back to article Anonymity is the enemy of privacy, says RSA grand fromage

A dogmatic allegiance to anonymity is threatening privacy, according to Art Coviello, executive chairman of RSA. Coviello cast anonymity as the "enemy of privacy" because it gives "free reign to our networks to adversaries" with "no risk of discovery or prosecution." The head of EMC's security division told delegates at the RSA …

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From the official NSA handbaook

"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength"

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Re: From the official NSA handbaook

The only true secret is the one that everybody knows ... grasshopper.

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Terminator

"Drone Signature Strikes" in your neighborhood? SOON!

Precrime here.

We have detected suspicious behaviour in your immediate future.

Step away from the keyboard and show your hands. We have the permission to use deadly force!

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Re: From the official NSA handbaook

Paraphrase: "We have to destroy privacy in order to save it!"

To quote the guys from CarTalk: "BoooOOOoooOOOOooooGUS!! That's bogus!"

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Big Brother

"Customers are caught in a Catch-22. They're afraid to deploy technology for fear of violating workers' privacy" even though security intelligence tools are ultimately the best way to protect personal information, Coviello argued.

*****

Read as: "we've just spent a fortune developing a big data analysis tools but since the NSA leaks none of our customers want to be seen as collecting private information".

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Sounds illogical to me

But hey, not an expert.

I would like to note, though, that even though people might claim a historical right to privacy, it is much harder to claim a historical right to anonymity. Before the internet, anonymity was strictly the domain of ROMANES EUNT DOMUS graffitis, anonymous letters, and possibly certain private clubs for the connoisseurs.

I'm old enough to remember the articles in the early noughties commenting how all this "newsgroup trolling" and general uncivility on the Web were due to this strange and novel anonymity enjoyed by Internet users.

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Executive chairman bites himself in the arse

> with "no risk of discovery."

Errm. That sounds to me like a very good definition of privacy, but has nothing to do with anonymity. You don't need to know someone's identity to catch them if they're performing a criminal act - just ask any policeman.

As for giving free reign to "our networks"? Well, no. You can still have security at the point of entry to the network - or even at sensitive nodes within it. However the privacy element still holds: that if someone wants to say or do something once they have been validated and allowed access, their right to do or say that privately can be upheld.

The problem is that the NRSA don't have the skills or ability to properly determine who are the righteous folk who should be allowed in and who should not. That's their failing to keep security up to speed with network development.

Of course, that doesn't mean people should be allowed anonymous access to sensitive, secret or vital infrastructure. But only a damn fool would permit those anywhere near a public network.

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Anonymous Coward

anonymity as the "enemy of privacy" because it gives "free reign to our networks to adversaries" with "no risk of discovery or prosecution."

“When we understand the context of people’s ‘normal’ behaviour or how information flows... we can more clearly and quickly spot even a faint signal of any impending attack or intrusion...This is what makes intelligence-driven security future-proof. It eliminates the need for prior knowledge of the attacker or their methods.”

What's that movie where they can prevent crimes BEFORE it happens called again? If these security facist have their way nobody is allowed to wear clothes for fear of what might be strapped underneath. The problem with the NSA and GCHQ with the use of private individual information IS the fact that they're being built on the assumption that everyone is/will be guilty of a crime at some point in time in the future.

If they were responsible and trustworthy, this isn't so bad, but that's the problem, they're humans too. So they're by their very nature, not trustworthy. Fears of these information being used for citizen blackmail is very valid and has precedence that predates the internet. We couldn't have fought so hard for a free and democractic society only to be enslaved by our own governments and the people in "power" once again.

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Anonymous Coward

Just what i was thinking

The movie you are thinking of is i think, "Minority Report" ....

“When we understand the context of people’s ‘normal’ behaviour or how information flows on our networks, we can more clearly and quickly spot even a faint signal of any impending attack or intrusion, ” Coviello explained, “This is what makes intelligence-driven security future-proof. It eliminates the need for prior knowledge of the attacker or their methods.”

