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posted by n1 on Thursday June 12 2014, @01:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the obsolete-voluntary-guidelines-solution dept.

Steve Durbin of the ISF was interviewed regarding the fallout after Snowden and the push by governments and organizations to try and wrestle some control of their communications away from the US.

"From a European point of view it fuelled political hysteria." He adds that regardless of one's opinion on the value of this type of surveillance there are political gains to be made from stirring up a reaction to Snowden's disclosures.

The idea of having an EU internet, Russian internet, US internet, etc doesn't sit well with Durbin because he feels it will hurt the functionality and that governments by themselves cannot actually get the job done.

"Government can't do it all", he warns when reflecting on proposed regulatory responses to privacy and surveillance issues. "By the time they get their act together, the world and technology has moved on significantly."

As a reminder in February the German government started discussing an EU internet:

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel "is proposing building up a European communications network to help improve data protection" and prevent European emails and other data passing through the United States where it can be, and has been, harvested by the NSA.

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  • (Score: 1) by pTamok on Thursday June 12 2014, @08:08PM

    by pTamok (3042) on Thursday June 12 2014, @08:08PM (#54697)

    Well, to quote President Reagan, "Trust, but verify". Other state organisations have public budgets, and information can be obtained from them (if necessary) by Freedom of Information requests if it is not already available in some form. You may operate by trust, but you don't have to: there are mechanisms for the public to find out what is going on. This is not the case with the intelligence agencies. And we know that lying is part of their modus operandi.

    As for commercial organisations, in theory, you are making a free choice to share information with them, and they operate under data protection laws, which, in the case of the medical industry, are quite draconian.

    Blaming intelligence organisations for doing their job is not what is happening: the information released by Snowden shows they are going significantly beyond what people regard as reasonable. Subverting encryption makes everybody less secure and imposes serious economic cost. Cisco have testified to a drop in their sales as a result of recent history, and it is hard to see how anyone can trust an American company in future, when their business can be subverted, in enforced secrecy, by the NSA. One of the points of living in a free country is that you really should be free from malign government influence. Apparently in the USA (and at least the other Five Eyes countries) you are not. Saying that China, or Russia, or Israel, or Sweden are doing it, so we should is not a valid argument.

    On taking precautions to protect your privacy there are a couple of issues. Not everybody is sufficiently technically aware, or capable, of assuring privacy of their own data. One of the benefits of living in a well governed society is that the government takes on the burdens that private individuals are unable to take on alone: such as defence of the state, construction of infrastructure, policing the administration of the law etc. One such burden is privacy of your personal information, which is why there are laws against disclosure, and it is reasonable to expect a government to aid individuals to maintain private those things that should be private. Compromised encryption defeats that.

    (Thanks for the extended postings - I have to break off here, as, unfortunately, I have work to do.)