If you followed the news lately you may have noticed that a number of higher up politicians and people in important surveillance positions have announced that they are concerned about our safety. With the big impact of Snowdens revelations people started to protect themselves with the help of crypto systems. According to officials like FBI director James Comey this is a development that should worry us all. The fact that worried him the most is that major smartphone OS developers like Google and Apple decided to improve their existing encryption systems. Apparently iOS and Android are now encrypting the content of devices by default(if you updated to recent versions). The most worrying fact about this new development, according to Comey, is that the public authorities do not have the golden key to access the devices anymore. Tim Cook said that not even Apple has the power to open the device since they key is generated with some unique token that is device specific and burned into hardware. Matthew Green wrote a more in-depth article about the cryptography behind the newer version of iOS that explains a lot of the details how the system works and why it upsets Mr. Comey that much.
James Comey is worried that the iPhone will be the new device of choice for terrorists, rapists, murderers and all the other bad people out there. The interesting thing about the claims of Comey and fellows is that it seems they live in a world where everyone is a murderer and a rapist. Mr. Comey, it seems, has some similarities with Mr. Dodson
I do not know if these government officials all over the world are just very pessimistic people and if they really believe the lies they tell us or if they try to manipulate us deliberately to gain more power. The world i live in, and i suppose most people experience the same thing, is a lot more friendly. Of course you have the occasional idiot and mean guy but i would not compare them to murderers and such. Most of all the occasional bad guy does not justify mass surveillance on a global scale. This is just out of proportion and in the end it harms every single one of us. The apparatus behind the NSA, FBI, etc is very powerful and intelligent one. They spread the most horrifying fears in the public to make the public willingly accept the neat changes they prepared for us – to make us secure. To me this scenario has many similarities to stories of the past where most of the time something bad happened in the end. Spreading fear and controlling information has always been the first step to dictatorship and a dehumanising society. I do not want to imply that anyone wants to be the next dictator but i am certain that his spreading fear is the tool to gain more power. In fact it might be even worse if intelligence agencies gain that power since it is not one person or a group of people you can fight if you want to. It is something that is operating in the dark, the unknown and that makes it very hard to fight. It makes it almost futile to defend against something that you can not see or know. It is almost like fighting smoke – which seems like an incredibly difficult thing to do.
You need to have something to hide
It is utmost important for us to defend our rights, and to fight for new rights. As Moxie Marlinspike pointed out in a very read-worthy article it is even important to break the rules for change. to be able to improve our society and to work towards a better, friendlier future. It is important to talk with people about the dangers that lurk in the dark and make them conscious for what is going on in the “digital” world. If the world is continuing on its path then the digital will start to really affect even the least technologically interested people in a way we never dreamed of and hoped for.
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