Safe and Responsible Encryption Back Doors: Coming Soon
Government wants to put back doors in our encryption, to "prevent crime" and crack criminal cases. Australia recently passed a law mandating service providers to grant back door access to police. They say they can do this without hurting our privacy rights. You might be appalled to learn that I'm all for it, if it's quid pro quo. Let's mandate encryption backdoors in all government communications, and see how that works out, then we can talk about putting back doors into the data of private citizens. Let's do a tit-for-tat program, and let the government go first. I propose a plan for safe and responsible encryption backdoors that allows citizens to unlock classified government data while maintaining the privacy of government employees.
In a recent discussion on the cryptography mailing list the old debate about “government” back doors in cryptography was mentioned. I don’t think many of us in America take the suggestion seriously, but perhaps some government officials still revere the notion (here’s looking at you, Australia!)
Let us consider the notion that safe and responsible Encryption back doors are both possible and desirable. Let us further posit that such back doors should be mandated by positive law. I present here a scheme that would allow concerned parties to decrypt all communications and files incumbent to investigation of criminal activity without violating the privacy rights of any government officials.
I believe that for our national security all government agencies and taxpayer-funded institutions should have safe back doors built into all government computers holding encrypted data and communications. All government employees should have both their work and private emails safely trap-doored as well, for national security and transparency, of course.
Concerned citizens who are investigating government corruption should be able to access these encryption back doors into all the government data. Of course the back doors will only be accessed to investigate fraud, waste, and abuse in the government–so our government officials have no need to worry about their privacy. Reasonable protections will be put in place to prevent “bad guys” from using the encryption back door.
If government employees have nothing to hide then they have nothing to fear. In the interest of capturing criminals within the government the citizenry needs a way to access all the government data without the government even knowing it is being investigated. A mechanism would be put in place to ensure this system would be used responsibly and safely for all involved.
That sums up the proposal. Do you see any problems with this proposal? Ask a government employee–any government employee–how this idea scans with their powers of reason and intuition.
Then ask why government employees argue to apply the same logic to YOU. Really ask, and think.
Government apologists and apparatchiks ever foment “concerns” about unbreakable cryptography somehow hurting humanity while hindering investigations into criminal activity. So they push a political agenda for “safe” back doors into our private communications. But they are lying to you. After they pass laws violating your privacy, they’ll pretend to have continued “concerns” for your privacy:
Australia has passed controversial laws designed to compel technology companies to grant police and security agencies access to encrypted messages. The government says the laws, a world first, are necessary to help combat terrorism and crime. However critics have listed wide-ranging concerns, including that the laws could undermine the overall security and privacy of users. The laws were rushed through parliament on its final day of the year. The Labor opposition said it had reluctantly supported the laws to help protect Australians during the Christmas period, but on Friday it said that "legitimate concerns" about them remained. link
Aw, how “concerned” of the Labor party to vote for the law, and then pretend to care that their constituents have “legitimate concerns” moments after betraying those very concerns. How “concerned”! When your slave-masters in the government pretend to be “concerned” get ready for the hammerfall.
Questions like this, when posited seriously, are a form of entryism sui generis to steer a discussion to a pre-determined outcome over the long term. I use the word “government” loosely and scornfully because we don’t really have governments anymore. We endure the rampage of private cartels of thugs all working together to oppress the masses and perpetuate the power of the entrenched bureaucracies. They call themselves “government” but a government actually cares about its creators and constituents instead of treating them like stupid cattle.
As soon as the FBI, CIA, NSA, DOD, et al. put a “responsible” back door in all their secured data that “concerned” citizen committees can use to access the data, then we can reasonably talk about putting back doors in the cryptographic communications of citizens and companies that provide communication services. The people of Australia should have informed their so-called “government” that back doors into communications would be fine as long as the people had back doors into all government emails, chats, and phone calls. Apparently not one of their legislators proposed this sane provision for the bill. The people should have offered quid pro quo if only for mere shits and giggles. When the government rebuffs such an offer with “national security concerns” we could see the utter hypocrisy.
Is there a responsible way to embed back doors in cryptography? Yes, there is! I recommend it! I recommend we mandate encryption back doors in all government systems so “concerned” citizens can safely snoop on our officials. The responsible suggestion: you first, Uncle Sam! When you back door all your stuff, we can talk about quid pro quo.
Turn the question around on our public servants and immediately we see the jig is up. There is not some magical transformation that gives public servants some higher right of privilege. The question at hand presupposes that assumption, that the government is somehow superior with a superior claim of right. The government wants to make believe it has a right to violate your privacy, but the government has a higher right to classify whatever it will. Bollocks!
Then the government wants you to make believe that your confidential information will be safe in their hands with a back door for the police, of course. Examine how safe your trap-doored information would be, as shown in a recent article:
"French police officer caught selling confidential police data on the dark web:" link "Police officer also advertised a system to track the location of buyers' gang rivals or spouses based on the telephone numbers."
