* Posts by WatAWorld

1014 posts • joined 24 Feb 2012

Ban internet anonymity – says US Homeland Security official

WatAWorld
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Privacy versus Anonymity

Internet anonymity is almost akin to wearing a burka or a ski mask.

Privacy does not require anonymity. Privacy the public not knowing. Anonymity is nobody knowing.

Privacy is something people historically have had going back centuries. Anonymity that few people used to have until most of the population moved to large cities. Even then we lived in communities where everyone knew us. Only transients had anonymity.

Replacing anonymity with privacy would mean less desire to monitor us because there would be less criminal activity on the internet.

Replacing anonymity with privacy would mean less cyber crime because cyber criminals could be more easily tracked and arrested by police.

It is the blanket monitoring of everyone by the NSA, GCHQ, etc. that I most hate.

I think I would give up my internet anonymity in exchange for privacy of a sort where a judicial order would be required to lift my internet aliases to reveal my legal name.

Just think fewer DDoS attacks, fewer viruses, fewer trojans, and less phishing emails -- not zero DDoS attacks, viruses, trojans and phishing emails, fewer. And improved odds of the culprits being found and prosecuted.

That is my current thinking. But again, the sort of privacy where a judicial order would be required to breach my anonymity. Anything easier just leaves us all open to Doxing and dirty tricks by bureaucrats.

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How El Reg predicted Google's sweetheart tax deal ... in 2013

WatAWorld
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It definitely is a sweet heart deal

Google definitely has a sweet heart deal. It has gotten off dirt cheap and I expect the only strong clause in the agreement is the clause preventing any future government going back to collect the correct amount of tax.

If companies deserve to pay as little tax as Google, then reduce the tax rate for all companies.

Why should individuals and other companies be paying taxes to support the technology, legal system, science, and education that Google takes huge advantage of.

It is like the UK's unique tax exemptions for your "non-doms". No sensible country provides government services for next to nothing, and the only senseless country that does is the UK.

Taxation needs to be fair or people and companies will start evading taxes. We'll become like Greece.

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WatAWorld
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Corporate tax is paid for by overpaid employees and shareholders, only overpaid employees.

Corporate tax is paid for by overpaid employees (CEOs, VPs, marketing types) and shareholders.

The Proof:

Imagine Google was taxed fairly.

Whose income would go down?

Workers paid fair-market wages? No, because they'd leave and find other jobs.

Workers paid excessive wages? Yes, if they leave they'll be paid less, so they are willing to stay on at lower wages until their wages reach fair-market levels.

Shareholders? Shareholders are stuck with the balance, what cannot be recovered by reducing wages that exceed fair-market levels comes from shareholders.

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Criminal records checks 'unlawful' and 'arbitrary' rules High Court

WatAWorld
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leads me to believe the story has greater errors and omissions than just the date.

@Cynic, from what I read here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_record#United_Kingdom

what you suggest is how it currently is -- except on enhanced disclosures.

a) Unless the position you are applying for requires an enhanced disclosure your conviction is not disclosed once it is spent.

b) Allegations and not guilty verdicts aren't disclosed either.

"Enhanced disclosures are typically used to screen applicants for positions such as police officer, social worker, teacher which involve contact with vulnerable groups and children."

Which leads me to believe the story has greater errors and omissions than just the messed-up dates.

Possibly she was applying for jobs like police officer, social worker, or teacher. But then I'd expect that the managers for such jobs, and their HR department managers, would have the experience on their own to ignore irrelevant old stuff.

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WatAWorld
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Re: It's a start

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_record#United_Kingdom

"These [ACPO criminal records] records are not publicly accessible and cannot be viewed without the subject's consent, although in some cases an employer might make such consent a condition of employment, especially if the employee is to work with children or other vulnerable people.

The child sex offenders disclosure scheme allows parents and guardians to ask the police if someone with access to a child has a record for child sexual offences.[94]

Information supplied depends on the level of disclosure required. Low-level disclosures only reveal unspent convictions (convictions which have not yet been expunged under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974), while enhanced disclosures normally include all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.

An enhanced criminal record certificate may contain relevant information that need not relate solely to criminal matters.[95]

Arrests that do not lead to an official finding of guilt, i.e. a conviction or the acceptance of a caution, are not considered part of a person's criminal record and are not typically disclosed as part of the process.

