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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday January 10, @08:49AM   Printer-friendly
from the trust-us-we're-the-government dept.

The Washington Post has a story which says:

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray on Tuesday renewed a call for tech companies to help law enforcement officials gain access to encrypted smartphones, describing it as a "major public safety issue."

Wray said the bureau was unable to gain access to the content of 7,775 devices in fiscal 2017 — more than half of all the smartphones it tried to crack in that time period — despite having a warrant from a judge.

"Being unable to access nearly 7,800 devices in a single year is a major public safety issue," he said, taking up a theme that was a signature issue of his predecessor, James B. Comey.

Wray was then quoted as saying:

"We're not interested in the millions of devices of everyday citizens," he said in New York at Fordham University's International Conference on Cyber Security. "We're interested in those devices that have been used to plan or execute terrorist or criminal activities."

He then went on to promote the long-disparaged idea of key escrow:

As an example of a possible compromise, Wray cited a case from New York several years ago. Four major banks, he said, were using a chat messaging platform called Symphony, which was marketed as offering "guaranteed data deletion." State financial regulators became concerned that the chat platform would hamper investigations of Wall Street.

"In response," Wray said, "the four banks reached an agreement with the regulators to ensure responsible use" of Symphony. They agreed to keep a copy of their communications sent through the app for seven years and to store duplicate copies of their encryption keys with independent custodians not controlled by the banks, he said.

To me this is more of the utter nonsense the government has spouted. When will they understand that key escrow only works when one trusts the government and the keeper of the keys?

Related Stories

FBI Failed to Access 7,000 Encrypted Mobile Devices 38 comments

FBI failed to access 7,000 encrypted mobile devices

Agents at the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been unable to extract data from nearly 7,000 mobile devices they have tried to access, the agency's director has said.

Christopher Wray said encryption on devices was "a huge, huge problem" for FBI investigations. The agency had failed to access more than half of the devices it targeted in an 11-month period, he said.

One cyber-security expert said such encryption was now a "fact of life". Many smartphones encrypt their contents when locked, as standard - a security feature that often prevents even the phones' manufacturers from accessing data. Such encryption is different to end-to-end encryption, which prevents interception of communications on a large scale.

Cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward at the University of Surrey said device encryption was clearly frustrating criminal investigations but it would be impractical and insecure to develop "back doors" or weakened security.

In a time when the government is committing criminal acts, is it not advisable for citizens to do what they can to protect themselves from that crime?


Original Submission

Great, Now There's "Responsible Encryption" 38 comments

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1

Trump's Department of Justice is trying to get a do-over with its campaign to get backdoors onto iPhones and into secure messaging services. The policy rebrand even has its own made-up buzzword. They're calling it "responsible encryption."

After Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein introduced the term in his speech to the U.S. Naval Academy, most everyone who read the transcript was doing spit-takes at their computer monitors. From hackers and infosec professionals to attorneys and tech journalists, "responsible encryption" sounded like a marketing plan to sell unsweetened sugar to diabetics.

Government officials -- not just in the U.S. but around the world -- have always been cranky that they can't access communications that use end-to-end encryption, whether that's Signal or the kind of encryption that protects an iPhone. The authorities are vexed, they say, because encryption without a backdoor impedes law-enforcement investigations, such as when terrorist acts occur.

[...] "Look, it's real simple. Encryption is good for our national security; it's good for our economy. We should be strengthening encryption, not weakening it. And it's technically impossible to have strong encryption with any kind of backdoor," said Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), when asked about Rosenstein's proposal for responsible encryption at The Atlantic's Cyber Frontier event in Washington, D.C.

Source: Great, now there's 'responsible encryption'


Original Submission

FBI Bemoans Phone Encryption After Texas Shooting, but Refuses Apple's Help 52 comments

At a press conference, an FBI spokesman blamed industry standard encryption for preventing the agency from accessing the recent Texas mass shooter's locked iPhone. Reuters later reported that the FBI did not try to contact Apple during a 48-hour window in which the shooter's fingerprint may have been able to unlock the phone. Apple said in a statement that after seeing the press conference, the company contacted the FBI itself to offer assistance. Finally, the Washington Post reports (archive) that an FBI official acknowledged Apple's offer but said it did not need the company's assistance:

After the FBI said it was dealing with a phone it couldn't open, Apple reached out to the bureau to learn whether the phone was an iPhone and whether the FBI was seeking assistance. An FBI official responded late Tuesday, saying that it was an iPhone but that the agency was not asking anything of the company at this point. That's because experts at the FBI's lab in Quantico, Va., are trying to determine if there are other methods, such as cloud storage or a linked laptop, that would provide access to the phone's data, these people said. They said that process could take weeks.

