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Snowden and the Fate of the Internet As a Global Network

samzenpus posted 1 year,23 days | from the times-they-are-a-changing dept.

Government 505

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "John Naughton writes in the Guardian that the insight that seems to have escaped most of the world's mainstream media regarding the revelations from Edward Snowden is how the US has been able to bend nine US internet companies to its demands for access to their users' data proving that no US-based internet company can be trusted to protect our privacy or data. 'The fact is that Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are all integral components of the US cyber-surveillance system,' writes Naughton. 'Nothing, but nothing, that is stored in their "cloud" services can be guaranteed to be safe from surveillance or from illicit downloading by employees of the consultancies employed by the NSA.' This spells the end of the internet as a truly global network. 'It was always a possibility that the system would eventually be Balkanised, ie divided into a number of geographical or jurisdiction-determined subnets as societies such as China, Russia, Iran and other Islamic states decided that they needed to control how their citizens communicated. Now, Balkanisation is a certainty.' Naughton adds that given what we now know about how the US has been abusing its privileged position in the global infrastructure, the idea that the western powers can be allowed to continue to control it has become untenable. 'Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets, if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes?' writes Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission. 'Front or back door – it doesn't matter – any smart person doesn't want the information shared at all. Customers will act rationally, and providers will miss out on a great opportunity.'"

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Encryption: (5, Insightful)

Redeye Carci (2932323) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476777)

Something to actually use.

Re:Encryption: (5, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476805)

Technical solutions to social & political problems don't work.

Re:Encryption: (5, Insightful)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476961)

Technical solutions to social & political problems don't work.

Really you want to try brute force decrypt 4092 bit random key encrypted folder stored to random joe's sky drive folder? No, well neither does the NSA.

Re:Encryption: (5, Interesting)

localman57 (1340533) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477047)

If Random Joe doesn't share it with anybody, they probably don't give a shit. The NSA is perfectly happy to let Random Joe sit around enjoying his porn collection. But when people start working together, they get interested. They care if Random Joe is going to share it with somebody at somepoint. And they're real interested in that. Even if they never decrypt it, they can tell that Random Joe uploaded it, and Random Bob downloaded it. Now, the interesting question is what is the relationship between Random Joe and Random Bob? That connection between those two is valuable information, and you can get it without ever decrypting the actual data.

Re:Encryption: (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477213)

Really you want to try brute force decrypt 4092 bit random key encrypted folder stored to random joe's sky drive folder? No, well neither does the NSA.

Quite correct.

So they go the easiest way possible: thru the human himself.

Its not that hard to get someone to divulge all that he knows when you don't have to bother with pesky details as the Law. Promising someone a life behind bars or simply doing some waterboarding will often do the trick (oh, he died. It looks he wasn't a witch after all ...)

Ofcourse, close observation will often already divulge all you need to know to "break" the most complex passwords: a small camera aimed at the persons keyboard in the sanctity of his own home will be enough.

So yes, the NSA will probably, in the end, not use a "lets break this encryption" technical method either.

Re:Encryption: (2)

leehb9 (3009071) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476977)

But since we know that they're out there and looking, anything I can do to slow them down a bit is a step in the right direction. Encrypt all your shit!

Re:Encryption: (3, Interesting)

Pi1grim (1956208) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477051)

It's not a social problem. It's problem of power abuse. Making it harder to abuse can help contain the problem. If everyone uses end-to-end encryption, then centralized ubiquitous surveillance is impossible.

Re:Encryption: (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477135)

It's not a social problem. It's problem of power abuse. Making it harder to abuse can help contain the problem. If everyone uses end-to-end encryption, then centralized ubiquitous surveillance is impossible.

Until they outlaw encryption.

Re:Encryption: (1)

X0563511 (793323) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477225)

At which points heads will begin to roll.

Re:Encryption: (5, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477083)

Technical solutions can to some degree mitigate social and political problems. Using encryption isn't going to solve the issue of governmental and commercial parties snooping and sharing stuff that we the people do not want them to access, nor will it solve the deeper issue of these organisations thinking that they have a right to access that data to begin with, but encryption can reduce the amount of useful data they can actually access.

