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[liberationtech] Can we solve global surveillance issue with technology at all?

adrelanos adrelanos at riseup.net
Sat Nov 9 10:20:33 PST 2013


I am not sure we can fix the problem ("global surveillance system") with
technology at all. Sure, personally I am a big fan of more usable and
safer tools to communicate. They make us technology/privacy enthusiasts
happy.

Do ordinary citizen care about e-mail anymore anyway?

I would assume, that most citizen communication nowadays is done by
Facebook, SMS, WhatsApp. Roughly in that order. Who cares about e-mail,
not to speak about secure e-mail anymore?

Facebook is just too convenient.

My hypothesis is: If there was a perfectly usable and perfectly safe
alternative to Facebook, the majority would still continue to use
Facebook. Just because Facebook reached critical mass, almost everyone
is using it. The fact that almost everyone is using it is what it make
attractive. And generally, people are lazy - once accustomed to
something, they are unwilling to learn a new tool.

Before we can get safer communication tools, we need to involve more
people. I would assume, that the majority of the Open Source community
still does not work on security and usability. Let's not try to convert
the existing community, let's try to grow the community.

We have a education problem in the first place.

- Why should I encrypt my communication if I have nothing to hide?
- How is government supposed to catch terrorists if everyone encrypts
their communication?

Oh, and don't try to convince me on these two. I am already convinced.

If the majority of people would care about politics, privacy and so
forth, I am sure we would have enough people working on privacy tools
and founding.

Fabio Pietrosanti (naif):
> Hi,
> 
> everytime there is a debate and discussion on email security i always
> stand-up when i hear that most of the proposed approach are to "reinvent
> the wheel".
> 
> All initiatiatives are trying to setup some new technological
> infrastructure, some new communication or encryption protocol.
> 
> We MUST USE THE INTERNET STANDARDS, with modifications here and there,
> improving them, in order to reach our goal in securing asyncronous
> communications methods commonly referred as "Email".
> 
> While i appreciate all of those cryptographer trying to do something
> new, i must say that THIS IS THE WRONG WAY!
> 
> We have a big pile of existing very good and very strong IETF RFC
> standards for email.
> 
> We need to improve the way those are used.
> 
> We have OpenPGP.
> We have MIME.
> We have S/MIME.
> We have TLS.
> We have ZRTP.
> We have SMTP/TLS.
> 
> Please, think to use that pile of standards and think to approach email
> security by improving those one.
> 
> I'm confident that it can be done, but all of the "crypto activist"
> community must works in that direction.
> 




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