If the FBI and Apple had talked to each other in the first two days after the attack, it's possible the device might already be open. That time frame may have been critical because Apple's iPhone "Touch ID" — which uses a fingerprint to unlock the device — stops working after 48 hours. It wasn't immediately clear whether the gunman had activated Touch ID on his phone, but more than 80 percent of iPhone owners do use that feature. If the bureau had consulted the company, Apple engineers would likely have told the bureau to take steps such as putting the dead gunman's finger to the phone to see if doing so would unlock it. It was unclear whether the FBI tried to use the dead man's finger to open the device in the first two days.

In a statement, Apple said: "Our team immediately reached out to the FBI after learning from their press conference on Tuesday that investigators were trying to access a mobile phone. We offered assistance and said we would expedite our response to any legal process they send us."

Also at Engadget.

Related: Apple Lawyer and FBI Director Appear Before Congress
Apple Engineers Discussing Civil Disobedience If Ordered to Unlock IPhone
Senator Dianne Feinstein Claims That the FBI Paid $900,000 to Break Into a Locked iPhone
Federal Court Rules That the FBI Does Not Have to Disclose Name of iPhone Hacking Vendor


Original Submission

DOJ: Strong Encryption That We Don't Have Access to is “Unreasonable” 68 comments

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

"We have an ongoing dialogue with a lot of tech companies in a variety of different areas," he [Rod Rosenstein] told Politico Pro. "There's some areas where they are cooperative with us. But on this particular issue of encryption, the tech companies are moving in the opposite direction. They're moving in favor of more and more warrant-proof encryption."

[...] In the interview, Rosenstein also said he "favors strong encryption."

"I favor strong encryption, because the stronger the encryption, the more secure data is against criminals who are trying to commit fraud," he explained. "And I'm in favor of that, because that means less business for us prosecuting cases of people who have stolen data and hacked into computer networks and done all sorts of damage. So I'm in favor of strong encryption."

[...] He later added that the claim that the "absolutist position" that strong encryption should be by definition, unbreakable, is "unreasonable."

[...] Rosenstein closed his interview by noting that he understands re-engineering encryption to accommodate government may make it weaker.

"And I think that's a legitimate issue that we can debate—how much risk are we willing to take in return for the reward?" he said.

Source: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/doj-strong-encryption-that-we-dont-have-access-to-is-unreasonable/


Original Submission

FBI Director Christopher Wray Keeps War on Encryption Alive 61 comments

The new FBI Director Christopher Wray has been repeating the broken rhetoric of the Crypto Wars:

In recent testimony before Congress, the director of the FBI has again highlighted what the government sees as the problem of easy-to-use, on-by-default, strong encryption.

In prepared remarks from last Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that encryption presents a "significant challenge to conducting lawful court-ordered access," he said, again using the longstanding government moniker "Going Dark."

The statement was just one portion of his testimony about the agency's priorities for the coming year.

The FBI and its parent agency, the Department of Justice, have recently stepped up public rhetoric about the so-called dangers of "Going Dark." In recent months, both Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have given numerous public statements about this issue.

Remember to use encryption irresponsibly, and stay salty, my FBI friends.

Previously: FBI Chief Calls for National Talk Over Encryption vs. Safety
Federal Court Rules That the FBI Does Not Have to Disclose Name of iPhone Hacking Vendor
PureVPN Logs Helped FBI Net Alleged Cyberstalker
FBI Failed to Access 7,000 Encrypted Mobile Devices
Great, Now There's "Responsible Encryption"
FBI Bemoans Phone Encryption After Texas Shooting, but Refuses Apple's Help
DOJ: Strong Encryption That We Don't Have Access to is "Unreasonable"


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Touché) by frojack on Wednesday January 10, @09:07AM (7 children)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @09:07AM (#620395) Journal

    “We’re interested in those devices that have been used to plan or execute terrorist or criminal activities.”

    Seven thousand terrorists in 2017, and we know about maybe 5 or 7 in the US.

    Where is he hiding all these terrorists. How is he covering up all these attacks. Who is dropping all these phones, but otherwise making a clean get away?

