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Old 02-28-2011, 12:28 PM   #1
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FBI wants ability to tap your encrypted Skype calls

Basically the FBI is annoyed that there are some internet security protocols out there (for instance when you log into a site using HTTPS to send information securely), and that it's hard for them to 'wiretap' your digital communications if they need to, such as a Skype conversation.

It's worrying if the government forces companies like Skype or Google to build in a 'backdoor' to each product that would allow law enforcement to easily access secure communications. Mainly because it would provice a common and pretty easily-accessible hole for hackers to get in there.

Good overview from NPR
Web Wiretaps Raise Security, Privacy Concerns : NPR

FoxNews has a counter-opinion news piece, taking the old terrorism horse out of the barn to trot it around as another reason to reduce civil liberties and give Uncle Sam access to your private information.
FoxNews.com - To Probe 'Dark Spots' Where Cybercrooks Lurk, FBI Wants New Tools

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Old 02-28-2011, 12:52 PM   #2
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fucking bush.

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Old 02-28-2011, 01:16 PM   #3
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so what

I gave up awhile ago
I believe with cell phones, people are able to intercept and listen.

anything over the net is not secure, I am not skyping, but if I was, I would assume they could be intercepted.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:20 PM   #4
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If you take a macro perspective, this is a huge discouragement for communications software companies to base themselves or do business in the U.S.

Imagine if a government approached you as a developer and told you you had to build in a security flaw to your product that could possibly be exploited to harm your customers.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:12 PM   #5
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If there is any long-term fucking over the Bush administration did to the U.S. law enforcement/intelligence services it's that no one trusts us anymore.

I can't remember where I heard it, but some former CIA person was talking about this a little: you can try and record and listen to every conversation in the world, but it will break your bank account, and you don't have the time or personnel to do it. You need trusted informants that can help guide you and sort through the bullshit and chatter to get to the real bad guys. We don't have enough of that anymore, and it will hurt us eventually.

Really though, we need to stop living in fear and throwing money away. Sure, we need law enforcement with modern abilities, but at some point we have to accept that bad things can and will happen, and we can't prevent everything.

Have your shit in order, make peace with your deity, live your life without constantly looking over your shoulder and be healthy. You are SO much more likely to die from cancer than terrorism, but suggest Universal Health Care, and you are labeled a Communist Socialist Terrorist wimp who doesn't understand the threats to modern society.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:42 PM   #6
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Excellent post, Mark .

I guess I'm just confused. We continue to do more and more spying and wiretapping and searching and whatever else in the hopes of "making us safer", and yet all I keep hearing about is how "unsafe" we still are (and we're not even sure how true THAT is, because we all know the media and politicians and groups and whatnot love to create a panic). So I ask, when is the acceptable threshold? What will officially prove we are "safe enough" to the point where we don't have to do this stuff anymore?

Also, if we're doing all this spying and wiretapping, and we're still not any safer as a result, shouldn't that maybe, I dunno, be telling us something?

And I won't even get into the irony/hypocrisy of the government invading our privacy all the while freaking out at the thought of theirs being invaded (WikiLeaks controversy, anyone?).

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Old 02-28-2011, 07:52 PM   #7
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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

~Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

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