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Internet Monitoring: Who Watches the Watchers?

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the unseen-mechanized-eye dept.

Censorship 75

wiredmikey writes "Here's an interesting take on the IT security industry and tools being sold and used by to monitor internet users. It's no secret that many states and nations are censoring and monitoring the Internet. Many of these governments are considered authoritarian regimes, often times with trade restrictions and other sanctions against them. Most of these censorship systems are based on proprietary, enterprise hardware and solutions. Unfortunately, those who decide where these tools end up are often torn between conflicting interests. How many services and devices are actually being used by people whom we prefer would not have access to them? How long until they are used against us, even if indirectly? At which point do we have to stop looking at Information Security as a market, and begin viewing it as a matter of defense and (inter)national security?"

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WE DO !! WE DO !! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38192932)

Back to the plow !!

I sure woud like... (3, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#38193128)

...to see the security issue land at the user's door. That would put the onus upon the manufacturers to provide secure computers for the general public, and let the market sort that out; rather than having a mommy-culture watch things "for" us/me. WRT states and corporations and so forth, they are responsible for protecting their data -- and they should guard it carefully. And if they don't, we should be able to take them to task for it. But I can't see sufficient justification to lock down the world just to make it easy for them.

But I suppose it's too late for any of that.

Re:I sure woud like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38193210)

Could you not reply to first post just to get closer to the top of the page? Kinda rude if you ask me.

Re:I sure woud like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38193330)

It will get filtered out for most people because the parent will get modded down. But I agree. Seconded!

In case it was just because you couldn't find the right link... There is a Post button under the article that you should click instead of the "Reply to This" links.

Re:I sure woud like... (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#38193388)

Good thing you're monitor such stuff. Good job.

Re:I sure woud like... (4, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#38193360)

...to see the security issue land at the user's door. That would put the onus upon the manufacturers to provide secure computers for the general public, and let the market sort that out; rather than having a mommy-culture watch things "for" us/me.

Keep wishing for your mythical free-market to "fix things". Be prepared to wait a very, very long time for that to actually happen, however. You Adam Smith fanboys all seem to continuously forget that "the invisible hand" requires a fully informed market to function properly. To suggest that "the general public", as a whole, has even the most remote possibility of being fully informed on a matter as complex as network/computer security is, to understate it by a bunch, absurd. I am not satisfied to live in a world where some magic akin to fairy dust will supposedly ensure that vendors only sell secure products. You're god damned right I want laws that require a certain level of security be engineered into the products and services that are offered to the market. And no, I do not want the law to specify the technology, only the need for it, and most importantly, the penalties for failing to provide it. It should hurt, by than a quarter or two worth of profits, when TJ Max or Blue Cross decides to cut corners on the guarding my personal information which they have insisted they must store in their systems. It should be a crime to be so negligent with so much treasure.

Re:I sure woud like... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 2 years ago | (#38193470)

Perhaps religion is the answer? If you firewall your country, Ala doesn't approve, boom 90% of blockades disbanded. The other 10% (China), well that's a tough one, how about blacklisting them on USA websites effectively cutting them off from 90% of the web?

The problem doesn't lie in the software but the motive, just like they try to control software piracy, the internet isn't that kind of place where you can say you can't have this and there is no other path to your goal, there almost always is.

Stop blaming China for everything, dickhead! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38194812)

Your computer/network is just as vulnerable from within your lousy country as from outside (perhaps more so).

Your comment is nothing more than the typical low-brow, pack-mentality misdirected flag-waving blame culture that so many knuckle-draggers in your country employs ad-nauseam. No wonder your country has gone to shit.

It makes me want to puke! Get a clue, dickhead!

Re:I sure woud like... (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#38193514)

and most importantly, the penalties for failing to provide it. It should hurt, by than a quarter or two worth of profits, when TJ Max or Blue Cross decides to cut corners on the guarding my personal information which they have insisted they must store in their systems. It should be a crime to be so negligent with so much treasure.

Agreed, although I think financial penalties are not nearly enough. Executives working for a company that breaks the law should be held personally responsible. The world needs chain gangs made up of former executives imo.

