back to article Apple and Google are KILLING KIDS with encryption, whine lawyers

Children are being raped, citizens murdered, and lost souls trafficked for sex and the police can't do anything about it thanks to Apple and Google, senior government lawyers and a top cop have claimed. In an op-ed in The New York Times, Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr; Adrian Leppard, commissioner of the City of …

  1. Awil Onmearse

    "Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr; Adrian Leppard, commissioner of the City of London Police; Paris' chief prosecutor François Molins; and Javier Zaragoza, chief prosecutor of the High Court of Spain, said that the current situation is unsupportable and legal changes are needed to keep the public safe."

    Go fuck yourselves. We need to keep ourselves safe from *you*.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Always remember the Rolf Harris video and suspect the people who have to rant about how to protect children.

    2. PleebSmash
      Flame

      "We need to keep ourselves safe from *you*."

      But we need cops to be able to unlock your phone so they can delete the video of police abuse you just recorded!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Solution:

        Just ensure your pictures get immediately uploaded to the cloud.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Solution:

          "Just ensure your pictures get immediately uploaded to the cloud."

          That's not going to help if you're forced to use rubbish cop*-crackable encryption.

          * and the rest

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Solution:

            "That's not going to help if you're forced to use rubbish cop*-crackable encryption..."

            (Different AC but...) Maybe if the "cloud" is Yandex or similar?

    3. Captain DaFt

      "Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr; Adrian Leppard, commissioner of the City of London Police; Paris' chief prosecutor François Molins; and Javier Zaragoza, chief prosecutor of the High Court of Spain, said that the current situation is unsupportable"

      rant/ Damn straight it is! If the NSA and others weren't so keen to siphon up details of personal lives from all and sundry, without due process or a proper warrant, then very few people would even be thinking about encryption.

      Methinks the good gentlemen above should be directing their ire at the Five Eyes, whose abuses are totally responsible for the current mess. /rant

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Coincidence? PR exercise?

      Is it just the countries that have experienced acts of terrorism recently that need to remove encryption? Or am I just being a little thick here?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why single out Google?

      If it makes him feel any better Google has made their full disk encryption such a fail that fewer new phones are using it at all.

  2. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    Tough titty, this is the price we have to pay

    I appreciate your argument but as governments and law enforcement have proved time and again, they cannot be trusted to only use powers for good. Only the other day more stories about something as simple as CCTV operators abusing their positions again by watching and reporting things they have no right to.

    Instead we know full well if we give them a "skeleton key" to unlock average desktop encryption mechanism, they will abuse the privilege and waste time pulling in easy targets like the spotty sod who sells £200 worth of dope or the granny who knocked a few movies off a torrent site, simply because those are easy nicks. They won't bother pulling the real filth who need to be removed from society, as they're harder to catch 'cos they know they're being watched and take extra precautions.

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Facepalm

      Re: Tough titty, this is the price we have to pay

      Your "skeleton key" WILL be left on the bus at the first opportunity!

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Tough titty, this is the price we have to pay

        This is the same argument that the anti-gun lobby uses. Hopefully the anti-encryption lobby will have as much luck as the anti-gun lobby.

        (And I am anti-gun, at least carrying guns in public, going to a gun club is fine) ;-)

    2. Red Sceptic

      Re: Tough titty, this is the price we have to pay

      @cowherder ^ this^100

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tough titty, this is the price we have to pay

      They won't bother pulling the real filth who need to be removed from society

      That's because the "real filth who need to be removed from society" write and oversee and thus place themselves "above" the law.

      They are certainly trying to protect someone but it's fucking obvious that that someone certainly aint "the children" and it certainly aint "us"

    4. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: Tough titty, this is the price we have to pay

      The "skeleton key" was very useful when Gordon Brown discovered the hot bed of international terrorism that was the Icelandic banking sector!

      OK, not encryption related but just about the most egregious over reach of any law enacted for one purpose in another context. Give any one power and they will use it to the fullest extent they can - just because they can.

      1. StephenD

        Re: Tough titty, this is the price we have to pay

        The Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 contains many provisions not related to terrorism, including the ones used in connection with Iceland.

