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Cybercrime Treaty Pushes Surveillance Worldwide 89

Posted by timothy
from the man-v-state dept.
bs0d3 writes "As part of an emerging international trend to try to 'civilize the Internet', one of the world's worst Internet law treaties — the highly controversial Council of Europe (CoE) Convention on Cybercrime — is back on the agenda. Canada and Australia are using the Treaty to introduce new invasive, online surveillance laws, many of which go far beyond the Convention's intended levels of intrusiveness. Negotiated over a decade ago, only 31 of its 47 signatories have ratified it. Many considered the Treaty to be dormant but in recent years a number of countries have been modeling national laws based on the flawed Treaty. Leaving out constitutional safeguards, gag orders in place of oversight, and forcing service providers to retain your data may all be coming soon."
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Cybercrime Treaty Pushes Surveillance Worldwide

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  • by Caerdwyn (829058) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @06:03PM (#37212996) Journal

    There is no better argument for encrypting everything that can be encrypted than this.

    Yeah, sure, most governments aren't going to do anything with that data NOW, but once they have it, they have it forever. And political climates can and do change. It is not inconceivable that the US will elect Big Brother bread-and-circuses socialists who model their ideas on the surveillance state of Britain, or religious whack-jobs who will simply say "God's law is higher than Man's law" and start criminalizing homosexuality, abortion, titty-pictures and religions that aren't Christian, or frothing-at-the-mouth Greenies who formalize in law the already-existing mapping of "skeptic" to "heretic". And they will be sitting upon a treasure-trove of information to identify who needs to be put in their place.

    That's what ideologically-driven governments do. All of them. In the name of "social equality", God, or "global warming", it's the same.

    • by CoderJoe (97563) *

      Sure, you can encrypt the data, but you still have layer 3 information showing what servers you're communicating with. And with the extensions to allow vhosts on https (with different certificates for each vhost), you might be able to tell what site is being visited by logging the handshake.

    • by easyTree (1042254) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @06:08PM (#37213052)

      It's lucky they took the time to run lots of false flag operations in the name of LulzSec and Anon. - otherwise the public might be forgiven for thinking that the levels of cyber-crime didn't warrant a global government-organised snooping-operation.

      Good show.

    • by mlts (1038732) * on Thursday August 25, 2011 @06:11PM (#37213088)

      Or more likely, governments in the future will just sit back and build a profile from information shared internationally. Then use a heuristic tool to assign a point core on amount of posts, wording, and other such to assign a threat factor to someone. That threat factor gets beyond a threshold, the local police get notified, the person disappears, and either a prison camp gets another hand, or an organ bank gets another set of kidneys, heart and other items to sell to a high bidder.

      • See "A prime aim of the growing Surveillance State" [salon.com].

        This is the point I emphasize whenever I talk about why topics such as the sprawling Surveillance State and the attempted criminalization of WikiLeaks and whistleblowing are so vital. The free flow of information and communications enabled by new technologies -- as protest movements in the Middle East and a wave of serious leaks over the last year have demonstrated -- is a uniquely potent weapon in challenging entrenched government power and other powerful factions. And that is precisely why those in power -- those devoted to preservation of the prevailing social order -- are so increasingly fixated on seizing control of it and snuffing out its potential for subverting that order: they are well aware of, and are petrified by, its power, and want to ensure that the ability to dictate how it is used, and toward what ends, remains exclusively in their hands.

      • Or what you are saying is; "The nightmare result of a potential Liberally abusive government is only less awful than that of a "free market" abusive government" as Caerdwyn had put it earlier.

        >> Government is going to be there whether we like it or not -- it's just a TOOL for setting the rules.

        Data collection and lack of privacy isn't good for a Democracy or free speech -- no matter WHAT paradigm you are living in. And the "free market" being allowed to pool and profile everyone isn't any better than

    • by Riceballsan (816702) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @06:13PM (#37213104)
      True, but even that is inevitably doomed in the long run, Either governments will issue much stronger supercomputers to break all encryption available to normal citizens, or they will be pushing laws to outlaw use of encryption stronger then a certain point without a license and a specific reason (IE you can use encryption while dealing with credit card transactions, but not to e-mail your friend. Don't think you can simply use technology to make yourself invincible, Either they can beat it, or they can outlaw it.
      • You can disobey physical laws... OTP encryption with a pad derived by a physical process is unbreakable without the pad.

        • It's xkcd's wrench again. (paraphrased). "Hi. Here is a wrench. I will beat you on the head with it in 4 4 time until you give me the passkeys."

