Don’t molest freedom, protect her

4 months ago  •  By  •  1 Comments

Weakening encryption, scanning phones and cloud services for inappropriate images, and mass interception of messages from popular services. Things that tech companies, government and politicians do or want to do in the name of security. It won’t help one bit. It will actually make things worse...

Terrorists are not stupid, neither are criminals, neither are pedophiles.

That’s why they don’t use popular internet services. Criminals, for example, use crypto phone services like Sky ECC and EncroChat.

If you want to catch criminals, that is where you go. And the police knows it which is why they crack those networks.

Politicians who cry out for weakening encryption are practicing pseudo-politics. Computer companies that say they scan your device are doing this just to get a stage and to say to a certain group of users “we don’t want you here”. These practices do little to actually help. In fact they are making things much worse.

Weakening encryption only affects the general public. It makes us as a society less secure. Companies scanning your phone or cloud services facilitate governments to check for any images they deem inappropriate.

All of this creates a surveillance state in which none of us are free. In turn for fake security, we give up essential freedom. And some say if we do that, we deserve neither.

So what does help? Trust, understanding, listening, equality. These are things that help. If you’re a tech company, that’s where you start. Apple, if I tell Siri I’m being abused, you can do so much more than tell me to report it somewhere else. And you certainly have no business looking at anything that’s on MY phone!

If you’re a politician, words like trust, understanding, listening, and equality should be your guidelines and compass. You’re not there to please an audience. You are there to help the society that elected you. Stop creating rules to battle symptoms of a broken system. Fix the system. Don’t dismantle freedom. Celebrate and protect her. She is so fragile and worth fighting for.’

Comments 1

  1. Mark Vletter
    Another nice insight from Unfold (https://tweakers.net/gallery/409710/) Apple forgot two things. 1. The precedent-setting effect of this. If Apple does this, it lowers the threshold for others to do the same (companies and governments), but in a less defined and less privacy respecting way. 2. In addition, this reinforces the normalization of surveillance culture. Children now grow up in a world in which they feel continuously surveilled, and they know nothing else than that their behavior will always be judged. The damage this does is difficult to quantify, which in my opinion often means it is given too little weight. Even if the system worked perfectly and was not slowly expanded, this negative effect would remain. Meanwhile, there is plenty of research on the negative effects of panoptic situations on people. We saw the same pattern with Google's FLOC, where it sounds good in the short term, but the big picture is that surveillance business model is entrenched in core tech and culturally normalized. This is why it is so important to get human scientists (ethicists, ethnographers, sociologists, psychologists) into the tech and startup worlds. They specialize in seeing through and weighing these risks. His comment also sparked another thought line. We are unlearning to be antifragile as a society and this is a good example of this.

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