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Old 07-22-2017, 02:01 AM   #31
josephj
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Both Sides Now


@273 - I can see both sides of this, but you can't protect freedom by destroying it completely which is where measures like this are heading. (Although having nothing left to protect does make protecting it quite a bit easier. )

Hopefully, Auntie Beryl doesn't have anything too confidential to share with you. Using encryption doesn't usually eliminate the ability to send things in the clear. If you have access to her computer, you might be able to add digital signing to her email client (if she uses one). Then, at least, you'd be sure whatever both of you send back and forth came from the advertised sender in and unmodified form.

The problem seems to be that most (all?) web mail and smartphone email apps don't seem to offer any options for digital signing or encryption. Most people wouldn't add the extra step of doing it manually with another program before sending a message even if they knew how.

I started looking for PIM apps for my smartphone that store their data in encrypted form so that all the other apps on my smartphone won't have anything to look at if I have to give them those permissions to run, but I haven't found any yet. I would pay for trusted apps like that!
 
Old 07-22-2017, 03:18 AM   #32
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@josephj This is the issue. The answer to the government becoming fascist may well be "encrypt everything" but in practice it really is a difficult thing to achieve both for personal and technological reasons. I don't need encryption for my communication with my maiden aunt but I don't really need it for communication with my friends with whom I discuss things like this either. In the first instance the communication is just pleasantries and in the later instance we do heavily criticise governments and others but it is probably less likely that we would be arrested keeping such things in the clear than using encryption especially since the encryption may not actually stop the government reading the message contents.
 
Old 07-23-2017, 03:52 AM   #33
tazza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
@josephj This is the issue. The answer to the government becoming fascist may well be "encrypt everything" but in practice it really is a difficult thing to achieve both for personal and technological reasons. I don't need encryption for my communication with my maiden aunt but I don't really need it for communication with my friends with whom I discuss things like this either. In the first instance the communication is just pleasantries and in the later instance we do heavily criticise governments and others but it is probably less likely that we would be arrested keeping such things in the clear than using encryption especially since the encryption may not actually stop the government reading the message contents.
All good and well, but who watches the watchers? I'm sick of hearing what is essentially a 'I have nothing to hide' argument.

Ok - so you're fine with big gov reading your shit - send me all your teenage daughters diary entries, infact send me her preferred pron sites while your at it.. or your sons.. they both look at it. Send me the letters you've written to your wife and her to you. No wife or kids? ok just send me every sms or email you've ever written to any girlfriend.

Furthermore - what is legal now is at an ever increasing rate becoming *illegal*.. you might not have anything to hide now but what about next year, 2 years time.. 10? You don't think it won't be used against you?
 
Old 07-23-2017, 04:43 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazza View Post
All good and well, but who watches the watchers? I'm sick of hearing what is essentially a 'I have nothing to hide' argument.
No, this is the "I'm not convinced I can hide it but trying to would be 'suspicious'".
try walking around with a face mask and dark glasses on all day every day and you may find out what I'm talking about. Sure, usually you'll be fine and may just have the police asking for a chat but, sooner or later, you'll have a penknife* on you or whatever and you'll find yourself being arrested or worse.

*Edit: Note that I am talking the UK here where knife laws are strict and a little odd -- even carrying a "legal" less than 3 inch non-folding knife can be considered an arrestable offence if it is done so "without good reason" or when there's heightened security.

Last edited by 273; 07-23-2017 at 04:46 AM.
 
Old 07-23-2017, 05:49 AM   #35
tazza
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That is exactly what they want you to think. Enough people do it and it becomes the norm.

I note in your sig you have "I am not a free man, I am a number." which is the reverse of the brilliant show 'The Prisoner. You can't compare walking along in the street in a mask (which for all eternity would have been suspicious because you are hiding your identity in a public place) to remaining anonymous in private conversation.

I can film you, your daughter, your wife, anyone I want in a public place - I can't however look at what they send via a 30p postage stamp to others. That's why laws on privacy exist.
 
Old 07-23-2017, 05:56 AM   #36
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Apart from, in the UK at least, the privacy laws don't exist. Your every move on the internet must be recorded and be made available to the government and, if there is even the slightest suspicion, you must hand over all encryption keys or be jailed. So, in the UK using encryption, VPNs and the like make you, in the eyes of the Prime Minister a terrorist and paedophile. Providers of services like BBM and other encrypted communication are being told they must provide back door access to the UK government.
Yes, if enough people use, for example, PGP (with the barriers to entry I have already mentioned) it will become "normal" but, then, it will simply become illegal. The UK government is already mulling over making encryption illegal for anything but "official" communication.
 
Old 07-23-2017, 06:05 AM   #37
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I'll reply rather than editing in case there's another reply on the way. Just to clarify lest anyone think I'm exaggerating I thought I ought to provide citations:
UK Government Can Force Encryption Removal (The Guardian)

Encryption ban proposal in the United Kingdom (Wikipedia)
Man jailed over computer password refusal (BBC)
 
Old 07-23-2017, 06:11 AM   #38
tazza
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Nah mate you got it backwards from what I was saying. I was saying they want enough people to 'lay down and die and take it up the arse' instead of people using other means. The more people that accept their control the more control they have.

