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Censorship Government Privacy Security The Internet IT Technology Your Rights Online

Internet Monitoring: Who Watches the Watchers? 75

Posted by samzenpus
from the unseen-mechanized-eye dept.
wiredmikey writes "Here's an interesting take on the IT security industry and tools being sold and used by to monitor internet users. It's no secret that many states and nations are censoring and monitoring the Internet. Many of these governments are considered authoritarian regimes, often times with trade restrictions and other sanctions against them. Most of these censorship systems are based on proprietary, enterprise hardware and solutions. Unfortunately, those who decide where these tools end up are often torn between conflicting interests. How many services and devices are actually being used by people whom we prefer would not have access to them? How long until they are used against us, even if indirectly? At which point do we have to stop looking at Information Security as a market, and begin viewing it as a matter of defense and (inter)national security?"
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Internet Monitoring: Who Watches the Watchers?

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  • by mr1911 (1942298) on Monday November 28, 2011 @01:32PM (#38192972)
    It will be used against you.
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Monday November 28, 2011 @01:35PM (#38193010) Homepage Journal

    on why they permit sales outside of the country followed quickly by asking yourself this, why do we expect to hold a corporation to a standard that we do not expect to hold our government too?

    By that I mean, it sure is SAFE and EASY to go after a company to uphold values you hold dear but damn if anyone wants to stand up to their own government when it maintains relationships one way or another with the same regimes.

    Then top it off with multinationals, to whom are they beholden. If you have offices in the US, Germany, Russia, and China, whose laws take precedence? What if your further incorporated on some tiny island for tax purposes?

    Yes its a bad thing what these countries do, but guess what, they always have and will, hoping to limit the damage by limiting the software available won't get much relief to the oppressed. That change happens at home by getting the right people in government who actually stand behind the words they use on the campaign trail.

  • by concealment (2447304) on Monday November 28, 2011 @01:41PM (#38193084) Homepage Journal

    Writing one of these tool sets is not that difficult, nor are the technical concepts involved.

    They will exist even if every existing developer decides to cease supporting them.

    The only solution are strong workarounds: peer-to-peer proxies like Tor and BitTorrent, in addition to strong encryption.

    At the point where any of those fail you, the solution is regime change, not technology.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) on Monday November 28, 2011 @01:44PM (#38193128) Homepage Journal

    ...to see the security issue land at the user's door. That would put the onus upon the manufacturers to provide secure computers for the general public, and let the market sort that out; rather than having a mommy-culture watch things "for" us/me. WRT states and corporations and so forth, they are responsible for protecting their data -- and they should guard it carefully. And if they don't, we should be able to take them to task for it. But I can't see sufficient justification to lock down the world just to make it easy for them.

    But I suppose it's too late for any of that.

  • by Jawnn (445279) on Monday November 28, 2011 @02:07PM (#38193360)

    ...to see the security issue land at the user's door. That would put the onus upon the manufacturers to provide secure computers for the general public, and let the market sort that out; rather than having a mommy-culture watch things "for" us/me.

    Keep wishing for your mythical free-market to "fix things". Be prepared to wait a very, very long time for that to actually happen, however. You Adam Smith fanboys all seem to continuously forget that "the invisible hand" requires a fully informed market to function properly. To suggest that "the general public", as a whole, has even the most remote possibility of being fully informed on a matter as complex as network/computer security is, to understate it by a bunch, absurd. I am not satisfied to live in a world where some magic akin to fairy dust will supposedly ensure that vendors only sell secure products. You're god damned right I want laws that require a certain level of security be engineered into the products and services that are offered to the market. And no, I do not want the law to specify the technology, only the need for it, and most importantly, the penalties for failing to provide it. It should hurt, by than a quarter or two worth of profits, when TJ Max or Blue Cross decides to cut corners on the guarding my personal information which they have insisted they must store in their systems. It should be a crime to be so negligent with so much treasure.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday November 28, 2011 @02:09PM (#38193386)

    At which point do we have to stop looking at Information Security as a market, and begin viewing it as a matter of defense and (inter)national security?"

    I believe all the governments of the world are unanimous in saying they don't like the influence that people in other countries have on their citizens. Thus, the internet is a threat to all governments, everywhere, and the solutions will be varying degrees of censorship and control of critical infrastructure until access to the internet in its present form is impossible and is instead subsumed by a global network which mirrors the geographical and sociolpolitical needs of those governments.

  • crack pipe (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2011 @02:13PM (#38193410)

    It's ok to put down the crack pipe. The illumanati is just a book, there is no grand jewish conspiracy to take over the world, the cia didn't assassinate jfk and the nsa could care less about your porn habits.

    I'd like to welcome you to the real world where we have sunshine and problems like hunger and unemployment to deal with.

    Step 1 - put down the crack pipe, lay off the drugs, just for a few hours, ok?

    Step 2 - step out of your mothers basement

    Step 3 - go outside, see a bit of the world

    Step 4 - you really need a shrink, you can find one of google if you don't think the government has take over your internet connection in a grand conspiracy theory.

    You really, really need to get a grip.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Monday November 28, 2011 @02:41PM (#38193736) Journal

    WTH are you talking about? The article is talking about ISP level traffic monitoring and filtering technology, and you're commenting about securing individual computers. I know this is /. and all, but come on now.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.

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