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- Mok-Kong Shen
July 8, 2014, 9:50 am
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Yesterday I heard a lecture by Peter Schaar, who had worked 10 years as
chief of a German governmental institution responsible for issues of
information security and freedom (Bundesbeauftragter für den
Datenschutz und die Informationsfreiheit), on the question of what
could be done against the total surveillance on the Internet. In my
understanding (i.e. if I didn't err) he couldn't in the field of
technology (Schaar considered also laws and international treaties)
concretely delineate any practically (politically, economically etc.)
feasible and optimal measures against the total surveillance but
instead only point to the following commonly known broard directions:
(1) Separate routing/hosting network, (2) Anonymous/pseudonymous
usage, (3) Encryption.
However, IMHO (1) is difficult/costly to be rendered really secure, if
done on the scale of a nation or nations, though it could under
circumstances be feasible on the scale of a commercial firm or a
government institution for limited purposes/applications, (2) is
difficult to be rendered really secure (cf. my recent thread "Tor is
insecure") or else rather inconvenient to be employed, (3) is either
difficult to be rendered secure and hard to obtain wide user acceptance
(in case a certain standard encryption software is prescribed to be
employed generally by all people) or else is difficult and/or
inconvenient to be done by most common people (in case of diversity of
software, due to their lack of knowledge to choose and use the right
encryption software and requirement of appropriate key management).
So it seems that the mass of common people couldn't do any better in
respect of the erosion of their privacy than e.g. in respect of the
alarming global climate changes, namely sitting down and observing all
the evils happening but are virtually entirely powerless to do anything
worthy of the adjective "effective" against them.
M. K. Shen
Re: What could be done against the total surveillance on the Internet?
P.S. Paradoxically, the most secure communications on the Internet
could IMHO nowadays be done by Mafias and other resourceful criminals.
For they could open business of Internet cafes and callshops and
conveniently exchange their encrypted secret messages via e.g. posting
to alt.anonymous.email and in the worst imaginable case allege anything
related to their IP-addresses to be from their (unknown) customers. In
countries like GB, where the authorites could demand surrendering of
encryption keys from holders of encrypted files, they could also
without worries keep such files on their computers and, when demanded,
claim these to be leftovers of their customers, thus avoiding the files
M. K. Shen