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Obama Wants Broader Internet Wiretap Authority

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the tap-this-way dept.

Government 646

An anonymous reader writes "The White House plans to deliver a bill to Congress next year that will require Internet-based communication services that use encryption to be capable of decrypting messages to comply with federal wiretap orders. The bill will go beyond CALEA to apply to services such as Blackberry email. Even though RIM has stated that it does not currently have an ability to decrypt messages via a master key or back door, the bill may require them to. Regarding this development, James Dempsey of the Center for Democracy and Technology commented on the proposal, saying, 'They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function.'"

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Bad timing. (5, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709906)

Just a few days ago they raid the anti war movement and now right before the election they want to discuss this? This is a politically stupid time to talk about broader wiretap authority!

Re:Bad timing. (5, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709936)

Seriously? The average voter has NO clue about stuff like this. In fact, they'll probably vote FOR it, if someone calls it anti-terrorist.

Re:Bad timing. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709958)

Correct. I just vote for which ever man has the hotter face. (Or if I don't know - then the incumbent by default.)

CHANGE!! (4, Insightful)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710166)

Hey Obama, spare any change?

Oh, right, America's attention span is so low that they forgot that they were holding hands in a circle chanting all the slogans and catch-phrases spewed by his campaigners.

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss
America, you'll get fooled again

As long as they have their Sunday Night Football, we won't have anything to worry about.

Re:Bad timing. (5, Interesting)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710220)

Obama is now arguing they need the ability to assassinate Americans, but keep details of why and who a complete "state secret" [salon.com] and free from any oversight. If that is not the Orwellian future right now, then I don't know what is... Broader internet wiretaps pale in comparison to this. For those that think this might just be for those Americans congress labels as a "terrorist" - then this politically expedient death might give you pause [google.com]

.

Re:Bad timing. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710362)

It warms my heart to all these comments. I'm glad I'm not the only one who realizes that Americans (us) are fat, sloppy and feeble minded. If we have time, we might glance at a ballot and pencil in the oval next to the name we've seen the most on the national news (all of which spin the news to fit their own political bent). Our rights and freedoms are being swallowed right and left in a beautiful, bi-partisan orchestration, of elected (read: purchased) officials who believe more laws are better.

We need smaller government.

Re:Bad timing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710328)

Then what will you do when you have to choose when crazy tea bagger MILF's start turning up for the big position? Will you let your gender preference sway your opinion and still vote male, or will you have to admit that Palin is a little prettier than Obama?

Re:Bad timing. (2, Interesting)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710028)

Seriously? The average voter has NO clue about stuff like this. In fact, they'll probably vote FOR it, if someone calls it anti-terrorist.

Yep.

For them nothing has changed since 9/11. They're living "normally" as far as they're concerned. All they have to worry about is making payments on their McMansion, credit cards, luxury cars, online shopping sprees, ....

Re:Bad timing. (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710124)

>>>McMansion, credit cards, luxury cars, online shopping sprees, ....

Plus ~90,000 in mortgage plus credit card debt. Plus ~$140,000 in national debt that must be repaid someday. The American Republic is heading down the same path as the Roman Republic - bankruptcy. At the end they couldn't even raise an army to defend themselves.

Re:Bad timing. (0, Offtopic)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710212)

Yep, there are two things which will signal the end has come to the US republic, hyperinflation and price controls. Hyper inflation has already started to a degree, we can't even afford to make our coins out of silver anymore or gold and even the penny/nickle cost more to make than they are worth! (Even the post 1982 Zinc cents which contain little copper still cost more than they are worth) When it becomes clear that the US economy is in a state of hyperinflation the next thing that will happen is price controls which will be widely ignored or protested, expect to see farmers setting their crops on fire, gas stations shutting down and people bartering with gold/silver/food/gas/etc once all this is done, people will use foreign currency for a while (Canadian near Canada, Mexican near Mexico) until the US government makes new currency that is tied to either the gold/silver standard and the cycle will repeat.

