back to article Hillary Clinton: Stop helping terrorists, Silicon Valley – weaken your encryption

Hillary Clinton has joined a growing number of politicians using the Paris attacks earlier this month to argue for a weaker encryption. Speaking at Council on Foreign Relations in Washington Thursday, the presidential candidate talked extensively about Islamic State, the recent attacks in Paris and what the US government could …

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Unhappy

Re: Restrict guns, not encryption

Personally I am more scared about the prospect of a post antibiotic world than I am of a terrorist event.

It's odd how that 'little' piece of news has been left out of the mainstream news the last week or so.

Considering the rise of TB and other diseases in the UK, we all have a lot more to worry about than a few nutters with guns/bombs* if a resistant strain develops.

*I'm not trying to reduce the events in Paris or underestimate their impact to those involved, but in a like for like comparison the threat of drug resistant diseases is a FAR greater risk.

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To the "if you've got nothing to hide..." brigade I would ask do you have locks on your toilet doors? Or curtains on your windows? If so, why?

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Anonymous Coward

Silicon Valley is already in bed with the government. All Hillary is doing is leading you to believe that they're unable to read your communication, while it has been happening all along.

That's what I would do....

The chinese are already developping their own phone OS because they don't trust silicon valley....

Remember how the US accused Huawei of having backdoors in their networking gear... And then it turns out that the NSA had loaded bookdoors onto Cisco Routers :)

Btw - it's the NWSA now...

National Weakened Security Agency

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Oh HiIlary, you need to be on stage, you're so funny talking about things you know little about, you need to concentrate on trying to buy your way in to the Oval Office !

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Clinton: You are with us or against us !

Mrs. Clinton (and other politicians), you are profoundly and fundamentally wrong demanding a weaker encryptions from the Silicon Valley companies:

a. Weaker encryption would not make it easier to stop terrorist activities. There will be other methods of communication, the simplest being public unencrypted but coded messages. Person to person communication could also make it irrelevant the remote snooping on electronic communications.

b. A backdoor to electronic communications granted to a government is by far a much higher risk for human race in general compared with any terrorist group. Even if a government as a hole might not be evil, there will be evil people in ANY government of ANY country that WILL use that backdoor for their own or their party benefits and against the people they should protect.

c. Anybody thinking that granting communications backdoors to a particular government will remain with that government is delusional. The backdoors WILL be leaked to other parties and governments, in the end potentially helping more the exact entities that were supposed to be monitored by the backdoors availability. Mrs. Clinton, do not plan to make USA a North Korea, China or Russia in term of people surveillance.

d. You are deeply wrong to make a statement that “Silicon Valley is viewing the USA government as an adversary”. I would remind you that you are living in USA, a civilized democratic society where there are checks and balances on all government or non-governments activities. Your words that I would translate as “you are with us or against us” is more typical of ISIS ideology not of a USA political party ideology. Silicon Valley companies would like to have the USA and other governments as partners not adversaries. Your words show that is YOU seeing the Silicon Valley companies as adversaries, not the other way around.

e. By the way, what was your reason to use a personal email server while Secretary of State? It should be very clear for everybody that you did it to avoid other government agencies monitoring the content of your emails and have a plausible deniability on your knowledge of situations, actions, assessments and instructions you gave to other people.

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You cannot have a secure society

by denying its members the technology and rights to secure it.

The only alternative (and what Ms. Clinton and others appear to be pushing for) is a gobal totalitarian state in which the government controls every aspect of security.

It must be global, because the technologies and the systems they siupport are global. It must be totalitarian, because it willl be necessary to criminalize the use of those technologies that cannot be controlled by any other means--for examples, 'one time pads' and steganography.

As to the motivation, one need only follow the money, and see who are benefiting from present government cybersecurity initiatives, particularly in the US, the UK and China.

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Hey El Reg, could you please start using the more appropriate term for that little terrorist movement that's rolled over Iraq and Syria? Since it's neither a good example of Islam nor a proper state by any definition of the word the only proper thing you can call them is Daesh.

As an added bonus, the bastards hate it.

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@sisk - from the article you linked

"The terror group prefers to be known as the Islamic State, and is averse to any acronyms, especially one politicians are now using more often...the Islamic State reportedly hates 'Daesh' so much that its brutes have threatened to cut out the tongue of anyone using it"

Would it help if we built them a shrubbery?

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Anonymous Coward

Actually, they adhere very faithfully to the Koran and to the behaviour of Mohammad. You are obviously ignorant of what is in the Koran and how abrogation works. There may be other interpretations, but by current Koranic scholarship, ISIL/ISIS/whatever are somewhat purist but doctrinally correct in their interpretation of the Koran. If you disagree you do need to point out where they are incorrect by Koranic standards in their interpretation, and you might find that difficult.

As an example of Islam they are at least as valid as any other and more valid than most. Don't like what they practice ? Blame the source.