Re:I sure woud like... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#38193874)

Keep wishing for your mythical free-market to "fix things". Be prepared to wait a very, very long time for that to actually happen, however.

Yeah, about 60 years, the time it took China to go from its plethora of failed 5 year plans to the current FREE market economy it has now. I need convincing that any government has my best interests in mind. Some regulation is in order in same matters, sure, but everytime there's a problem you fools cry for more regulation. Well, we had a ton of regulation in place and what have the last 5 years brought?

Re:I sure woud like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38195158)

...we had a ton of regulation in place and what have the last 5 years brought?

We HAD regulations in place that would have avoided lots of the misery now sweeping the globe, but then we removed most of the regulations, decided not to enforce the rest, and the last five years have -- bingo -- been more or less the unregulated market you are crying out for. So, your argument is that because there used to be regulations, and now regulations are gone, the last five years have been a mess BUT the market should be totally unregulated.

I like to watch people argue with themselves.

Re:I sure woud like... (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about 2 years ago | (#38193908)

Barn doors and horses. Once a tool is conveyed to someone, it will, eventually, be available to everyone.

But you're right: what happens in the interim?

No market stays free for long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38194730)

Eventually, someone wins the rat race, and from then on they can establish impossible-to-overcome barriers-to-entry, and rent-seek to their heart's content.

Which is how things should be. Incidentally, nobody should watch the watchers. We are watching you just fine without any help.

Now stop pretending you have any political influence and get back to the business of giving me your money!

Re:I sure woud like... (3, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | about 2 years ago | (#38193736)

WTH are you talking about? The article is talking about ISP level traffic monitoring and filtering technology, and you're commenting about securing individual computers. I know this is /. and all, but come on now.

Re:I sure woud like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38194848)

you must be new here. Not reading TFA is a /. tradition

Re:WE DO !! WE DO !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38195424)

Call Mr. Plow, that's my name, that name again is Mr. Plow!

You don't get to decide (4, Insightful)

mr1911 (1942298) | about 2 years ago | (#38192972)

It will be used against you.

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

MichaelKristopeit500 (2018072) | about 2 years ago | (#38193228)

perhaps you don't understand what "WE THE PEOPLE" means.

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#38193272)

I know.

A noble sentiment, without effective representation or recourse.

See Michael Hudson [nakedcapitalism.com] .

Re:You don't get to decide (5, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | about 2 years ago | (#38193532)

I don't follow.

How does a rant on the inability of the government to stop corporate attacks on itself refute a claim that the government is coordinating attacks on the public?

Hudson, you'll note, says the solution is for we, the people, to get back in control and apply the laws we have.

Being able to look in on the banks' internet communications would be one of our, the people's, tools.

As for this entire scare-fest, I will repeat what I always say in this situation:

THE INTERNET IS NOT SECURE

Nor is it private. No more than using a megaphone to do your telecommunications. I know some people want to front the idea that there's a "reasonable expectation of privacy," but those people are blatantly ignorant of the origins and construction of the Internet. Or else they're well aware of them, and are trying to make the proles believe that the Internet dosn't pass every packet of your data along a sequence of loosely-related public and private linkages, any of which has every right to read and laugh at the data flowing through its equipment.

Re:You don't get to decide (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#38193856)

The government is now nothing but a Rent-A-Cop for those corporations.

 

Re:You don't get to decide (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#38194022)

So "Rant" is the term you use, when presented with an analysis with which you disagree?

You are a stunning rhetorician.

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 2 years ago | (#38194196)

I read it. It's ranty. And where did I say I disagree with it?

Re:You don't get to decide (2)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about 2 years ago | (#38195532)

We need a GPL type universal list of shit that's unethical. With a brief portion on punishment/restitution. Some companies will choose to subscribe, others will not... it will not be difficult to figure out which is which.

Let me get it started:
I won't collect information I don't directly need to offer automagicalness in my software.
I won't store information that is no longer relevant (old passwords, credit card numbers, etc.)
I will contact, though it might be impersonal, users who have been singled out for any reason and inform them of how they've been singled out. (overuse of bandwidth, RIAA inquest, CIA inquest etc.)
I will try to make information about my policies to the extent that competition, the legal system, and law enforcement allows.
I will be clear about my revenue streams, not just to tax officials but to my customers. I will do this so that I am less susceptible to under the table, anti-market influences. Such as: subsidies from the government for aid in doing wiretaps or other social analysis.