Re:Bad timing. (1, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710186)

My brother was a mortgage broker in the US for a number of years (we're Canadian). He told me about the insane mortgages and lines of credit people were getting. WAAAY over their heads in debt. He just shrugged and said "Down here it's all about image"

Re:Bad timing. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710228)

TV-era politics is more about having good hair than policies.

Go ahead, name a modern president who was bald [time.com] .

Re:Bad timing. (3, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710102)

It's them just trying to get Republican votes...just like Democrat politicians are all about equality except for themselves, who require bigger and better things, Republican politicians advocate smaller government...except when it comes to invading your personal life.

There's a Difference? (5, Insightful)

Dragon Bait (997809) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710244)

Both major parties want to invade your personal life:
  • Democrats want you to smoke weed, but not tobacco (flip for Republicans)
  • Democrats want to censure you from saying "hurtful" words, but want flag burning (flip for Repubs)
  • Democrats want to control what you eat, no more fast food for you (I'm sure Repubs don't want you to eat something)
  • Democrats don't want you to drink soda, but alcohol is a-okay (flip for Repubs).
  • Democrats want you to speak out against the government [unless they're in power] (same for the Repubs)

The list can go on. Thinking that the Democrats are for personal freedom is outdated thinking. Both major parties are led by totalitarian control freaks.

Re:Bad timing. (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710346)

It's the previous administrations fault!

Re:Bad timing. (2, Funny)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710276)

Just a few days ago they raid the anti war movement

To be fair, they probably think "Well none of our supporters are in the anti-war movement anymore, so everyone left must be the real crazies!"

(Hm... I know I was just kidding around, but that almost sounds like a brilliantly evil idea.)

George obama Bush (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710298)

Change ....in his pocket

Re:Bad timing. (3, Interesting)

dargaud (518470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710310)

Wasn't the previous slashdot post about "Man gets 10 years for VOIP hacking [slashdot.org] " ? But when the gov does it it's all dandy and fine and necessary and indeed obligatory ?!?

The more things 'Change'... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33709910)

the more they stay the same (or get worse).

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (4, Insightful)

stoat (125788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709918)

At least they are trying to make it legal. I'm sure the TURRISTS won't just use standalone encryption.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709938)

They assume the terrorists wont write their own? Terrorists aren't dumb enough to come to the USA and trust an American software company to encrypt their terrorist communication. And even if it's a foreign company, what terrorist group would need to go to outsiders when they probably have their own programmers?

If the terrorists really are this stupid, and they aren't, but if we want to pretend like they are, then just arrest them already and get it over with.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709992)

Put another way:

If you outlaw guns.... I mean secure keyless encryption, then only the criminals will have encrypted messages. (And the rest of us will be defenseless sheep.)

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710018)

If the terrorists really are this stupid, and they aren't...

You're talking about a group of people that intentionally blow themselves up to make their point.

After they're dead, what do they care about what the world really thinks?

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710086)

If the terrorists really are this stupid, and they aren't...

You're talking about a group of people that intentionally blow themselves up to make their point.

After they're dead, what do they care about what the world really thinks?

That wasn't my point. My point is that they aren't going to pin their hopes on American made high tech gadgets for anything critical. It's not like they don't get trained.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710130)

You're talking about a group of people that intentionally blow themselves up to make their point.quote>

I'm all for condemning terrorism but calling stupid everyone who's ever sacrificed his life for his ideals is pretty shortsighted.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710160)

Blowing yourself up makes sense if you think your soul is immortal.

There's literally nothing to lose, except getting "promoted" from hellish earth to heaven. ALSO even the suicidal people are smart enough to realize they have to keep secrets (encrypt messages) in order to reach their bombing destination.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (4, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710184)

The point you're missing is that the Obama administraiton is more worried about potential "domestic terrorists", i.e., people whose political ideology varies most widely with their own, than they are about international terrorists.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710192)

They have to plan their operation first. If you just blow yourself up to make a point, you're not considered a martyr, just an idiot. Killing himself is not the point of the "suicide bomber".

Damn! Trolled again!

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710080)

They assume the terrorists wont write their own? Terrorists aren't dumb enough to come to the USA and trust an American software company to encrypt their terrorist communication. And even if it's a foreign company, what terrorist group would need to go to outsiders when they probably have their own programmers?

