Monday, June 28, 2010


Everything gets smaller and smaller. Surveillance becomes surveillance particles, colloidally spread equidistant over a background of people going about their business. Now consider supposed "safe havens" like the Taliban allowing Al Qaeda to stay with them, and convert this into an information transfer question. A secure chat room inside of public key-private key encryption, is a safe haven. May be a safe haven. Nobody knows what is going on inside except the people with the keys- that is the whole point. Therefore, strong encryption can't stay. But strong encryption must stay, because the military, business, intelligence- they all rely on it. Can it be criminalized, licensed? Will it be illegal to PGP without a license?
Very weird. The idea of secure chatroom as safe haven interests me as the impetus/pretext for crackdowns, which then leads to some AFPs and DFPs in a climate of "now the gloves come off." Must not allow a miss - "a few false hits are preferable to a miss" would be one piece of possible overheard dialogue of 2050, but the next question for me is what's a few? What if it takes 49% false hits? For that matter, what if it takes 51% and then you are actually killing MORE people than you are saving?

I suppose what I'm missing in making an equation like this out of human behavior is that codified rules are just an extension of the conscience in the first place, otherwise the rule wouldn't last. So at some level of false positives would you have soldiers and police refuse orders, greater numbers of AWOLs and resignations, etc? When it becomes patently ridiculous or patently counterproductive what you're being asked to do?

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