In this case, the solution fails for technical / practical reasons. Corporations do not use "the cloud" just for storage, but for processing of data as well, which means it'll have to exist in plaintext on the cloud server at some point. If you want your data to be secure, you should certainly encrypt it, but you aso should stop using the cloud for anything but storage of already encrypted data.

Re:Encryption: (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476905)

Encryption is not a solution. You can't reasonably use cloud computing, webmail or social networks with encryption in a way to prevent the kind of snooping that is going on. The solution is to stop using untrustworthy providers: Don't use US services.

Re:Encryption: (2)

Pi1grim (1956208) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476953)

You're using the encryption wrong. If you are the only one who has the key, then NSA can go and build quantum computer. Untill they do that, you are in the clear.

Re:Encryption: (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477095)

Wrong. Encryption is used every day, day in and day out, in the form of SSL based http (read: https). Perfect Forward Secrecy is an excellent solution and is coming (slowly). You should be encrypting sensitive data anyway. 2048-bit+ public key crypto is safe for a while and is absolutely the only way to securely store personal data.

What's funny is that you think that not using services based in the US is actually going to help anything.

Re:Encryption: (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476965)

One small problem - encrypted messages won't get very far if the packets are blocked as being non-readable by whatever censorship authority runs the firewall/choke-point/etc.

A truly 'Balkanized' Internet would mean that there would be choke-points through which packets have to travel between subnets.

Now if you said 'steganography' instead, well, different story. But an obviously encrypted message would likely be blocked cold.

Re:Encryption: (1)

tgd (2822) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477163)

Something to actually use.

Until you can put the crypto chip into your head, all that does is move the needle, and not by much.

Re:Encryption: (1)

aliquis (678370) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477203)

True.

As for

Customers will act rationally, and providers will miss out on a great opportunity.

no, they likely won't. Just as with encryption. People are to ignorant and lazy.

As for what to use instead there's some companies which have hold their noses high and don't bend over easily.

http://www.bahnhof.se/ [bahnhof.se] for instance.

The stuff Pirate bay / Piratpartiet / Wikileaks / same or similar people is running/supporting like https://ipredator.se/ [ipredator.se] likely can be trust as far as the highest management goes at least. Not much to do against things like raids though. Though I could THINK of a scenario where say Bahnhof had disks with user data encrypted and log files removed and flat out resisted to help (what if they was judged to? I don't know.)

Anyway for me personally that's one great reason to use them as my ISP / give my money to them rather than someone else (I currently don't use them but I've got full opportunity to and likely should switch. I user Bredbandsbolaget now but since the last few months they have resisted giving me a discount and as such I don't really have no reason to stay with them.)

Free speech* (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476779)

*As long as that speech falls into the category of things that benefits the U.S. government.

Re:Free speech* (4, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476799)

Nah, you can say whatever you want.

Of course, the Feds will be listening....

What's the benefit of privacy from the government? (0)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476881)

A member of my family has expressed the following concern: If a citizen of the United States is not committing a crime, what's wrong with the United States Government knowing the full text of everything that he reads and writes on the Internet?

Re:What's the benefit of privacy from the governme (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476907)

If a citizen of the United States is not committing a crime, then why does the United States Government need to know the full text of everything that he reads and writes on the Internet?

Re:What's the benefit of privacy from the governme (5, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476943)

That's not a concern. That's just a paraphrase of "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide."

If one is still asking that question at this point, when it has been answered a hundred ways on a hundred days, then he doesn't care about any answer, and will continue to dismiss it.

Re:What's the benefit of privacy from the governme (5, Insightful)

sosume (680416) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476995)

I've got nothing to hide, so there is no reason to look. Should work both ways.

Re:What's the benefit of privacy from the governme (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476997)

What is not illegal now might become illegal in the future.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_homosexuals_in_Nazi_Germany_and_the_Holocaust

Re:What's the benefit of privacy from the governme (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477019)

This is why [cornell.edu] :

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Long story short? Unless the government has demonstrable cause to read/know the full text of "everything", it's none of their fucking business.

Re:What's the benefit of privacy from the governme (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477023)

Substitute government with your neighbor. Does that clear things up?

In particular, government, being comprised of mere human beings, should (logically) not be trusted with any more power than the average human being.