If I'm a target then I'm a target - but your analogy of walking around in a *public* place doesn't hold water because in public you are.. well... public. Is it ok to open up your snail mail letters and inspect everything in it next?

It's an oft use saying but better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
 
Old 07-23-2017, 06:22 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazza View Post
Nah mate you got it backwards from what I was saying. I was saying they want enough people to 'lay down and die and take it up the arse' instead of people using other means. The more people that accept their control the more control they have.

If I'm a target then I'm a target - but your analogy of walking around in a *public* place doesn't hold water because in public you are.. well... public. Is it ok to open up your snail mail letters and inspect everything in it next?

It's an oft use saying but better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
The analogy hold perfectly, the police and government have the right to read everything you do on the internet in clear text -- if they come across encryption they will notice (pretty easy to automate) and, in certain circumstances,you may go on a list or they'll find (again in an automated way) a "back door" to your communication and you'll think you have privacy but you don't.
So, in order not to be flagged up everyone needs to use working encryption with best practices. And I've already mentioned why that's just not feasible -- it's just too damn hard to do.
If you want things to change then find another country with laws you prefer, learn the language and leave the UK or set up a movement asking for these laws to be revoked.
Personally my strategy is being one of the heard and hoping I die before things get too unbearable. **** everyone else -- this has been coming for decades but anyone suggesting it was called paranoid.
 
Old 07-23-2017, 06:38 AM   #40
tazza
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But It doesn't hold, because what you do on the internet is (or rather *should*) be akin to sending a snail mail message. It's none of big govs business. If they want big brother in the streets with CCTV that's their prerogative because it's a public place.

I feel you with your last bit of "...hoping I die before things get too unbearable. **** everyone else -- this has been coming for decades but anyone suggesting it was called paranoid." because I'm in the same boat... I just choose not to cave in and do what they want us to do.
 
Old 07-23-2017, 06:46 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazza View Post
But It doesn't hold, because what you do on the internet is (or rather *should*) be akin to sending a snail mail message. It's none of big govs business. If they want big brother in the streets with CCTV that's their prerogative because it's a public place.
It holds because the government declared the internet a public place for them. Whether that's fair or not it's how it is -- everything is tracked. Once everything is tracked then being cloaked will be noticed. "Should" doesn't come into it. In the UK you have no rights to private internet conversations -- see my above citations.
If it were possible to use secure encryption in all communication then I would probably do so despite the risk because no particular traffic would stand out as different but, again, I see no way of doing that. As things stand can PGP even be used on Android without resorting to closed source (i.e. pointless) "apps" and we've already come to the conclusion that the only real way to exchange keys is in person and that's just not practical.
The reason I state that the encryption must be secure (i.e. open source, examined code, all precautions used) is because if that's not the case and, for example, that lovely PGP app has a back door then the encryption is worse than useless. This is difficult and important because the would-be eavesdropper is a government.

Go back even just a decade and I would likely agree with you, but encryption is too hot a topic and is now treated as illegal by default so it's not enough to simply raise a finger any more.
 
Old 07-23-2017, 07:12 AM   #42
tazza
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We're going around in circles my friend. I'm well aware of big gov declaring the internet a 'public' space in certain areas.. the USA - the bastion of so called freedom (non existent) was the first to start tracking everyone and anyone. I'm near retirement, I've seen it all and seen how bad things have gotten over the years. It doesn't change the fact I would rather make things difficult than lay down and take what the powers that be say I have to take.
Call it a "get off my lawn" if you will, but stuff it mate. I've put up with this shit for nearly 60 years and enough is enough. My cleartext like this is already logged/analysed/interpreted.
 
Old 07-23-2017, 07:14 AM   #43
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I suppose we are going round in circles because in many ways we agree -- it's just our reaction that differs.
I suppose the crux of the matter for me is that I'm not convinced that your encrypting things actually stops them reading things and, if it does, not convinced that makes anything harder for them in the long run.
 
Old 07-23-2017, 07:22 AM   #44
tazza
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We're all living in the same boat - shithole as it is heh. Have taken your points on board but ultimately it will be a case of agree to disagree.. which is fine - if you were a MS user I'd have to take it further (honest kidding I'm not that bad).
 
Old 07-23-2017, 05:20 PM   #45
Trihexagonal
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I haven't used email for anything but registering for a site in years and have long since abandoned my US based accounts in favor of offshore services.

The only thing I really use encryption for is my passwords and keep them on a USB stick. I try to never say anything online that could come back to bite me and assume everything I say or do is under scrutiny.

I did a lot of business through ebay with several people overseas and one person in particular in Russia which did make me wonder if it didn't raise flags, but it was all above board buying Russian watches which I collect.

I did purchase an item from a person who informed me during discussion he represented the Communist Party in the state I live in and invited me to his office to see his collection of Soviet memorabilia. An invitation I obviously didn't take and someone I did no business or communicate with after that.
 
  


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