Feb 6, 2018

The FBI admits that encryption is working as designed. Keep using it!

Occasionally a news article will come out and once again instill confidence in the power of encryption, and its ability to protect your privacy. Sure, some criminal eliments will use it to get away with stuff, but the average person that just doesn't want the government violating their 4th amendment rights can, and should use it too.

Some say, why bother? They have nothing to hide. While others have the misconception that the government has fancy tools that can crack the encryption anyway. This is mostly brought on by bullshit movie magic and nonsense. The truth is both schools of thought are wrong.

When it comes to those who feel they have nothing to hide, Philip Zimmerman, the creator of PGP encryption once said about your personal information:

It's personal. It's private. And it's no one's business but yours. You may be planning a political campaign, discussing your taxes, or having a secret romance. Or you may be communicating with a political dissident in a repressive country. Whatever it is, you don't want your private electronic mail (email) or confidential documents read by anyone else. There's nothing wrong with asserting your privacy. Privacy is as apple-pie as the Constitution... 
...If you really are a law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide, then why don't you always send your paper mail on postcards? Why not submit to drug testing on demand? Why require a warrant for police searches of your house? Are you trying to hide something? If you hide your mail inside envelopes, does that mean you must be a subversive or a drug dealer, or maybe a paranoid nut? Do law-abiding citizens have any need to encrypt their email?
He is absolutely right. You may think you have nothing to hide, but the truth is there are some things you don't want everyone to see, and that's where encryption comes in. Think of your data like a letter, and encryption like a digital envelope.

For those who think the government can crack your encryption, get a load of the following where FBI Director, Christopher Wray, was speaking at the International Conference on Cyber Security and was crying like a little baby that the feds are having a problem breaking encryption.

Via Reuters:
The inability of law enforcement authorities to access data from electronic devices due to powerful encryption is an “urgent public safety issue,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday as he sought to renew a contentious debate over privacy and security. 
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was unable to access data from nearly 7,800 devices in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 with technical tools despite possessing proper legal authority to pry them open, a growing figure that impacts every area of the agency’s work, Wray said during a speech at a cyber security conference in New York. 
The FBI has been unable to access data in more than half of the devices that it tried to unlock due to encryption, Wray added.
Well, golly gee Mr. Government man. I'm sorry that encryption is putting a damper on your ability to violate people's 4th amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution... Actually, it's more like sorry...not sorry.

For those concerned that criminal elements might use encryption, well they most certainly will, but it it doesn't mean that we should now relax our ability to maintain privacy in this world of increased illegal government surveillance. It's cases like this that I like to remind people of the famous quote from Thomas Jefferson:
I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.
So if the FBI is still having issues breaking encryption, it should strengthen your resolve to keep using it and protect your 4th Amendment rights. Also, don't forget that in many cases your encryption passphrase is protected under the 5th Amendment as well. In fact, that is why we had these stickers made up!

If you want some of these stickers for free, you can get them when you request your Free Powered By Ubuntu stickers at => http://stickers.bauer-power.net!

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