        If Brown had acted under the similar powers when they were in the Emergency Laws (Re-enactments and Repeals) Act 1964 then perhaps Iceland (which was reneging on its agreed responsibilities for its banks) wouldn't have had such a PR coup.

  3. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Utterly pointless. As per usual it would be the normal person who has to comply with no encryption. Since when have criminals given a damn and done what the government want of them. They'd find a way around it and ignore it, because they're criminals and that's what they do duh!

    1. Santa from Exeter

      @ Martin Summers

      But don't forget, if 'The Law Abiding Public' are barred from using encryption, then only criminals will use encryption. Therefore this individual using encryption *must* be a Criminal QED. The Prosecution rests M'Lud

      1. Drs. Security

        Re: @ Martin Summers

        yeah we have seen that one before as well.

        Extremely dangerous.

        Interesting side-effect: all snooping agents who use crypto (of course they keep using it) are then by default criminals as well.

        Though who is going to charge them with that "crime"?

    2. jaffa99

      Yep, criminals will flout the law and use illegal strong encryption. Like in the UK since the gun ban only criminals have them - because they don't obey the law - because they're criminals.

  4. Mark 65

    "Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr"

    Is it just me or does that name sound like it belongs to a criminal?

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Coat

      No. It sounds like something Fry & Laurie would have rejected when writing a skit involving a brash, in-yer-face, hornswaggling yank.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or a NASCAR driver.

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge

        no, that will be his son, Cyrus Vance III known as "Trey"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, only if you think his father was one...

      On the other hand, he IS a politician from New York...

    4. Peter Simpson 1
      Holmes

      Dad was Secretary of State under Carter and Secretary of the Army under Kennedy and Johnson

  5. MathsFail

    I like what they're saying

    This quartet is my favourite comedy act. I might go and see them at the Edinburgh Fringe. If the show's free.

    1. FireBurn

      Re: I like what they're saying

      Free to go to - not free to leave ;-)

  6. Crisp Silver badge

    I've said it before and I'll say it again...

    -----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----

    PakBAwNtRCE45qIFUpCj3Pjh3jRoPVmiQOb8n5PuhipuIP4v6ANCboWnCUam7NGd

    VHuU2OLX36QWOoPI5Ewl9xto+3iqjlclTaiRlHo0JHU8EOv75BpjahzKhDCV2lMQ

    q9QOHBESsU9xhk/t7gnT2EfhxzPHTb2N7fkPRFqItMU949hSvaYtN3AA80qxjkic

    EF6QQjrw38UNz2IZGplKHFKT39laI7NywviI7LmfJYHMoIFhdz97Woad1MCMPq/G

    -----END PGP MESSAGE-----

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I've said it before and I'll say it again...

      Quality :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've said it before and I'll say it again...

      gpg --decrypt /tmp/tmp.gpg

      gpg: invalid armor header: PakBAwNtRCE45qIFUpCj3Pjh3jRoPVmiQOb8n5PuhipuIP4v6ANCboWnCUam7NGd\n

      gpg: invalid radix64 character 2D skipped

      gpg: invalid radix64 character 2D skipped

      gpg: invalid radix64 character 2D skipped

      gpg: invalid radix64 character 2D skipped

      gpg: invalid radix64 character 2D skipped

      gpg: invalid radix64 character 2D skipped

      gpg: invalid radix64 character 2D skipped

      gpg: invalid radix64 character 2D skipped

      gpg: invalid radix64 character 2D skipped

      gpg: invalid radix64 character 2D skipped

      gpg: [don't know]: invalid packet (ctb=3d)

      gpg: no valid OpenPGP data found.

      You didn't say it right.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are you *sure* you fully understand the objective, Reg?

    "Ill-informed state PR campaign to kill encryption continues"

    or

    Disingenuous state disinformation campaign to subjectively validate current "encryption" continues

    ??????????

    1. JonP

      Re: Are you *sure* you fully understand the objective, Reg?

      Yeah, I think this is one of those exceptions to Hanlon's razor, where we can safely assume malice rather than incompetence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you *sure* you fully understand the objective, Reg?

        What's there to assume? If the Snowden "revelations" revealed anything new, it's that the governments are fully aware just how thoroughly they've fucked the ubiquitous "encryption" which they've spent every moment since using the NSA "NIST (honest!)" to shoehorn into abso-fucking-lutely EVERYTHING... and... furthermore, the disingenuous fucks are actively exploiting that wholesale fuckedupness of our crapto to practically universally spy on us. FFS!