If the terrorists really are this stupid, and they aren't, but if we want to pretend like they are, then just arrest them already and get it over with.

Iran uses US software for all their critical systems including their nuclear reactor.

nuff said.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (5, Insightful)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709954)

FTF (NYT) A:

No one should be promising their customers that they will thumb their nose at a U.S. court order," Ms. Caproni said. "They can promise strong encryption. They just need to figure out how they can provide us plain text.

What hey're trying to legalize is rather heinous on the part of our government. Just because it's been made legal doesn't mean it's right or good. Seriously, between the ability to declare even American citizens terrorists because of what they've said (not necessarily what they've done), the ability to try anyone classified as a terrorist outside a civilian court, and now the "needed" capability to decrypt encrypted messages over the internet...what's to stop whoever is in the White House from 'disappearing' outspoken people they disagree with, without breaking the law?

I'm an American, and I value my freedom over a false sense of security. If you aren't comfortable with that, perhaps America isn't for you.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (2, Funny)

stoat (125788) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709994)

I agree with you. The erosion of freedom in this country is disgusting, but the federales have been illegally monitoring for some time now. This legislation will help them feel much better about themselves. Isn't that what really matters?

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710108)

there are two sides to this - on the one hand, making what the feds are doing legal is bad, because it Americans as a society condone that kind of behavior. on the other hand, the act of proposing/passing the law could, in theory, generate enough attention/negative reactions to cause significant pressure to cease such activities, sort of a reverse streisand effect if you will. but the second part is really just wishful thinking. the fact of the matter is, once the law is there, it'll be much harder to "roll back", so to speak.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (5, Insightful)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710012)

I'm an American, and I value my freedom over a false sense of security. If you aren't comfortable with that, perhaps America isn't for you.

Given recent trends, I'd say the opposite - since you value your freedom over a false sense of security, perhaps America isn't for you.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710014)

I don't like the law any more than you, but c'mon, let's not resort to slippery slope arguments.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (2, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710194)

let's not resort to slippery slope arguments.

First I didn't resort to slippery slope arguments.

Then I didn't denouce fallacies. ...

When it came down to basic logic, and by that time it was too late.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710020)

>>>I value my freedom over a false sense of security. If you aren't comfortable with that, perhaps America isn't for you.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety [until the next tyrant comes along and uses his power to imprison you] deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710126)

I'm an American, and I value my freedom over a false sense of security. If you aren't comfortable with that, perhaps America isn't for you.

You're telling the 90% of Americans who value false security over freedom to leave?

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (1)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710222)

Yes.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (3, Insightful)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710216)

They just need to figure out how they can provide us plain text.

What they're trying to legalize is rather heinous...

I'd call it ridiculous.

When I read the Caproni quote, I hear: "US Intelligence services aren't intelligent enough to figure this stuff out. You need to do the work for us and spell it out in big block letters. We need it to be as clear as purple crayon."

So, now might be a good time to really promote PGP and teach people to use it. If the service providers aren't providing the encryption service, they cannot provide the plain text. Anyone who is sufficiently concerned about their privacy can take responsibility for it.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710232)

What hey're trying to legalize is rather heinous on the part of our government. Just because it's been made legal doesn't mean it's right or good. Seriously, between the ability to declare even American citizens terrorists because of what they've said (not necessarily what they've done), the ability to try anyone classified as a terrorist outside a civilian court, and now the "needed" capability to decrypt encrypted messages over the internet...what's to stop whoever is in the White House from 'disappearing' outspoken people they disagree with, without breaking the law?

Welcome to North Korea in North America. Passport and papers, please. Research in Motion, creator of the BlackBerry and BlackBerry Enterprise Server, has no control over the encryption keys generated by those running a BES within their own network. At best RIM can decrypt BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) messages since their provide the encryption keys. Most corporations and governments use BES while the unwashed public uses BIS.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (5, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710296)

I'm an American, and I value my freedom over a false sense of security. If you aren't comfortable with that, perhaps America isn't for you.

