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UN Telecom Chief Urges Blackberry Data Sharing

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the best-interests-at-heart dept.

Privacy 196

crimeandpunishment writes "The top man in telecommunications at the United Nations is weighing in on the Blackberry battle ... and he says share the data. The UN's telecom chief says governments have legitimate security concerns, and Research in Motion should give them access to its customer data. In an interview with the Associated Press, Hamadoun Toure said 'There is a need for cooperation between governments and the private sector on security issues.'"

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I think I speak for all of us... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33455768)

I think I speak for all of us, when I say: FUCK THE UN!!!

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (2, Informative)

odies (1869886) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455840)

You do understand that US demands the same kind of access? In fact, US agencies already have backdoors made for their in major services and ISP's. Remember when there was a story that one large ISP reduced their costs by just giving direct database access to FBI? Or remember how NSA has huge sniffing equipment at major internet backbones in the US?

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (2, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456220)

They can sniff my BlackBerry data, but they can never make me share my S/MIME key!

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (4, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456302)

Yup, and how unsafe that really is.

Any time you build a back door, you weaken security. End of story.

The "legal intercept" (aka Wire Tap) functionality on phone switches was used, rather recently, in Athens, by an unknown party, to tap the lines of a number of non profit group leaders, and government officials. It was only discovered after it had been in operation for a while, and was discovered entirely by accident.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/security/the-athens-affair/0 [ieee.org]

That said, I really don't see where governments have such legitimate cases for wiretapping. I mean, sure, I can see their case for wanting to tap, or having cause to tap, certain individuals. However, I don't see how that need translates into a need to force the entire infrastructure to be designed such that they can do it.

Whats the REAL damage of them not being able to do this when they have a case for it? Some criminals get away? Some are harder to catch and require more work? So what? I don't see how that need should usurp the entire populations security for the occasional need to tap someones phone.

I know we can dream up all sorts of fanciful scenarios where they might need it.... but imagination land can justify many many things... and movie plots threats do not make for good public policy (as evidenced by the TSA)

-Steve

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456508)

There is no technological way to give access to content between a BES and a blackberry. [blackberry.com]

To governments: It's impossible. That's why YOU feel comfortable using it.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456848)

Not being a blackberry user, I never cared enough to look into the technical details. Very good point.... excellent even!

Personally, I am counting down the days (17) until I can get a discount upgrading to a droid from my LG Decoy, best phone I ever owned until the snazzy built in bluetooth piggy back stopped working. Seriously, as much as a I want a droid, I would buy almost any phone if it had a bluetooth headset that clipped on the back and didn't look like the little plastic piece that holds it in was so small it would break from normal use (like mine did; shortly before it started refusing to talk to the headset, even when charged via the cradle)

-Steve

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (4, Insightful)

b0bby (201198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456654)

You do understand that US demands the same kind of access? I

In the case of Blackberries, they don't. From the AP article:
"Governments in the U.S. and elsewhere have largely made their peace with encryption technology. E-mails can still be obtained through legal channels, for example by obtaining a warrant to search the corporate servers of companies that use BlackBerrys."
Sure, they're sniffing where they can, which I don't3like, but they're not demanding that secure systems be broken wholesale so they can access them.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0, Troll)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456824)

In fact, US agencies already have backdoors made for their in major services and ISP's.

[citation needed]

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33457370)

Well, then you leave us no choice: fuck the US!

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33457554)

You do understand that US demands the same kind of access?

Actually, they don't. The US demands access under court orders and FISA taps.

The US does not prohibit you from using encryption.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455858)

You are so insightful. I am truly with you.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455896)

Why would I do that? They probably have STDs.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456018)

You think wrong. The UN does much good, even though this ain't good.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456226)

What useful thing has the UN ever really done? I mean, really, honestly. They're useless at best, potentially hazardous at worst.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456354)

Haiti? Kosovo? They would have been much worse had the UN not been involved. Granted, they should have been there earlier, but still.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456728)

The WHO is part of the UN and has had many accomplishments, such as eliminating smallpox.

I have an idea. Instead of telling you the answer, I'll teach you how to find answers yourself.