This is all a little scary to me - if there is a 98% probability of your behaviour predisposing that you will cause "a crime" - then does this mean that 2% of those stopped / incarcerated / thrown into Abu Graib / cautioned / renditioned (delete as applicable) would have been innocent - "a faint signal of any impending attack" - might be a load of bollox!

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Big Brother

Minority Report

Around here you'd be better off asking "what's that short story..."

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WTF?

Sorry, what?!

See if I've got this right: He's basically saying that "You can have privacy, but only if we know who you are and can prove it?" Screw that. If I want privacy, I do NOT want someone watching me and knowing who I am as I do whatever it is that I do. I think the man's been drinking too much java.

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Big Brother

Attacks and intrusions will never be prevented by eliminating privacy/anonymity. Most network attacks are launched from distributed networks of infected systems. So the identity of the attack source is easily spoofed. And when the brains siting at the command and control systems are eventually found, odds are they will be resident in a country that refuses to take action against them.

This just sounds like the complaints of a Big Data vendor who has had a couple of major customers have second thoughts.

The real Big Brothers here are the commercial interests that will be harmed if corporations and even the NSA no longer buy their data warehouse solutions.

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Privacy can be improved if your 'customers' stop grabbing on to every bit of data they can nab from their user base and hold onto it forever. I don't see how knowing who usernames are in real life can help the users protect their privacy.

What's needed to protect users' privacy is TOR built in at the OS level

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Angel

Eh?

"Customers are caught in a Catch-22. They're afraid to deploy technology for fear of violating workers' privacy"

It's a question of trust, Art.....Basically they're saying they don't trust you.!!

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Privacy - being able to say something to someone else without anyone else listening in.

Anonymity - Being able to say something without anyone knowing who said it.

Surveillance - Monitoring what's been said by everyone

It seems to me that the RSA spokesman is confusing anonymity with privacy.

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So basically we should have MODERATE privacy...

...so law enforcement, secret services, laywers, ISP:s, copyright organizations, employers, prospective employers -- in short everyone + dog EXCEPT private citizens -- can track and monitor us on the net, instead of the excessive privacy we have today when we may say things which might upset our governments, RIAA or Paris Hilton without anyone knowing it was us who said it.

And the irony of it is that this "excessive" privacy is already mostly an illusion, at least in Europe, where in most countries ISP:s are required to keep records of what you do on the, for law enforcement to peruse at their convenience.

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Sounds like the chap needs to buy a bloody dictionary.

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Anonymous Coward

There it is...

Someone finally said it. Our "security" is only necessary with the elimination of personal privacy.

Obama and the US Gov will continue to issue soothing statements like "we are currently reviewing" and "we are examining how to protect peoples privacy" until the furor dies down and they carry on as usual.

It's the same things they said about the PATRIOT Act and Guantanamo. They're still around.

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Say what?

How come fucking spooks, and plod are always somehow granted anonymity when caught fucking over the populace?

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Headmaster

RSA Royale with Cheese

Btw, it is "Grand Fromage" in french.

"Grande" sounds spanish. Nobody likes the Spanish Inquisition.

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Re: RSA Royale with Cheese

"Nobody likes the Spanish Inquisition."

More to the point, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

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Anonymous Coward

Newspeak taken directly from 1984.

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Anonymous Coward

FUD

I'm not sure who I feel more sorry for, those that spout this crap or those that believe it.

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Re: FUD

Anonymous Coward, I’d feel more sorry for those who believe it. They who spout it on behalf of their employers at least receive remuneration for their actions.

Regarding Whitelegg’s observation, please don’t take the views of Coviello, Schmidt, McNealy, et al. as being representative of all 310+ million of us.

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WTF?

Was this not the company whose security tools got royally shafted?

And their customers (many of them US Megacorps) showing open doors to visiting malware installers?

Beelzebub will be toting a pair of ice skates before I take a lecture from this little t**d.