However, an enhanced disclosure may include such additional information, which is supplied at the Chief Police Officer's discretion.

Enhanced disclosures are typically used to screen applicants for positions such as police officer, social worker, teacher which involve contact with vulnerable groups and children."

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WatAWorld
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@Cynic,

From Wikipedia:

"Under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, the Act as it applies in England and Wales was updated to provide new rehabilitation periods – with most convictions becoming spent in a shorter amount of time.[3] For adults, the rehabilitation period is one year for community orders, two years for custodial sentences of six months or less, four years for custodial sentences of over six months and up to and including 30 months, and seven years for custodial sentences of over 30 months and up to and including 48 months. Custodial sentences of over four years will never become spent and must continue to be disclosed when necessary. The rehabilitation period starts after the offender has completed his/her sentence, this includes time on license. "

That makes so much sense !

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WatAWorld
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Re: It's a start

My understanding is that in Canada unproven allegations and not guilty verdicts do not go on the version criminal record disclosed to anyone but police officers, prosecutors, defending lawyers, and court officials.

So a potential employer would never see it.

That is how it should be.

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WatAWorld
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Conceal minor offenses after 10 years

For minor convictions the record should automatically be concealed from records disclosed to employers (landlords, etc.) after 5 years -- provided there is are no further convictions.

Both burglary and embezzlement should exclude employment in certain occupations, and they are neither sexual nor violent offences. Probably burglaries and embezzlements should be concealed from records after 10 years -- provided there is are no further convictions.

Canada currently has a system somewhat like that, except that the concealment (formerly mis-named 'pardon') has to be paid for, your lawyer's fees plus a $400 application fee. (Lawyers want the $400 fee reduced to $100, probably so they increase their bills by $300.)

So far as I know Canada's system works fine.

But for juveniles, I don't agree that what happens before age 18 should disappear from your the records available to employers at age 18. That is how it is in Canada, do something at 17-1/2 and nobody can know about it. I think what you do up to age 16 should be kept secret. But what you do between age 16 and 18 should hang around at least until age 21, age 25 if it is sexual or violent.

For adults there should be a process to provide earlier record concealment, where a junior judge would look at a person's work history and lifestyle, and if _remarkable_ changes had occurred be able to issue an earlier concealment order, as little as half the time. (A wealthy person who can afford a great lawyers continuing to be wealthy is not be a remarkable change. Likewise being poor and eligible for free legal aid and continuing to be poor and eligible for free legal aid is not a remarkable change.)

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Samsung sued over 'lackadaisical' Android security updates

WatAWorld
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Lack of security updates for Android is the big opening for Microsoft

Lack of security updates for Android is the big opening for Microsoft to grab cellphone market share in non-luxury cellphones.

(Of course Apple has the luxury 'snob goods' cell market sewn up.)

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WatAWorld
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Re: Move along, nothing to see

So only 3 years of support? Thank you for warning me.

Mind you, what is the average service life of a cell phone? Turns out in both the USA and Canada it is 18 months.

https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/oca-bc.nsf/eng/ca02267.html

http://www.informinc.org/pages/media/the-secret-life-series/the-secret-life-of-cell-phones/faq-secret-life-of-cell-phones.html

Still, you have a good point. If 18 months is average, some are lasting over 3 years. And even though a cellphone does not have the longevity of a desktop computer, there should be security updates for it for 4 to 5 years.

(And as cellphone technology plateaus, that average of 18 months will extend somewhat.)

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WatAWorld
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Excellent and long overdue

Excellent and long overdue. I'm surprised US lawyers haven't already started a class action suit along these lines.

Of course here the cell companies would need to be sued as well, because they are a second roadblock to updates. Any suit would need to name both the phone maker and the cell company as respondents.

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GCHQ spies quashed this phone encryption because it was too good against snoopers

WatAWorld
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So GCHQ wants to help the terrorists and Russians?

By helping prevent good encryption for individuals and businesses GCHQ has helped organized crime, terrorists and enemy nations.

Weak encryption and backdoors help terrorists and enemy nations access the building plans, work schedules and standard operating procedures of civilian facilities that can then be subjected to terrorist attacks.