Let me Google that for you [lmgtfy.com]

I know it is much easier to respond blindly in knee-jerk fashion, but your UID suggests you should know better. Perhaps you bought it on eBay.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457210)

There have also been recent allegations that the WHO played up the dangerous nature of the H1N1 influenza virus (which got "pandemic" status) in order for some corporations to profit financially Pandemic, [who.int] Scandal Allegations [bmj.com]

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456886)

Helping to prevent wars by providing a means of conflict resolution BESIDES bombing civilians?

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (3, Insightful)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456256)

The UN was conceived for provide aid to needy areas by a unified front. Now they are hell bent on governing the entire planet. I, for one, do not recognize any authority of the UN as a governing body and the United States had better be on the same page or life and liberty as we know it will be ended. Unfortunately, a one world government in in the Bible as prophecy and will come to pass as part of the timeline to the end of the world as we know it.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456476)

Yes, but they have one hell of a retirement plan.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456514)

Well, at least the "Insane" part of your name is accurate.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (3, Interesting)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456612)

No, the UN was conceived as a forum for international diplomacy, to foster international cooperation. Its first act was to pledge each member to continue the war (the second world one) until complete victory had been achieved.

International aid is scope creep.

OT: sig (0, Offtopic)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457238)

Athiesm is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.,

Let me correct that for you: Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps and dedicating a significant portion of time to explaining why only morons will collect stamps in the first place is a hobby. For a certain subset of people, atheism *is* a faith.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457530)

That's why when I was getting my bachelors in Economics and taking a class on Economic Development, everyone refused to read the one textbook since it was written by the UN and every chapter boiled down to "All of the worlds problems would go away if we just let the UN control everything".

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456734)

The previous time that I saw the UN in the news was when they tried to push for global law (in the form of a treaty) against insulting religion in general and Islam in particular. At this point I frankly don't care how much good the UN does, as it has become a net force for the fascism it was founded to prevent.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456228)

No you don't. You Teabaggers always think you speak for all of us, then say something crazy and irresponsible that only a tiny but "exciting" fringe would say.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456876)

He's a teabagger because he doesn't like the UN?

Doc, I think you need to stop dipping into the medicinal brandy.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457152)

No, they're a Teabagger because they think they speak for all of us in hating the UN. Walk like a Teabagger, talk like a Teabagger, hate like a Teabagger - you're a Teabagger. After all, since Teabaggers are really just Republicans dishonest enough to pretend they're not, you can judge Teabaggers only by what crazy stuff they do blurt out.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457308)

I see. I suppose that makes you a pot-smoking prius-driving sandal-wearing dirty unshaven godless commie UFO-worshiper with a Himalayan Salt Lamp and a tiedyed hemp shirt.

Or maybe you're just a brainwashed idiot with a penchant for rabid political rhetoric who is reading way too much into a single sentence. If you honestly think you can read his ideological leanings from that one sentence, you really do need to lay off the booze.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456420)

This is a good thing to remember the next time people argue for giving UN any kind of control over the internet.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456594)

But... the Un Un-Nazied the world forever!

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456680)

Slashdot is so predictable. Some story is posted regarding privacy rights and there's an immediate, knee-jerk, profane comment that is inevitably modded insightful. Really? That's an insight?

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456946)

I think I speak for all of us, when I say: FUCK THE UN!!!

How does someone from Western Africa not understand why it's a bad idea to give governments access to private communications?

I see this in the biography of this Dr Hamadoun I. Touré:

He is well known for his steadfast commitment to projects such as AFROSAT, AFSAT, PANAFTEL (Pan-African Telecommunications Network), as well as for his contributions to numerous conferences and meetings of ITU, INTELSAT, RASCOM, PATU (Pan-African Telecommunications Union), PANAFTEL and CAPTAC (Conference of Post and Telecommunication Administrations of Central Africa).

I think that explains some of his opposition to privacy.

There needs to be a whole lot of reform at the United Nations. As an experiment, it's pretty much a failure overall, despite having some important successes. There are more whores in the UN than backstage at an Aerosmith concert.

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33457230)

Possibly as much as I speak for all of us when I say "Fuck the USA!"

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33457362)

FUCK THE UN!!!

I don't get it. Isn't that exactly what the US have been for as long as the UN exists?

Re:I think I speak for all of us... (1)

misnohmer (1636461) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457490)

You may run into a small problem in that department - UN is one of the most impotent organizations in the world.

Lucky for the world too, considering it's main purpose seems to be to legitimize the wrongdoers. If you don't believe me, look up for example the countries with biggest human rights violations by the government and see if they have a seat at the UN. It's like having an anti-organized-crime task force with the biggest crime bosses on the board of directors.