This miscreant was selling confidential police data to gangsters. But the “authorities” assure us that if they have a back door into all our secrets, stuff like this won’t happen. Yeah, sure, we’ll have protections in place to make sure nobody abuses the back door into your intellectual property! Promise!
Cops and spooks sell confidential data all the time. It’s normal operating procedure. These organizations commit worse crimes than the ones they prosecute. Imagine them having a back door to your crypto, and you’re a news reporter investigating a cartel. How long do you think it will be before the cartel comes to pay you a visit while Barney Fife at Langley gets a big payday?
What if Responsible Encryption Back-Doors Were Possible? The question is illegitimate on its face. See the article referenced above. What if responsible chainsaw massacres were possible? What if responsible compelled self-incrimination were possible? What if responsible indefinite imprisonment without trial were possible? Who knows, the government might have “concerns” that “justify” randomly locking people up, right? Didn’t we have “responible” witch burnings, “responsible” inquisitions, “responsible” bloodletting and other “responsible” means of “protecting” society from evil? Uh, yeah, these things were all considered “responsible” in their heyday.
A poster on the cryptography mailing list wrote:
"How one prevents illegitimate use -- lawless behavior -- by any parties, in law-enforcement or elsewhere, is still a concern."
“Concern” from a government employee is often the hypocrite’s subterfuge for abuse of power. It is a ruse. The word, “concern” is an altruistic mask for wanting power over people and their property. If you think for one second those in power are “concerned” about anything but advancing their own power and prestige, you’re delusional. They create soliliphist smokescreens to hide their real intent. It’s the twenty-first century with instant mass communication already. Haven’t we all realized this by now?
We have over 2500 years of developed principles of law that often exclaim that “prior restraint” is tyranny. Prior restraint goes hand-in-hand with general warrants and writs of assistance. Any time someone starts jabbering about prior restraint he means to oppress you under the pretext of helping some as yet unknown person, eg. “concern”. “Crime prevention” equals “prior restraint.” You cannot prevent crime without punishing everyone and rewarding those seeking people to “punish.” The law punishes crime. It is not the purpose of law to “prevent illegitimate” behavior. It is the purpose of law to PUNISH illegitimate behavior. When the stewards of the law themselves become lying rascals then all people furrow the brow, for the rascals hold themselves above punishment.
When law enforcement talks about “crime prevention” they are lying. They know they are being deceitful. They know that they do not, and cannot prevent crime. Their job is to instill fear so you do not steal from their friends, aka “da guvrinmint.” But when called, they help the government steal from you. Why would we let these people dangle moral arguments in front of our snouts?
They expect you to play along with their discussion the way they have framed it. They don’t want to “prevent crime.” They want to annul your rights so you can’t punish them for abusing you. It is about putting themselves above the law, while subjecting you to it, usually capriciously. “He reached for his waistband.” Yeah, sure he did. Nothing to see here, moving along… Until you’ve been caught up in their machine this will probably all seem laughably ineffable to you. Once they’ve digested you in their “crime prevention” and “law enforcement” bone digester, you will learn they are liars with hidden agendas, using the system to get what they want.
The moral fiber of a people, not the legal system, prevents mendacious activity. When the mendacious learn they can join a gang called government the people suffer. When a moral people stiffen their spine and make the mendacious suffer, the people have peace and sobriety. That’s one of the fundamental reasons that law punishes, rather than prevents crime. Crime prevention is a universal punishment lottery.
Either we enjoy a right to privacy, or we don’t. If the camel already has his snoot in my door, then my privacy has already been invaded. This is analogous to an encryption back door. The “public policy” subterfuge defies centuries of established law. Either men have rights, or they don’t. The people wanting power mealy-mouth the matter with “concerns.” Their only real concern is maintaining the power to take what you produce and push themselves up the ladder of the power structure so they can get more of other people’s produce.
A back door in cryptography is known in law as a “general warrant” and is specifically prohibited in the united states Constitution.
"and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
A general warrant is a particularly odious form of tyranny:
"For centuries prior to the U.S. founding, English jurists and legal scholars rejected general warrants as the worst exercise of tyrannical power. As Sir Edward Coke announced in parliament in 1628, 'If [general warrants] be used per man datum domino regis, or for matter of state,' then we are gone, and we are in a worse case than ever. If we agree . . . for matters of state. . . We shall leave Magna Carta and other statutes and make them fruitless, and do what our ancestors would never do.' Sir Matthew Hale, William Hawkins, and others went on to condemn them, as did our founding generation. James Otis Jr.'s famous oration in Paxton's Case said that he would to his "dying day oppose all such instruments of slavery on the one hand, and villainy on the other" as writs of assistance (a particular form of general warrant). President John Adams, who had been present at Otis's argument, later reflected, "Then and there the child Independence was born." State after state went on to outlaw general warrants in their constitutions, before the Fourth Amendment prohibited it in the federal Constitution." link
General warrants violate a host of rights. Preeminent among those rights is the, “right to solitude, to be unguarded in our actions.” [Ibid.] By having back doors in crypto, people can no longer have the right to be guarded in their actions. They now must choose every word of every communication carefully in the fear of what a future government fishing expedition might do to them. The power to retroactively read your communications is the power to frame you up for any invented crime, any time the “government” finds if convenient.