We are against (a list of whatever): Anything that reduces the freedom of our society to produce true individuals or subversives.
Violence
Information that can facilitate violence
Covert Monitoring
Social Analysis
Puppies (whatever, you get the idea).

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198684)

We need a GPL type universal list of shit that's unethical.

Your idea cries out for a "business search engine" as well, so you could say "I want to find a business in my area for 'drycleaning' which supports 'X' and 'Y', and is against 'Z'" etc -- allowing one to much, much more effectively "put one's money where one's mouth is."

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38206822)

There is a reasonable (vs. absolute) expectation of privacy in internet communications. Under normal circumstances, nobody other than the sender and receiver will read a given message. It's like the phone system -- even though the operators have an ability to listen in on the conversation, there's a reasonable expectation that they won't, and that, if they have to, they won't blab the contents to your neighbors and friends. ( aside). [youtube.com]

Re:You don't get to decide (0)

MichaelKristopeit501 (2018074) | about 2 years ago | (#38193662)

if a non-public service does things i don't approve of, i can OBVIOUSLY decide to not use that service, and further to inform others and encourage them to make the same decision.

you're an idiot.

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#38193996)

There are effective monopolies. Do you think you can browse more than 10 different properties on the web, without becoming hopelessly enmeshed in Google "services" that you did not electively consume?

There are commercial interests that also operate without your awareness. What about CarrierIQ? http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/11/11/23/0032233/carrieriq-tries-to-silence-security-researcher [slashdot.org]
You are a hidden, downstream OEM relationship away from "services" that treat you like a human crop, to be harvested without compensation.

Oh, and "Thanks" for the ad-hominem. My day wasn't complete, without someone lowering the level of discourse, as you just have.

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

MichaelKristopeit502 (2018076) | about 2 years ago | (#38194148)

i forgot when the right to decide to not browse more than 10 different properties on the web was taken from me, and all hope was lost forever.

you're an idiot.

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#38194390)

MEEEPT!

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

MichaelKristopeit502 (2018076) | about 2 years ago | (#38194424)

you're an idiot.

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 2 years ago | (#38195190)

Oh, and "Thanks" for the ad-hominem. My day wasn't complete, without someone lowering the level of discourse, as you just have.

You do realize who you were responding to, don't you?

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#38195310)

Belatedly. Thanks. :-)

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#38193488)

perhaps you don't understand what "WE THE PEOPLE" means.

It means "we who are claiming (rightly or wrongly) to speak in the name of the people".

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

MichaelKristopeit501 (2018074) | about 2 years ago | (#38193722)

it means (rightly or wrongly) that if you try to impose your will on "us", that "we" will take up arms and remove the source of "our" imposition.

you're an idiot.

Re:You don't get to decide (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#38193442)

You mean "it IS being used against you, right now, and your ISP is selling the information for money."

In my case, the IT department is just adding to the pile of things they can fire me for. "This is the number of times you visited /. This is the number of times you visited fark. Get out."

Re:You don't get to decide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38194734)

Uh yeah, small difference, work connection is for work-related activities, home ocnnection is for whatever the fuck you want.

You pay for your home bandwidth, not your work bandwidth.

Re:You don't get to decide (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198194)

Ditto to what another commented regarding a work connection not being for your own personal amusement. As one of those IT Department folks, I tell folks so surf from their phone and/or tether and bring their own personal laptop to surf from. I don't care how you use your time, that's not my job, and you could just as easily be reading a book or on the phone all day taking bets. From a security standpoint, where staff surf with work PCs exposes my network, which is why I'm strict. Yes, we've got many layers of security (blacklists, botnet lists, malware lists, dns filters, url filters, ids, anti-virus/malware), but I still see stuff hitting the 3rd and 4th layers, and it is rather disconcerting.