Here's why. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477043)

A member of my family has expressed the following concern: If a citizen of the United States is not committing a crime, what's wrong with the United States Government knowing the full text of everything that he reads and writes on the Internet?

They haven't been keeping up with current events, have they.

Have them google (if they know how), "IRS abuses".

You see, when the typical person on average commits 3 crimes per day [wsj.com] , the State now has an unlimited supply of criminals - EVERYONE.

Mix it in with a For Profit prison system, politicians with agendas, and the increasing polarization of politics in the US, you WILL see abuses that we would have never thought could happen in the US.

EVERYONE has something to hide!

Cardinal Richilieu said: (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477101)

Give me but six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find something in them to have him hanged."

Re:What's the benefit of privacy from the governme (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477159)

Ask your family member if they would like their neighbours to see every single thing they read and write on the Internet. If they don't like that, then why would they allow their government to see everything, knowing that a government (and its individual civil servants) can do far more damage, intentionally or by accident, than any neighbour could with that information.

Re:What's the benefit of privacy from the governme (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477189)

A member of my family has expressed the following concern: If a citizen of the United States is not committing a crime, what's wrong with the United States Government knowing the full text of everything that he reads and writes on the Internet?

Because there are so many laws that one cannot categorically conclude that one is not committing a crime. Because quotes or actions taken out of context can be made to sound or seem suspicious. Because these surveillance abilities are used to intimidate political activists trying to change the status quo. Because innocent people are sometimes mistakenly charged with and convicted of crimes they did not commit.

Re:Free speech* (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477021)

And you happen to be in a free speech zone.

The NSA will be restrained by the plutocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476781)

There is no need for the ACLU and EFF to ride to the rescue. Goldman Sachs, Koch Industries and the aother malefactors of great wealth will soon curb the excesses of the NSA. No powerful corporation will tolerate the routine interception of its business communications and the reading of its internal records by a political entity. Of course, this remedial action will be clothed in the dignified garb of defense of civil liberties, but in the end, it will amount to a restoration of a balance of power.

Re:The NSA will be restrained by the plutocracy (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477053)

No powerful corporation will tolerate the routine interception of its business communications and the reading of its internal records by a political entity.

Umm, businesses don't have to worry about that so much [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The NSA will be restrained by the plutocracy (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477153)

Yes, because there's no way Microsoft would assist the government in circumventing the encryption used in any of their products...

Unless NSA spies for benefit of corporations. (1)

boorack (1345877) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477097)

Which is propably the case. My biggest fear is that instead of curbing those crooks it will make them doind the same crap overtly. And overtly opressing everyone opposing them. Some crooks have already become proud, overt pricks (eg. Holder saying he won't prosecute big banks and on the other hand praising Aaron Schwarts treatment).

Re:Unless NSA spies for benefit of corporations. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477245)

This was precisely what some of the earliest Snowden leaks were showing.

WTF? (-1, Troll)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476783)

They seem to be forgetting that the US invented the internet. We developed it from scratch with very little outside help. We're just borrowing/leasing/selling our own invention to the rest of the world who, in return, acts like they're entitled to it as a basic human right. It's just a tech invention, not freedom of speech or water or any other such important resource or right.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

qbast (1265706) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476807)

Don't forget to return HTML/WWW to CERN first. Then you can talk about 'very little outside help'.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

jobsagoodun (669748) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476825)

And we Brits want our Turing Machines back!

Church-Turing thesis (2)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476925)

Alonzo Church was an American. Had there been no Turing, computers as we know them might have been designed through analogy to the lambda calculus rather than to the finite state machine with tape.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476929)

Australia wants its WIFI back too!

Re:WTF? (2)

garyebickford (222422) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477065)

That's not the internet, although it may seem like it these days. I was sending and receiving email and files over the internet in the early 1980s, long before the WooWooWoo. In fact the WWW was really a logical extension of the NeXTStep OS with its object-based system, which allowed NeXTMail and, really, any document, to incorporate objects of any type - audio and video in email, or in a spreadsheet.