    When anything bad happens, the authorities rush to assure everyone that it was just and accident or a common criminal. Yet it appears any common shooting, apartment fire, train crash, tanker truck crash becomes a terrorist attack when it suits the.

    Show me the phones, and the list of names of their owners.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:16AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:16AM (#620399)

      By now, most people have heard about the legend of The Kind Rapist. This legend is actually a collection of supposed eyewitness accounts that tell about a rapist who is excessively merciful and kind. One story states that, after being saved by a woman from being hit by a car, The Kind Rapist decided to reward her by raping her until she was pregnant. A different rumor talks about how The Kind Rapist displayed his saintly demeanor to the world when a woman - who he had just finished raping - failed to thank him for properly utilizing her; he allegedly did so by beating and raping her until she was no longer capable of movement. There are countless more legends just like these, and all of them supposedly happened within the last few years.

      Most who hear these stories doubt their veracity, but there is another question to consider: How does this legend affect the people who hear it, and their communities? A person interested in figuring out the answer to that very question visited various different towns and cities and told the stories to people who had never heard them before, in order to see how it would affect them. Just a few of the eye-opening reactions follow.

      ---

      One of the people we talked to was named Wilson, an ordinary man with a normal job. After relaying the stories of The Kind Rapist to him, he immediately broke out in tears. "I can't believe such a kind individual could possibly exist," Wilson exclaimed. He continued, "I'll never be able to look at things the same way again. I feel as if I need to change for the better, as if I need to emulate that great man!" Wilson couldn't stop lavishing praise on the individual from the stories, and when we said our goodbyes, his outlook on life had changed drastically for the better. Surely Wilson would go on to do great things.

      ---

      Next was a famed philosopher named Jones. We relayed the stories about The Kind Rapist to him, and by the time we were done, he seemed to be in a state of deep contemplation. After several minutes of silence, Jones finally spoke, "I doubt the veracity of those stories. Such a magnanimous, gentle human being is nothing but a myth. Saints don't exist in reality." He paused for a few seconds, and then said, "But does that mean the stories have no value? No. We must, as a society, strive to become better. While those legends may portray a Utopian ideal that we can never truly reach, we can seek to move towards it, and in doing so, improve society as a whole. I, at least, have decided to change for the better and struggle to become even slightly more similar to that kind man from the myths." We talked for several minutes about the valuable lessons The Kind Rapist teaches us before parting ways.

      ---

      After several similar discussions with various different individuals, we reached a conclusion. Although we still don't know whether The Kind Rapist is a real person or simply a legend, what is certain is that the mere existence of these stories improves communities by giving people something positive to strive for. These stories give people hope. Hope for a better, kinder future. What do you think?

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday January 10, @09:23AM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday January 10, @09:23AM (#620404) Journal

      OR criminal activities. Could include a whole host of crimes including murder, fraud, hacking, etc.

      As for when they do claim high numbers of terrorists:

      The Sting: How the FBI Created a Terrorist [theintercept.com]

      The FBI Pressured a Lonely Young Man Into a Bomb Plot. He Tried to Back Out. Now He’s Serving Life in Prison. [theintercept.com]

      Undercover FBI Agents Swarm the Internet Seeking Contact With Terrorists [theintercept.com] - "The FBI’s online activities are so pervasive that the bureau sometimes finds itself investigating its own people."

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:34AM (#620406)

        Ba la la la leh leh leh! Ba la la la leh leh leh! Ba la la la leh leh leh!

        Yeah, get him! Jab your magic fingers into his bare snappyhole and tickle it until there's nothin' left!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @06:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @06:43PM (#620561)

        And littering (ie leaving a phone behind) is criminal right?
        Or doing whatever it was that gave them cause to confiscate the phone...

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday January 10, @10:12AM (1 child)

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @10:12AM (#620417) Homepage Journal

      So true, we do have big problems with terrorism. But it's not just the terrorists, we have many kinds of crime & violence going on. We need to liberate our citizens from the crime and terrorism and lawlessness that threatens their communities. To restore safety. We need to lock up many, many crooks. People always say that crooks have two phones. One for the bitches and one for the dough, right? Let me tell you, that's a SMALL TIME crook. Crooked Hillary had 13 phones! According to President Obama's FBI, she had 13. You know they didn't look very hard, she probably had more. Maybe, probably, she had a lot more than 13. But the FBI couldn't get its hands on even one. They got ZERO phones from her. They did a terrible investigation! Huma Abedin from her staff said Hillary "lost" a lot of phones. And she smashed many phones with a hammer. 📱🔨 According to the guy who ran her EMAIL server, she would smash them. The only guy in 40 years that said she's smashing!