Further, some of it has to do with a finite amount of bandwidth. While we have a large amount of bandwidth, it's not for unlimited personal surfing. Folks were peeved and complaining to the Help Desk today (cyber Monday) when they were getting blocked constantly from personal sites - see we limit bandwidth when we're near 75% utilization, because there are people actually trying to get work done (who are happy that we do this). An increase in personal surfing with video or large-content-heavy stuff shouldn't cause my Internet pipes to need to be upgraded.

Re:You don't get to decide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38193688)

Everybody should know that the people who watch the watchers are the Gestapo.

Where is the conflicting interest? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#38193000)

Most parties spying on the Internet have just one interest in mind. We (some, you, whoever) may not like that interest, but it is rare that one of them have conflicting intersts as the summary says.

Re:Where is the conflicting interest? (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#38193218)

Most parties spying on the Internet have just one interest in mind. We (some, you, whoever) may not like that interest, but it is rare that one of them have conflicting intersts as the summary says.

Blind eyes all around.

  • Sell from within Country A to Intermediary in Friendly Country B.
  • Intermediary sells to friendly Country C, which is unfriendly to Country A and direct sale is banned.
  • Profit!!!

True there was some legislation about a decade ago, threatening USA trade with that evil unnamed country to the north (eh!) because they were trading with Cuba, but eventually some work-around was settled on, because Canada was the USA's biggest trading partner (still might be, despite what you may think of China.)

This is why people who once worked in government become "Trade Consultants" for $$,$$$,$$$ after leaving the service of the people, because they have the contacts and know the loopholes.

Well I suppose you could go ask your government (5, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | about 2 years ago | (#38193010)

on why they permit sales outside of the country followed quickly by asking yourself this, why do we expect to hold a corporation to a standard that we do not expect to hold our government too?

By that I mean, it sure is SAFE and EASY to go after a company to uphold values you hold dear but damn if anyone wants to stand up to their own government when it maintains relationships one way or another with the same regimes.

Then top it off with multinationals, to whom are they beholden. If you have offices in the US, Germany, Russia, and China, whose laws take precedence? What if your further incorporated on some tiny island for tax purposes?

Yes its a bad thing what these countries do, but guess what, they always have and will, hoping to limit the damage by limiting the software available won't get much relief to the oppressed. That change happens at home by getting the right people in government who actually stand behind the words they use on the campaign trail.

Security through obscurity (3, Insightful)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#38193084)

Writing one of these tool sets is not that difficult, nor are the technical concepts involved.

They will exist even if every existing developer decides to cease supporting them.

The only solution are strong workarounds: peer-to-peer proxies like Tor and BitTorrent, in addition to strong encryption.

At the point where any of those fail you, the solution is regime change, not technology.

access control and auditing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38193106)

most enterprise, carrier, and production grade security tools have internal auditing and tracking such that the auditors have an audit log of themselves with respect to the actions taken within the security tool.

that said, in the end whatever individual or group has oversight and access into that log data might review it manually, using correlation engines, or ignore it entirely. if they find something that is questionable, they might choose to act on it or not. in the end there is a serious human element, and the same strategy of checks and balances with respect to authority, control, and access that exists in systems such as politics, military, banking, etc need to exist in all information security departments.

as the public we have a problem, and that is for security reasons we don't have any visibility into any of the inner workings, audit trail, or behavior of the organizations, people, and systems that monitor us. this is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" dilemma. when it comes to issues of security we have no real choice but to trust big brother as things stand today.

the best thing we can do is try to structure our organizations such checks and balances exist in necessary areas, and power is granted only to those with authority. as the general public we can have influence here, but in the end we will probably just have to trust the people that we empower. as technologists we can have high standards for security, ethics, integrity, and morality. in that sense the technologists are at a slight advantage over the general public when it comes to solving this problem.

-paymon

Export Administration Regulation (US) (1)

redelm (54142) | about 2 years ago | (#38193124)

Well, if you're in the US, you could lobby to get the relevant technologies, software and hardware controlled by the Export Administration. Yes, the US has had export restrictions for 220+ years, since banning the export of long straight pine logs the Royal Navy wanted for masts & spars.