To those few of you suggesting a responsible way to mandate encryption back doors, see now what you are paving the way for–a complete repudiation of centuries of law, the abolition of the Great Charters (Magna Charta), and the defacto recognition of the government as a parent, re-institution the Roman doctrine of a univeral parens patria where the government is viewed as the parent or father of everybody, thus all citizens outside the government are silently and procedurally treated as non compos mentis and void of rights except those the “father” (or his thugs) beneficiently bestows. Such a course, if taken, spits in the faces of centuries of ancestors who died fighting liars and tyrants to preserve these rights.
The proposition of a backdoor is equivalent to the government having the keys to your house and a warrant issued before they’ve even gone to court. They can then invent a thin subterfuge any time they want to go “treasure hunting” in your back yard, and turn it over until they can find anything with which to hammer you. If you don’t think such a scheme would be severely abused then you are ignorant of history. The specious argument of despots is, “Only for the bad guys! Promise!” [rib jab] By proffering arguments like this, government actors are trying to get your consent to abrogate the protection of law. Then the judges, who always want to help the government out, will silently notice that there was “consent” without actually wording it that way. Schemers, all of them.
I weary of the pointless and unfounded arguments thought up by government spin doctors. They are the bad guys. They are not our friends. They hate our liberty. They are taxing us to death and spreading their violence all throughout the world while we sit here in pointilist debates of ideas that don’t matter much. We should not have a debate with them about our privacy. Our privacy is our property, not theirs. Any hindrance to the right of privacy is an attempt to extort a property interest in the victim. We should neither debate our public servants, nor tolerate them debating us. A servant does not debate his master. Who is the servant? The government, or the people?
Particularly onerous to behold is how the spin doctors always hide their ill intent behind “concern” for victims. They shamelessly use victims of crimes as an excuse to perpetrate government criminality. The state doesn’t want to solve crimes so much its agents want the increased power to convict any inconvenient person of a crime, any time, anywhere. When you become inconvenient to their ends, don’t be surprised when they pull out your life history and bury you with some arcane fact. If you are a good little slave, you might not need worry. The government needs to know all your dirty little secrets in case you ever discover any of theirs.
I see the old and debunked “responsible crypto backdoor” … debate … [cough] … is making the rounds in discussions again. Will the apparatchiks ever give up? No, not until they have eliminated all human liberty under the guise of protecting humanity and subverting all freedom to a collective, central state.
The “debate” on backdoors in cryptography is part and parcel of the salami-slicer strategy of Josef Stalin, one of the most bloodthirsty men who ever lived.
"Salami tactics, also known as the salami-slice strategy or salami attacks, is a divide and conquer process of threats and alliances used to overcome opposition. With it, an aggressor can influence and eventually dominate a landscape, typically political, piece by piece. In this fashion, the opposition is eliminated "slice by slice" until one realizes (too late) that it is gone in its entirety. In some cases it includes the creation of several factions within the opposing political party and then dismantling that party from the inside, without causing the 'sliced' sides to protest. Salami tactics are most likely to succeed when the perpetrators keep their true long-term motives hidden and maintain a posture of cooperativeness and helpfulness while engaged in the intended gradual subversion." link
They trickle their moles into a sector to slowly undermine it from within using specious arguments, appeals to goodwill, and fallacious, but emotive reasoning. This is what basically happened in Australia with the recent passage of laws mandating back doors into customer data. This was in the works for a long time by a concerted, duplicitous effort of traitors. They appear like shepherds who want to protect the sheep but they are really wolves rounding up the sheep for dinner.
Subverters and destroyers always come to you in the spirit of “justice” or “humanity.” Tyrants and scammers always appeal to “concerns.” Why do little children believe the devil is ugly with horns? “He appears as an angel of light…” The devil always looks comely and kind, until he pushes you into the barbeque pit. Beware, ye sheep, he goes forth like a lying lion, seeking whom he may devour…
It’s high time we stopped entertaining any “debate” about this matter and just scorn the liars every time they bring up their propaganda tricks about “concerns”. Need a slogan? “Don’t come sneakin’ ’round my back door.” When the police construct a public back door into their information systems, especially internal affairs investigations databases and their accounting ledgers, then we can reasonably talk about “responsible encryption back-doors”. Until then, send the salami salesmen away without bread.
No privacy, no liberty. Know privacy, know liberty.
The Risks of Mandating Backdoors in Encryption Products
New Australian Backdoor Law