      --
      Text TRUMP to 88022 to join the 🚂 #TrumpTrain [facebook.com]
      • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:12AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:12AM (#620428)

        ... Waaw, I've rarely seen so clear a troll desperately to redirect attention this way.....
        The Angry Cheeto (== trump, note lack of capital, title and respect), hillary clinton (note lack of capital and respect),... add whatever politician you like to the list and you are still talking about horrible corrupt excuses for human beings whom should have their paymasters logo (your corporate overlords) branded on their foreheads.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @07:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @07:03PM (#621038)

      and they were probably all pals of the FBI, but that's just a coincidence.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by frojack on Wednesday January 10, @09:13AM (2 children)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @09:13AM (#620397) Journal

    When will they understand that key escrow only works when one trusts the government and the keeper of the keys?

    Every government secret gets leaked sooner or later, every credit card gets compromised, every merchant gets hacked, entire nations cough up their identify systems, cpu manufacturers can't keep one process out of another processe's clutches.

    But key escrow could work you say? If only there was trust in governments?

    Trust all you want. All your keys are belong on sale on the "Dark Web"tm.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1) by anubi on Wednesday January 10, @10:04AM (1 child)

      by anubi (2828) on Wednesday January 10, @10:04AM (#620416)

      Totally agree.

      Besides, how much stuff that the people are interested in... like how much of our tax monies are spent for stuff is cloaked under "that's classified".

      I will concede that some things, like what's said in a football huddle, or our national defense capabilities and strategies, should be classified. For a little while, anyway.

      But our own government certainly isn't any shiny bastion of righteousness, either.... but have the benefit of "classified".

      So, now everyone is going "classified".

      Monkey see, monkey do... first monkey complains that the second monkey's doing it too.

      Its called a "balance of power" and is necessary for a free society to continue.

      If we can not protect ourselves from our own government ( covertly organize if it comes to that ), we become quite vulnerable to slide into the same muck-ass condition NK is now in.

      --
      "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:12AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:12AM (#620429)

        If we can not protect ourselves from our own government ( covertly organize if it comes to that ), we become quite vulnerable to slide into the same muck-ass condition NK is now in.

        Actually, communist regimes come to power as a result of underground conspiracies, and first thing they do is to remove the ladders they themselves used, while there is still genuine popular support for them.
        Covert organization by itself is not a tool (or weapon) only for good, it is just a means for underdogs to evade identification and purge by topdogs, for any (underdog, topdog) couple and any combination of moral alignments.
        For freedom, while still in democracy, anonymity and visibility is much more important, but there is problem with verification - any dictatorship, either soft or hard, can prevent or fake checking of facts published by leakers if the source of information is under its control.
        Also, a dictatorship (or any organized interested party) can pressure any choke points such as public forums (it could happen here too, and I've seen it before on the green site), by flooding them with fake (or just recruited) shill commenters comments or moderation.

        So, I would say, we need some novel cryptographic solutions for novel problems. We need safe anonymity for everyone, and participation by almost everyone (or immediate census of amount of public participation) in determining real public opinion, possibility of independent verification of facts (that would probably require that every information of potential public significance must be signed and signatures protected by a distributed blockchain), assignment of exactly single vote for each poll to every verified real but at same time anonymous identity, ... etc.

        And, if all that fails, or creates yet another dystopia, then, we would once again need covert communication and storage of information. However, if it comes to that, that covertness is last resort of good, that usually means that reason and courage among the people are in deep retreat, and then perhaps it is a better strategy to let it all rot on its own (like it always does, for exactly the lack of reason and courage) and start over again from remaining muck or ashes. No need for heroes and martyrs, just for inventors, teachers and philosophers. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:14AM (21 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:14AM (#620398)

    scenario:
    encryption of messages is illegal.
    I send an encrypted message to a friend.
    law enforcement intercepts the message, makes a copy of the encrypted message.
    I get arrested, placed in front of a judge.
    I testify that I like sending random bits to my friend.
    my friend testifies that he likes receiving random bits from me.
    according to "innocent until proven guilty", I should go home with no problem after this.

    bad consequence of law that cannot be enforced:
    I learn that as long as I can get away with it, I can break the law as much as I want.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday January 10, @09:33AM (11 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @09:33AM (#620405) Journal

      News flash: You're guilty.

      encryption of messages is illegal.
      I send an encrypted message to a friend.