TFA is firewalled... (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455780)

It says it's an entertainment site. But I found a better source [msn.com] anyway; TFA probably cut and pasted from the AP (or from another site that paid the AP for publication) anyway.

Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33455788)

WTF is this? Isn't an individual's right to privacy inalienable and shouldn't the UN therefore support it?

Re:Privacy (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455874)

Isn't an individual's right to privacy inalienable and shouldn't the UN therefore support it?

Why would you think that? The UN is a select club of governments doing the bidding of those governments. Individuals and their rights have little to do with it apart from some posturing.

Re:Privacy (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457030)

It's not exactly a select club. It's pretty much everyone.

Re:Privacy (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455950)

Isn't an individual's right to privacy inalienable and shouldn't the UN therefore support it?

No, it's not. Where is the document that says it is? Most people live under tyranny. It's too bad, but that's the way it is. We have the rights the we or someone else has fought and won for us and we keep them by continuing to fight. Nothing inalienable about that.

Re:Privacy (1)

jejones (115979) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456182)

Whatever your opinion of inalienable rights, check out Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which one would think the UN might actually support.

Re:Privacy (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456274)

The UN guy's opinion is in perfect harmony with article 12 which quite explicitly allows non-arbitrary invasions of privacy in a manner according to local law, as the government of India requests.

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

Re:Privacy (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456284)

UN Declaration of Human Rights article 12 states:

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

IE, the UN "Telecom Chief" isn't abiding by the UN's alleged policies. I suspect he needs to be removed from his post. Of course, he won't be.

Re:Privacy (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456308)

No, all humans have the same inalienable rights - not created by the government. True that only some of us have governments that we create to protect those rights. But in the US we have one that we created to protect the right to privacy. The Fourth Amendment [cornell.edu] says the government must protect "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures", AKA privacy. Americans don't respect governments that don't protect people's rights. At least not patriotic Americans.

Re:Privacy (1)

spyfrog (552673) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457066)

The US have the death penalty which is a gross violation off the inalienable rights - the right to life.

Re:Privacy (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457200)

I agree with you. That's why so many patriotic Americans oppose the death penalty, and most states eliminated the practice.

But the US is if nothing else a process in democratic republic. We've got enough people who don't really accept that rights are inalienable that the actual implementation still has plenty of archaic practices left from when we first started innovating in democracy.

Re:Privacy (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457262)

I believe the existence of a right to privacy is still a matter of debate in US legal circles because it isn't explicitly stated. I agree with you that there is such a right, but that's my opinion and I'm just a citizen. The UN language in Article 12 seems stronger, but I don't accept the notion that the UN actually represents anyone. It's a forum for rulers to exercise their egos and negotiate deals. At best its a mild restraint on bad behavior, very mild.

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456034)

Is the function of the UN to support all your inalienable rights?
Vis-a-vis blackberry?

Re:Privacy (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456212)

Privacy is not (and never has been) listed in any of the human rights charters.

Also, keep in mind that even in an utopia you can't have both inalienable right to free speech and an inalienable right to privacy; in quite many concerns one needs to be abandoned to keep the other.

Re:Privacy (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456356)

Clarifying myself - privacy as such is listed, but not *inalienable privacy* - it is considered that privacy is a right unless there is, in essence, any overriding excuse to break privacy including a legal request from government.

Re:Privacy (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456880)

First and foremost, the United Nations is just that, and is inherently biased towards the states that create and support it.

But beyond that, the United Nations was created primarily to put an end to, or at least limit, international conflict, and the UN's commitment to human rights is only a means to that end. The list of human rights that the UN and other international bodies have agreed upon are primarily, if not exclusively, those rights that have been consistently listed as the casus belli of prior international conflicts. These human rights are typically focused on minorities rather than individual rights, as one country's minority is another's majority. So Slavic majorities in Serbia and Russia complained of Austro-Hungarian oppression of Slavic minorities in Croatia, Germany spoke of the plight of Czechoslovakia's German minority, and (far more recently) Russia complained of Georgia's oppression of Ossetians.

Rights of the individual, however, almost never become more than domestic matter, a cause for domestic, not international, conflict (e.g. civil wars, revolutions, etc.). So, ultimately, the UN shouldn't care one way or the other, at least not openly and officially, so long as these rules are applied uniformly and not, say, to Indian Muslims moreso than to Indian Hindus.

