Monday, June 24, 2013

Why you really can't have it


Simply put, it is because you don't really want it.  Oh you can rant and rave, but the conveniences and the small spotlight offered by the internet and it's insecure ways are too sexy, too addictive, too compelling for you to ever put it down.

Oh privacy is all well and good, but letting other folks in on what you are doing and thinking is what you are really all about.  Most everyone who reads the drivel I write here usually has their own bit of writing squirrelled away somewhere on the net.  It is a convenient place to have a soapbox and the price of the soapbox is that everyone gets to read it.  Even a small audience is a great thing.

Now e-mail.  It is the immediacy and speed of the thing that is what folks really want.  Imagine sending a physical letter to the distant corners of the earth.  It sure isn't going to be there at the same time as an e-mail.

Imagine having a column in the local paper which folks in England routinely read.  You think that they could get it there as fast?

Nope, the e-mails and blogs and such that fly around on the internet aren't secure and are open.  You can have private conversations that the powers that be would have a tough time reading, but then, you have to go through the whole encryption thing, which requires that you have a functional, trusted relationship with the folks on the other side of the arrangement.

Really try it.  It is a pain.  Send me an encrypted e-mail

My e-mail address is johnmennis *at* gmail dot com 

Using that e-mail, my public key is at the ubuntu keyserver, it is the one dated 06/23/2013 it's fingerprint is

F154 8816 C55A 5F1B 5866 CB58 0DAA 8E91 1328 4D85

So here is the take home.  You can have reasonably secure communication on the internet.  It just takes more effort than the vast majority of folks want to put into it.

If you want to have secure communication with me, drop me a letter or, better yet, take me down to Shanny's and buy me a beer. 

And that is my whole point.  Nothing that people put on the internet is really worthy of having the adjective "Private".  The more I think of it, I cannot see any reason why anyone, including the federal goverment should consider open communication on the internet as a part of your fourth amendment rights (see previous post for the reference)
Nobody can search your body, or your house, or your papers and things, unless they can prove to a judge that they have a good reason for the search.
Any unencrypted e-mail communication on the internet is inherently public and insecure.  It lies on servers you don't own, passed through programs you don't control.  If you have a facebook page (look, I am shuddering) you are doing the equivalent of putting up a sign with your goings on in your front yard, if you have a blog, you are putting it there for the world to see.  Twitter is the internets answer to Tourette's. 

If you want secure, don't use the internet, and don't whine to me because the "guv'mint' looks at stuff that you don't bother to secure.  If you do want to use the internet, make the effort to secure your messages.  The real problem is that for the most part, you are just bitching anyway.  No one cares.  
 

3 comments:

Bustednuckles said...

Even encrypted communications are no longer secure.
Google and NASA have teamed up and bought some extremely powerful quantum computer .
I saw an article on it the other day.
Now I am going to go have to find it again.

This thing is so far out there I can't even begin to describe it but I remember the article saying that it will be able to crack any kind of encryption available to the public.

As for email, blogging etc, I always just assume if someone out there wants to read it, they can.
That technology was compromised way, way back.

Bustednuckles said...

Spookier than I remembered, the CIA is in on it too. here is a link.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/514846/google-and-nasa-launch-quantum-computing-ai-lab/

Mayberry said...

That same logic can be applied to phone calls. So are they fair game as well? No expectation of privacy on the phone? Better make sure Shanny's isn't bugged...