Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Foolish arguments for surveillance state aren't helping

It's hard to keep one's head from spinning right off one's neck trying to follow 'arguments' by which the surveillance state scrabbles to paint its interest in snooping as legitimate.

Here from Reuters today, in U.S. tech industry appeals to Obama to keep hands off encryption [emphasis added]:
Obama administration officials have pushed the [technology] companies to find ways to let law enforcement bypass encryption to investigate illegal activities including terrorism threats, but not weaken it in a way that would let criminals and computer hackers penetrate the security wall.

So far, however, the White House has not spelled out specific regulatory or legislative steps that it might seek to achieve that objective.

Last week White House press secretary Josh Earnest called this a "thorny policy challenge" that has Obama's attention.

While he recognized tech companies' efforts to protect Americans' civil liberties, Earnest, responding to a reporter's question, added that the companies "would not want to be in a position in which their technology is being deployed to aid and abet somebody who’s planning to carry out an act of violence."
Hmmm.... Will Mr. Earnest next deploy that argument against the developers, manufacturers, and distributors of ... wait for it ... handguns? What about pesticides, chain saws, high fructose corn syrup, automobiles, and alcohol? What about military weapons, from bayonets to nukes?

White House rhetorical fluff masquerading as argument fills the sails of libertarian me-firsters and paranoid Texas governors who cast sinister aspersions on the hostile intentions of the PotUS until they needs help bailing out the state after fierce rainstorms that have nothing to do with climate change, which just happens.

Why feed those trolls?

Obama administration officials are wrong to push for a technically and politically impossible 'good guys only' back door to the encryption technology that protects any and all online communication and commerce.

They should quit trying to justify their demand with dumb-as-rocks arguments.


Related posts on One Finger Typing:
Is data security worth it? Depends who's counting.
Surveillance and power through fiction and fact: Max Barry's "Lexicon"
Not your granddaddy's metadata: don't believe the PRISM anti-hype
Pimped by our own devices: electronica, the cloud, and privacy piracy



Thanks to WoodleyWonderWorks for the image of a door key via Flickr.

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