US Opinion and Commentary

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The Terrorist’s iPhone

Posted February 19th, 2016 at 2:25 pm (UTC-4)
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This is just the first round in a fight that could reshape the way surveillance and crime-solving are carried out in the information age, a battle that serves as a useful reminder that technology is no magic cure for longstanding trade-offs.

Does Privacy Trump Security? Apple Thinks So

Posted February 18th, 2016 at 4:10 pm (UTC-4)
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It has been just over two months since a married Muslim-American couple opened fire on a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 co-workers. Since then, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been investigating the couple, who appear to have been inspired by Islamic State. But investigators have been unable to access information stored on one of the suspect’s password protected iPhone. Using an obscure law, written in 1789 — the All Writs Act — the FBI got a federal judge to order Apple to place a back door into its iOS software in order to gain access. This week, Apple CEO Tim Cook answered the FBI with a firm “no,” setting off a huge debate, much of it on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. The question of privacy versus national security is reminiscent of the revelations made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, which revealed the extent to which the U.S. government is “listening” to its citizens.Encryption, back doors, government spying all summon up the fantasy world of George Orwell’s famed novel “1984.” Sixty-seven years later, Americans ponder the same dilemma, while weighing legitimate needs of law enforcement.

The Apple Fight Isn’t About Encryption

Posted February 17th, 2016 at 3:53 pm (UTC-4)
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Those who think encryption protects their personal data from the government — or, for that matter, from anyone determined enough to invest the effort in a brute force attack — are naive. Any encryption can be broken.

There is No Good Argument for Encryption Backdoors

Posted November 20th, 2015 at 2:46 pm (UTC-4)
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If secure encryption is outlawed, only outlaws will have secure encryption … Remember, the NSA’s bulk collection program foiled exactly zero terror plots, by its own admission. The call for encryption backdoors is just another extension of this futile and counterproductive dragnet.  

What the FBI Director Could Learn from The Rolling Stones

Posted October 1st, 2015 at 12:26 pm (UTC-4)
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If there is a backdoor [to encryption software], other people, bad people, could figure out how to use it to steal valuable information. Other countries would also ask for their own backdoors