Weak encryption helps organized crime and rogue nations steal money from our investment accounts.

Weak encryption allows organized crime, terrorists and enemy nations to acquire blackmail material with which to pressure us, our legislators and our government employees.

Weak encryption and backdoors enable the companies and agencies of those competitor nations, to steal our trade and financial secrets.

GCHQ and the NSA need weak encryption to keep us safe?

No weak encryption makes us vulnerable to organized crime, terrorists and (enemy) spy agencies, and their theft of our assets and their blackmail of us, our elected representatives, and our government employees.

How will future elected represent us when our spy agencies have dossiers on them going back decades to their childhood? Our country will become a Chekist state.

Any politician who supports weak encryption is supporting the enemies of our nation and the democratic principals of our freedom.

Any government agency asking for weak encryption is asking to make us vulnerable to our enemies and to turn our nation into a Chekist state.

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Waving Microsoft's Windows 10 stick won't help Intel's Gen 6 core

WatAWorld
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Re: Innovation?

The lowest cost hardware solution is usually to keep the old hardware.

That doesn't help hardware vendors sell hardware products.

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WatAWorld
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The mainframe returns.

You know the original VM operating system was an IBM operating system that ran on mainframes. Each user had their own virtual mainframe.

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WatAWorld
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Re: Unless we get "incremental updates...

Exactly. Windows 10 on desktops comes up with the desktop by default.

On desktops you have to dig inside the settings to turn the Metro interface on.

As you've seen, Windows 10 looks exactly like Windows 7 for regular users, even technical users. The only noticeable differences are what the Start button brings up (icon-like tiles instead of actual icons) and the selection of themes is still quite limited (only 2-D -- too plain and too white on a large screen).

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WatAWorld
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Re: There has been a dearth of PC innovation, 'tis true

Intel chips run a variety of OSs.

It is consumers' choices, OEMs' choices, retailer's choices, that so many Intel chips run Windows.

Expecting Intel to sell your favorite OS option for you is as silly as a hardware company expecting Microsoft to sell its hardware.

If Linus Torvalds isn't doing a good job of fronting and selling Linux, replace him. Make him VP of technology or something.

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WatAWorld
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Re: Bassackwards

But they do pick the computer along with the OS.

They could choose Linux or Mac OS. They choose not to choose it.

So retailers choose not to offer much Linux.

Retailers do offer Mac OS, but people don't choose it, usually due to the very high purchase price.

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WatAWorld
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Re: Let me get this straight...?

"Let's pretend that we are in fact talking about security that is entirely chip-based. How does it get updated when it inevitably is popped? "

You're wondering if this hardware feature will help hardware companies sell hardware?

It probably will. (It will certainly sell more hardware than hoping some software company will sell it for them.)

Other person's question: Will it be hacker-proof?

No, but it will automatically secure your desktop when you walk away from it at your office. It sounds like it will secure at least as effectively as manually locking the screen or signing off. Similar with laptops.

It also won't protect against nuclear attack.

It is just an extra layer of security to automatically lock or shutdown your computer when you wander away from it.

Of course it can be hacked. Any non-trivial software and hardware can be hacked. I think it is silly when people in our industry and the tech press keep expecting otherwise when they've already been provided with so much 'proof it is thus' by so many vendors and so many open source projects.

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WatAWorld
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As well as technical need and prestige, there is the aspect of tax laws, that vary year-to-year and country-to-country.

If your country changes the minimum depreciation period for hardware it affects what the beancounters will suggest for replacements.

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WatAWorld
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Laziness of sales and marketing VPs

It is not Microsoft's job to sell other companies' computers.

As far as not supporting old operating systems on new computers, Apple has always had that police and nobody complained.

If hardware makers don't like MS, they can always use Linux or create their own OS (like Apple and Google did).

It is just laziness on the parts of VPs of sales and VPs of marketing at hardware vendors. They aren't getting results selling their products, so they've turned to selling CEOs and shareholders on their lame excuses.

Companies wanting to run old operating system version for decades to come? They can do what SCADA companies have always done, which is to buy still produced and still widely available older CPUs and chipsets.