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Alien

Looks as if....

.....The Aliens have finally 'Microchipped' Art Coviello.

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Anonymous Coward

Against Anonymity?

He's just annoyed that both he and I have the same initials.

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Pedant alert

'Free rein' not 'free reign'. It came from horse-riding, when you dropped your hands and left the rein free, and the horse could do what it pleased.

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An form of words worthy of a politician

“The European Union was built on its citizens' rights, including the right to privacy, a right the EU wishes to see exercised online, whereas the US view tends to be 'privacy is dead' .."

The USA was also built on its citizens rights and over a long time it has mutated into what it is now. What will the European Union mutate into after a few more decades, or less time than that?

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Re: An form of words worthy of a politician

"What will the European Union mutate into after a few more decades, or less time than that?"

If the USA's government and intelligence community get their deserved punishment for their attitudes on privacy, government transparency, human rights and respecting their own laws, there's a good chance that the EU will think twice before putting itself in that kind of situation.

While this would delay the coming of the Panopticon dystopia, it's not a true solution, just a temporary palliative. The solution would be having a vigilant, well informed and well educated public.

Yeah, I'll keep on dreaming. :0(

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Pirate

Where's John McAfee when you need him?

Waiting on my "darknet" box.

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Wow...

Wow, this talks me into not buying products from RSA. I mean, with this view, it seems almost guaranteed they would put backdoors into it. The fact of the matter is, there ARE security researchers that disrupt meeting places for illicit activities, botnets, and so on. They can't physically arrest them unless they screw up due to anonymity, this is true. But the realistic fact is the agencies that the RSA head honcho expects people to not worry about and give up their privacy to, are running amok with no checks and balances whatsoever.

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Coffee/keyboard

Anonymity is the enemy of...

SPPPHBBLLRRRRTTT BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHH

You bastards.

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FAIL

Sure ...

Always a pleasure to hear from the folks at The Ministry of Truth.

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Headline says: "There's only one letter between RSA and NSA, after all"

I count 3...

N - O - P - Q - R

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Anonymous Coward

It's an out-by-one error. They're quite common.

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FAIL

Privacy without anonymity???

Privacy without anonymity relies on the benign intentions of the data-collecting agency. History shows that even the best intentions have a limited lifetime. So forget about privacy without anonymity.

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Big Brother

Welcome to the machine....

Here, this package contains your pre-screened privacy.

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pre-emptive

It is the reason Iraq and Afghanistan were invaded.

It is why we are all under scrutiny.

The authorities will strike anyone before they have a chance to strike.

They have re-written the rules of war.

We are all the enemy, know your enemy.

They have been drinking the Kool-Aid.

I won't drink the Kool-Aid,

I chose life.

But on the reality side, when I talk to a friend I like to use their name and know who I am talking to.

Nothing worse than this unknown stuff, it's personal, it's nice touchy feely stuff.

We "know" lots of people on-line - hey wait, no we don't.

There's a blank where there should be a face, wouldn't it be more human to have a face to talk to.

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Sounds like a sales pitch to me. If we buy enVision and Authentication Manager we can free our logs of anonymous connections!

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Mushroom

"security and privacy [..] for internet commerce to flourish"

Bollocks.

The only security and privacy that is needed is that of my credit card number for Internet commerce to flourish.

You don't need to monitor my every IP packet for that.

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Anonymous Coward

UUIDs

We should all have an UUID tattooed on our forehead and it must be encapsulated with each packet you send and receive on the internet.

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One question...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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Joke

Flap Flap

And parachutes are the enemy of Skydivers learning how to fly.

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Anonymous Coward

This post may contain

Highly sensitive information that I don't want the NSA to see.

Or then again, it may not...

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Unhappy

I smell a man with a product to sell

To an "unnamed government agency."

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The big problem with the Register is the flaming headines.

Sometimes in British. Sometimes in French. Think of the poor

Canadians monsieur ...

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"Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority"

Period.

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