Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Carping on Government Monitoring

Lots of people complain about government monitoring emails, text messages and phone calls. There are fairly simple steps that one can take to preclude that. But hardly nobody does.

Telegram and Signal provide end-to-end encryption of text messages. Signal encrypts phone calls. There are open-source PGP programs for encrypting emails and attachments. Telegram and Signal are stupid-easy to install on mobile phones. The PGP programs take a little more effort, but about as much as installing any other software. Then there are add-ons for most email programs to make using PGP encryption almost seamless.

But here's the thing: Nobody really uses them.

It's like complaining that the mailman is reading your mail, but you won't be bothered to seal up the envelope. or carping about your neighborhood watch patrol coming into your house, but you won't lock the doors.

If you complain about government snooping, but then you make it easy for them to do it, the fault is, at least a little, on you.

Make it harder for them.


Joe said...

Signal downloads went up 400% last month. Times might be changing.

Borepatch said...

The problem with security tools in general is that you have to have VERY good Opsec procedures. Dread Pirate Roberts got caught because he had a single brain fart while he was using TOR.

I love security tools and recommend them, but think that it's kind of past the time where you can hide and get away with it.

The best argument to use the tools is that it raises the cost of surveillance. But the use of the tools almost certainly raises the likelihood that they will monitor you. :-/

Comrade Misfit said...

I'm fine with raising the costs of monitoring. They want to invade my privacy, I want to to have to make an effort. Enough of us do that and maybe things might change. Or not.

Anyone using the Internet for criminal endeavors is just begging to get caught (or killed). The old rule still holds: The cops can make lots of mistakes and still find the bad guys. The bad guys only have to make one mistake to get caught (if the cops find out about it).

(Some Hahvahd student used Tor for making bomb threats awhile back. But he did it from his dorm room, over the school's wireless, and they were able to track it back to him.)

Eck! said...

>>>It's like complaining that the mailman is reading your mail, but you won't be bothered to seal up the envelope.<<<

For email and webmail (if not HTTPS) its more like:

It's like complaining that the mailman is reading your mail, but you
are writing it on the back of a postcard and tape it to the front door.

Unencrypted Email has no real expectation of security or for that fact privacy.