        Snowden proved that they know they're lying at us.

        We know they know we know they're lying.

        So what the hell are they trying to do? Do they think that if they just go on and on lying at us we'll eventually believe the obvious lies? Or perhaps they're curious to see if they can drive their credibility figures into negative numbers?

        Baffled.

        1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Are you *sure* you fully understand the objective, Reg?

          "Do they think that if they just go on and on lying at us we'll eventually believe the obvious lies?"

          No, they *know* that 99% of the population will choose to believe the lies.

          Just a few days ago I read a comment in a national newspaper saying that Jean Charles de Menezes (the guy who the police shot on the London Underground in 2005) brought his death upon himself by acting suspiciously, failing to stop when asked and running away from police. In fact Jean de Menezes did none of those things. He was sitting quietly in a train carriage with no idea that anything was amiss when he was suddenly grabbed by someone in civilian clothes and shot multiple times in the head with no challenges or opportunity to do anything about it. The comment in the newspaper echoed the lies that were spread in the initial aftermath to try to justify the killing, but which were since "corrected" and the truth was revealed in gradual stages. But people still prefer to believe the lies, presumably because the truth is such an "appalling vista" that it cannot be entertained. I suspect that the full story is even worse than the police had to eventually admit to, but the CCTV cameras were very conveniently malfunctioning at the time.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Are you *sure* you fully understand the objective, Reg?

            Correction:

            The innocent man who the police murdered in a confused and panic, and then tried to frame by lying to the public, and deliberately misleading the courts and the IPCC investigation.

            The Met were then convicted of breaching Health and Safety law - and the person in charge of the murder was promoted.

            And they wonder why Londoners don't trust the police. The Met has many great officers, but their reputation has been destroyed by a few vicious individuals protected by incompetent management.

        2. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Are you *sure* you fully understand the objective, Reg?

          > "Do they think that if they just go on and on lying at us we'll eventually believe the obvious lies?"

          Of course they do.

          This is another 'big lie' exercise that has to be continually enforced. The tech-aware and the informed are anomalies and are not the target, the targets are the ill-informed on this subject, who, even if they are inclined to disbelieve the 'facts' presented by an 'expert', the same message repeated enough will eventually make them doubt.

          The real experts will be expected to utilise doublethink and toe the line when popular opinion has shifted enough to allow the agenda to be followed through.

    2. Drs. Security

      Re: Are you *sure* you fully understand the objective, Reg?

      agreed, who says they are ill-informed?

      Though from a tech-perspective I would agree that is probably still true.

      Maybe it's a bit of both.

  8. Neil Alexander

    Yet governments and law enforcement will continue to want encryption to protect their interests, so that they cannot be easily held accountable for their systematic corruption and incompetence. My privacy is no less important than theirs.

    In short, they can pull the encryption from my cold dead hands.

    1. Paul Shirley

      The US police have repeatedly demonstrated they have no problem with killing suspects with little or no reason... don't tempt them.

      1. Graham Cobb

        Good point: strong phone encryption provides an incentive for the police not to kill suspects -- at least until they have forced asked them to provide their passwords.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The government is welcome to unlock

    the full-disk encryption in my phone.

    Good luck with that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The government is welcome to unlock

      Multiple copies of the keys already accidentally safely secreted all over your Google/MSFT/Apple profile and awaiting the warrant...

  10. Naselus

    Sigh. Why don't the tech giants just each chip in a couple of million dollars and run a counter campaign asking if people really want the Chinese government to be able to read their medical records, or islamic terrorists to be able to access their children's school records? If the government are busy trying to appeal to the paranoid halfwit section of society, then you can quite easily turn that upside-down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Clever concept

      Yes, using truth as a weapon has a certain appeal. All it needs is some money to inject it into prime time adverts. Hmmm....... Why not pitch the adverts at celebrity Big Brother audiences first..... oh wait

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you want my support ..

    .. you best not start with a lie.

    We support the privacy rights of individuals

    Bwahahahahaha. Yeah, right. Next!