I can see this, kinda... (1)

OffaMyLawn (1885682) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455800)

I can see there being a need for cooperation and information sharing when it comes to people actually suspected of crimes. I am not comfortable giving out information just because they want to go on a fishing expedition though.

Of course this could be covered in the article, which my work proxy is denying me access to.

Re:I can see this, kinda... (1)

OffaMyLawn (1885682) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455866)

Ok, after reading the article linked by mcgrew (thank you for that) I see no mention. Imagine that.

Re:I can see this, kinda... (2, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456042)

So, they can have full access to your data as long as "they" suspect you of a crime? What type of crime? If I've done something bad enough to land myself on trial, then I guess searching my stuff has already happened. But who decides if I'm a "suspect" and need to have my data watched? A fishing expedition is exactly what watching your data is. They are _hoping_ to catch you doing something.

No Duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33455806)

Companies should trust all of their sensitive corporate data to the honorable developing and third-world governments for security concerns. I'm sure this will save billions of lives and no abuses of power will incur. Certainly none of the people in those nations have any right to information, privacy, or property.

Next... (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455856)

Next will be government mandated backdoors into SSH and SSL... you know, to stop the terrorists.

Re:Next... (1)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456352)

Personally, i think this isn't a black and white subject.

on one hand, no one wants 9/11 to happen again, on the other hand, pretty much everyone ask the gov. to keep their nose out of their tcp packets to put it lightly.

I think we have to lay off from the privacy pedestal and find a middle point. like for instance, i think that if the cia/fbi or whoever presents RIM with a court mandate or authorization to monitor this person or this number, then RIM should give them the encryption key of the targeted person and let the FBI sniff 'em all they want. So RIM remains in control of their encrypted data. most people dont have to worry and FBI gets to be able to sniff the terrorists.

or something like that anyway.

Re:Next... (1)

acoustix (123925) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456836)

Personally, i think this isn't a black and white subject.

I do. Give me liberty or give me death.

9/11 wouldn't have been prevented with this access anyway because all of the information was still too vague and they still wouldn't have followed up on it.

Re:Next... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33457124)

The reason why 9/11 happened wasn't that BlackBerry data couldn't be sniffed. It was because the person at the helm was too distracted planning a war to avenge daddy's honor than in the intelligence telling him about an Al-Qaeda attack.

Dear Mr. Toure: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33455884)

Share this data [youtube.com] with U. N. members.

Enjoy.

Yours In Novosibirsk,
K. Trout

Privacy? (1)

sv_libertarian (1317837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455914)

We don't need no steenkin' privacy. In fact, if we don't roll over and submit our every move for scrutiny to our governments, the UN, and the space aliens occupying the ISS, then clearly we have something to hide, and must be locked up for our own good and the good of society.

People Have Legitimate Security Concerns Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33455920)

And these generally involve others not being able to read all their messages and mail, the desire to do so being the hallmarks of oppressive governments and other criminals.

Who needs privacy? (3, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455940)

Governments need to feel secure. Secure from attacks by foreign nations. Secure from attacks by its own citizens. Governments need all information about anyone they consider a threat. Getting all your information might be considered a breach of your privacy, but it's a safety blanket for the government. Oh, and remember, if you're not with the government, you must be a terrorist.

Enjoy!

Re:Who needs privacy? (1)

KillaGouge (973562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455982)

Isn't it great that the greatest threats governments have now is their citizens, maybe if they started treating them with respect and like normal decent human beings, then the governments wouldn't need to be afraid.

Re:Who needs privacy? (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456064)

But "treating them with respect" means they have to give up some of their power. I doubt that is something they are willing to do.

Re:Who needs privacy? (1)

KillaGouge (973562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456390)

Then that goes back to power corrupts. I can't speak for other countires, but in the US at least, we need to limit how long senators and represenatives get to stay in office. Give them all 12 years, and no retirement. I think that could do a lot of good for our government.

Re:Who needs privacy? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456928)

Isn't it great that the greatest threats governments have now is their citizens

Maybe in happy rainbow unicorn land. In the real world, governments worry about external factors. If you think Obama is shaking in his boots at the prospect of having the White House invaded by a bunch of slashdot nerds, you've been sniffing too much computer duster.