New and revised ECCNs get published in the Federal Register daily. But they only apply to the US, so you just may be exporting jobs.

You'd better think long and hard about what you want to control. Crisco would not be happy if hardware (routers) were controlled. IBM, Oracle and others will not be happy if your try to control software. It won't be easy to write.

the scope seems grander (4, Informative)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 years ago | (#38193190)

than we're really willing to conclude. The American perspective is obvious that somehow if their technology should fall through the invisible hands of free market into the lap of a reigning dictator, then and only then is there a problem.

Americans have traded everything from stinger missiles to M16's with terrorists like al-quaeda as well as despots like iran and egypt for decades, and quite lucratively as well. Israel renders Palestine cities in flaming ruin not through sorcery, but the F-16 and apache gunship of american design and sale. our private corporations willfully bow to the will of islamic dictatorships and 'communist when it suits us' regimes like china as they mandate the strictest control of their citizens through censorship. our senate and library of congress are prohibited from searching wikileaks, and our schools ban searches for concepts like 'hacking.' thoughtcrimes like taking pictures of a well designed airport causeway or a large building are likewise branded terrorist acts.

The answer is that the problem does not exist in the systems created to censor; those from bluecoat or mcafee or even humble BSD and Linux. the bureaucrats, and plutocracy that control and vend these systems are in many cases tacit participants in their creation. They subsist garnering profits through dividends in their investment of bluecoat shares, and through securing the praise and reward of their constituency and corporate lobbying groups when a new deal is inked.

as if to turn a blind eye to the rest of the world, Security Week completely ignores the wrath of ACTA, DMCA, and the forcible seizure of domains registered abroad as though that which is the doctrine of kind-hearted multi-billion dollar industries is without question in the good service of all mankind.

crack pipe (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38193410)

It's ok to put down the crack pipe. The illumanati is just a book, there is no grand jewish conspiracy to take over the world, the cia didn't assassinate jfk and the nsa could care less about your porn habits.

I'd like to welcome you to the real world where we have sunshine and problems like hunger and unemployment to deal with.

Step 1 - put down the crack pipe, lay off the drugs, just for a few hours, ok?

Step 2 - step out of your mothers basement

Step 3 - go outside, see a bit of the world

Step 4 - you really need a shrink, you can find one of google if you don't think the government has take over your internet connection in a grand conspiracy theory.

You really, really need to get a grip.

Re:crack pipe (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#38193556)

and the nsa could care less about your porn habits.

Ha! Now you have just admitted they care! :-)

I know! (1)

Mullen (14656) | about 2 years ago | (#38193200)

Coast Guard?

Can you say political Astro-Turfing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38193222)

Stop fussing over Syria, the protestors being shot are lying and are the exact opposite of the shot Bahrain shiite muslims.

Syria's dissident's are the textbook example of political Astroturfing, why is the world shitting and pissing itself over "wounded hurt syrians" when one major Correspondant on AlJazeera, a former ambassador himself actually told another AlJazeera news anchor/interviewer that these campaigns are funded grassroots operations? They had to say "Er..Thank you" and end the hour long discussion after 35 minutes have went by, afraid it'd anger the higher ups who fund the channel and their defensive allies.

While when the Bahrain scandal popped up, no one mentioned it or mentioned it briefly... BBC Arabic denied everything and kept comparing the people calling them from Bahrain to nazi sympathisers because those who called were seeing the whole "Free" world say their dead family members are alive and living.

Wikileaks didn't have documents else it would have showed the world that Saudi Arabia was funding the major press organizations and telling them to keep a lid on anything related to Bahrain, Qatar's AlJazeera did so without being paid unlike CNN and the BBC.

Oh and if you like to discuss this offline with me, I'm Musallam AlBarrak, proud parliament member.

Cisco is practically owned by the US Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38193246)

When you build something essential to the operation of a must-have, you'd better believe the government is going to come knocking.

Re:Cisco is practically owned by the US Government (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#38193954)

When you build something essential to the operation of a must-have, you'd better believe the government is going to come knocking.