    Here is an example of why not: OPM. You could not even be trusted with data that is so sensitive that it should have been at least two full tiers removed from the Net.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    So in order to help the police, I have to break the law?

    "appropriate balance between the marginal benefits of full-disk encryption"

    Odd, pretty it's a requirement to have full disk encryption in order to comply with parts of the DPA.

    Therefore PC plod, which law do I break in order to comply with the law?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Typo?

      "pretty CERTAIN"?

  13. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Flame

    "We support the privacy rights of individuals. But"

    not really

    1. Drs. Security

      Re: "We support the privacy rights of individuals. But"

      really not that should be I think.

      Apparently we privacy-minded people kill children, support sex-trafficking and actively endorse terrorism as well.

      Like other articles already have stated.

      For a fact: I do none of the above, I just protect myself against everyone who is without my explicit consent peaking into my private life.

      I'd say that is a fundamental human right!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "We support the privacy rights of individuals. But"

        >I'd say that is a fundamental human right!

        Gosh, what a quaint 20th century misconception.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They actually did it

    I never thought they were really so deficient in common sense that they'd actually resort to "Think of the Children". Did no one explain the world has moved on a bit since the 90s and it just reads as shorthand for "I'm lying through my teeth and not doing it very well"?

    As for... "...marginal benefits of full-disk encryption..." Sorry, pulling the other one won't work either.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And yet...

    the sky has not yet fallen in.

    Cluck cluck.

  17. msknight Silver badge
    Coat

    "Instead they hammer on the point that it's Apple and Google's civic duty to deny customers what they want."

    ...at which point, customers fuck off to someone who WILL give them what they want.

    Duh! Capitalism 101.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      I notice that with Windows 10 uploading your recovery key to Redmond, they're not complaining about Microsoft.

      1. d3vy

        "I notice that with Windows 10 uploading your recovery key to Redmond, they're not complaining about Microsoft."

        That's optional.

        I suspect the reason that they are not complaining about MS is that bit locker isn't available in the home edition of windows 10 which is the one most people will use.

        It's also off by default on the pro and enterprise versions..

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          You're a little out of date. Home and Pro have Bitlocker, and the key is uploaded to Redmond. If you don't have or open an MS account, no Bitlocker for you.

          Enterprise has Bitlocker and doesn't upload the key.

          1. d3vy

            I think that you are wrong for two reasons.

            1. I have home and bitlocker is not available.

            2. I have pro on my other PC and bitlocker is there and has an option to upload to MS OR save as a file, print it etc.

            You absolutely DO NOT HAVE TO upload your key to MS.

            Just checked online and nope, no bitlocker in win10 home, and no need to upload your keys - do you work for apple?

            www.technig.com/enable-bitlocker-drive-encryption/

  18. thondwe

    Door Locks

    Wonder if the oldee Police complained when people started putting locks on the doors on their houses to keep themselves and their valuables safe?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Door Locks

      Nah, they just got bigger hobnailed boots to kick them in with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Door Locks

        Ye plebef hade rightf then. All thif 1984 fhit if verye moderne.

  19. alain williams Silver badge

    Eat fewer doughnuts

    is the message that Cyrus Vance Jr should be telling New York cops - ''get off your fat backsides and go and do real investigative work rather than sitting around''. The cops are getting lazy & fat: next up they will be complaining that criminals refuse to just hand themselves in.

    1. Peter Simpson 1
      WTF?

      Re: Eat fewer doughnuts

      Yer not kidding.

      I was vacationing on Martha's Vineyard last week. President Obama arrived, and the Massachusetts State Police Motorcycle Unit was present to block roads so His Greatness could pass through, unimpeded by us plebs.

      Every single one of those motorcycle cops could stand to drop 100 pounds. The amount of guttage was amazing. I mean, stereotype and all, but these guys must sit around the garage chowing down on Dunkin's finest for the entire shift, every single day.

  20. Chris Hunt

    Make your minds up!

    Quote from original article:

    "The new Apple encryption would not have prevented the N.S.A.’s mass collection of phone-call data or the interception of telecommunications, as revealed by Mr. Snowden. There is no evidence that it would address institutional data breaches or the use of malware."

    So what are you complaining about, Mr Vance et al? If encryption doesn't stop the NSA snooping on our data, it won't stop law enforcement bodies doing so either. Sounds like phones aren't encrypted *enough*!