In 1990 I was product manager for PaperSight, a networked document management system that allowed annotation and attachment of any object to scanned documents for the paperless office, which ran on the NeXT. It was more capable than any web-based system I've seen yet, for that application. You could circle a word or paragraph and add an annotation, for example. The NeXT was the only machine+OS at the time that could handle the capabilities well.

HTML's primary advance was using a subset of SGML to codify the construction of such documents, instead of requiring 'real programming' to support it. I used to have a copy of the WorldWideWeb program written by TBL on my NeXT machine, and it was actually not at that time as capable as many other programs on the NeXT. Of course that was early days. TBL was always quite upfront about how he was inspired by the NeXT.

The other major 'innovation' if you can call it that, was Al Gore's sponsorship of legislation opening up the Internet to non-defense and non-research institutions. Then there was DNS [wikipedia.org] , by Jon Postel and Paul Mockapetris, which came out in 1983 - eight or nine years before the WWW.

Even today, IIRC email remains the majority of internet traffic, dwarfing WWW.

Re:WTF? (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476831)

I don't remember the US paying for all the network infrastructure in my country.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476835)

The US invented aviation too, but that doesn't allow us to collect rent on every aircraft flight, or to go through the pockets of every passenger.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476959)

The US invented aviation too, but that doesn't allow us to collect rent on every aircraft flight, or to go through the pockets of every passenger.

Richard Pearse would like to have a word with you.

Re:WTF? (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477171)

No, we didn't invent the airplane. Or Autos. Or contact lenses. Or high speed highways. Or stealth technology. Or batteries. Or... the list goes on. It's true we perfected (or helped perfect) a lot, but as far as inventing them... not really as much as one would think.

Re:WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476963)

The US invented aviation too, but that doesn't allow us to collect rent on every aircraft flight, or to go through the pockets of every passenger.

US isn't the single inventor of all aviation... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Ellehammer [wikipedia.org] . No wonder Americans doesn't have a full clue :( [yes, you can flame me]

Re:WTF? (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476847)

Hahahahahahahahahahaha.
O, you're serious : (.
Chauvinism and blind nationalism for the win!

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476871)

The internet is a network of autonomous systems. You built your part of the network, we built ours. If the autonomous systems agree to use a different root DNS service and a different number registry, then that's what's going to happen. Seeing how the US has proven itself to be untrustworthy, it will happen.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476877)

Yeah and us Brits invented the computer AND the web too. And we want it back from you dickheads, clearly our errant colonial children are not yet mature enough to be trusted with custodianship of this technology.

Re:WTF? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476949)

Oh come on...

clearly our errant colonial children are not yet mature enough to be trusted with custodianship of this technology.

I agree the Americans may have done some questionable stuff, but I think you're conveniently forgetting who their bedfellows were in the whole affair, and especially the "Oh, your laws don't let you run surveillance on your own citizens? Let us do that for you then, and we'll give you the info later."

Re:WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476993)

Computers are based on John Von Neomon architectures, and he was american. Also reletivity and quantum electro dynamics are Einstein's and Feynman's, again, all our people not yours. So... what again did you yellow toothed fags contribute other than needing our help during WWII?

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

sandertje (1748324) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477179)

Von Neumann was born in Hungary; he moved to the US in 1933. Einstein was a German; he moved to the US only in 1933, decades after he published his famous relativity theory in the 1910s. Now, if we were to follow your logic and only those countries where technology x was invented can use this technology, then the US would still be a well.... hunter-gatherer society. You can attribute many 20th century inventions to US citizens, but they tend to build on earlier industrial revolution technology. And where did that happen? Right, in Europe. Now, take your nationalistic bullshit, and put it up your ass. Technology is for all of mankind.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477041)

Charles Babbage invented the computer, not your fairy scucide friend.

Re:WTF? (1)

mlts (1038732) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476927)

The Internet is a "stone soup". It was a DoD effort at first, but the world has put in a lot of technologies in general.

If I were to state who "owns" the Internet now, I would probably say China, since they are the top producer of L1 gear (switches, routers, NICs, motherboard chips, etc.,) and without that layer, everything else isn't going to happen.)

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476941)

Nobody is forgetting that. It is just deemed to be irrelevant. Just like the fact that the Nazi's developed the rocket tech used by the US to fly to the moon. It did not stop the US from doing it. Why would this be different ?

