Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Communications

The last days of secure end-to-end encryption?

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Mr. Bill:
"Secure" end-to-end encryption with a convenient backdoor, invented by Facebook under pressure from most of the world's governments:


--- Quote ---...Facebook announced earlier this year preliminary results from its efforts to move a global mass surveillance infrastructure directly onto users’ devices where it can bypass the protections of end-to-end encryption.

In Facebook’s vision, the actual end-to-end encryption client itself such as WhatsApp will include embedded content moderation and blacklist filtering algorithms. These algorithms will be continually updated from a central cloud service, but will run locally on the user’s device, scanning each cleartext message before it is sent and each encrypted message after it is decrypted.

The company even noted that when it detects violations it will need to quietly stream a copy of the formerly encrypted content back to its central servers to analyze further, even if the user objects, acting as true wiretapping service.

Facebook’s model entirely bypasses the encryption debate by globalizing the current practice of compromising devices by building those encryption bypasses directly into the communications clients themselves and deploying what amounts to machine-based wiretaps to billions of users at once. ...
--- End quote ---

More here:
Forbes: The Encryption Debate Is Over - Dead At The Hands Of Facebook

The issues that we worried about in the 1990s are becoming reality via routes we didn't anticipate.  But gosh, it's so convenient to have Google and Facebook and Amazon monitoring everything we do.

I think there's one spot where the author's forecast is a decade too early:


--- Quote ---...While some phone manufacturers could distinguish themselves by offering bespoke phones with custom operating systems that do not include such scanning... Over time, it is likely that many governments will simply pass laws banning the possession and use of such devices...
--- End quote ---

Not yet.  We've still got Linux, and we've got increasingly small and convenient devices to run it on.  It's not possible to ban Linux because the whole Internet would die, and it's not feasible to ban personal devices that can run Linux because a ten-year-old laptop from the back of your closet is still adequate.

Other than that, I think he's pretty close.  The general public will lose access to secure encrypted communications.  But most of them don't use it now, don't see why they'd want it, and won't notice the difference.

fritz_monroe:
Unfortunately my kids generation don't care a bit about privacy.  Many of them will post anything they do without any concern of who is seeing it.

There are a few Linux phone OSes around.  But I don't know of anyone that's made use of them.  I also think they are too early in their development to use on my main phone.  If I were to install a Linux phone OS, it would be on a spare phone as an experiment.

Mr. Bill:

--- Quote from: fritz_monroe on July 29, 2019, 03:17:32 PM ---There are a few Linux phone OSes around.

--- End quote ---

There's also Termux.  I've been playing around with it a little.  It's basically a Linux operating system running under Android; no rooting required.  Most Linux command-line software, and apparently some GUI-based software, will run on it.  Until Google makes it impossible to install this, or implements operating-system-level spying on what it's doing, it gives you a bit of independence.

I've been lusting after this toy -- Gemini PDA -- but I can't justify the price tag at present.

Another option would be to use a Linux laptop or pocket-size computer, and merely use your cellphone as the computer's Internet access (or use Wi-Fi).  Not so convenient for most people to carry two devices, but on the other hand using the tiny screen and lack-of-keyboard on a smartphone is darned inconvenient too.

fritz_monroe:

--- Quote from: Mr. Bill on July 29, 2019, 03:56:50 PM ---Until Google makes it impossible to install this, or implements operating-system-level spying on what it's doing, it gives you a bit of independence.

--- End quote ---
According to ZDNet, all future Chromebooks will be Linux compatible.  linky linky  Part of the problem with Linux on a phone is lack of hardware compatibility.


--- Quote from: Mr. Bill on July 29, 2019, 03:56:50 PM ---I've been lusting after this toy -- Gemini PDA -- but I can't justify the price tag at present.

--- End quote ---
Very nice looking toy.  But wow, you're talking $600-$750.  I'm a big fan of PDAs.  I had a Palm Pilot when they first came out.  I'm not a big fan of any all-in-one solution.  I use my smartphone all the time, but I sure would prefer to have a PDA and a separate phone.

iam4liberty:

--- Quote from: Mr. Bill on July 29, 2019, 03:56:50 PM ---I've been lusting after this toy -- Gemini PDA -- but I can't justify the price tag at present..

--- End quote ---

Oh, you got to get one with a Dvorak keyboard!  That is serious cred!

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