    1. Drs. Security

      Re: Make your minds up!

      phones are, but that is just data at rest.

      Transmission of data over the net, storage in "cloud" datacenters etc. etc. is not.

      And I'm not even talking about the default 4-digit passcode protection most people probably still use.

      Full disk encryption is a nice marketing selling point, but it's only part of the total story.

  21. Def Silver badge

    ...citizens murdered... and the police can't do anything about it...

    I think the police have done quite enough in that respect.

  22. wolfetone Silver badge

    Fairly sure Jimmy Saville didn't use encryption to do what he did.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, Jimmy Saville used corrupt officials and a lack of personal security on the part of his victims.

      Speaking of which...

  23. Grimsterise

    In other words: If you have locks on your doors you are helping to rape children.

    1. Captain DaFt

      And if you're using curtains in your windows, you're obviously hiding some nefarious activity.

      For that matter, why does you're house have opaque walls? Very suspicious!

  24. scrubber
    WTF?

    Whose Crime?

    "The new encryption policies of Apple and Google have made it harder to protect people from crime"

    Not the crime of breaking the 4th Amendment by spying on people using a general warrant.

    I'm sure there was some kerfuffle about a country using general warrants at some point in the past, anyone remember which country that was?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Whose Crime?

      (Could only choose one icon; using this one in sarcasm; bear with me)

      But the moment you invoke children and the future, then all bets are off, no holds are barred, no search is unreasonable. Which means the search is within the law. After all, without children, where will our country be in a few decades?

    2. Antonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Re: Whose Crime?

      Thought crime

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Yup

    "The new encryption policies of Apple and Google have made it harder to protect people from crime," they wrote."

    And the criminals are?...

    I wonder what was the situation worldwide before encryption. no rapes, no killings, no crime, right?

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Yup

      Crimes in which inability of law enforcement personnel results in failure to identify, arrest, and prosecute the criminal will be a tiny fraction of all crimes, and the one used as an example probably is not one of them. The great majority of arrests and prosecutions are of the obvious suspects, supported by witnesses and obvious physical evidence, sometimes bolstered by forensic evidence analysis. The article appears to be aimed at inducing a moral panic to support action that a great majority, if they thought about it, would think a bad idea.

  26. Velv Silver badge
    Big Brother

    While we're at it, we need to ban knives. And I'm not just talking big nasty hunting knives and machetes. Pocket knives, key ring knives, kitchen knives, table knives, scalpels, plastic knives and vaguely shaped items with a thin edge.

    Why?

    Because a tiny proportion of these items are used in crimes. People get cut and slashed. Kids are in danger. Only by banning ALL sharp objects will we remove the terrible overhead from the police of investigating these crimes and make the public safe.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge
      Alert

      You'd have thought they'd have banned them and box cutters already after 9/11. After all, there we have concrete proof of it being used to kill thousands of lives in a single day. Metal detectors, meet ceramic knives. Even with hardened cockpit doors, all that's needed is one slip during one of the pilot's snack or meal breaks and BOOM! the setup for 9/11 part two!

      PS. And if that fails, there's always the dildo bomb (INSIDE a kinky woman; won't find it with anything short of a strip search) filled with homemade ANFO (like Oklahoma City). Good luck trying to stop a truly determined adversary from using things we need everyday to ruin civilization.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Cockpit doors

        Charles 9 wrote:

        Even with hardened cockpit doors, all that's needed is one slip during one of the pilot's snack or meal breaks and BOOM! the setup for 9/11 part two!

        No hardened cockpit doors work extremely well - keeping everyone out, while a mentally unstable pilot flies in to a mountain.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      And ban chopsticks! I have seen Jet Li kill people with his chopsticks, the are millions of deadly chopstick wielders out there. Think of those poor chopstick impaled children!

      Or let's just be sensible.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge
        Alert

        Sense goes out the window when an existential threat looms. And as far as many people are concern, they ARE under existential threat...

  27. Dr_N Silver badge

    Munitions

    Wasn't hard encryption classed as a munition back-in-the-day to control export of encryption technology?