      If even one partial sentence can be decrypted out of that message, you'd go to jail for encrypting a message. Remember there are large numbers of possible decryption of a message, depending on what algorithm you used. I'm sure they will choose a good algorithm to decrypt the random bits.

      There will come a time when it is safer to say something intelligible, with meaning obscured by actual words and phrases.
      Maybe we need an encryption method that reads as clear text, not totally disjoint collections of words, or song lyrics, and religious rantings. With the real message buried somewhere in the drivel.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 4, Funny) by Dr Spin on Wednesday January 10, @09:45AM (4 children)

        by Dr Spin (5239) on Wednesday January 10, @09:45AM (#620407)

        Are you implying that there is a sane message underpinning one or two of Trump's tweets?

        --
        Putting your data in the cloud is like sending your teenage daughter backpacking in a 3rd world country with a pimp
        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:49AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:49AM (#620410)

          The Trump Rosetta Stone is carved onto Bannon's inner thigh.

          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @10:25AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @10:25AM (#620421)
            Pshaw, far too obvious.

            No, it's Rosie O'Donnell's thighs you should check.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @04:58PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @04:58PM (#620512)

              No, it's Rosie O'Donnell's thighs you should check.

              Unfortunately those have been worn smooth.

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday January 10, @07:35PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday January 10, @07:35PM (#620589) Journal

            The Trump Rosetta Stone is carved onto Bannon's inner thigh.

            That must have been where he stored the word to the national anthem, too!

            What an unfortunate parting of ways.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:23AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:23AM (#620432)

        If even one partial sentence can be decrypted out of that message, you'd go to jail for encrypting a message.

        If using a one-time pad, *every* sentence and its opposite can be "decrypted" from the random data (more exactly, everything of the same length is a possible decryption).

        "So you say he sent an encrypted message. How do you know?"
        "We've decrypted a sentence, it says 'kill them'"
        "How did you decrypt it?"
        "We just flipped some bits so that the message appeared."
        "You flipped bits?"
        "Yes, about half of them."
        "Any pattern in the bits?"
        "No. But you wouldn't expect that from a one-time pad encrypted message."
        "Ah, but then, couldn't you always change some bits to get that message?"
        "Errr … yes, sure."
        "And if starting with random data, how many bits would you have to switch?"
        "About half of them."
        "In any specific pattern?"
        "No."
        "The defence has no more questions."

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mhajicek on Wednesday January 10, @11:45AM (1 child)

          by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @11:45AM (#620434)

          This relies on an intelligent and informed jury. Most would only hear that as technobabble.

          • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Thursday January 11, @05:30PM

            by etherscythe (937) on Thursday January 11, @05:30PM (#620991)

            If your lawyer is smart enough, and you have enough money to pay him, he will hire an erudite expert witness to make it sound appropriately absurd.

      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Wednesday January 10, @05:57PM (1 child)

        by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @05:57PM (#620544)

        Steganography is difficult even in jpegs, embedding it in text would require you to transmit entire volumes, at least if you wanted it to be hard to detect once suspected. Just imagine, e.g., trying to compose a message where the real message was carried by every "skip to the next prime number smaller than 1024 recycling"-th letter. Traditional methods like the initial letters of lines or only read the capitalized letters are hard enough to write, but relatively easy to decode (because they're expected).

        --
        Put not your faith in princes.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @08:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @08:42PM (#620620)

          You're thinking too hard. If you have to communicate clandestinely, you use codes, and not stenography. The presence of a single word at the correct time or in the correct place, and the message is passed without reasonable possibility of suspicion. If you have to encrypt a detailed message that would break your codes, you're doing it wrong.

      • (Score: 2) by turgid on Wednesday January 10, @10:02PM

        by turgid (4318) on Wednesday January 10, @10:02PM (#620665) Journal

        If even one partial sentence can be decrypted

        How many printable ASCII characters in a row making up a fragment of an English word would count?

        Some English words only have one letter.