Odd how Obama seems to be becoming Bush, isn't it?

Illinois has a Governor's race coming up, I'm voting for Whitney. Green Party; Whitney recently suggested legalizing marijuana in Illinois as a way to reduce spending and raise state revenues. The Democrat and Republican are both agast at this stance.

Sorry, Governor Quinn, I can't support a candidate who is for the continued outlawing of a beneficial plant. California's Governator is right -- there's no difference between most Republicans and Democrats, even though their respective wingnuts are different.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (4, Insightful)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709988)

plus, as an added goodie, this will create a vulnerability in all compliant encrypted internet services - now a hacker just has to figure out one master key to break the security of the service. and, once that happens, the service provider will have to incur the probably huge cost of switching to a new master key.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710066)

Never! There's no precedent [slashdot.org] for this.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (0, Offtopic)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710306)

Well maybe this is some sort of gift to the Chinese and other foreign entities. The US will less the burden of espionage in exchange for continued debt purchases.

Re:Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (0, Troll)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710188)

This boss is worse than the old boss. The old boss beat us to get us to work faster. This boss beats us to get his jollies.

It was only a matter of time. (5, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709922)

Now they want to direct all the spy agencies on the new "terrorist" the American citizen. They want to bug our houses, tap our phones, point satellites and drones at us, have informants stalk us, and feed the information back to the local police so that if we break even the slightest most esoteric arcane law we get raided, arrested etc.

Replace "Obama" with "Bush" and it's "Bush Wants Broader Internet Wiretap Authority." and the reason is to help law enforcement? Privacy and civil liberties should be given up to help the police put us in jail easier? They have to do a better job justifying the unlimited surveillance powers they claim to need. There aren't that many terrorists, unless they plan on going back to the 60s and raiding all the anti war movement hippy types and Alex Jones listeners who happen to know what encryption is.

There is an FBI already. There is an NSA already. If it's a national security concern the NSA already can crack the encryption so why do we have to make it so easy that any 2 bit local cop can do it? If it's about national security I'm sure they already can crack most of it if not all of it. If it's about law enforcement then it's not worth the sacrifice. There aren't enough criminals to justify it and most criminals aren't using encryption.

The only way they can justify this that I can see is with the "It's more efficient, it saves money", unfortunately even if it does save money it doesn't offer anything to the citizen. It doesn't make us feel safer and probably doesn't actually make us safer either. For a lot of us it will make us feel less safe because whenever a person feels under the microscope they usually feel less safe.

Re:It was only a matter of time. (3, Funny)

rindeee (530084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709934)

Pack your bags...you've won an all expense paid trip to re-education camp!

Re:It was only a matter of time. (1)

gslavik (1015381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709956)

To follow along similar path. Who is our government protecting us against?

Re:It was only a matter of time. (5, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709996)

To follow along similar path. Who is our government protecting us against?

The government protecting itself from people like you.

Re:It was only a matter of time. (4, Informative)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710040)

Wish I could mod you up. This kind of infraction by the government on its own people is inexcusable. Write your congressman, let them know how you feel, and vote!

Re:It was only a matter of time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710364)

Write your congressman, let them know how you feel, and vote!

Silly wabbit, votes are for kids! Every subjugated patriot knows that bullets > ballots.

Re:It was only a matter of time. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710010)

If it's a national security concern the NSA already can crack the encryption

I would not bet on that one. Maybe the NSA has a quantum computer sitting in a basement in Ft. Meade, but I doubt that too. The NSA is advanced, but they are not deities.

Re:It was only a matter of time. (2, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710062)

If it's a national security concern the NSA already can crack the encryption

I would not bet on that one. Maybe the NSA has a quantum computer sitting in a basement in Ft. Meade, but I doubt that too. The NSA is advanced, but they are not deities.

It doesn't take a quantum computer to crack 99% of the encryption out there. Most people aren't using 256bit AES. SSL can be cracked rather easily, most algorithms have weaknesses, even AES in certain forms may contain weaknesses. The encryption is good but it's definitely crackable by the NSA, and even if it weren't the NSA has other ways to get what they want without a wiretap. Wiretaps are to help the local police, not the NSA or national security.