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476989)

The US has repeatedly argued to retain control of critical internet infrastructure (e.g. ICANN) on the basis that it can and should be trusted to uphold the freedom and neutrality of the network and allow unfettered global use of it.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477055)

oh, and germany is now demanding that every car in the world has a german blackbox in it (that can be read anytime by the german bundesnachrichtendienst). since they invented the car, they should have a right to see what it is used for, right?

Fuck the Bootlickers (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476797)

America first! Power to the people!

-- Ethanol-fueled

End of global network (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476801)

It does not spell the end of a global network, just like spam did not end the popularity of e-mail. More programs that are capable of storing things in the cloud will feature encryption from now on, and more people will use it.

Re:End of global network (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476921)

It does not spell the end of a global network, just like spam did not end the popularity of e-mail. More programs that are capable of storing things in the cloud will feature encryption from now on, and more people will use it.

You've never seen this before, have you? [xkcd.com]

Re:End of global network (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477005)

You forget that if everyone uses encryption, then you'll have to use rubber-hose attack on all of them. Which is not quite feasible. It can only be applied on a per-person basis, if he's already drawn attention. Just like personal surveillance.

Re:End of global network (1)

garyebickford (222422) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477127)

Which raises the eternal question, "(How long) will the encryption be sufficient to avoid others snooping into it?" This is an easy question for information with no value, but as information becomes more valuable (in conjunction with an unknown amount of other information available for cross correlation), the question becomes harder.

I could see today some company offering confidential decryption services for corporate spying, which is run secretly by some professor on a big university's supercomputer to avoid the cost of actually buying your own. Cross-government industrial spying groups have been doing this for two decades at least. I would estimate that less than 10% of all corporate internet spying has been detected.

Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476803)

We humans seems to have such high aspirations. Yet, we let the few greedy and power hungry among us take all the wealth and power and return the favor with a boot the collective head of rest.

internet was never a global network (1)

alen (225700) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476813)

it was always a series of government and privately owned networks, interconnected together for some limited communication and a common naming/addressing scheme for communication

This isn't news. (5, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476819)

It's always been the elephant in the room. The only new thing is that it has become obvious to a larger number of people that encryption isn't just an "in case" precaution. Anyone who knows anything about the way the Internet works has been aware for years that nothing is secure unless you both encrypt it and control the only means to decrypt it (either by encrypting it to someone's public key whom you trust or by encrypting it for your own secure decryption later).

So again, the only real change is that the tinfoil hats were verifiably right for once. The question nobody seems to be answering is, what (other than nothing) will the general public do about it? The answer to that is, only as much as they are forced to.

Re:This isn't news. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476919)

The biggest elephant in the room is the failed legitimacy of contending nation states. The NSA has launched an absurd spying arms race in which every nation will feel compelled to intercept all telecommunications. A global society must enact a new Magna Carta to protect universal rights. The central political struggle of the next century will be defeating the vicious rear-guard actions fought by nation states to prevent the emergence of a single legitimate structure of global law and governance. Assange, Manning, and Snowden are just the first wave of challengers to nation states; many more will follow, and they will eventually prevail. Those who cannot see a future beyond the nation state are the same people who could not see a future beyond feudalism.

Re:This isn't news. (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477017)

Everyone's talking about the failed legitimacy of contending nation states. The United States surveillance programmes have been at least getting mentioned and getting some attention from people, who seem to be intentionally taking their social media use into the realm of the bizarre and leaving out a lot of personal information they otherwise would have posted.

I agree with you on the new Magna Carta, but we lack a trustworthy venue to which we could deliver it. It's vital, in my opinion, to avoid a global government. Even founded on the proper and just goals of preserving liberty, such a government could turn sour just as easily as the United States government has. I hope we can elect enough people to restore the constitution out of the ashes of what's left, but looking at how our elections tend to go, it's going to be a rough road.

If you want an elephant in the room, try the lack of outcry over the occupation of Boston over one solitary man.

Is there anything useful on the non-Western 'Net? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476841)

Is there really anything worthwhile on the non-Western Internet, at least from the perspective of most Westerners?

