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Privacy Advocates Seek Regulation of Surveillance Tech Exports

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the weapons-of-mass-inspection dept.

Privacy 16

Trailrunner7 writes: "The long shadow cast by the use of surveillance technology and so-called lawful intercept tools has spread across much of the globe and has sparked a renewed push in some quarters for restrictions on the export of these systems. Politicians and policy analysts, discussing the issue in a panel Monday, said that there is room for sensible regulation without repeating the mistakes of the Crypto Wars of the 1990s. 'There's virtually no accountability or transparency, while he technologies are getting faster, smaller and cheaper,' Marietje Schaake, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, said during a panel discussion put on by the New America Foundation. 'We're often accused of over-regulating everything, so it's ironic that there's no regulation here. And the reason is that the member states [of the EU] are major players in this. The incentives to regulate are hampered by the incentives to purchase. There has been a lot of skepticism about how to regulate and it's very difficult to get it right. There are traumas from the Crypto Wars. Many of these companies are modern-day arms dealers. The status quo is unacceptable and criticizing every proposed regulation isn't moving us forward.'"

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You are moving forward (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 months ago | (#46581383)

while he technologies are getting faster, smaller and cheaper,...The status quo is unacceptable and criticizing every proposed regulation isn't moving us forward.

You said yourself you are in fact moving forward, which is what scares you. Don't try to mask attempting to stop or slow that motion as "moving forward".

That's something I cannot stand from politicians, the notion that locking things down is moving anywhere but moving closer to a static non-moving state (which is what government would prefer).

Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46581413)

Wow!

Re: Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46582245)

What a well thought out informed comment you posted. Really added to the discussion. Care to post another?

Re: Ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46582833)

Such comment. Much upvote.

Once again the fox wants to guard the henhouse (4, Interesting)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#46581469)

Once again the foxes want to guard the henhouse after they're caught with blood on their faces and paws, and feathers all over the ground. Why the hell would we want the government to 'regulate' surveillance tech when it is the most abusive offender? The only thing that would come out of this would be that the tech ends up 'reserved' for them and banned from use for everyone else.

Re:Once again the fox wants to guard the henhouse (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 4 months ago | (#46581489)

How else could they live up to their reputation for hypocrisy? But then again they could just being lying again...

Not all of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46581511)

I'm sure they'd at least be letting us still use picks, shovels and sometimes even wooden bowls (with the edges dulled of course so we can't take down a plane)

Re:Not all of it (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 4 months ago | (#46581611)

They should make the pilots wear tin foil to block the government mind control rays as an enhanced 'security'... Ya just never know...

none seem that visible (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 4 months ago | (#46581485)

dunno maybe its just me, but when floating around in space I wouldn't want a suit made of dark blue or grey with goffy swooshes on it, make that thing neon and coat it in a reflective layer so I light up like a road sign if the rope breaks

Re:none seem that visible (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 4 months ago | (#46581487)

ok wrong headline...

Re:none seem that visible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46581527)

Won't that just look like a fat chubby space-seal to those neon 80s starsharks swimming around up there?

Re:none seem that visible (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#46582227)

dunno maybe its just me, but when floating around in space I wouldn't want a suit made of dark blue or grey with goffy swooshes on it, make that thing neon and coat it in a reflective layer so I light up like a road sign if the rope breaks

Agreed, the neon bits would make surveillance that much easier of our citizens. I can understand their desire for secrecy whilst prancing about as glowing grinning gits, but clearly they have no expectation of privacy when doing so. If regulating gangs of manky men roaming the night in stupendous sweat suits isn't the job of the Ministry of Silly Walks, then who is!?

Can't push back a turd (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 4 months ago | (#46581841)


You can't push back a turd. The technology -once it's invented and publicly known- will find a way to everyone interested with a big enough wallet. Drawing lines on a picture of the planet is not going to stop this, no matter how much laws you make up to try and do so.

You can keep the technology to yourself if you're a government secret agency and hope nobody finds out you have something, but if a commercial vendor comes up with a device or technology, it's out and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

Re:Can't push back a turd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46583925)

You hit the nail on the head. Once crypto became something of interest, ITAR became meaningless with countries finding ways around the law, be it scanning printed books with source code (printed books were legal, source code online would be penalized as handing a nuke to some guy out of Bam.)

The same with surveillance/censorship technology. The people who want it have lots of money, and even if it takes physically grabbing a device, putting it on one of their own ships and heading back to Elbonia with it, they have that.

It has been illegal for everyone else (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46581917)

Many of the techniques used the same one that lands you and me in jail with hacking charges.
Even in some documentaries about these techniques the police believes it is legal what they are doing.
Then we have the lawful intercept, which is scary. For more info, see 'Black Hat DC 2010: Exploiting Lawful Intercept to Wiretap the Internet': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkUN_8Lv86I

So basically, it is not the export of tech that is the problem, it is that government and law enforcers breaks the laws that is the problem.

Arms Dealers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46582149)

Just make sure the crypto itself isn't classified as a weapon. Just the breaker tech.

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