National security if it really is about national security, they'd use drones, satellites, all kinds of means, not to mention they can just hack into the computers in question or plant bugs, keyloggers etc. Wiretaps are so they can basically watch everybody in the entire country,. This is more political than anything else.

Re:It was only a matter of time. (2, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710352)

You're making this too easy.

http://xkcd.com/538/

Natural tendency (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710056)

It is the natural tendency of political power to expand and consolidate over time. History has confirmed this over and over again. Like a mega-corporation hungry for more control over the market, government will keep pushing to expand their revenue and power over the people, like clockwork, year after year.

There's a reason why the elite at the top of the pyramid are swimming in wealth, and it's not because they're satisfied with the amount of control they have over the populace. Government is a business, and like any business, their primary objective is profit. The difference, of course, is that government holds the special right to generate market share through coercion, rather than persuasion.

Re:It was only a matter of time. (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710230)

Actually, they probably aren't after American citizens specifically, just anybody who reports information that's inconvenient to the US government. For example, Wikileaks.

The good news is that civil liberties groups (including the ACLU and EPIC) continue to go after the Obama administration for doing the same things the Bush administration did. The bad news is that they're having about the same level of success.

Re:It was only a matter of time. (0, Troll)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710264)

There aren't that many terrorists, unless they plan on going back to the 60s and raiding all the anti war movement hippy types and Alex Jones listeners who happen to know what encryption is.

Obama used to hang with that crowd, so presumably he knows how violent and radical they can be from first hand experience.

Re:It was only a matter of time. (5, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710340)

The really scary thing is just how broad the reach of the NSA really is. I read James Bamford's The Shadow Factory [amazon.com] a while back and was shocked at how little I appreciated what they could (and routinely do) really do. Basically, if you make a phone call to any of the targeted regions (Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc.), the NSA is recording it--whether it's by cell, landline, or satellite (they have agreements with all the major satellite communications companies). Doesn't matter if you're a terrorist or not, they're monitoring you and archiving all your calls, period (they've even been transcribing the calls of U.S. journalists to their families, prompting at least one operative to quit the agency).

I was particularly surprised to learn that they routinely monitor the calls of the major UN officials and all the other security council members (they've bugged the shit out of the UN building and associated offices too). During the buildup to the Iraq War, when Collin Powell was getting ready to "make his case" for the war, they were carefully monitoring the calls and emails of all the permanent and non-permanent security council members, including the Secretary-General of the UN himself. They even sent out a memo to the intelligence services of several of our closest allies (the UK and associated countries) asking them to help us out on the spying (though we were even spying on them too). Pretty creepy stuff, especially for anyone who still foolishly doubts that the Iraq War was anything but a foregone conclusion for the Bush administration.

Technically Not Just Obama (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709930)

While they're submitting the new legislation next year, a congressional hearing recently heard arguments in favor of this [slashdot.org] and the original NYTimes article notes that it's:

Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.

Of course, the New York Times article is way better than the Faux News article but my submission this morning turned into a paywall.

Bad, bad, very bad idea. Every academic says this is stupid, again from the original article:

Steven M. Bellovin, a Columbia University computer science professor, pointed to an episode in Greece: In 2005, it was discovered that hackers had taken advantage of a legally mandated wiretap function to spy on top officials’ phones, including the prime minister’s.

The government is trying to protect us by forcing us to be less secure and more vulnerable. That logic simply does not follow. I'm not against responsible internet wiretaps but this is the opposite of responsible.

Re:Technically Not Just Obama (1, Offtopic)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709952)

paywall? I'm not sure that means what you think it means. NYTimes.com registration is free. With adblocker and free registration, its one of the most useful sites on the web. It's an annoying extra step you only have to do once, but it doesn't cost any money.

Re:Technically Not Just Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710360)

That's true today. Although, nytimes supposedly is moving to a paywall Jan 2011.

Only it makes no difference. (5, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709962)

The terrorists will develop their own encryption schemes so using wiretaps would be completely worthless anyway. The mafia is smart enough to outsmart this, street gangs are smart enough, terrorists are smart enough. This is to watch the civilian population like you and me.