    Second Amendment: Job jobbed (At least in the US)

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Munitions

      Yes, but the restriction was lifted when foreign encryption standards outside of US control caught up, making the whole exercise meaningless.

  28. JoeF

    Translation

    "We support the privacy rights of individuals. But ..."

    Translation: They don't support the privacy rights of individuals.

  29. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Double bluff?

    Let's imagine that Apple & Google have provided back doors for LEA. In that case the authorities would obviously prefer people to use Apple & Google instead of other types of encryption that they cannot get into. A good way for the authorities to get people to trust Apple and Google encryption would be to moan and whine about how that encryption is really bad because it completely prevents them getting their hands on people's data.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Double bluff?

      With the latest windows10 recovery key uploads noted, you may very well have hit the nail in the window...

      Does anybody know how apple might be achieving compliance to this?

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Double bluff?

      Actually, that doesn't sound so far-fetched.. and I'm not wearing my tin-foil hat. A bit of misdirection goes a long way. Ask any magician or politician.

  30. tom dial Silver badge

    An observation

    This might have been posted before but also might bear repeating.

    The phones that got the prosecutors all worked up were an iPhone 6 and a Samsung S6 Edge - neither of them a typical burn phone, so probably traceable to their owners without resort to decryption of the contents. My s3 has a barcode inside the back cover labelled "VZW' and the IMEI can be seen by lifting the battery. It would be harder with an iPhone, but I suspect that equipment available to law enforcement agencies could identify the carrier and implicitly the account without destroying the phone. Of course the account information, like the stored data, might be useless. The phones might have been left at the scene because the killer(s) stole them and found them useless due to the lock code. Hopefully the police didn't handle them so much as to destroy latent fingerprint information.

    I also found annoying in the article the false statement that Google had reengineered Android encryption so that they - Google - no longer could to decrypt phone contents. Intentionally faulty data encryption, as far as I know, was a uniquely Apple failing.

    But then, this was an opinion piece and maybe not subject to significant fact checking by the New York Times, bastion of journalism, with a masthead that still reads "All the News That's Fit to Print".

  31. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Enabling mass surveillance is blatantly unconstitutional.

    "Children are being raped, citizens murdered, and lost souls trafficked for sex and the police can't do anything about it thanks to..."

    ...The TPP treaty. Right? No?

    Oh, its the TOTALITARIANS back at it again, destroying The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.

    This issue actually has NOTHING AT ALL to do with companies like Apple and Google who very kindly respond to their customer's wishes and offer (somewhat) iron clad services to protect customer privacy. IOW, #MyStupidGovernment is going about this issue in the WRONG WAY. The Fourth Amendment is specific about serving warrants to INDIVIDUALS who are suspected of crime. Blanket surveillance of any US citizen communicating on US soil is blatantly ILLEGAL. But the FUD mongering surveillance totalitarians find that's far too much work. It's better to surveil ALL of us ALL THE TIME and have us 'trust' them to honor and respect out privacy. Except, they've already proven their traitorous attitude toward our constitutional right to privacy.

    Therefore: BZZZT! Wrong US surveillance hounds! You've destroyed any trust we'll ever have in you. Handing blanket surveillance tools to you folks is not going to happen. So please cut the FUD foisting and get back to doing everything constitutionally, ONE suspect at a time. Leave mass surveillance via the business world out of it.

    [Sorry to do the 'shout' caps, but I know of no way to do italics or bolding here at ®.]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Enabling mass surveillance is blatantly unconstitutional.

      "companies like Apple and Google who very kindly respond to their customer's wishes and offer (somewhat) iron clad services to protect customer privacy."

      Eh?

      Looks like someone's actually fallen for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!one

  32. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "appropriate balance" means taking away your rights

    I'll just point out, any time someone talks about "appropriate balance", this means they want to take away your rights. I'm perfectly willing to take the odd chance that the occasional crim walks, if the alternative is to live in a totalitarian police state. I will not give up my encryption, and neither should you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "appropriate balance" means taking away your rights

      “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin (1755)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "appropriate balance" means taking away your rights

        But what happens when essential liberty becomes an obstacle to safety, period?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Big Brother

          Re: "appropriate balance" means taking away your rights

          But what happens when essential liberty becomes an obstacle to safety, period?

