[hcs-d] Government wiretapping

Joshua Kroll kroll at cs.princeton.edu
Tue Sep 28 14:06:02 EDT 2010


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy6uLfermPU

We've got to protect the public.

On Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 1:39 PM, Joe Zimmerman <joe at hcs.harvard.edu> wrote:
>
> Josh,
>
>> So what's a techie to do? Well, I'm not too worried, for a start: the
>> forces of money are with the forces of good on this one. And it's
>> really easy to oppose this proposal by making it into a jobs issue
>> ("Come on, Mr. Congressman. Surely you don't want to hamper American
>> innovation, stall foreign investment, and eliminate high-paying
>> high-tech jobs, do you?"). But you're fighting the forces of fear
>> ("you can't expect criminals to just be able to instantly evade law
>> enforcement detection! We've got to protect the public!").
>
> (1) You are absolutely right.
> (2) Fuck American politics.
>
> Truthily,
> -Joe
>
>>
>> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 10:43 PM, Zak Stone <zstone at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Yes, the concern here is that universal backdoors would allow the
>> > government (and hackers who exploit the backdoors) to run universal
>> > wiretaps all the time.
>> >
>> > Zak
>> >
>> >
>> > On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 10:35 PM, EJ Bensing
>> > <ebensing at college.harvard.edu> wrote:
>> >> As a point to clarify on Byron’s interpretation of the 4th amendment…
>> >> the
>> >> courts have basically ruled that anything stored in the cloud (IE.
>> >> Emails,
>> >> ect.) don’t require a search warrant to access. They just have to
>> >> comply
>> >> with a law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. This means
>> >> that
>> >> if companies were forced to build backdoors in their software, they
>> >> could be
>> >> exploited without judicial oversight as long as that act was followed.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> We were actually talking about this today in my seminar (which is on
>> >> laws
>> >> relating to the internet)
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Needless to say, this is an incredibly ridiculous and damaging bill.
>> >> But
>> >> congress seems to be a roll lately…
>> >>
>> >> http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/09/censorship-internet-takes-center-stage-online
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> -E.J. Bensing
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> From: hcs-discuss-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
>> >> [mailto:hcs-discuss-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu] On Behalf Of Joe
>> >> Zimmerman
>> >> Sent: Monday, September 27, 2010 10:13 PM
>> >> To: Ted Pak
>> >> Cc: Carl Jackson; Greg Brockman; hcs-discuss at hcs.harvard.edu
>> >> Subject: Re: [hcs-d] Government wiretapping
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 7:02 PM, Ted Pak <tpak at fas.harvard..edu> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> If this actually happens, and I really doubt it will, it reminds me of
>> >> the
>> >> days where the government restricted civilian use of encryption
>> >> technology
>> >> so it could keep the military grade stuff for itself.  It was literally
>> >> illegal to do encryption above a certain key-length.  I thought we had
>> >> moved
>> >> past that.
>> >>
>> >> From the article:
>> >>
>> >> "Developers of software that enables peer-to-peer communication must
>> >> redesign their service to allow interception."
>> >>
>> >> I think that's where they're headed.
>> >>
>> >> -Joe
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> On Sep 27, 2010, at 9:49 PM, Greg Brockman wrote:
>> >>
>> >>> Wait, as I understand the proposed law, it's not about trying to get
>> >>> around legal process.  Rather, it's about making sure that when the
>> >>> government gets a warrant for a Skype phone call, Skype has the
>> >>> technical ability to decrypt said phone call and give it to the
>> >>> government.  The government itself will not gain that ability and will
>> >>> still have to go through exactly the same protocols they do now.
>> >>>
>> >>> Greg
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 9:35 PM, Joe Zimmerman <joe at hcs.harvard.edu>
>> >>> wrote:
>> >>>>
>> >>>>> While I'm no lawyer, it seems unlikely that any such mandate would
>> >>>>> hold
>> >>>>> up
>> >>>>> in court.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> I'm not sure about that. Courts have done some pretty crazy things in
>> >>>> the
>> >>>> past (e.g., letting the DMCA stand).
>> >>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Plus, to access said encrypted data, the government would still
>> >>>>> technically need a warrant. The 4th amendment prohibits the
>> >>>>> government
>> >>>>> from
>> >>>>> accessing the information without a search warrant, so any charges
>> >>>>> they
>> >>>>> tried to bring against people based on evidence obtained without a
>> >>>>> warrant
>> >>>>> would be thrown out before you can say "constitutional rights".
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> And remember that the 5th amendment means that people have the right
>> >>>>> to
>> >>>>> confront the evidence against them -- in particular the witnesses
>> >>>>> against
>> >>>>> them -- making any charges doubly difficult for the government....
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Assuming the cases went to trial, as opposed to the people just
>> >>>> disappearing. Or, what is probably more common, the information
>> >>>> gathered
>> >>>> being used extralegally to blackmail or frame people for other
>> >>>> things.
>> >>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> It's not to say that I approve of this policy. Honestly, why the
>> >>>>> intelligence community goes to such lengths to avoid appropriate
>> >>>>> legal
>> >>>>> processes (such as search warrants) boggles the mind. Particularly
>> >>>>> when
>> >>>>> there are special courts set up specifically for the purpose of
>> >>>>> issuing
>> >>>>> warrants for sensitive investigations.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>> See above, in part. Although, it occurs to me that the government has
>> >>>> an