I don't know about you, but the last time I looked at CISCO's products and services, they were:

Vaguely defined
Overpriced
Intentionally confusing

The trifecta of an aging tech company that focuses more on its past reputation that its forward progress.
CISCO used to be the guys who made routers, and they gave us a backwards ACL notation system that everyone uses (because they got a certificate in it).
Today? They run ads about how they are able to violate causality - a school in the US and a school in China are video conferencing with no lag. In the middle of the day. At both locations. I guess they still sell routers, too, but why pay their ridiculous prices when you can get the same hardware elsewhere, or hell, build it your fucking self, for cheaper?

WITR (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 2 years ago | (#38193296)

Seriously, ain't no shit going on while she in the room.

Who watches the watchers? (1)

khr (708262) | about 2 years ago | (#38193374)

The Hawtch-Hawtcher Net Watcher....

Market wants v. security concerns (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#38193386)

At which point do we have to stop looking at Information Security as a market, and begin viewing it as a matter of defense and (inter)national security?"

I believe all the governments of the world are unanimous in saying they don't like the influence that people in other countries have on their citizens. Thus, the internet is a threat to all governments, everywhere, and the solutions will be varying degrees of censorship and control of critical infrastructure until access to the internet in its present form is impossible and is instead subsumed by a global network which mirrors the geographical and sociolpolitical needs of those governments.

Re:Market wants v. security concerns (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#38193958)

very insightful.

governments are 'yay for us! we're so great, we're so great!' cheerleaders, essentially. telling their people they are the best and most evolved ones on the planet, those other guys don't know jack shit, etc, etc. this is standard programming from governments to their people. its what keeps the 'unity' stuff going. aka, patriotism.

the internet shows that man-drawn temporary land boundaries are just that; and that people are people and oppressors are oppressors. this is the real skin game (so to speak) and those in control don't want us to realize this.

ww3 is the internet vs those who try to own/control it. its a very slow war, but its a truly world war and its waged downward from those in control to their subjects (er, uh, I mean citizens). witness the world-side support of the Occupy movement. this is the very start of ww3. not a bang of canon or gunshot, but this is a new century and world wars start very differently.

Re:Market wants v. security concerns +1 (1)

nullchar (446050) | about 2 years ago | (#38193984)

Great insight. It will be sad to look back on our current Internet in 50 years and realize how free it was.

Re:Market wants v. security concerns +1 (2)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197908)

I was hooked into digital anarchy by that text 25yr ago and I hope that the message it convoys will never stop:


Another one got caught today, it's all over the papers. "Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal", "Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering"...

Damn kids. They're all alike.

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950's technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

I am a hacker, enter my world...

Mine is a world that begins with school... I'm smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me...

Damn underachiever. They're all alike.

I'm in junior high or high school. I've listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. "No, Ms. Smith, I didn't show my work. I did it in my head..."

Damn kid. Probably copied it. They're all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it's because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn't like me... Or feels threatened by me.. Or thinks I'm a smart ass.. Or doesn't like teaching and shouldn't be here...

Damn kid. All he does is play games. They're all alike.

And then it happened... a door opened to a world... rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict's veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought... a board is found. "This is it... this is where I belong..." I know everyone here... even if I've never met them, never talked to them, may never hear from them again... I know you all...

Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They're all alike...

You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We've been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore... and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge... and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals.

Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.

Title (1)

Azakai (2512142) | about 2 years ago | (#38193406)

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" -Who Watches the Watchmen? would have been a slightly more apt title. Not trying to be pretentious or anything; I learnt it from Alan Moore's Watchmen comic (which everyone here should have read). I saw this on my feed and it was slightly disappointing when I saw the full title. Just saying it would've made for a better title.

Re:Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38193484)

But then we would have been denied a nice tng reference.

All of them (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#38193438)

How many services and devices are actually being used by people whom we prefer would not have access to them?

All of them.

How long until they are used against us, even if indirectly?

Indefinitely

EVERYONE (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | about 2 years ago | (#38193638)

Perhaps the best thing to do is make EVERYONEs search data available to EVERYONE.

That way we're all on equal footing and may even find out that Grandma has the same interest in midgets as you.