I know I couldn't care any less if I could no longer access Russian or Chinese websites, for instance. Due to language differences, they're already pretty much useless to me. I know this also holds true for most Americans and Australians, and many Europeans, too.

Yeah, I know, there are probably a small number of expats and academics who find some use in such information, but there aren't many of them. Aside from them, I don't think that Westerners in general would really miss those very foreign parts of the Internet if they suddenly disappeared.

Re:Is there anything useful on the non-Western 'Ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477027)

It's not hard to imagine why the EU would want to limit access to it's network. It's not China or Russia only.

I'm ignoring the rest of your comment on how WEST IS THE BEST.

Re:Is there anything useful on the non-Western 'Ne (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477155)

How can you ignore a part of the comment that isn't even there? No part of it makes an absolute comparison between the value of Western and non-Western culture. It merely points out that, due to very real and prevalent linguistic differences, a lot of non-Western content is of very limited use to most Westerners. This holds true in the opposite direction, too, I do hope you realize!

Re:Is there anything useful on the non-Western 'Ne (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477035)

Few MMOs maybe, some professional gaming streams, manga and movies of giant monsters fighting robots, endless ads and other marketing nonsense, and lots of carefully tweaked propaganda disguised as news. So it's pretty much on par with the Western internet.

Re:Is there anything useful on the non-Western 'Ne (3, Interesting)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477113)

Is there really anything worthwhile on the non-Western Internet, at least from the perspective of most Westerners?

I know I couldn't care any less if I could no longer access Russian or Chinese websites, for instance. Due to language differences, they're already pretty much useless to me. I know this also holds true for most Americans and Australians, and many Europeans, too.

Yeah, I know, there are probably a small number of expats and academics who find some use in such information, but there aren't many of them. Aside from them, I don't think that Westerners in general would really miss those very foreign parts of the Internet if they suddenly disappeared.

Would you care if you could no longer send email to those countries? What about parts of Europe? What about India? India, China, and Asia represent something like 40% of the Human race... that's a huge portion of potential customers that now have a catastrophically negative image of storing their data in our country on our servers.

We've really screwed ourselves here.

Re:Is there anything useful on the non-Western 'Ne (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477177)

if we lost ability to email china and india, think of the jobs that would have to come back home again!

the silver lining, in a way.

perhaps mistrust of other nations (and vice versa) would be good for us.

Re:Is there anything useful on the non-Western 'Ne (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477209)

It's not the sites it's the people.

Log into your favourtie forum and discover most of the people you know aren't American.

Also understand that the coming balkanisation may include other Non-American Western countries equally fed up with American attitudes to right and wrong.

Is there any use allowing non-westerners? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477215)

The first thing I do at every company is to restrict access to US-only webapps to US-only IPs.

Makes my weblogs much cleaner.

Re:Is there anything useful on the non-Western 'Ne (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477219)

American companies care. How are they going to buy all that cheap stuff from China and sell it to you if they can't access Chinese' web sites? How will Apple email the guys at the Foxconn factory?

Nothing but nothing? (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476843)

Try storing an encrypted container. When you want to access it, download it, decrypt it locally, do your work, reencrypt, and reupload. Unless your home PC is keylogged, you're safe. But if your PC is keylogged, whether you use cloud services is irrelevant.

What are the technical solutions? (3, Interesting)

pr0nbot (313417) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476873)

Suppose your philosopher king came to you and said, "We want to set up our own national network with privacy/neutrality as the core principle, away from the prying eyes of our tyrannical neighbours".

What would you do differently? Can much of the problem be engineered out, at least at the network layer?

Is it just end-to-end encryption? Or anonymised routing? What's the collection of technolgies you'd use to make things at least better?

Re:What are the technical solutions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476967)

You could start with draconian punishments for interception of private communications.

The US has only itself to blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476875)

if the internet fragments (balkanisation). The US Governments endless desire to control all the data out there is IMHO fatally flawed but will drive anyone with anything to hide deep underground (if they are not already there)

The revelations about the activities of the NSA, GCHQ etc should be a wake-up call both for governments and people all over the world. If you don't want the spooks to read your data, don't send it over the internet even if you encrypt it. IMHO anything that is encrypted will be a clear flag to the spooks that something nefarious is going on even if it isn't. Using HTTPS is no longer safe. etc etc

The spooks are determined to make inroads into everyone's privacy no matter where you are in the world and they don't seem to care who they step on to do it.