One thing I will agree with, MS has been far too aggressive in pushing Windows 10. The nag screens and upgrade prompts should appear not more than once a week. Instead I've seen them appearing almost daily on some computers.

I made the step from Windows 7 to 10 on my home computer and it has been great. No issues, other than the currently available screens are too plain and flat. It is fast too. And the optimizations they're still making so it will run on phones are making it run even faster.

Windows 10 is terrific and I urge everyone to upgrade their personal 'at home' computers to it asap.

But yeah, MS should not be so aggressively pushing Windows 10.

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GCHQ summer schools to pay teenage hackers £250 a week

WatAWorld
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Dieter, you've nailed it

Training kids in hacking and turning them loose on the world.

Push up the rate of cybercrime to Russian levels and justify widespread total surveillance of us all.

The UK is well on the path to Chekism.

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WatAWorld
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They'll be taught hacking techniques and turned lose on the world.

They'll be taught hacking techniques and turned lose on the world.

Most of them won't stay with GCHQ, and those that do will rise to executive ranks.

Either way, vetting and ethical training are vital.

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WatAWorld
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gossiping about sexts while perusing the nude selfies of teenage girls

"While the private sector will often be able to offer a more financially lucrative career, GCHQ can compete on the value of our Mission."

Plus, if it is anything like the NSA, there is the seemingly potential opportunity of gossiping about sexts while perusing the nude selfies of teenage girls.

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Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

WatAWorld
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Where was the outrage all these years of Apple having this policy?

Apple has never supported its new OSes only old computers.

Where was your hobbyist outrage then?

It was such a non-concern most people didn't even know it.

And there are some companies that predominantly use Apples. Mac dominate in graphics arts companies. And even their tech departments can cope with it.

Take Linux as another example. Linux often doesn't support new hardware. Since Linux's creation users have been stuck appealing for volunteers to write drivers for them.

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WatAWorld
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Re: Mint Imperial?

The problem with Linux is that it is open source.

Open source was supposed to be "bug free" and "vulnerability free" because so many people would be donating their time to checking it over, debugging it and testing it.

Well it has turned out that far more people have far more thoroughly examined and tested Windows than Linux.

It isn't just that it is open source, although as Poodle proved with OpenSSL, even vast market dominance won't get the personpower necessary to test and probe shareware sufficiently.

OS X is not thoroughly tested either, because it is not so popular as Windows, the hackers can't be bothered, and Apple doesn't bother because hackers don't bother.

That extensive testing and probing by hackers of MS products is why targeted organizations like banks and governments use MS rather than products "designed for security from the ground up".

Designed for security, yes. But tested and probed sufficient to actually deliver security? No !

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WatAWorld
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Re: Big shift for enterprise customers!

SCADA OEMs still buy 20 year-old CPUs.

For example, Intel announced that 80386 production would stop at the end of September 2007.

And that merely meant they stopped making new ones. There was still a stock pile to be used up.

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WatAWorld
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Re: I just don't get the Windows 10 hate

"Read the bit that says they keep your login credentials. Can you find anything that limits it to login credentials to their services?"

There is common law and judicial precedent that when you are the one writing the contract any ambiguities are interpreted against you.

Microsoft wrote the contract therefore "login credentials" would be interpreted narrowly, in other words applying only to MS's products and services.

BTW, do you sign on each time you use The Register or iTunes -- or do you allow The Reg and Apple to store your login credentials?

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WatAWorld
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Re: @DougS

DougS, I have not read any credible claims that MS _sells_ the telemetry from Windows 10 to anyone. Do you have any links to the contrary?

All the actual data out there on what it is used for is to debug, tweak, and adjust the OS and the third party software that runs on it.

So the data from Windows 10 might go to third parties, but it would only be data relevant hangs and crashes of that particular third party's software when it runs on Windows 10.

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WatAWorld
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The default in Windows 10 installed on a desktop computer is desktop mode.

@Erik4872 "Microsoft is making It very difficult for average users to use their PCs in non-smartphone mode"

Windows 10 completely solves that issue. To get desktop Windows 10 into smartphone mode you have to dig in the settings and actually change them.

The default in Windows 10 installed on a desktop computer is desktop mode.

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WatAWorld
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Is the tech press so desperate for readers that it has to appeal to Apple Fanbois?

