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[liberationtech] Fwd: [WhatsApp backdoor allows snooping on encrypted messages]

carlo von lynX lynX at time.to.get.psyced.org
Sat Jan 14 07:04:49 PST 2017


On Sat, Jan 14, 2017 at 10:48:48AM -0300, FL wrote:
> Sadly I'm not a hacker — I'm a lawyer, so I haven't checked their code nor any other company's for that matter.

We have plenty of hackers but not enough lawyers, so your
view on what the laws currently actually imply is very welcome.

> However, my main point remains unaddressed — I'm not sure that American companies are 'required by law' to implement backdoors.

Alright, didn't percieve that as your main point.
Well, here's what I know last time I checked:

- PRISM is a reality
- NSLs have been used to oblige such companies to
    + hand over access to their data centers
    + expect no legal harm when denying any existence of NSLs
    + expect general public to never become aware

Leaks have broken the latter promise, so those companies
had good reasons to be upset. Freedom Act has changed
NSLs in such a way that American citizen must no longer be
bulk collected, NSA must only be allowed to run "selectors"
which in the case of Whatsapp means that some backdoor
must be provided to execute surveillance on such selectors.

Also, I have to look up Casper Bowden's posts again,
somewhere the laws explicitly give zero rights to non-US
citizen - all of humanity is backdoorable and bulk
collectible. And then we have programs like
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscular_%28surveillance_program%29
which explicitly bypass US law.

Isn't Patriot Act essentially obliging the NSA to collect
all it can? If the NSA must do that, then any company
impeding the NSA from doing so is breaching that law, no?


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