Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Privacy vs. Security

Here are two interesting bits of news I stumbled upon: the first is that the US is now trying to get permission to wiretap the internet. Basically, they want to force developers of any software that allows communication to allow them to listen in if they want to. They even want a back door into encrypted messages:
WASHINGTON - Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations of the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is "going dark" as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.
Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications -- including encrypted e-mail transmitters such as BlackBerry, social networking websites such as Facebook and software that allows direct "peer-to-peer" messaging such as Skype -- to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.
This sounds like the stuff Orwell had nightmares about, right? But wait till you read this:

A terror  plot to launch murderous Mumbai-style attacks in UK cities has been disrupted by the security services. 
Intelligence sources revealed that militants based in Pakistan, thought to be linked to al Qaeda, were planning simultaneous strikes on London and other European cities.
The attacks would have been similar to the commando-style raids carried out in Mumbai in 2008 which killed 166 innocent people, MI5 sources said.

Read more:

When Bejamin Franklin wrote "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety", he couldn't foresee the destructive power a small group could have in our present. So, I support the Obama administration in doing everything they can to prevent such attacks from taking place. 

Where do you stand? Would you have a problem with the US checking all your communication?

1 comment:

  1. I don't know. There certainly is a fine line between privacy and protection. Who can really be sure when to cross it? Or if you ever should?