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risks of dragnet surveillance in india and U.S. for Zack

a guest Mar 5th, 2015 267 Never
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  1. @ Zack
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  3. You're post is weak and one-sided. There's bigger issues going on. The reason for the surveillance dragnets popping up all over the world is control. One use of control is security. Another is identifying or stifling dissent. In U.S., we've seen it with Hoover controlling Congress for decades with surveillance/blackmail, CIA hacking them to remove evidence in torture investigation, NSA allegedly looking at porn habits of dissenters, and so on.
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  5. In India, corruption is pervasive in police and intelligence forces. I recall the girl that escaped sex trafficking who went to the police: the police gang raped her, returned her to her "owners," and proceeded to take their cut. Business as usual. Across the board, the Indian police and military have been ineffective in their expensive programs. Probably just more lucrative for people involved to prolong skimming opportunities. ;) Good people in India, esp activists, would be in great danger if Indian government could track them anymore than they do. Terrorists would just stop using Blackberries and I doubt many are in first place given preference for burner phones with codewords.
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  7. "The US and the UK have had very few terrorist attacks since September 11th, as a benchmark, though not proving a connection between intercepted data and preventing attacks, but makes the case more likely. "
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  9. There were few terrorist attacks in the United States from 1960-2000 without dragnet surveillance. QED.
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  11. "BlackBerry Messenger, however, is secure. "
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  13. FBI and NSA argued that, too. Even though Snowden leaks said they could compromise Blackberry's. They did that with Skype, too: getting its servers into U.S. jurisdiction, lying that it was stopping policework so crooks would use it, and then listening to their conversations. The Blackberry OS itself is rated Common Criteria EAL4+: "protects against casual or accidental attempts to breach security." Aka "certified insecure." [1] Blackberry is swiss cheese like the others. You just have to work to find the holes: get a 0-day, hit it with a kit like Hacking Team's, and connect it to a command and control network. Chinese, like NSA/FBI, wouldn't try to publicize that they can hack a phone because their targets would use a different one. What a backdoor really gives them is seemless, automated, mass access. The kind that lets them study everyone without a warrant or evidence of criminal intent. "Presumed guilty until proven innocent by surveillance," I call it.
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  15. "But those in an area of uncertainty around terrorism and national security, the need to accept certain 'breaches' in civil liberties are almost necessary to prevent societal damage. "
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  17. It's true under one assumption: you can trust the government not to hurt you. In the U.S., we have an adversarial legal system that has the world record in locking up citizens with 97% never standing trial [2]. The terrorist cases FBI stopped were later found to have been *created* by FBI: undercovers pushing a malcontented person into doing something, even giving plans, and then arresting them for terrorism. [3] Is such behavior stopping terrorism or keeping us safe? (teaching/convincing terrorists?) In India, plenty of "societal damage" [4] is caused by dirty cops and crooks they work with every year. The reduction of civil liberties in each country will do damage to hundreds or thousands of people a year. While *maybe* stopping a plot of some kind, some time, and indeterminate amount of damage. Doesn't sound like a great tradeoff now, huh?
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  19. Meanwhile, surveillance or not, someone can always use others' wifi to learn how to make a bomb, buy ingredients in cash, and deploy in crowded area. Terrorism can't be stopped: you just go on living your life and let police go after killers. That's how Europe handled it. They're still here. Besides, we got to test the theory in Boston. Guy visited red flag countries, posted his anti-American intent on social media, Googled bomb-making, and Russia even warned the U.S. about him specifically. Every chance in the world to detect him. Didn't amount to shit and people died anyway. Although, they have been using parallel construction [5] to convict people of fraud and drug running based on secret evidence. You'll see expansions of that rather than successes in terrorism given such police state activities are the real purpose of these programs.
  20.  
  21. Nick P,
  22. Security Engineer/Researcher
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  24. [1] https://web.archive.org/web/20040214043848/http://eros.cs.jhu.edu/~shap/NT-EAL4.html
  25. (Note: Shapiro is a top security researcher and engineer. One of the few to have built a very, secure OS: EROS. He breaks down how modern security evaluations work and why almost everything on the market is certified insecure.)
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  27. [2] http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/nov/20/why-innocent-people-plead-guilty/
  28. (Note: Above excellent essay is written by a former prosecutor and judge.)
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  30. [3] https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/03/creating_and_en.html
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  32. [4] Societal damage = wrongful imprisonment, robbery, rape, torture, murder. I like your euphemism, though. Makes it sound more acceptable and casual.
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  34. [5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-van-buren/parallel-construction-unc_b_5606381.html
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