FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas

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FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas

Post by parakkafaith on Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:34 pm
([msg=88371]see FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas[/msg])

FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' ideas about encryption

On April 29th, a hearing was held regarding encryption technology and potential U.S. policy responses.

The current state of encryption and its criminal implications have the FBI concerned enough to express a desire for backdoors that essentially allow the "good guys" to catch murderers and rapists; Of course it would only be available to the good guys.

For topics like this, we believe ambivalence is paramount. It isn't hard to understand why the idea of "going dark" is a scary thing, especially for a law enforcement agency. Encryption is a powerful tool that stands to protect your privacy and your liberty in ways that make it very difficult to replace. Encryption is a very heavy double-edged sword, so it's only natural that people have a hard time coming up with an effective solution that keeps the liberty edge sharp while dampening the edge that serves criminal activity all the way from fraud to child porn to espionage. It's just not an easy conversation to have.

Part of what makes encryption technology so powerful is how wonderfully complex it is. Skilled mathematicians and scientists make a good living developing effective and innovative encryption techniques to protect sensitive data for all of us, whether we're one person, a corporation, or even a government organization. It's this complexity that makes it so inappropriate to give much weight to the fantastically far-fetched solution proposed by law enforcement; Whether it's coming from a fear of going dark amongst criminals, or a corrupt desire to survey the American people, is irrelevant.

Fortunately, the hearing discussed in this article shows a promising enthusiasm for both civil liberties and handling security by opposing the backwards movement suggested by the FBI.

If somebody were to ask you what your stance is regarding the provision of an almighty skeleton key to be used only by law enforcement, you and the majority of this community might give pretty similar answers. With such a largely complicated issue that threatens our liberty and our security if mishandled, it's difficult to boil everything down to a simple question. The passion in this community for both of these things is what makes it a great place to discuss the implications of getting down from the fence on one side or the other.
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Re: FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas

Post by NETWORKsecurity on Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:21 am
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Lets as well put put some kind of backdoor in glows so people cant use them to protect themselves from leaving fingerprints while stealing... This is indeed just stupid idea.
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Re: FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas

Post by tremor77 on Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:27 pm
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It's a fantastically impossible idea that will only improve methods of encryption used by criminal elements. Sure lets place a backdoor exploit in the current accepted encryptions that all the law abiding people will use... who is to say the people who really really want to encrypt their communications won't just develop something else.. moving to multiple wrapped encryption methods, cipher text and stego. It's like taking guns away, people who really want one for illegal purposes will still get one. The only losers here will be the average internet user who is unaware. And then what happens if another Snowden gets his hands on the 'skeleton key'... we're all fucked after that when the chinese and the russians get hold of it, which they will.. because frankly I don't trust our government nor the people that work in it for jack shit when it comes to security... someone will take the payday, especially considering the top of the class in computer science go into the private sector.. government jobs pay too little and are high stress. Some individual will eventually take advantage of the situtation for personal gain.

Addendum: If it were in my power to do so, I would fire every single person involved in the development of this idea because it is that fucking stupid, they have no right to earn taxpayer dollars for that amount of idiocy. I wouldn't even recommend them for drive-thru teller at McDonalds. Seriously.
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Re: FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas

Post by cyberdrain on Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:17 pm
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tremor77 wrote:Some individual will eventually take advantage of the situation for personal gain.

That, basically. I understand their fear of 'going dark', but it's no different than the way it's always been. Besides, the risks don't outweigh the possible benefits; too much power, too little responsibility.
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Re: FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas

Post by parakkafaith on Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:49 am
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NETWORKsecurity wrote:Lets as well put put some kind of backdoor in glows so people cant use them to protect themselves from leaving fingerprints while stealing... This is indeed just stupid idea.


tremor77 wrote:Addendum: If it were in my power to do so, I would fire every single person involved in the development of this idea because it is that fucking stupid, they have no right to earn taxpayer dollars for that amount of idiocy. I wouldn't even recommend them for drive-thru teller at McDonalds. Seriously.


I understand taking this stance, but I think it's important to remember a few things. Consider that the ones proposing this idea are not professionals in any industry that requires them to know how these things work. It would be nice if they did, but in reality we can't expect everyone involved in the process to have a good understanding of things that are this complex. For the record, I don't think any of them are pretending to understand it. This kind of thing is not uncommon, which is why we don't leave all of the important decisions up to one person.