        --
        Don't let Righty keep you down. #freearistarchus!!!
    • (Score: 2) by ledow on Wednesday January 10, @11:19AM (6 children)

      by ledow (5567) on Wednesday January 10, @11:19AM (#620431) Homepage

      Destroyed by "reasonable doubt".

      In that two people who aren't, say, mathematicians working on random number analysis, would be sending a bunch of random numbers back and forth (excluding the fact that if it starts with --- RSA PUBLIC KEY -- then likely it's not for that purpose).

      They'd convict you for being a smartarse, if nothing else.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:27AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:27AM (#620433)

        If encryption were illegal, only morons would send messages that start with "--- RSA PUBLIC KEY ---".

        Indeed, I'd expect steganography to rule in that situation. Is this just noise in that photo, or an encrypted message?

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Kromagv0 on Wednesday January 10, @02:08PM (3 children)

        by Kromagv0 (1825) on Wednesday January 10, @02:08PM (#620459) Homepage

        You've apparently never seen my facebook posts. I will from time to time post some base64 encoded random numbers just to mess with whoever may be watching.

        Yes I am serious when I say that.

        --
        T-Shirts and bumper stickers [zazzle.com] to offend someone
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @02:45PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @02:45PM (#620469)

          i thought people that were concerned about privacy didn't use facebook?

          but then security isn't privacy so ok poison that well. The FBI still says your phone needs to be decrypted because you're posting weird things.

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by Kromagv0 on Wednesday January 10, @05:36PM

            by Kromagv0 (1825) on Wednesday January 10, @05:36PM (#620534) Homepage

            Well given that even if you don't have a real facebook account you still have an unofficial facebook account I decided long ago that the best option would be to poison that well by getting an account. At this point I am pretty sure facebook think I look just like a macro photo of a mariposa lily [wikipedia.org] as years ago I noticed that their facial recognition software frequently finds a face there and started tagging a bunch of pictures of them as being me.

            Add in that I actively poison the well for a lot of other things so by having one it makes my actual privacy better. Unless some how posting fairly good nature photos with no people in them that lack location tags or EXIF info is decreasing my privacy somehow. According to them I only watch slasher film, read only elephant and piggie [wikipedia.org] books, am a big fan of Scandinavian style Taiwanese death metal, and drive a 400 ton haul truck up in Alberta. For a while their system thought I was looking for a gay Jewish Jamaican man as all I saw for ads for about 6 months was that.

            --
            T-Shirts and bumper stickers [zazzle.com] to offend someone
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @04:16PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @04:16PM (#620499)

          "post some base64 encoded random numbers"

          Your my hero!

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Wednesday January 10, @04:40PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday January 10, @04:40PM (#620507)

        So what you're saying is that we should all set up scripts to automatically at semirandom intervals send random noise to each other and responses to noise we're getting from others?

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 10, @02:22PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @02:22PM (#620462)

      Suppose you and your friend are actually exchanging random bits rather than encrypted messages.

      Should that be illegal?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @05:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @05:21PM (#620526)

      You'll be kept on jail without a warrant for months or years.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by takyon on Wednesday January 10, @09:17AM (2 children)

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday January 10, @09:17AM (#620400) Journal

    Congratulations. According to the latest FBI Director, cypherpunks and Silicon Valley alike pose an "urgent public safety issue" due to their use of effective ("strong") encryption. FBI Director Christopher Wray can confirm that encryption is working as intended...

    "Let me be clear: The FBI supports information security measures, including strong encryption. But information security programs need to be thoughtfully designed so they don't undermine the lawful tools we need to keep this country safe," Wray said.

    It's clear that you don't get it. But don't worry, Mr. Wray. I'm sure your agency is hoarding vulnerabilities and hardware backdoors, or borrowing them from the NSA and CIA.

    Also in the news, Wray is paying a little more attention to Twitter [go.com] now.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by FakeBeldin on Wednesday January 10, @01:50PM (1 child)

      by FakeBeldin (3360) on Wednesday January 10, @01:50PM (#620458) Journal

      Let's be fair: he's also right in one aspect: strong encryption is a major public safety issue.
      As in: Nowadays, the public needs strong encryption to be safe (on the internet).

      Privacy is not about whether or not I have a right to hide something from you. It's about whether or not you have a right to spy on me.
      Alas, in the USA the times of "Better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent suffer [wikipedia.org]" have passed. It feels more like "10 innocent better not go free".

