“Microsoft has a backdoor built-into Windows,” shared a zealot GNU/Linux advocate to a small crowd of free software enthusiasts. It was an event that took place over 8 years ago and that I had the opportunity to present at. There couldn’t have been more than 30 people present.

I don’t remember where the event was held, what I presented, only that I remember using a web-based set of HTML pages that could turn into a presentation. How strange I don’t remember.  I don’t even remember what the event was but it was hosted at some dance studio. 

via this Google+ Post

Listening to National Public Radio’s (NPR) All Things Considered, I couldn’t quite believe my ears when a guest on the show said something along the lines of, “You can’t trust any commercial encryption tools; they’ve been compromised by the NSA. Instead, you have to use open source.

Aside: Here is an exhaustive list of free open source encryption tools.

Wait, come again? Here it is:

SIEGEL: Is there anything that we know is invulnerable to the NSA or the British GCHQ?
MILLAR: Well, what we think – from the documents – is that a lot of the commercial encryption software that’s out there may have been compromised, either by the traditional code-breaking techniques of the NSA and hacking or through, as you mentioned, collaboration with the companies themselves. So the advice would really be to focus on open-source software that people use for encryption. That is much harder for the NSA to insert vulnerabilities into.
Source: NPR.com, All Things Considered – NSA Has Cracked Most of the World’s Computer Encryption

Hard to believe, isn’t it? One of my favorite comments this past week was from someone who said, “You know, everyone thought I was a crank about privacy, but it turns out, I wasn’t cranky enough.” I laughed as the obviousness of this came through. Think about all those movies, books, television shows that display an overactive imagination about government surveillance. 

MILLAR: Well, what we’ve been able to establish from the documents is that over the last 13 years or so, there has been a massive effort in both the U.S. and the U.K. to circumvent, crack, and in other ways undermine all the major encryption codes, and the documents show that they’ve achieved considerable success in that and now can access vast amounts, to use their terms, of encrypted data that’s passing across the world’s communications.

Those fictions were OK because they were…fiction. The reality of living in a police state of constant surveillance, where protecting one’s privacy is an act of liberty that is against the law, well, that was a reality no one ever imagined in America.

Source Unknown – please leave in comments if you know.

No one imagined this except the cranks, those free software fanatics like Richard Stallman.

Too many wrongly characterize the debate as “security versus privacy.” The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that’s why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide. 

Source: Bruce Scheneier

Any cause that brings together the ACLU and the National Rifle Association (NRA) must be wrong. . .

“If programs like those currently justified by the government’s interpretation are allowed to continue and grow unchecked, they could also—contrary to clear congressional intent—undo decades of legal protection for the privacy of Americans in general, and of gun owners in particular,” the brief states.
President Obama and Army Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA’s director, have defended the program.

“President Obama, tear down this NSA.” I voted for liberty, hope and change, not this. Here…this is how you do it:

Welcome change and openness. The advance of human liberty can only strengthen world peace. Begin at home.

Check out Miguel’s Workshop Materials online at http://mglearns.wikispaces.com

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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