          • the trouble with hardware otp is that there is no passkey except the hardware itself (and the otp in it).

            • but I guess that my skull will still be crushed so if I am not a terrorist (also known as freedom fighter) who value ideals more than is own life that is a bad thing...

          • by rdnetto (955205)

            If even 10% of the population encrypted everything, the government wouldn't have enough wrenches or people to use the wrenches.

      • There's a bash.org quote that I can't find right now (at work) where the guy was doing transfers in cents to a friend with a word or two attached, and apparently managed to carry out a conversation. I'm suddenly put in mind of that - if you can only encrypt a certain class of "communication", then why not encode & communicate over that?

      • by DarthVain (724186)

        Considering they recently reported (here at slashdot no less) that a "breakthrough" was made in decrypting AES encryption, which is pretty standard stuff, making the cracking of it twice as easy. However that said, we would probably see the heat death of the universe before that happens using current technology. Or at least several million or billion years (I am being intentionally vague here as what does it matter at these values). That is to say nothing of eventually making quantum computers, or some othe

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This trend will only get more pronounced as population rises and Internet connectivity increases. The more people there are, the more impact every individual's actions have on everyone else, and therefore the greater the incentive everyone faces to put limits on what everyone else can do.

      Many people love having freedom, but hate their neighbor's freedom (whether they realize it or not). This makes us all easy prey to the aristocracy.

      Besides, anything that empowers the masses to the detriment of the aristo

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 25, 2011 @06:24PM (#37213176)

      That's what ideologically-driven governments do. All of them. In the name of "social equality", God, or "global warming", it's the same.

      This is wise. And I appreciate that you showed that all sides of the political spectrum act the same if they get too much power. More Americans need to realize this.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        That's what ideologically-driven governments do. All of them. In the name of "social equality", God, or "global warming", it's the same.

        This is wise. And I appreciate that you showed that all sides of the political spectrum act the same if they get too much power. More Americans need to realize this.

        It all boils down to the same old saying, "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely".

        Governments are power. Ideological ones (i.e., all of them - at a minimum, a view on how they believe they should go

    • For decades, it was socialists that were the enemy of individual rights. Fascists are now much more of a threat. They (try to) make the trains run on time. They focus hatred on some minorities, get some real emotion going. They want a STONG government.

      As a Canadian, I have no intention of going into countries where I might disappear and be tortured to see what I might know (or just because they enjoy torture) - you know, countries like Chad, Angola, and the US.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        LOL, you're confused.

        It wasn't socialists, it was people masquerading as socialists. Including a few out and out fascists, such as the National Socialists of some country or another.

        They also masquerade as Communists, Christians, Liberals, Libertarians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and so forth.

        About the only thing they don't call themselves is anything accurate.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          LOL, you're confused.

          It wasn't socialists, it was people masquerading as socialists. Including a few out and out fascists, such as the National Socialists of some country or another.

          They also masquerade as Communists, Christians, Liberals, Libertarians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and so forth.

          About the only thing they don't call themselves is anything accurate.

          I have never personally heard of a socialist who wants a small government. I doubt it's even compatible with their particular dogma. The government most socialists seem to want is a large and powerful one. That's the main problem with socialism. There are all sorts of things that can go wrong in this scenario. Even if the people who originally set it up are noble, and good luck with that, positions of authority are irresistably attractive to sociopaths of all kinds.

          When I say this, bear in mind I am

          • by mlts (1038732) *

            Mazlow's pyramid. I'd rather deal with a larger government that can provide basic services should something happen than have to worry about if I have enough cash for the doctor, enough cash to feed family, a place to sleep, private security so some crackhead doesn't shoot me for a gang initiation rite.

            There is a happy balance of a government that can provide basic security for its citizens, but not become an overbearing police state. Ideally the best government is one where everyone participates in. This

    • "Addendum. If you encrypt anything that means you have something to hide and are therefore a terrorist. End of Line."

    • by drsmithy (35869)

      It is not inconceivable that the US will elect Big Brother bread-and-circuses socialists who model their ideas on the surveillance state of Britain, or religious whack-jobs who will simply say "God's law is higher than Man's law" and start criminalizing homosexuality, abortion, titty-pictures and religions that aren't Christian, or frothing-at-the-mouth Greenies who formalize in law the already-existing mapping of "skeptic" to "heretic".