Re:Who needs privacy? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456234)

The problem is that mandating open access makes those governments less secure.

Right now people use blackberries because they perceive them to be secure, so it is easier for a government to hand RIM a warrant and get data. If governments force RIM to give them full access all the time, everyone will perceive blackberries to be insecure and start using other methods that governments will be unable to control.

Re:Who needs privacy? (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457582)

Oh, and remember, if you're not with the government, you must be a terrorist.

Too bad our rulers forget that the US was founded by "terrorists". Hell, modern day France only exists because of "terrorists" who dragged the government out in the streets and killed them.

I'm all for trying to do things peacefully and win people over with rational arguments. However, history has shown plenty of times that rational arguments don't mean shit to the people in power and that the only way to depose tyrants is with violence. I watch as the US government gets worse and worse each day with blatantly ignoring the constitution and openly acknowledging that they look down on the "peasants" that they rule and wonder how much longer before people start shooting.

I guess I'm crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33455966)

I always assumed that people had a right to get information from their government while being able to keep information private. Yet these days it seems that most governments are of the mind that people and corporations have no right to any kind of private communication while the governments themselves do. I'm looking at you secret ACTA talks. I also find this amusing in the light of the many western governments that subtly encourage citizens being able to defeat electronic snooping by more restrictive governments. I suppose most governments are the same in believing that their government is righteous and thus have a right to protect itself by spying on anyone they wish.

...And two articles down, German gov't is hacked (1)

jbeach (852844) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455978)

Someone get the UN telecom to read slashdot.

Or, at least his nephew who walks him through how to reinstall MS Office.

Sure UN. (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33455980)

Just send your army over and make them. Oh, wait.....

You gotta love an international organization that has no inherent and reliable method of enforcing it's orders and statements. It's like getting barked at by a Chihuahua in some blond chick's purse.

Re:Sure UN. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456178)

Yeah, but if that Chihuahua bites you in the nads, it will still hurt... And if the US places sanctions against you, it will still hurt. Or is it the UN? same difference/army anyway....

Re:Sure UN. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456236)

You gotta love an international organization that has no inherent and reliable method of enforcing it's orders and statements.

Yes, indeed!
I prefer "The chief of the U.N.'s telecommunications agency urged the Canadian manufacturer of the BlackBerry to allow law enforcement agencies access to customer data, ..."
to
"The chief of the U.N.'s telecommunications agency has ordered a surgical strike on the headquarters of the Canadian manufacturer of the BlackBerry, because he had stubbed his toe that morning and was in a foul mood"
That's what you mean, right???

Re:Sure UN. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456518)

It's like getting barked at by a Chihuahua in some blond chick's purse.

Watch out for those Chihuahuas. I got bit by one last year; got me on the back of the lag on the joint opposite the knee. It hurt like hell, everybody I showed the wound to thought I'd been savaged by a rottweiler.

But, the UN doesn't need an army; it has the US's army.

Re:Sure UN. (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457176)

"Watch out for those Chihuahuas. I got bit by one last year; got me on the back of the lag on the joint opposite the knee."

I was bitten by a moose once...

Free, as in speech (1)

Patrick May (305709) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456146)

Fuck. That. Shit. (Yeah, yeah, mod me down for vulgarity. There is no other appropriate response.)

Re:Free, as in speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456516)

They aren't stopping you from saying whatever you want freely... They are just stopping you from not being able to regret it later when it turns out that you were a terrorist and the feds sent you to Guantanamo II... There IS a difference.

Re:Free, as in speech (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456664)

The appropriate response is to stop trusting your ISP to encrypt your data. Use end-to-end encryption, like S/MIME.

United "Abominartions" is more like it. (0, Offtopic)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456166)

Here's what the "great prophet" Dave Mustaine has to say about the UN:

Within striking distance from Ground Zero sits a smoldering
International cauldron, the "United Abominations" as it were
Born to prevent wars, it froze in the face of disaster and
Stood silent while terrorization took hostage the world
In a mire of hypocrisy, the UN ignores sex crimes by its
"blue-helmets", and enables terrorism; so that in the end it's failed
And the UN is where our so-called "friends" get to stab us
In the back, and we pay 22% of their tab to host our enemies
Here at home. Ambassadors from countries, otherwise known
As a catastrophe, enjoy diplomatic immunity living in
Manhattan, while their children are turned into prostitutes
It's a complete and utter disgrace, a blot on the face of
Humanity, and they get away with it.

