Thursday, November 24, 2016

Fear of Trump spying on your cellphone

Crytography advocate and professor Susan Landau writes:
We have elected a President who does not believe in the First Amendment protections of a free press and who urged the hacking of his opponent's email, including by Russia. Our President-elect has also repeatedly said that he will throw his opponent in jail over issues that the FBI Director, after a long investigation, determined did not present evidence of criminal activity. We are in unchartered territory. We have a president-elect who does not appear to respect the protections enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Those who disagree with President-elect Trump feel threatened not just by the policies he espouses, but by the hatred and dictatorial stances he has been supporting. ...

There is a risk that President-elect Trump means what he says. Given the President-elect's authoritarian statements, I no longer feel confident that the surveillance of journalists, the political opposition, or of protesters will not occur in this country. The President-elect has explicitly said that he wished he had the power to hack into the accounts of his political enemies.

Protecting the privacy of speech is crucial for preserving our democracy. We live at a time when tracking an individual — a journalist, a member of the political opposition, a citizen engaged in peaceful protest — or listening to their communications is far easier than at any time in human history.
I am inclined to agree with her about ppl having rights to private communication, but she seems to suffer from some delusions. Almost everything she says about Trump is wrong.

The chief threats to privacy come from the leftists at Google and Facebook. Trump supporters are being shut down while Trump-haters are not. The leftists currently complain about "fake news" and use that as an excuse to censor news.

Her complaints are hollow. She does not say what is so terrible about listening to communications of citizens engaged in peaceful protests. I would think that such citizens would want to be heard!

In some ways we have less privacy today, but in others we have more. It is easier than ever to organize a peaceful protest, and such protests are not inhibited by govt spying.

This recent TED talk got 700k views:
The smartphone you use reflects more than just personal taste ... it could determine how closely you can be tracked, too. Privacy expert and TED Fellow Christopher Soghoian details a glaring difference between the encryption used on Apple and Android devices and urges us to pay attention to a growing digital security divide. "If the only people who can protect themselves from the gaze of the government are the rich and powerful, that's a problem," he says. "It's not just a cybersecurity problem — it's a civil rights problem."
This whole thing is strangely misguided.

First, there is no significant security difference between Apple and Android phones. Apple famously refused to cooperate with an FBI investigation of a Moslem terrorist, but the FBI used an off-the-shelf tool to get into the phone anyway.

Second, the rich have better house, cars, lifestyles, and everything else, so why shouldn't they have better phones also? Ppl should be able to pay more for a better phone.

Third, the major privacy invasions come from Facebook and other leftist companies, not FBI investigations of Moslem terrorists. Why do these supposed civil rights advocates devote so much energy to defending Moslem terrorists when Facebook is spying on a billion ppl.

Landau obviously suffers from Trump derangement syndrome. Both have some leftist blind spots about what privacy is.

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