Was never secure to begin with (3, Insightful)

sureshot007 (1406703) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476879)

I don't know why this is a surprise to anyone out there. The internet was never a secure place to store any information, or discuss anything. Putting something in "the cloud" is like putting on your front porch. When is the general public going to realize this? Google is giving you email for free, do you really think no one is reading it?

Homomorphic encryption. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476899)

There, what else seems to be the problem?

Re:Homomorphic encryption. (0)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477089)

thanks. reading. awesome.

Let's be realistic ... (1, Interesting)

Old97 (1341297) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476937)

It's hardly shocking that the U.S. government will pressure companies or anyone with in its reach to serve its interests. Every government does that though some governments have more evil aims than others. (Like people, the U.S. is not evil though sometimes it does bad things.) Did AT&T ever refuse a government request to tap a phone line? I've read that in the 1930's the U.S. pressured ITT which was installing Germany's telephony infrastructure to include things to help us tap their lines. Not sure exactly what that was, but I'm glad they did.

The "news" here is that the U.S. is better positioned to apply leverage to get the information and access it wants than other governments are. It also has a stronger military and a greater influence over international financial institutions. It's good to be king. Thankfully Putin and the Chinese Communist Party do not have the same reach, but they certainly do their best with what reach they can muster. Most of the posturing by EU officials is hypocritical. They directly benefit from the U.S.'s position and protection. That's why so many secretly cooperate.

The point is that if you put information or valuables where somebody else can get it, assume someone will. There is no permanently "safe" place for your information. There never has been. Why does anyone expect that there is?

Re:Let's be realistic ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477241)

I have no idea why your comment is rated 4, Interesting as it is void of insights.

First of all, you are completely missing the point. The point is a rational sovereign nation will kick out US companies and generally this leads to balkanization.

Secondly, your point is absolutely useless:
"The point is that if you put information and valuables where somebody else can get it, assume someone will."

Can you propose a place where information and valuables can be put where nobody can get at it? Say we put them on a turned-off computer in a block of cement at the bottom of the ocean. What's the point?

Those statements are just stupid, and far from "let's be realistic". No, having your secrets at the bottom of the ocean is not realistic.

The stupidity of ./ amazes me. Security is a trade-off. The Snowden case is changing that. The OPs article actually points this out unlike knee-jerk reactions like yours.

Yes I'm fed up with the stupidity!

A bit overly dramatic (3, Insightful)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476969)

IMHO, the author's conclusion is a bit overly dramatic. I think a more realistic conclusion is a gradual fade out of cloud computing and cloud storage. Business and people will be more inclined to keep their private data on local, closed systems now because they no longer trust the government not to stick their nose in where it doesn't belong. How long will it be before the same effect happens to socialized medicine? Would you trust the government not to use your medical status against you?

The users (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44476991)

Can't hear your privacy concerns over the sound of lolcat images in their mail inbox/youtube.

The problem with encryption (3, Insightful)

scotts13 (1371443) | 1 year,23 days | (#44476999)

... is that, either literally or metaphorically, it's vulnerable to someone holding a gun to your head and demanding the key. We're seeing this (the literal version) in the USA already. I agree with the thesis of the original article: The farther you can keep your data from USA-entangled entity, the better.

Re:The problem with encryption (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477187)

This also provides a road map to other nations. Actually, it provides two: both a technological and legal justification roadmap that every other country will use. They will say, "The US says it's ok and this is how the US does it."

People are on crack if they think their favorite pet government won't take advantage of this.

As it stands, every government has the ability, or soon will, to listen in on every single email or conversation without warrant and without alarm bells being set off. One or two agents among thousands, when nobody is looking, ignore process step 4, Get a Warrant. Listen to opposition of the boss. Report back over dinner.

As for "metadata", it would have been abused to round up the Founding Fathers, and hence it would have been forbidden in the Constitution explicitely.