>> >>>> interesting angle here: right now, so much data on the Internet is
>> >>>> encrypted
>> >>>> that the feds don't know what to look for. Most of this is due to
>> >>>> traffic
>> >>>> over SSL, destined for servers that have a physical and legal
>> >>>> presence
>> >>>> and
>> >>>> whose owners can be held accountable to the proposed new law. If all
>> >>>> of
>> >>>> this
>> >>>> traffic effectively became cleartext (on account of the backdoor), it
>> >>>> would
>> >>>> become much more feasible to look for encrypted transmissions (any
>> >>>> whatsoever) as a sign of suspicious activity.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> -Joe
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 20:05, Zak Stone <zstone at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> I imagine most businesses will vehemently oppose the legislation:
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/business/global/28secure.html
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> Zak
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 5:37 PM, Zak Stone <zstone at gmail.com>
>> >>>>>> wrote:
>> >>>>>>> It may be time to lobby Congress, folks, especially if there are
>> >>>>>>> plans
>> >>>>>>> to somehow prohibit individuals from using strong encryption
>> >>>>>>> technology. This legislation hasn't passed yet.
>> >>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>> Zak
>> >>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 5:30 PM, Joe Zimmerman
>> >>>>>>> <joe at hcs.harvard.edu>
>> >>>>>>> wrote:
>> >>>>>>>> Not to mention the entirety of Nineteen Eighty-Four.
>> >>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>> -Joe
>> >>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 1:46 PM, Siddarth Chandrasekaran
>> >>>>>>>> <chandrasekaran.siddarth at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>> Frighteningly relevant:
>> >>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DRAD-j8ObI
>> >>>>>>>>> "There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I
>> >>>>>>>>> suspect
>> >>>>>>>>> even
>> >>>>>>>>> now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns
>> >>>>>>>>> will
>> >>>>>>>>> soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be
>> >>>>>>>>> used
>> >>>>>>>>> in
>> >>>>>>>>> lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.
>> >>>>>>>>> Words
>> >>>>>>>>> offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the
>> >>>>>>>>> enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something
>> >>>>>>>>> terribly
>> >>>>>>>>> wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice,
>> >>>>>>>>> intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom
>> >>>>>>>>> to
>> >>>>>>>>> object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors
>> >>>>>>>>> and
>> >>>>>>>>> systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting
>> >>>>>>>>> your
>> >>>>>>>>> submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame?"
>> >>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>> Siddarth
>> >>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 4:39 PM, Jim Danz <danz at fas.harvard.edu>
>> >>>>>>>>> wrote:
>> >>>>>>>>>> What?  That's never happened to me on NYT and I'm definitely
>> >>>>>>>>>> not a
>> >>>>>>>>>> member.
>> >>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 4:35 PM, Carl Jackson <carl at avtok.com>
>> >>>>>>>>>> wrote:
>> >>>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>> http://imgur.com/tyiT0
>> >>>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>> In other news, this is really really unfortunate. I'll
>> >>>>>>>>>>> probably
>> >>>>>>>>>>> say
>> >>>>>>>>>>> more
>> >>>>>>>>>>> angry words when I figure out how to read the article :P
>> >>>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>> Carl
>> >>>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>> On Sep 27, 2010, at 4:30 PM, Greg Brockman wrote:
>> >>>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> Looks like the government is considering mandating
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> communication
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> service providers to put backdoors in their softwares'
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> crypto:
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/us/27wiretap.html?_r=1
>> >>>>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> Any thoughts?
>> >>>>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> Best,
>> >>>>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> Greg
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> hcs-discuss mailing list
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> hcs-discuss at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
>> >>>>>>>>>>>> https://lists.hcs.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/hcs-discuss
>> >>>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>> >>>>>>>>>>> hcs-discuss mailing list
>> >>>>>>>>>>> hcs-discuss at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
>> >>>>>>>>>>> https://lists.hcs.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/hcs-discuss
>> >>>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>> >>>>>>>>>> hcs-discuss mailing list
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>> >>>>>>>>>> https://lists.hcs.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/hcs-discuss
>> >>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>> >>>>>>>>> hcs-discuss mailing list
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>> >>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>> >>>>>>>> hcs-discuss mailing list
>> >>>>>>>> hcs-discuss at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
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>> >>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>
>> >>>>>> _______________________________________________
>> >>>>>> hcs-discuss mailing list
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>> >>>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
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>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> _______________________________________________
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>> >>
>> >>
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>
>


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