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @08:47AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @08:47AM (#620848)

        You may as well lock up the ten guilty men. The innocent one was black and the cops already shot him.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday January 10, @09:19AM (5 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @09:19AM (#620402) Journal

    The bit that the US government has forgotten, and which most governments forget, is that they are not our master. We are their masters. They cannot demand, and get, anything they want from us because they are servants we have hired to do a job we want doing. We employ the FBI to fight crime, not to fight our freedom. If they demand such things as this from us, they want to reduce us to slaves beholden to them.

    The FBI, the NSA, and the CIA are the threats to public safety now, and I worry about them far more than I worry about anything else, because there are thousands of them, working everyday, stealing billions of our dollars, and invading every level of our society. They're an existential threat.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by Dr Spin on Wednesday January 10, @09:48AM (1 child)

      by Dr Spin (5239) on Wednesday January 10, @09:48AM (#620408)

      The FBI, the NSA, and the CIA are the threats to public safety now.

      Indeed. It would appear they are "crypto-fascists"!

      --
      Putting your data in the cloud is like sending your teenage daughter backpacking in a 3rd world country with a pimp
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by HiThere on Wednesday January 10, @06:04PM

        by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @06:04PM (#620547)

        Why the crypto? There's nothing hidden about their fascism, in the colloquial sense. If they think that corporations should have the right to good encryption, then there's nothing hidden about the fascism at all.

        --
        Put not your faith in princes.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:48AM (#620409)

      There are certain DC offices where people are paid to do almost no real work. Telework and goof off most of the week, come in 1 day a week. Weeks or months allocated to write a report that takes a day or two.

      You get a choice of wasted money or trampled freedom. You don't get a choice.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Wednesday January 10, @02:24PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @02:24PM (#620464)

      Idealistic to the end.

      As a patriotic American, I am proud to stand up and cheer for the freedoms we once had.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @07:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @07:13PM (#621044)

      "If they demand such things as this from us, they want to reduce us to slaves beholden to them."

      you probably already know all of this but...we were born slaves in their eyes. that's why your parents got a license from some fat pig to marry and had you at the government's baby manufacturing center/warehouse(hospital). they even gave you a slave number when you were born. your labor is owed to international banksters for the fake green backs they loan to the fed gov. law enforcement agencies are nothing but slave catchers for the straw bosses.

  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday January 10, @10:04AM (1 child)

    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday January 10, @10:04AM (#620415) Homepage
    Considering terroristic and criminal activity such as this brutal attack: https://www.dangerous.com/38692/bike-lock-antifa-professor-gets-his-first-lesson-in-justice-pretrial-date-set/ , I'd like to see him outlaw all bike locks. I fail to see what bit about that isn't to do with "public safety", so surely the same logic must apply?
    --
    Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @07:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @07:58PM (#620598)

      method:

      Chain a few of them up to bike racks with the frames full of explosives and detonate. Done a few times and bicycles will be rendered illegal/regulated the same way pressure cookers were, leading to more people being accosted on bicycles with probable cause and as a result forcing more people to use public transportation, uber/lyft, or their own cars in place of physically driven modes of locomotion.

      Would make an interesting legal battle between the bicyclist assholes and the anti-freedom government assholes, plus result in a whole variety of new bikes without hollow frames, or requiring foamed and capped frames and fixed height seats to avoid future security concerns.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @01:01PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @01:01PM (#620446)

    there's a physical device (key) that allows to reprogram GPS satellites ... as seen in 007. fact or fiction? i dunno.

    if this tech were possible, then having physical possession of the (encrypted-)device AND a search warrant should allow
    to connect the (encrypted-)device to the key-device at the "factory" where the device was built to unlock it.

    if this tech where possible, then the algorithm that changes the key on the device and the key-device is destroyed
    and ONLY the device and the (physical) key-device know the secret?

    ofc, the key-device is behind a physical door to which only the government has the real-physical key? or such?
    maybe a new department is required: Department of key keepers, DoKK?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by AthanasiusKircher on Wednesday January 10, @01:09PM (1 child)

    by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @01:09PM (#620447) Journal

    ...Yes, encryption is definitely a "major public safety issue." Everyone should be using it all the time to avoid hacking of your financial data, protection of other critical private personal data, even avoiding tech-savvy stalkers etc. It's critical that the public has the tools to maintain its safety and privacy, so it's a major safety issue.

    Oh wait... I just read TFS beyond the headline. Bloody hell. Why is it that federal government officials seem dead set to do the exact opposite of what would make sense in a more rational world??