Re:Only it makes no difference. (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710316)

The mafia is smart enough to outsmart this, street gangs are smart enough, terrorists are smart enough. This is to watch the civilian population like you and me.

Are you implying that you and him aren't smart enough to develop your own encryption scheme?

I'm not completely sure about the slashdot demographics but I think more than three quarters of the readers are capable of searching an algorithm and implementing it in less than a day in a way that wouldn't leave beckdoors for the government.

Re:Technically Not Just Obama (-1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710078)

>>>Of course, the New York Times article is way better than the Faux News article

What does the DNC-NBC say about it?

Nothing.

The censorship of silence. (sigh). I'm hoping the New Republicans adopt libertarian principles when they win Congress this fall, but I'm not holding my breath. The 5 years from 2001-to-6 demonstrated they are dicks as well.

MSNBC Is Running the Same Story Everyone Else Is (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710136)

What does the DNC-NBC say about it?

Nothing.

I'm guessing that's some regurgitated joke about MSNBC. If it is, you didn't even bother to check their front page. They seem to be running the regular AP story about it [msn.com] . Look, when the New York Times are the only ones willing to get off their asses and actually do some work in order to garner eyeballs, it's hard to find other sources. Even the Fox News article appears to be entirely based off the New York Times article. Even the MSNBC article (and I'm guessing AP at large) cites them:

The Times said the Obama proposal would ... The Times said that some privacy and technology advocates say the regulations would create weaknesses in the technology that hackers could more easily exploit.

Squash Patriots (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709942)

The Union government (in general not the current admin) wants to squash Patriots trying to protect the Constitution from "domestic enemies" i.e. the leaders. It's really no different than how a Communist government acts.

I wonder if the central government is required to obtain a warrant first, or if they can simply demand "unencrypt that google email" without any kind of oversight by the judges. The police have that power now, in regards to searching homes, thanks to the unconstitutional Patriot Act.

Re:Squash Patriots (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710156)

The Union government (in general not the current admin) wants to squash Patriots trying to protect the Constitution from "domestic enemies" i.e. the leaders. It's really no different than how a Communist government acts.

Wow. Someone gets it!

I wonder if the central government is required to obtain a warrant first, or if they can simply demand "unencrypt that google email" without any kind of oversight by the judges. The police have that power now, in regards to searching homes, thanks to the unconstitutional Patriot Act.

Make enough noise, and you'll find out when they cart you off for being subversive.

As much as I'd love to pin all this on the current administration or the current Congress, I know that this sort of stuff has been in the works for a couple decades. What they're doing is much like boiling a frog: put the frog in cold water over low heat. By the time the water gets near boiling and the frog realizes what's happening, it's too late.

In Soviet Russia ... (2, Insightful)

gslavik (1015381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709944)

the same shit happens. Disagree with the government, you end up in jail/raided/etc. ... WTF? At least Soviet Union had a law about disagreeing with the government, so at least you'd get a day in court.

After India and China, (1)

zrbyte (1666979) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709948)

comes the USA. Good thing I have a 16 fingered head massaging machine to help calm my nerves.

Blackberry terrorists? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33709980)

What I don't get about all this Blackberry-encryption-fuss: if Terrorists really care about encrypting their communications, there are free tools on the interwebs that will let them do so. These tools can not in any way be breached by the government or the service provider. The fact that this is so, is also well-known.

Thus I am forced to conclude that any terrorist that understands the need for encryption, also understands the need for encryption that he himself has total control over, and thus would not be relying on RIM to secure his communications.

In conclusion: this will not prevent terrorists from communicating securely. Now, Obama, go back to your health care reform and struggling economy.

Clipper Chip 2.0 (5, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33709986)

Gee, where have we heard these arguments before?

Re:Clipper Chip 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710032)

Gee, where have we heard these arguments before?

Maybe here [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Clipper Chip 2.0 (2, Funny)

killmenow (184444) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710120)

Where are my mod points? Oh yeah, I just blew them modding a "3. Profit" comment +5, Funny. Sorry, AC. I was going to post the same link with a "Been There, Done That" title since I'm fresh outta mod points but now I see I'd just get moderated -1, Redundant.