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Bed....er.....fellows

Hillary and the lovely Theresa May would probably get on like the proverbial house on fire. Both as ignorant as each other as to how the net actually works and both arrogant as hell.

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Roo
Flame

Re: Bed....er.....fellows

"Hillary and the lovely Theresa May would probably get on like the proverbial house on fire."

If it can be arranged to have them placed inside a house along with a box of matches and a can of petrol I suspect we would find out if that were true pretty quickly. They clearly enjoy playing with fire.

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Fucking clueless

There. I said it. And I fucking mean it.

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Anonymous Coward

I think I can spot the gov't shills...

I love reading and posting comments here. With a few exceptions, comments and postings are intelligent and well thought out. The exceptions, from a certain perspective, frequently look very much like inflammatory "out of left field" contributions from agitators who are deliberately attempting to derail the conversation.

I am reminded of some American slang, from the cold war era, derived from the Russian phrase "agitatsiya propaganda". The slang is: "Agitprop Pusher" one who seizes upon the emotional aspects of controversial issues, intending to arouse his/her audience to indignation and/or action.

My best regards to the El Reg Regulars. Keep up the good work.

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Coffee/keyboard

Let's weaken Hillary instead

Vote NO HILLARY on Election day. She's infected us long enough.

I can't say who to vote for, really. Am leaning toward Jeb Bush and John Kasich, both kinda moderate for Repubs, who have competent advisors (always vote largely based on the advisors). The others are hotheads or have other problems. We need professionals, not hotheads, as the bureacracy in DC is now infested with you know what. Only professionals know where to find them and get them out.

So let's weaken the Hillary encryption, and keep our own. Guns don't cause crimes, people do. Encryption won't cause crimes, people do. TARGET THE PEOPLE. Most of them don't use computer stuff, it's old-school Arab word of mouth mostly in the mosques, hiding behind women and children, putting bombs in schools, etc. Ever since 610 AD, we can predict the tactics.

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Re: Let's weaken Hillary instead

"Am leaning toward Jeb Bush and John Kasich, both kinda moderate for Repubs"

I think Bush is too contaminated by his family links to the Saudi régime to be a safe President. His brother gave the Saudis what they wanted; it would have been cheaper just to give them a trillion dollars to stay in their own country and not stir it up elsewhere. The Bush family are great friends with the bin Ladens, and notice that Osama did not get killed while Bush was in power.

Kasich does sound a lot better, but the problem is that if he becomes President he's going to bring all the crazies with him.

Rule by Hollywood and the civilian bureaucracy or rule by the arms makers and the military bureaucracy? Neither is exactly an optimal choice.

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Thumb Down

That tears it...

I most likely wasn't voting for Hillary anyway, because I don't like dynastic politics in a democracy. My new reason is that she is the kind of person who makes IT support as questions like "Is your computer plugged in?"

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It's already known that the attacks in Paris were initiated after communication over an unsecured channel: SMS. This is already monitored (don't believe for a second that there isn't some shadowy, secretive government agency storing all those messages).

They didn't act on this information because the amount of data they have is way, way too big to do anything meaningful with it. Yet, somehow, we must know all stop using secure communication so that those unreliable secret agencies can gather even more data they won't know what to do with.

As usual - she is a politician after all - she is talking out of her behind.

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Anonymous Coward

France already has the most intrusive data snooping laws in Europe, if not the world and they were unable to stop the attack. Why?

Because, according to reports in France, the murderers used an obscure Moroccan dialect and open channels. Just like the USA did in WWII with the "Code Talkers"!

Banning encryption won't necessarily achieve the results they're hoping for.

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wow.... just wow.

Given her less than stellar track record, I'm not thinking she's the best one to be popping off about what should and shouldn't happen when it comes to security.

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Anonymous Coward

Hillary the idiot

Few people need encryption and it's true that terrorists and digital crims use it. Eradicating all terrorists would go a long ways towards reducing world problems. Cyber crims should be the number two priority but still a very high priority. Hackers and crackers and malware spewers should spend the next 35 years in prison without any chance of an early parole. Pirates should get a minimum 2 yrs. and a high fine. This would remove a lot of scum from society and improve the world immensely while creating jobs building prisons and managing the scum in society.

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How will this work

Let me see. So you want to force US companies to build and use encryption systems with known publicly disclosed back-doors that ISIS could then use. Meanwhile the rest of the world will use encryption systems build in other countries without said back-doors meaning that the US will be able to spy on itself but no one else.

Question how do you build encryption software with back-doors when the only way to build encryption is to open source it. Then someone will see the bug and fix it or it would have to be publicly stated that this bug exists for spying and then no one will use it.

Typical idiot that thinks the world begins and ends with the US.

Also even if they introduce new encryption with back doors ISIS will just continue to use the old stuff or build it's own. Then again they may just revert to sending letters in the post as most spying looks to have moved on from interception physical mail. Heck even a simple formula could be devised to make it unreadable and extremely hard to crack

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Anonymous Coward

Underestimating the bad guys

There is a consistent characteristic of people - that we often underestimate the capabilities of our opponents, particularly if we take pride in the particular endeavour.