Poverty in their kitchens, held hostage by oil-for-food
Yet their own plates are full off the fat of their lands
There's no blood on their hands, right Kojo?
They promised to tell the truth, without leaving a fingerprint
They will lose the UN one way or another
The victim, I fear will be us, sisters and brothers

The UN is right; you can't be any more "un"
Than you are right now, the UN is undone
Another mushroom cloud, another smoking gun
The threat is real, the Locust King has come
Don't tell me the truth; I don't like what they've done
Its payback time at the United Abominations

A grave and gathering danger, the decision to attack
Based on secret intelligence it'll take years
I fear to undo the failings in Iraq, Iran, and Korea
You may bury the bodies, but you can't bury the crimes
Only fools stand up and really lay down their arms
No, not me, not when death lasts forever

Man: The UN writes resolution upon resolution.
We really need a new world order.
Woman: There is no order order. I don't believe it
I don't even listen to the talk of this new world order.
Man: They'll never do anything.

NATO invaded Yugoslavia to end ethnic cleansing
There was no UN
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan after 9/11
There was no UN
Saddam Hussein violated 17 UN resolutions
The U.N. was
Asked to join the war in Iraq: The US invaded
There was no U.N.
Libya bombed a discotheque in Berlin killing Americans
There was no U.N.
And Iran funds Hamas and attacked the US in the seventies
There was no UN
Facing War without end, looking into the future
There was no more UN

[Megadeth - 2007]

Re:United "Abominartions" is more like it. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456642)

There have been two applications of collective security - Korean War, and Kuwait.
I take it you don't disagree with those, since you didn't list them.

They are so few because member states don't vote for it often.

They do, though, vote for Peacekeeping operations, and there have been a LOT of them, where the "UN" was there. and by the UN, I mean member states who were willing to step up to the plate and put lives on the line to help people in other countries.

I think your problem is not with the UN, but with the member states not stepping up to the plate.
But the UN can't force them because it's NOT a world government.

Who do you trust more? (1)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456248)

Someone is going to be deciding what to do with your data here, either the individual companies or the government. Personally, I'd rather that the government made the call (whether it be to keep data private, use it, etc) than maintain the current situation, where we have to beg companies to maintain our privacy, and then trust them to continue to do so. Those of us who live in democratic countries elect our government, and the theory is that they're accountable. We do not elect corporations and private companies. As with Google's "Do not be evil," promises that our privacy will be maintained are often made graciously, and perhaps with the best intentions, If your government isn't accountable, you can replace them. If RIM, Google, or anyone else decides to abuse your data... what then?

Re:Who do you trust more? (3, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456620)

Someone is going to be deciding what to do with your data here, either the individual companies or the government.

Not really a fair way of looking at it. Even if I trust the government more, this isn't an "either" situation. The company has to have access to the data in order for them to provide the service to the customer. So it's either "company has access" or it's "company and government have access". From a user's perspective, it's clearly safer to have fewer people/entities with access to their data. Hence it's preferable for the government NOT to have access.

On the other hand you're alluding to who should set the rules about data access. I certainly agree that the government is the right entity to set rules like that (the company would prefer not to have any rules, so that they can harm customers at the drop of a hat if it somehow helps their bottom line). But governments setting, and even enforcing, privacy rules doesn't mean they need unfettered access to customer data. (There are smarter ways of doing oversight.)

So, again, I'm all for companies being subject to legal regulations and oversight. But I'm also very much against companies sharing customer data with governments any more than is absolutely necessary. (Where "absolutely necessary" means some amount of transparency to enable oversight, and the occasional compliance with a valid warrant for specific data. It is most certainly not necessary for government agencies to have complete access to customer data or communications.)

Re:Who do you trust more? (1)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456828)

For the record, I'm inclined to agree. The ideal situation is for the government to enforce some level of encryption and security on carriers and hardware/software developers. Your average end user doesn't know or care about security and encryption, but many of them should. Better that we have the keys to the data in our own pockets. There's a lot the government can do as far as ensuring that records aren't kept, checking how they're stored, and so on. Audits can and do happen, at least in some places.

Re:Who do you trust more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456684)

However, each individual consumer can choose products of a competitor if they no longer trust a particular company. An individual consumer can't switch governments without moving, which is regulated by governments.