Is the tech press so desperate for readers that it has to appeal to Apple Fanbois?

Is there no press left that caters to IT professionals instead of hobbyists?

Windows 10 is actually very good. Fast, new but with a number of bugs more in keeping with an OS that is several years old.

I do agree that MS has gone overboard with the upgrade prompts -- there should be no more than one prompt per week. But Windows 10 is vastly superior to Windows 7 in speed and security, and probably even has fewer bugs.

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WatAWorld
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There is no shortage of cut-price older model CPUs for those wanting to run old operating systems.

And that is what companies that really want to run Windows 7 will use.

Using older model CPUs has always been standard procedure for makers of SCADA systems which are tightly married to CPU architectures.

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Australia and America working on global no-state-hacking pact

WatAWorld
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Stndrd USA signing stmt, "nothing in this treaty affects our right to do what we want"

The USA will append a signing statement to its seal on any pact like it does with most treaties. It will be wording to the effect, "The United States of America's signature on this treaty is dependent on its interpretation that nothing in the treaty affects the United States right to do ..." whatever the treaty was supposed to limit or prohibit.

The only way the USA would even _maybe_ follow a 'no hacking' treaty would be to require signatories of the treaty to pass national laws, national laws making it a felony crime for any members of their own military, police and other government employees to hack.

It would be nice to have a world governed by laws, but the fact remains the UN Security Council has nations on it that regard laws as not applying to them. Especially most permanent members of the UNSC have no feeling of national honor that requires them to honour their nation's freely given signature and seal on international treaties.

The UN Security Council is as bad as the worst of any US police force in its level of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

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El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

WatAWorld
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Re: Carri on fighting

Good idea for a house robot. Maybe they'd let The Reg provide a house robot.

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WatAWorld
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Re: A no-brainer, Shirley?

Nest shapped, with tow vulture heads sticking out. A vulture head on side as the pecker weapon, and a vulture head on the other side as the flipper weapon.

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WatAWorld
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Magnet on an arm to help flip the unflippable

I like the flipper ideas, I think they did really well last time, except some opponents were almost unflippable.

I suggest considering a magnet on an arm to enable getting the flipper underneath the unflippable.

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WatAWorld
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Re: Web of Death

I think I've found a loophole.

The way I read it, it is okay if I use a miniature black hole, provided I'm not spiraling hydrogen into it at light speed so as to generate offensive cosmic rays.

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WatAWorld
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If you'll be competing against other companies, sure

If you'll be competing against other companies, colleges and universities, sure, definitely enter Robot Wars !

If you'll be competing against 7 year-old kids, meh, no.

That was the thing with the original Robot Wars, you'd get teams of engineers against a father and his 7 year-old daughter. It was too embarrassing even to just watch.

They should have a separate league table for the different classes of competitor.

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Oh UK.gov. Say you're not for weakened encryption – Google and Facebook

WatAWorld
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Re: off topic

It would certainly make finding partners for kinky sex a lot easier for those lucky enough to be civil servants.

Also having ready access to your teenage daughters sext messages would reduce the time spent hunting for amature porn sites.

Plus no need to strike for higher wages when you can simply choose investments based on the internal mails of company directors.

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WatAWorld
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Re: No need to weaken encryption

And just to make sure nobody forgets that week's national password, stickers could be mailed out to be stuck on the bottom of everyone's keyboard.

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WatAWorld
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Re: Wrong debate

Asking for a back door is by definition asking for encryption to be weakened.

You can't create an encryption system where there are extra backdoor keys that are distributed to the NSA, GCHQ, CSEC, and their counterparts in Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China, Germany, France, Congo, Nigeria, Myanmar, etc. without weakening security.

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WatAWorld
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You guys can rage on about "Tory Ministers" but remember it was Labour

You guys can rage on about "Tory Ministers" but remember it was "Labour" who set the precedents with the RIP Act.

Labour or Tory, Democrat or Republican, they all act the same, probably because they're all acting on 'orders' from their secret police overlords. (Maybe not 'orders', but 'recommendations they dare not question'.)

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WatAWorld
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Chekism is where we're headed.

from Wikipedia: "Chekism (from Cheka, the first Soviet secret police organization) is a term to describe the situation in the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia, where the secret political police control everything in society."