Since there are many textbooks in several languages about modern Cryptography, the bad guys can quite easily develop their own and use that. No matter how much huffing and puffing we do, they will have strong crypto.

This battle was lost long long ago.

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Gold badge

Dear Hillary Clinton, and Clipper chip

Dear Hillary Clinton: The industry is not being difficult with you. Strong encryption with a backdoor simply doesn't exist. Encryption with a backdoor tacked on, mathematical analysis will make the backdoor apparent and all too soon this will become useless encryption that anyone who wants to can crack.

I'm voting Libertarian.

--------

Recall the Clipper chip. Introduced 1994 and off the market by 1996. One device (an encrypting telephone) used it. By the time that device even shipped, 2 flaws had been found in the chip that would let the chip encrypt without a recoverable key; it also relied on the algorithm being secret (the chip was a black box with a few commands for setting your key and such, plaintext going in and encrypted data coming out, or encrypted data in and plaintext out.)

So, you would not be able to use some special crypto chip for this like planned in the 1990s, since it needs to run on the existing installed base of phones etc. If the chip design had to be kept confidential, it could not be integrated into the main SoC that the phone or tablet uses, and it seems unlikely phone and tablet makers would want to have to purchase (and find room and power budget for) a single-purpose crypto chip. The Clipper chip was made at a special secure fab facility; it seems likely a chip would not be made on the most modern process (since they won't send it out to a regular fab company.) On-CPU AES acceleration lets modern CPUs encrypt at about 1GB/second or more. It seems to me on the server-side, a) Google, Microsoft, etc. would be quite resistant to being expected to order and install thousands of crypto chips and b) At the scale of Google and Microsoft, they end up pushing the limits of even 10gigabit switches, these chips better be pretty quick to not turn into a big bottleneck.

Doing it in software, you can't keep the algorithm secret. For the usual crypto libraries to support this new algorithm, they'll need specifications to implement an open source implementation. Oh, you're going to ship .o for various CPUs? You forget about the existence of debuggers, these guys and gals that analyze viruses for a living will have no problem turning a .o back into a description of the algorithm.

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Vic

Re: Dear Hillary Clinton, and Clipper chip

Doing it in software, you can't keep the algorithm secret

If there's sufficient value in discovering the secrets, hardware isn't going to keep it secret either.

This is the trouble with all these "eggs in one basket" scenarios; they turn the crypto mechanism into a very tempting target for criminals. Once that target is worth enough, someone will put the cash into breaking into it...

Vic.

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"We need to challenge our best minds"

Hillary you and your idiot friends just don't get it, creating a backdoor is the dumbest idea EVER, if there's a backdoor for government to use, you can bet someone outside of government will find a way through it.

How about you do something constructive and kick a few asses, especially over at DHS considering the audit report on their security and patching.

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SMS

""If you create a product that allows evil monsters to communicate in this way"

In the case of Paris, that is vanilla SMS, so we should ban SMS?!

These people are idiots. Maybe look at the evidence and find out why we failed to uncover the plot that was not using encryption?

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Black Helicopters

Military Intelligence and other Oxymorons

"Regardless, senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who chairs the US Senate Intelligence Committee, went on TV and said..."

Perhaps if they focused on Human Intelligence instead of worrying about SIGINT there would be one less reason to question the collective intelligence of their committees. Terrifyingly it is not only in Washington where they lack intelligence.

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Hillary Clinton: " "So we need Silicon Valley not to view government as its adversary."

Reuters article in May: "A U.S. spying program that systematically collects millions of Americans' phone records is illegal, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday"

Maybe the tech sector will stop viewing the government as its adversary when it stops behaving like an adversary which customers need to be protected from criminal acts by

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Dear Hilary

How about you have yourself a nice hot cup of go fuck yourself.

Signed

The rest of us

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The 2016 election

Brought to you by brawndo the thirst mutilator.

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Anonymous Coward

it's campaign talk

Anyone on board with the interventions being floated by GOP candidates:

regime change, carpet bombing an entire city, making the sand glow (nuclear), killing families of terrorists, massive US troops on the ground.

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The trouble with trusting Hillary Clinton, is that she is a pathological liar, like most politicians, that hold ordinary people in contempt.

That Hillary Clinton and those around her set up a private server is now known. That Barak Obama lied to the American people about it when he said "whenever everyone else learned about it..." is also now known. What is missed is that these people had a need to lie, and, more importantly, they knew such a private server would necessary in concealing information from the citizens of the United States. Donna Brazille attempted to say that the emails were forgeries. She was found to be deceptive. The home server was not set up to be "convenient", but for the purpose of concealing information. This was approved, de facto by the White House, the State Department, and the Justice Department. The information within this private server was not intended for Congress, watchdogs, or the American people to see.

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