Re:Clipper Chip 2.0 (0)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710202)

1. Toss away all your mod points on perpetuating tired memes.
2. ???
3. Profit!

Re:Clipper Chip 2.0 (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710250)

I guess maybe in Setec Astronomy.

America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710000)

Home of the wiretapped.

Surveillance serves all political ideologies (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710024)

.. except for a specific and clear "antisurveillance" ideology which really only exists among small groups of idealists.

'Greenism'? Surveillance would be brilliant to monitor emails for emissions regulation avoidance. Republicans? Hey, gotta catch those crooks who threaten the property rights of honest people. Democrats? Human society can only be nice if we can detect and catch those who might harm it or escape their responsibilities to their fellow man.

So whoever you vote for: Surveillance is what you're going to get, because it is found to be useful.

Yes we can (1, Troll)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710058)

Screw you over and break promises once we are elected. Ahh.. Hopey Changey....Hopey Changey.

Hahah (5, Insightful)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710060)

Hope. Was not that the so called banner from 'Democrats' during their endless waa waa about Bush. Not much needs to be said. Gitmo? Ha. Iraq? Ha. Afganistan, Ha.

Obama is gone after 4 years, and will be hated by both sides.

Miss me Yet? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710092)

Hey America,

How is that Hope and Change working out for you?

Sincerely,

George Bush

So (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710098)

how is all this "Change" working out for you?

Re:So (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710274)

Better then the alternative.

Re:So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710356)

Hope it doesn't last!

As if there were any doubt, HOPE is dead (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710100)

I, like so many others, had the audacity of hope that Obama was a good man and interested in a better America... a second coming of JFK. (Yeah, I know there are people who will say JFK was the anti-christ.) But, instead of his promised removal of Bush administrations attacks on our freedoms and privacy, he persisted in it and defended it. Some people said "but this is normal! He is probably reviewing it before he makes changes!" How about now? No? Illegal wiretapping program is still running. And now he wants MORE.

So, Obama and other players in government HATE our freedom and HATE our privacy and will stop at nothing until both are gone. They make claims of defending and protecting our freedoms while they take them away. They make claims of "terrorists" hating our freedoms, yet the only ones who are attacking them are our own government. ... and still no one cares. We are all too busy trying to figure out how and why we are all getting obese and getting diabetes to concern ourselves with where the government and big business is taking our country.

The government protects itself from you. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710114)

Because you don't work for the government, you aren't one of them, you are a threat to them and must be neutralized by any means necessary.

Re:As if there were any doubt, HOPE is dead (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710180)

"I, like so many others, had the audacity of hope that Obama was a good man and interested in a better America"

Why did you think this? Because he said so? Anybody with half a neuron saw through his bullshit. He is a lifelong professional politician. Professional politicians ONLY serve the Almighty State, not the people.

People like you have destroyed this nation. Gullible, useful idiots like you are more complicit in bringing about fascism than any ACTUAL fascist.

And many of us will never forget this.

Re:As if there were any doubt, HOPE is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710300)

The sad part is that they don't hate our freedom or privacy for a good reason: to keep us safe. Not a good reason, but noble. The point is that every politician in the U.S.A. knows that if another attack, like that on the Twin Towers, will result in their party not being in office for a very longs time. That's why the hate out freedom. Are there no statesmen left anymore? It's just sad and petty that our elected officials are perfectly willing to compromise the Constitution so that they can stay in office. Honestly, I don't recognize the U.S. anymore. we've become a country of cowards.

I wish that just once an elected official would take the stand that if "The Terrorists" kill me, there's always another American after me. What kind of example is it when even our leaders run around scared of their own shadow. Pitiful.

Re:As if there were any doubt, HOPE is dead (1, Troll)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710330)

The sad part is that people will be disappointed in Obama (as they will be disappointed in all politicians) and will vote for the other party that started all this shit in the first place.

So how is this 'democracy (I know you are a republic)' working out for y'all? Ain't it great you can vote what foot you shoot yourself in?