Although it's less than ideal that time and money is being wasted on this idea, even if it's just to make the proposition, I don't think "stupid" is fair. Ignorant? Definitely. In their shoes, however, it may not seem like a bad idea to at least pitch this. They've been told it's not possible, but they have all kinds of history books that tell them all about the "impossible" things people have achieved. Around here, we know that perfect security is far-fetched and silly to even consider, but it wasn't that long ago that Joseph Bramah had people reasonably convinced otherwise, and not because people used to be stupid. I imagine these people are just hoping for a revolutionary innovation, not just some back pocket crypto-trick. I imagine the majority of these people are good at what they do, but it's obvious that what they do has very little to do with this particular kind of security. Thankfully, it isn't up to them.

cyberdrain wrote:I understand their fear of 'going dark', but it's no different than the way it's always been. Besides, the risks don't outweigh the possible benefits; too much power, too little responsibility.


I think that's what makes the conversation difficult. One thing outweighing another is inevitable when the industry is essentially an arms race. Although the fear of "going dark" seems real enough to justify this kind of proactivity, I think it's reasonable to suspect that this proposition is being made for reasons other than fear. It's hard to say exactly what those reasons are, but it feels like mass surveillance certainly fits the federal agenda nowadays.
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Re: FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas

Post by tremor77 on Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:56 pm
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I feel this thread needed a bump in light of the latest between the FBI and Apple over the San Bernadino iPhone.

What particularly grabs me is that FBI Director James Comey is trying to say that this is historically significant, we need to have backdoors to encryption because, that never in history have we encountered a scenario where people had "warrantproof" storage. Really?

- The thoughts in my head.. warrantproof - should the FBI be granted access to our minds if we are deemed a threat or implicated in a crime?

- How about the encoded messages of America's founding fathers? Perhaps simple by our modern standards but nonetheless without the cipher key they were warrantless, is the FBI director implying that the British Crown should have been given backdoors into Ben Franklin's secret messaging system the American Revolutionaries were using for the greater good of national security?

In your opinion.. Just how wrong is that statement? And why is this even a thing? Don't we have better things to spend our time and money on?
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Re: FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas

Post by cyberdrain on Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:24 pm
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tremor77 wrote:- How about the encoded messages of America's founding fathers? Perhaps simple by our modern standards but nonetheless without the cipher key they were warrantless, is the FBI director implying that the British Crown should have been given backdoors into Ben Franklin's secret messaging system the American Revolutionaries were using for the greater good of national security?

That's an interesting idea, if that were allowed, it would mean squashing any resistance against the way things are, never allowing for change once things get out of hand. Unfortunately we're pretty close to that already. As with every new technology there are those who resist change and those who accept it. The difference in this case being that there is no way to ever decode the encrypted messages when encryption is correctly used. As knowledge is power, not having knowledge means having no power. In this case the balance favours those who use it against any government for e.g. civil disobedience. This is why the right to encrypt things should be protected at all costs in my opinion.
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Re: FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas

Post by parakkafaith on Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:18 pm
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tremor77 wrote:is the FBI director implying that the British Crown should have been given backdoors into Ben Franklin's secret messaging system the American Revolutionaries were using for the greater good of national security?


It would certainly seem that way. This whole iShitstorm really seems to encapsulate the dilemma that is a crypto skeleton key.

This trick is nothing new. We see it all the time. Find a terrorist, hypocritically attempt to use the momentum of their terror to dissolve the constitution, void civil liberties, and hope the people stand behind you while you do it. Pretty ridiculous.

Apparently the FBI just ended up dishing out cash to get into the phone. If James Comey can't take your freedom, he'll just spend your money. Brilliant.
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Re: FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas

Post by cyberdrain on Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:03 pm
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parakkafaith wrote:Apparently the FBI just ended up dishing out cash to get into the phone. If James Comey can't take your freedom, he'll just spend your money. Brilliant.

The good news is that they can't keep doing that, so they'll have to invest a lot to actually gain access to new phones.
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Re: FBI slammed on Capitol Hill for 'stupid' encryption ideas

Post by phpholly on Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:29 pm
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Good the FBI Should be slammed. I am glad that Apple wouldn't give them a key to unlock the iphone, let them figure that out for themselves.
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