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @06:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @06:57PM (#620568)

      Why is it that federal government officials seem dead set to do the exact opposite of what would make sense in a more rational world??

      Because they don't like the fact that people can use the internet to see viewpoints that aren't part of either the Narrative or the Anti-Narrative.

      They like even less the fact that people may realize that both the Narrative and Anti-Narrative are nothing more than propaganda; nobody actually agrees with the Narrative or the Anti-Narrative, because what people feel is orthogonal to both.

      Framing Encryption as something that only Bad People want is perfectly rational if you're part of the new aristocracy.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @01:19PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @01:19PM (#620451)

    I don't where this logic could go, but I don't get to choose my own facts.

    To implement an unlocking scheme Apple would have to have a 'master key' to unlock a phone.
    With PKI, unlocking a phone should not disclose the key.
    There is risk that the key will get stolen and then anybody could unlock it.
    The risk is greater if they only have one master key for all phones, but that is fixable in the implementation.

    I would rather this did not happen, but doesn't Apple already effectively have this in their ability to update phones?
    Or hopefully the update is enabled only after the user logs onto the phone?
    In which case, they would only have the ability during the update process.

    • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Wednesday January 10, @05:09PM

      by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro.uaeb} {ta} {sirromj}> on Wednesday January 10, @05:09PM (#620522)

      While we are checking in with reality, here are a few more.

      To implement an unlocking scheme Apple would have to have a 'master key' to unlock a phone.

      They already have one. That is my big problem in the current crypto wars. It IS NOT the big companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, etc. fighting to protect us. They fight to keep an exclusive hold on us and assert that they, not the State, is our primary owner. WE get screwed both ways. Apple, etc. can unlock any phone it wants, any time it wants so long as it can either get physical possession or it is connected to the network. He who can control a thing, he who can destroy a thing, owns that thing. The Feds know this and are demanding they unlock one when, as the owner in fact of the device, they are served with a valid warrant.

      The article summary / commentary is also wrong:

      To me this is more of the utter nonsense the government has spouted. When will they understand that key escrow only works when one trusts the government and the keeper of the keys?

      Nope. Escrow works if A trusts B and C trusts B, A does not have to trust C, C does not need to trust A and B need not trust A or C. That is the whole point of escrow in general. In our current decaying society though, trusting anybody or anything is a bad idea.

      I want an option where I own and control my shit. Nobody in power is talking about that and seems terrified of the idea so IDGAF.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Wednesday January 10, @02:35PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @02:35PM (#620467)

    Make no Miss Steak.

    This is about, and only about, getting unsupervised, unmonitored, warrantless access to any device, anywhere, any time.

    It is not about terrorists or school shooters or pr0n.

    None of those things are an existential threat to the US.

    You can have breakable encryption or unbreakable encryption. You cannot have it both ways. If encryption is unbreakable, then your information is secure from hackers foreign and domestic, but also from the government. If encryption is breakable, then the government can read it, but then so can hackers both foreign and domestic.

    Mr. FBI director, do you want anyone to be able to get your personal information, banking information, secret messages to your girlfriend / boyfriend, etc?

    Only the seriously clue challenged think that encryption can be both unbreakable AND breakable. Or that a secret master key can be safely maintained by the government, yet used frequently for routine law enforcement requests when any random pedestrian is stopped and frisked.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday January 10, @03:02PM (1 child)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @03:02PM (#620478) Journal
    If you can't do this law enforcement job with the incredible resources at your disposal, then you need to be replaced with someone who can.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @10:12PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @10:12PM (#620670)

      Surely the Market would do it if it were really necessary?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:10PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:10PM (#620706)

    F-U.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @01:07AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @01:07AM (#620743)

    After he gets robbed, he will be crying for strong encryption.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @01:18AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @01:18AM (#620749)

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    All of you hiking up your skirts and stamping your feet because of "terrorism" need to get a clue. Somehow we survived over 200 years of democracy without the need to spy on every citizen, every day. You are giving away your freedoms over a phantom that does not exist. The U.S. will deal with terrorists that attack us, and it won't be pretty for the other guy. Have no doubt about that.

  • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Thursday January 11, @02:09AM

    by crafoo (6639) on Thursday January 11, @02:09AM (#620764)

    Christopher A. Wray is an enemy of the populace. Good to know.

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