With the renewal of the crypto wars and politicians calling for back doors
in secured products, its interesting to see a real report prepared by real
people in both the intelligence/security field and academia.

” `Going dark’ does not aptly describe the long-term landscape for
government surveillance,” concludes the study, to be published Monday by the
Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.

The study argues that the phrase ignores the flood of new technologies
“being packed with sensors and wireless connectivity” that are expected to
become the subject of court orders and subpoenas, and are already the target
of the National Security Agency as it places “implants” into networks around
the world to monitor communications abroad.

The products, ranging from “toasters to bedsheets, light bulbs, cameras,
toothbrushes, door locks, cars, watches and other wearables,” will give the
government increasing opportunities to track suspects and in many cases
reconstruct communications and meetings.

(more below)
The study, titled, “Don’t Panic: Making Progress on the `Going Dark’
 Debate,” is among the sharpest counterpoints yet to the contentions of
James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, and other Justice Department officials,
mostly by arguing that they have defined the issue too narrowly….

Among the chief authors of the report is Matthew G. Olsen, who was a
director of the National Counterterrorism Center under Mr. Obama and a
general counsel of the National Security Agency.

Two current senior officials of the N.S.A. — John DeLong, the head of the
agency’s Commercial Solutions Center, and Anne Neuberger, the agency’s chief
risk officer — are described in the report as “core members” of the group,
but did not sign the report because they could not act on behalf of the
agency or the United States government in endorsing its conclusions,
government officials said. “….



That smart TV you speak commands to?  It records your voice and sends it
back to Sony/Samsung/LG.  That Nest thermostat?  It records your daily home
schedule, when someone is home or not,  and is on the Internet.  That new
car with the GPS/Computer/Cell Phone hotspot?  Accessible online and tracks
your locations.  That smart watch you talk to, who is to say when the
microphone is on or off? The whole concept of the “Internet of Things” is a
gold mine for security services.  And if the platform you perform encryption
on is hacked or vulnerable, then there is no need to crack the encryption.
In fact, mistakenly thinking that your data or communications are secure
because you use encryption without the most STRINGENT of protocols just
lulls you into a false sense of security.  You lock the door but left the
window open for folks to sneak in.

The GOP candidates and Sec. Clinton have both said that using  strong
encryption is a danger to national security. Isis in under our beds and only
by weakening Apple/Android/GPG, etc….can we sleep safely at night.  What a
proposition.  Either woefully naive or purposely deceptive.  You would think
a long time member of the National Security Council would know better.

Professionals who work against it daily disagree.  They point out the
multitude (and growing wildly) of signals intelligence sources that do not
require the massive computing power to attempt to decrypt data or the
commercially and socially destructive implementation of “backdoors” into
security software.  Anyway the market as spoken and no “public” back doors.
Every revelation of Snowden and others show that they aren’t really needed.



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