SOPA/PIPA Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38193682)

With SOPA/PIPA, the United States may be building its own censorship regime. So it seems hypocritical to talk of other authoritarian regimes and their censorship systems.

Wrong question in my opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38193760)

I'm more concerned about who watches those that watch the watchers?

How soon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38193870)

"At which point do we have to stop looking at Information Security as a market, and begin viewing it as a matter of defense and (inter)national security?"

As soon as a long time ago.

Who watches the watchers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38194082)

I dunno. Coastguard?

Used by [censored] (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#38194346)

Here's an interesting take on the IT security industry and tools being sold and used by to monitor internet users.

Looks like we're using it where I work, i'm guessing we censored our company name so no one would grow suspicious.

Fighting the wrong problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38194618)

Why do we still accept communication standards that do not include true end-to-end encryption ?
Then it may still be possible to see who talks to who, but at least it will not be possible to see what is being said.

Solve this more fundamental problem first.

Re:Fighting the wrong problem (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38209226)

Why do we still accept communication standards that do not include true end-to-end encryption ?

Because no encryption provided by a 3rd party can be trusted. If you want your communications secure, you have to install your own encryption packages, from trusted sources. If "the Net" or any vendor supplies your encryption, and you lack the ability to study the source code, you must assume that they can read everything you send or receive.

The folks who built the postal system understood that their only important job was getting the mail through. The folks who built the Internet understood that their only job was getting the packets through. That's a technical job that we (mostly) know how to do. Neither imposed a standard for encryption, for well-understood reasons.

Encryption standards are a total waste of time on everyone's part. Well, except for those who want to read our communications, who have a strong interest in getting us to use a "standard" encryption that they can decode. (You wouldn't happen to be one of those people, would you? C'mon; fess up! ;-)

Isn't it obvious? (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 2 years ago | (#38195568)

Chuck Norris protects the internet. :)

But it can stop "hate" speech! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38196020)

LOL. All the Slashdot retards who actually use the term 'hate speech' - I think you mean 'thought crimes', which Orwell WARNED us about - 1984 was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual.

Tyrants take away free speech because otherwise they will be exposed by it. Idiots support the removal of other people's free speech because you are too STUPID to be able to rationally argue your position, so you seek to silence any opposition. How embarrassing is that.

Go ahead and mod me down, thus proving me right.

Your countries are being invaded by millions of third worlders, who are soon going to turn your country into a third world country. "Hate" speech! There's good little goyim, do what your Jewish masters tell you...

nothing useful (1)

ultraata (1051242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198950)

This article seems to be another example of "blah-blah-blah". Why is it here on /.?

Not just governments (1)

Alarash (746254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38200184)

It's not just governments. Enterprises do this too. Later generation firewalls are now capable of doing in-line, on-the-fly SSL main-in-the-middle to monitor HTTPS traffic. The browsers wouldn't trigger a certificate alarm (as they usually do in case of phishing or MITM attacks) because the company can push their own CA to the computers on their domain.

The reason for this is to make sure viruses or exploits cannot be encrypted. But of course it also means your company could, in theory, grab e-mail account passwords or look into bank accounts if you do this from the company network.

Why so secretive? (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38200530)

Here is the scenario. Workers do stuff secretively because they do not want their supervisors to know. Now the supervisors start to monitor those workers so that they can see when they are being naughty, except, they themselves are not being monitored, so the workers are outraged when they find out the supervisor was watching youtube on the job, which entails monitoring the workers to make sure they aren't watching youtube...

So who watches the watchers?

First, one doesn't need to monitor someone to undo secretiveness. For example, have their monitor displayed on a public wall. Them knowing that what they are doing is public will already alter their behavior. Openness makes people behave. No watchers.

Second, the idea that the workers need to be watched would apply to all workers at all levels. In other words, why stop with the workers? Or the supervisors? Or the branch managers? Or the VP or CEO? Is the one person that behaves without being monitored the one? To think that monitoring only should apply to a certain class or category of people already implies prejudice:

"I am better, ergo, don't watch me."

If members of a system or group can all watch one another, and they all have the capability to challenge anyone, then consider that system well monitored.

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