Hey, time you thought seriously about encryption

One of the world’s leading experts in data security and privacy, Bruce Schneier, called on consumers to learn how to encrypt their digital communications to evade what he describes as constant, unregulated, mass corporate and government surveillance of personal data.

“There are tools that are easily searchable that you can use to protect your privacy,” Mr Schneier said.”I recommend using them all. I recommend encrypting your hard drive, encrypting your cell phone.There are apps so that you can make sure you use an encrypted link between you and your web server; there are apps for encrypted messaging.”

Last week Australian Federal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull acknowledged he used the secret messaging service, Wickr, which encrypts and then destroys messages. (Yeah well that fits, but is it legal for a Govt Minister to destroy his communications?)

“We’re giving away a lot of privacy,” Mr Schneier said. “The ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ argument is ridiculous. Privacy is not about something to hide. Privacy’s about human dignity, privacy’s about individuality. Privacy is about being able to decide when we show ourselves to other people.

“The harm is being under constant scrutiny.We know that people who are under constant surveillance are more conformist, they’re less individual, less free.”

While people have questioned the extent of government surveillance, there was too little discussion about the vast streams of personal data being logged every day by corporations and often given to governments, Mr Schneier said.

“I think of it as the public-private surveillance partnership,” he said. “It’s really hard to separate the two because data the government collects, corporations use; data that corporations collect, governments use.They both help each other, they support each other.”



Categories: Culture, Global Politics

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4 replies

  1. I spent a thoroughly fascinating half-hour yesterday, watching Judge Napolitano and Gen Michael Hayden debate this issue – specifically through the lens of the NSA – at CPAC. The Judge had The General dancing on the head of a pin, torturing language trying to justify the mass-collection of “meta-data”.

    Red, do you have any specific suggestions as to things like email client, web browser, apps etc. that you recommend?

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    • No, to be truthful I haven’t looked into it too closely. Tor browser is about the only one I have used that tries to be really untraceable but if you use it you have to sacrifice a lot of the bells and whistles of the other browsers. Its by nature slow too of course.

      Various browsers have security options. Firefox has a quite a few options to maintain security but I wouldn’t know how effective they are. Same with their Thunderbird email system. There is also Hushmail.

      I just seethe over the whole damn business, as I regard it as initially avoidable. It annoys me to see left wingers like Hager etc getting all self righteous on spying when it is generally their policies that have allowed the terrorists to merge among our societies, and thereby create the need for extra surveillance.

      We had a culture that was fine by me. What the hell was so lacking in that culture that it needed to be mixed with so many other cultures? Now we pay the price in so many ways for the wrong ideas of the Progressive idiots who thought it insufficient. If we still had our original culture, the need for spying would be negligible.

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