Re:The problem with encryption (1)

91degrees (207121) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477195)

, it's vulnerable to someone holding a gun to your head and demanding the key

True. But that is at least something that can't easily be automated, and can't be done without anyone knowing.

So where WOULD your data be "safe"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477015)

Does John Naughton (or anyone else) believe that ANY OTHER sovereign state on the planet would allow Internet operators within their boarders to go unmonitored? Where should we turn? Russia? China? The Netherlands?

General public doesn't care (3, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477025)

Most people won't really care/comprehend much past the drama generated around the whole thing. In the US, Reality TV wins, everything else is lucky if it gets a confused, apathetic nod. If it's more work than walking to the checkout line at a Walmart, people just won't do it.

The USA still wins (1)

AHuxley (892839) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477039)

UNLIMITED Domain Hosting, UNLIMITED GB Hosting Space, UNLIMITED GB File Transfer, UNLIMITED Email Accounts, FREE Domain, FREE Site Builder ..
vs the ~10 Gb bandwidth, 2 Gb Disk space other parts of the world offer at the low end.
The mid and high end will start to think about air gap, no cloud, encryption and trusted local staff.
The real fun is in bilateral agreements, trade deals and telcos just helping so the paperwork is signed.
http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/07/12/telstras-deal-with-the-devil-fbi-access-to-its-undersea-cables/ [crikey.com.au]
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/aug/02/telecoms-bt-vodafone-cables-gchq [theguardian.com]

The Business Perspective (5, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477049)

My congressional rep is a pretty far right "We gotta stop the terr'rists" type. I've been trying to figure out the message that will ring with him, to help him understand what we have at stake here. I think it is this: Surveillance cannot become a condition of purchasing American goods and services, or we will lose business. And the solution is already in use in New Jersey:

"Under settled New Jersey law, individuals do not lose their right to privacy simply because they have to give information to a third-party provider, like a phone company or bank, to get service."

I don't want to play to stereotypes, but the reality is that New Jersey is host to some of the traditionally hard-to-crack criminal enterprises. Yet they have decided that the ability to do business must not take a back seat to making law enforcement a little easier. We cannot let surveillance become a condition of purchasing American goods and services.

'Global Network' =/= 'uniform resources' (3, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477067)

It's still a global network, and will continue to be a global network even if it's balkanized. Your business network is part of "the Internet" even though it's protected by a firewall. You might use different servers and services, but it's still all connected.

The Internet has never been so uniform a thing as what this summary implies. Different countries have been filtering access, providing different services, etc. Even in cases where access is unfettered, there are still language barriers, cultural barriers, an geographic barriers. I don't access Russian sites and services very much because I don't speak Russian, I don't live in Russia, and I'm not Russian. But we can still access many of the same sites, and we can still send email to each other.

AT&T not on the list? (2)

schneidafunk (795759) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477091)

I'm still surprised this is such big news when the AT&T scandal [wired.com] got little national interest.

The message is being heard loud and clear (1)

davidwr (791652) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477105)

The mainstream media may not be playing this up, but I'm sure it's being heard in governments, corporate boardrooms, and consumer-advocate organizations world-wide.

Cloud Hosting Is The Future!!! (1)

xanatopia (619279) | 1 year,23 days | (#44477119)

And thus we see how the value of the remote "cloud" as the solution to all things starts to diminish. In computers (as with many other things - education, government, manufacturing, employment ,...) there is a wave pattern between key trends, an ongoing shift between local versus remote infrastructure. Like so many other technologies that have experienced the hype of being "the future", I have little doubt that over time the externally hosted cloud, and the type of infrastructure solutions that it offers, will find an appropriate place like so many before it. Concerns about privacy rights, ownership and access are going to push a large number of organizations back to hosting their own solutions locally, the cost of doing so being mediated by the value of better control over their information and content. It was always an inevitability, just a matter of the right circumstances driving the shift.

Build your own damn internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477121)

If you don't want the NSA to look at your data, build your own damn internet.

I guess everyone WAS born yesterday (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44477175)

There is nothing new here.
Remember the origins of Red Star Linux.
http://www.nwo.net/osall/News/Old_News/NSA_Backdoor_/nsa_backdoor_.html
As long as China keeps getting the full source for Microsoft products, why should they care?

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