      Well, the first and last options are pretty close to inconceivable, at

    • Or the corporations will finally finish eating the government and you'll get put on the list for being a 'disruptive non-consumer' ;p
    • by Serpents (1831432)

      It is not inconceivable that the US will elect Big Brother bread-and-circuses socialists

      I find it funny that most Americans who are so terrified of socialism apparently have no clue what it is

  • Do we expect anything less? Who couldn't see this coming from a thousand miles away? So let's start hearing some good news about real ad hoc networks that can actually keep us out of reach.. And please, if you all are gonna squeal about using encryption over their wire, save your breath. It won't work

  • by AMoth (1151295)
    Orwell will start rolling again soon enough...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I keep remembering the monologue from 'V for Vendetta' [imdb.com]:

      And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afr

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I use to think Alex Jones of infowars.com was a hoot to listen to. Now days, I find myself surprisingly shaking my head in agreement sometimes.
        • Re:Alas! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by causality (777677) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @07:53PM (#37213774)

          I use to think Alex Jones of infowars.com was a hoot to listen to. Now days, I find myself surprisingly shaking my head in agreement sometimes.

          Most people who are ahead of their time and can see things coming from a long distance away are regarded with ridicule and contempt. Especially when they were right.

          But don't worry. The fact that this has happened so many thousands of times never stops anyone from climbing up on their high horse and dismissing without examination anything and everything that doesn't fit their personal orthodoxy. The satisfaction of feeling for two whole seconds like they're better/wiser/smarter than someone else is much too precious to them.

          Also they sure as hell won't question their personal orthodoxy or how it came to be. That's too painful for cowards who derive their security from conformity to a group. The really scary thing is what they might discover: that it's not really theirs at all. If you want a biological model, consider a virus that injects itself from without and takes over a cell from within.

          Taking over a nation by force is the old, outdated, obsolete method and it's much too messy and risky for the modern tyrant. The sophisticated aristocracy of today simply brainwashes the masses by exploiting their ignorance and laziness and anti-intellectual culture. Then not only can you take control without firing a single shot, but they will actually elect you themselves. Eventually they'll have to because no one else will be on the ballot.

          I've been called a tin-foil hatter etc. plenty of times. I am only too familiar with the shallow narrow-minded mentality that never has the guts to put forth its own viewpoint, or attempts to do so and can only come up with some regurgitated talking points that came from a sound bite. That mentality is the foremost reason why nearly every major Western nation is decaying from within.

    • *again*? I think he's been rolling steadily faster since the mid-nineties.

  • I know serious questions usually aren't asked in slashdot comments, but I do have one. If the internet keeps going this way, and all the things that made it great are slowly taken away, what is the next technology that the original early-adopters are going to move to?

    Was privacy something that was always dead, only it took a few years to realize that fact on the internet? Or are there other ways of communicating beyond the internet that nerds/geeks are starting to look into?

  • Australians may recall the "Treaty" song :)
    Well I heard it on the internet
    And I saw it on slashdot
    Back in 2011
    All those posting privacy advocates
    Words are easy, words are cheap
    Much cheaper than our priceless profits
    But your indivisible rights can disappear
    Just like bloggers in the night

    Treaty Yeah
    Treaty Yeah Treaty Now

    This net was never given up
    This net was never yours
    The planting of the flag with 12 stars
    Never changed our view at all

    Now multiple legal systems have run their course
    Sepa
  • I don't understand how people can possibly defend this? it does nothing to protect you from the dangers of the "wild west" internet, all it does is add more surveillance to your citizens. I mean, what do they expect this to actually achieve?

    the internet is not like "the wild west" the internet is like more like international waters of infinite dimension.
    • You got it: "add more surveillance to your citizens"
    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      I honestly think it's apathy. Those in the government pushing this agenda want it. Noone else does, and frankly most would object if they knew or cared.

      But they don't know, and they don't care. They use the internet, but don't really know how it works. What they do know is that they hear the scare stories in the media about crime ON THE INTERNETS (omg) and thus anything directed at stopping that must be a good thing, right?

      Which brings up the second thing they don't care/know about. The vast majority of peo

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The political parties get the "we are doing something bounce"
      Ex spooks and their supporters get to flood the federal bureaucracy with security cleared offers of best new logging and tracking systems.
      A tax payers funded dream for the insiders and their political supporters. Fresh cash and only a select few can bid for it :)
      People who get the funding recall the parties and individuals who helped them, later in life, very nice jobs open up.
      Astroturfing is used where needed or real small time one issue pr

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