The difference between conservatives and liberals (5, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710112)

When (if?) conservatives say "the government should not have that power", what they mean is "the liberals currently in government should not have that power, but it is okay for our side".

When (if?) liberals say "the government should not have that power", what they mean is "the conservatives currently in government should not have that power, but it is okay for our side".

Both conveniently forget the problem of not whether YOU will not abuse the power when asking for it, but once granted whether or not those elected AFTER you are gone will abuse the power. For those playing at home, the answer is invariably "YES".

Ad Hominum complicated with Post hoc ergo propter (1)

neurosine (549673) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710118)

I have this almost certain conviction that many things attributed to Obama are not really fairly attributed to him, or portray his intentions fairly. I'm guessing a great deal of this is written for idiots.

Not a single attack foiled... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710138)

If the white house and the rest of the government want to continue to litigate our freedoms away, the least they could do is show how these programs actually have caught real terrorists. Because, quite frankly if they can't even show that, they are eroding our rights away for nothing other than more control. There are several reasons why we haven't had a terrorist attack since 9/11 and none of those are thanks to the government.

A) Natural stupidity. Terrorists aren't exactly smart, remember the "times square bomber" who used as his detonation device.... firecrackers? Yeah, it takes planning to pull off an attack and quite honestly the terrorists don't have that ability.

B) Passengers in public transit. If you look like you are going to blow up or hijack a plane, the passengers will take you down. Ever since 9/11 people associate hijacking = run into a building rather than the pre-9/11 mindset of "do nothing, wind up in Cuba, get on a plane back home".

C) Terrorists aren't common. This idea that there are millions of terrorists trying to kill you all the time is laughable and has no basis in fact.

Granted, these laws are pure BS no matter how many "terrorists" they've caught, but if the government can't even show a single terrorist caught using these, and a real terrorist that could actually cause serious harm, the citizens should strike these laws down even faster.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710144)

"Hope and change" my freckled ass.

Plain fact (2, Insightful)

grandpa-geek (981017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710176)

If a user wants unbreakable encryption, it is easy to do. There is nothing anyone can do to stop it.

Unbreakable encryption predates the modern computer by about a half century. It was invented by the US Army Signal Service for use in World War I. It is commonly called the "one time pad".

It has to be used correctly, or it becomes breakable. It also has logistics issues. The key material has to be physically transported and physically protected.

However, the technology is well known and has been for nearly a century.

Somebody ought to tell our technology-challenged public officials about it.

rely on protocols, not services (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710182)

The endpoints should be using protocols based on the assumption that whatever services are used in between have problems. Governments, Scientologists, mafia, teh terrrists, and anyone else who wants to spy on people, can ban/pressure fooberry and gugmail but they can't effectively do much about OpenPGP.

Re:rely on protocols, not services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710304)

You really think they won't pass laws against encryption? You'll be automatically guilty unless you provide the key to decrypt your data. Just wait for it ...

Congrats Democrats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33710208)

How is your savior and messiah looking now? Good job with your 'change!'.

How could this work? (2, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710210)

I mean: if the two parties - terrorists or not - exchange private/public key pairs of sufficient length, no matter who intercept the message will need exponential time to decrypt.

The genie's out of the bottle already [wikipedia.org] : with Android and a crypto package, any determined person can put together a mail client good enough for a "dark communication" (or find someone to do it... quite cheap, it's like no more than 3-4 men*days worth of work).

Either they are stupid enough (to even attempt to legislate PI=3) or... what the hell I'm missing from the picture?

Re:How could this work? (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710278)

The point of these, and other laws isn't to catch "terrorists" but to put the US in control of the 99.9% of US people who follow the law. Just like gun control isn't going to stop Bob over there from shooting up the neighborhood but does stop Joe from purchasing a handgun to protect himself against people like Bob and also to protect himself against the government.

Privacy (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33710262)

If you get rid of privacy or measures that help ensure privacy, it will be all the easier for the government to get rid of opposing voices/abuse their power. As others have said, the average person has absolutely no idea how these things work or what benefits they provide. If this continues, things are only going to get worse and worse.

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