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eye for an eye

13/01/2015 - Posted in cryptography , internet , news Posted by:

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reading time: 3 minutes

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone – if possible – Jew, Gentile – black man – white. […] We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. …

 – Charlie Chaplin

wolves in sheep’s clothing

I am very sorry for what happened in France recently and i am very shocked about the fall out we see now after the this attack on the freedom of speech. What happened is inexcusable not only because human lost their lives but also because the target were the ideals the victims at Charlie Hebdo stood up for. These rights are in jeopardy not only because some extremists believe that having critical views about religion has to result in murder but also because this incident empowers the wolf in sheep’s clothing. It was to foresee that political parties and power holders will use this occasion to fortify their current reign and even try to expand it.

David Cameron held a speech in which he said “In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which […] we cannot read?”. So David Cameron intends to banish encryption from the UK if he wins the next election. Being able to communicate in a secure and private manner is linked to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech does not mean that the said has the be completely public, it is way beyond that. So in a sense David Cameron attacks the same ideals Charlie Hebdo is trying to defend. Furthermore it paints a picture about how normal it is for Governments to be able to spy on everyone. It is almost a crime if you want to be able to talk to someone without anyone eavesdropping.

lets encrypt!

The EFF is working on a new tool called “Lets Encrypt” that should make issuing and installing HTTPS certificates easy. It is a direct means to counter broadband surveillance, be it the US, Russia or some other interested party. Seth Schoen held a talk about this project at the 31C3. “Lets Encrypt” is going to be a viable tool for the future of the internet and freedom of speech because it is easy to use. In the previous post i talked about the fact that technology needs more a user centric design.

I recently tried to get some friends into using messengers like Threema or Telegram in order to be able to communicate at least somewhat encrypted. If you tried to do the same with some of your friends then you probably already came across all kinds of excuses why someone wants to stick with the Facebook messenger or text messages. The most disappointing or rather frustrating are the people who just do not care. It does not matter how often you talk to them. They simply don’t care. Thats incredibly hard to counter, there are of course arguments why those people should protect their communications but no matter what you say they don’t want to understand the deeper meaning of why they need to care.

power and empathy

This brings me back to the beginning. We really need security by default. In the context of the internet and communication this means using cryptography. So if governments try to trim our rights by taking away the means to talk privately about whatever we like, we should act and we should defend our rights. We should honour the ideals of Charlie Hebdo and democracy and we should fight for our rights. This does not mean we should give into the easy path of violence. We should not support people like David Cameron or organisations like PEGIDA. We should show compassion and understanding. We should not counter violence by creating more violence. We should also not make an entire cultural group responsible for the actions of a few mislead. We should be compassionate, understanding and forgiving. We should fight for our rights, freedom and a better peaceful future.

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