Re:Who do you trust more? (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457096)

If your government isn't accountable, you can replace them. If RIM, Google, or anyone else decides to abuse your data... what then?

If RIM or Google or any other company decides to abuse your data, you can stop doing business with them. If your government decides to abuse your data (like maybe punishing those who organize to try and replace it), what then?

Re:Who do you trust more? (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457376)

Right now, you can move to a different country a whole lot easier than you can stop doing business with Google.

If you work for a company that provides you a Blackberry your choice of being able to stop using it is probably zero as well.

I'd suggest moving. Let's see, if everyone moved out of India to somewhere else where would they go?

well (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456304)

In most countries in the world, the government is far more likely to cause harm to the public, than the public is likely to cause any harm to the government. In my opinion, the Public certainly has more pressing security concern than any government has. The fact of the matter is, anyone with even the slightest interest in keeping their conversations private will be able to do so easily no matter what their respective government is monitoring. All this really does is give those governments access to the general publics mail which will then be used to stifle dissent, not protect the public.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, A12 (4, Interesting)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456350)

Secretary Toure,

FYI:

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation.

Thought you should know.

Sincerely Yours,
Peter Hutnick

Re:The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, A12 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456818)

Secretary Toure,

FYI:

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation.

Thought you should know.

Sincerely Yours, Peter Hutnick

Dear Peter,

FYI:

arbitrary != any

arbitrary
1: depending on individual discretion and not fixed by standards, rules, or law arbitrary
2: not restrained or limited in the exercise of power arbitrary
3: based on preference, bias, prejudice, or convenience rather than on reason or fact; existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as an unreasonable act of individual will without regard for facts or applicable law

Thought you should know.

Of course the UN supports it (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456392)

They have a history of not supporting an individual's right of privacy ( among other rights ), so why would they change now? They are just another governmental entity, and by nature don't like privacy.

Cooperate on Protection From Governments / Private (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456440)

There is a need for cooperation between governments and the private sector on security issues. - UN telecom chief

Yes, there is a need for cooperation between governments and the private sector to protect the people's privacy from invasion by either government or private sector entities. These security issues are far more common, urgent and important than any need for the government or private sector to invade our privacy. And without due process, like evidence/argument/decision in a legitimate court, neither government nor private sector has any "security" interest that should see cooperation by anyone, including people in the government or private sector.

The answer is Tor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33456538)

There is already Tor for Android, let's get Tor for BlackBerry going and all the wiretapping governments can suck it!

Citizen Security (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456554)

What of the security of the citizen in the face of a corrupt government?

Are you really surprised? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456556)

Governments have ceased to be of the people and by the people and for the people. They are now entities in their own right, safeguarding their own survival. To say otherwise is to say that you're a revolutionist, a terrorist supporter. Because the government would never want *my* information... But yet the FBI has abused their "National Security Letter" privilege over 100,000 times.

Governments now exist to ensure the biggest corporations stay at the top, and those that are in government, have an easy ride to and through retirement. There was a time when making a living off of other people's taxes (at least in this country) was viewed as a bad thing. Now, government jobs are the ones to have, better pay, better benefits, and you can't get fired. The government is now a publicly funded corporation, with the ability to charge you whatever it wants by taxing you into oblivion. We'll see this November if we actually control our government or if some subliminal mindset does.

What the government does have a duty to do, is protect the rights of it citizens. Let's see if that happens here.

Stop Thoughtcrime Now (1)

relikx (1266746) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456572)

Crimethink is doubleplus ungood.

I think it's time -- (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#33456668)

-- for the U.S. to immediately cease funding the United Nations. As in right f*cking now!

Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33457036)

Isn't open source supposed to be about sharing?

What kind of anti-freedom people do we have here?

Very well ... (3, Insightful)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 4 years ago | (#33457108)

... you first, Secretary-General Toure. Let's give every government representing a member-state of the United Nations access to Mr. Toure's Blackberry (or the equivalent, if he has a different mobile device) data. ALL of it, since that's what India is requesting from Research In Motion. It would be interesting to see what discussions he's had with industry lobbyists, wouldn't it? Surely SOME nation would leak that information, like Iran if the "talks between satellite provider Eutelstat and the Iranian government" referred to in the article don't go the way Tehran wants.
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