If we are not already there, Chekism is where we're headed.

Our secret police (GCHQ) will have so much on so many Britons there will be no pool of future politicians who could defy them.

Look already at how the NSA and GCHQ have done universal internal spying against the wishes of and formal testimony made to the lawmakers of the USA and UK, and look at how there has been no repercussions for those who either broke the law by spying internally or broke the law by perjuring themselves.

It is only a matter of time before our secret police exert the same supreme control on our industry that they do on our government.

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Windows 10 phones are not dead yet. Acer, Alcatel OneTouch just made some new ones

WatAWorld
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Why Windows Phones? Security and learning curve.

The impossibility of getting security fixes for mid-range and budget priced Android phones is going to drive those consumers who cannot afford to pay through their eye teeth for iPhones to seek alternatives. This is the market for Windows Phones.

Also there are a lot of older people who have PCs but do not yet have smart phones. The idea of "a new smart phone they already know how to use" is attractive, even if not totally accurate.

Google and the hardware vendors could have to get together and eliminate the problem of getting security fixes on non-flagship and older flagship phones, but they haven't up to now.

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Did North Korea really just detonate a hydrogen bomb? Probably not

WatAWorld
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Republic of Korea Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, People's Liberation Army Air Force.

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WatAWorld
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The UN SC should task China with removing the North Korea's monarchy

The UN SC should task China with removing the North Korea's herditary dictatorship.

North Korea is a threat to 2 countries, China and South Korea.

China might have favoured NK back when NK had some claim to being a communist country, but monarchies are not communist states.

There is no denying North Korea is as much or more a totalitarian dictatorship as Saudi Arabia. Probably the only thing stopping China is the fear that the USA interpret such an invasion as a direct threat to South Korea.

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The sloth is coming! Quick, get MD5 out of our internet protocols

WatAWorld
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Pretty much they always either mention a company that has an add-on or service to circumvent the flaw or they mention the name of the discoverer. So they're either organizational advertising or seeking notoriety.

But a bit of that is acceptable when it serves a useful purpose, which I agree this article does.

(It is those protection racket type disclosures that disclose to criminals very-hard-to-discover (hard to discover because they were previously undiscovered) step by step explicit instructions and tips on how to code the exploit and bypass safeguards that I find morally objectionable. Even personal injury lawyers don't push people under the bus in an attempt to drum up business. But those are much less common than they used to be.)

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Trend Micro: Internet scum grab Let's Encrypt certs to shield malware

WatAWorld
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Re: What....?

The other certificate issuers have your payment information which tends to deter criminals from using their services since payment information can help determine their actual identity.

Let's Encrypt doesn't have that.

Really, what is the point of a certificate system if the certificate system declares it is wide open to undocumented criminal use?

It is glib to say security and identification is someone else's business, when your sole business is providing security and identification.

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WatAWorld
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So how do I remove Let's Encrypt from my list of trusted CAs?

I don't like Let's Encrypt's Terms of Service, so how do I remove them from my list of trusted CAs?

I don't want to do business with them, I shouldn't have them forced on to me.

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Dutch govt says no to backdoors, slides $540k into OpenSSL without breaking eye contact

WatAWorld
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Re: And yet another useless effort

Do you know that lack of encryption did not contribute to those five companies failing?

Let us face it, large companies have many secrets that they strive to keep from competitors. Without encryption mining, finance and high tech companies are vulnerable to spying by competitors and by those foreign governments who charge their security agencies with economic spying (the UK, at least, admits GCHQ has this duty too).

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/16/uk-intelligence-agencies-spy-commonwealth-delegates

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/us/eavesdropping-ensnared-american-law-firm.html

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WatAWorld
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Re: Augh, encryption and Paris.

You're 100% correct that our security agencies do not need backdoors and global spying on peaceful civilians to keep terrorists out. It is a pointless distraction in that regard.

I believe the main use of backdoors to encryption by our security agencies will be for keeping our current and future politicians under control, to keep security agencies' budgets up, to turn our countries into mini-Russias, mini-Chinas and mini-Soviet Unions, where current and past members of security agencies control (and own) both government and industry.

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