          It hasn't - that's an oxymoron... perhaps you don't understand the meaning of essential... but if you start to think it has then it's time to quit the coolaid, take a fist full of antipsychotics and a deep breath, and step back and attempt to engage your brain. Before you do something sdoopid.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "appropriate balance" means taking away your rights

            Oh? Being free to speak allows you to shout FIRE in a crowded theater. Being able to defend oneself against a tyrannical government ALSO allows you to create an uprising against a good one. Freedom to travel means you can travel to meet co-conspirators. Presumption of innocence means one can create a perfect crime by destroying the proof, etc. The very freedoms we seek are also the ways we can be brought down, and they're part and parcel: impossible to separate. And since the average human is self-centered by nature, there will always be people who will try to subvert the system. So to turn Franklin's quote on its ear, perhaps the human race isn't ready for freedom, since that very freedom will probably destroy us.

            PS. I speak this from a perfectly calm and rational mind. I just come to different conclusions than most, probably because I'm a realist who's been in the trenches of humanity. I mean, just look at 9/11, and we know there are people determined to ensure that if they can't win, no one will (meaning for them, MAD is a winning scenario).

  33. CanadianMacFan

    Remember

    Guns don't kill people, encrypted smartphones kill people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Remember

      Encrypted phones don't kill privacy, unencrypted phones kill privacy

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Luddites..

    Ho-hum...Eventually everyone will realize our information is either to be used for surveillance or for secure communications. There is no middle-of-the-road solution. Either one-way encrypt everything including cell phones or continually guard multiple backdoors against all forms of malevolent unknowns.

    Those who say "Encryption is bunk, I've got nothing to hide" are forgetting that in some countries its impossible for plain citizens to live as openly as we do. When such “dissidents” are the only people using encryption then the government security apparatus can easily identify them. But if everyone encrypted then everyone is safe from targeted surveillance. Terrorists and criminals can create their own encryption. Does anyone think they would be stupid enough to leave a backdoor in that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Luddites..

      >Those who say "Encryption is bunk, I've got nothing to hide" are forgetting that in some countries its impossible for plain citizens to live as openly as we do.

      What was that, AC?

  35. JCitizen
    Holmes

    Oh Boo Hoo!

    They will have to resort to good ol' police work now! Sniff! Sniff!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh Boo Hoo!

      But.. but... butt... that'll leave less time for sitting in Dunkin diligently building their cases of atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes and morbid obesity.

      some old fashioned evidence

  36. axelotl

    Get the NRA on the case

    Since crypto tech is arguably a weapon owning and posessing it is surely a second amendment right (for US citizens at least).

    Given their success in protecting the right to keep and bear physical arms surely we should enlist the NRA in protecting this digital right.

    On the other hand given that over 10,000 homicides a year in the US are attributable to gun ownership maybe the 'saving lives' argument would cut both ways.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get the NRA on the case

      "Since crypto tech is arguably a weapon owning and posessing it is surely a second amendment right (for US citizens at least)."

      ...interesting... The US government classifies encryption code as "munitions" for the purpose of its patently demented "export restrictions" so it can't have it both way... oh wait...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get the NRA on the case

      "On the other hand given that over 10,000 homicides a year in the US are attributable to gun ownership maybe the 'saving lives' argument would cut both ways."

      It would be pretty easy to say most of those homicides would occur anyway due to their nature and that the use of the gun is incidental in these cases. For example, a good chunk of gun-related deaths are suicides, and it's easy to think if someone didn't have gun they'd try other things the way the Japanese do (which have practically no guns AND a higher suicide rate). Another significant chunk is criminal-on-criminal (usually as the result of disputes and gang wars) which would care less about gun laws and, barring that, would use other means.

  37. JaitcH
    Happy

    Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr ...

    is the persecutor who had Sergey Aleynikov, 40 years old, arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly stealing Open Source software from Goldman Sachs - the notorious shark company of Wall Street.

    After two trials driven by Cyrus Vance, Sergey was EXONERATED by Appeal Courts. Sergey is now suing all concerned.

    Read Flash Boys - A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis [EPUB] [MOBI] - a real page turned for even the slightest tech reader!

  38. Asok Asus

    When encryption is outlawed, only outlaws will have encryption.

    Just like "gun control".

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