1984-like surveillance, it doesn't *feel* like it. Why?

Because in the book the monitoring was real, and you noticed it. While PRISM is collecting lots of data they're not doing anything with it that you even notice. There are no speakers in the wall telling you what to do.

Is that risk? There are certainly nowhere near enough people at the NSA to monitor everyone. I imagine they think that with data-mining they can find terrists, but I doubt that will work. You're looking for outliers and *everyone* is an outlier in some sense.

Mind you, I find the issue about some small fact (like a lobster) being found to jail you a bit unrealistic. I don't think any judge would fall for it. There are not a lot of crimes you can commit in an email/phone call. You are not going to be convicted on the basis of emailing a friend about an undersized lobster without producing the lobster in question.

If they try to nail Assange by charging him on the basis of an email about an undersize lobster, everyone will just laugh.


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Security quotes of the week

Posted Jun 22, 2013 20:27 UTC (Sat) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

the issue isn't the example of 1984, it's the example of the J Edger Hoover FBI. They did enough damage with the capabilities they had at the time, imagine what they could do with what's been put in place now.

at least initially, they won't go after people like Assange with things like the undersized lobster, they will go after people they 'know' are terrorists or mobsters, but just can't prove it (people who "everybody knows" direct the people who do the violence directly, but are able to keep the direct links hidden)

the problem is that rather than "the rule of law", it's turning into "the ends justify the means", as long as the 'bad guys' get locked up, what mechanism was used to get them locked up doesn't matter.

This isn't new, locking up Al Capone for "tax evasion" is an example of this.

this quote from John Adams is the best explanation of the problem that I've found so far.

> It is more important that innocence should be protected, than it is, that guilt be punished; for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world, that all of them cannot be punished.... when innocence itself, is brought to the bar and condemned, especially to die, the subject will exclaim, 'it is immaterial to me whether I behave well or ill, for virtue itself is no security.' And if such a sentiment as this were to take hold in the mind of the subject that would be the end of all security whatsoever

Security quotes of the week

Posted Jun 27, 2013 20:29 UTC (Thu) by thumperward (guest, #34368) [Link]

Aaron Schwartz's crime, for which he was facing a period longer than his life to date in a Federal prison, was downloading freely-available papers.

Security quotes of the week

Posted Jul 4, 2013 22:19 UTC (Thu) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

Even if incarceration is a remote possibility, there is always the very real danger of being arrested and interrogated for petty crimes, just because you confessed to it in a private email -- which perhaps wouldn't even be accepted as evidence. Disruption of people's lives can be subtle but deep.

Also, with near-infinite storage data can be collected now and used many decades in the future. Just to think that a government has the power to collect and store everything that you do online should be enough to scare anyone.


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