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Julian Assange: "Online Totalitarianism Is Near, Entire Nations Are Intercepted" 325

dryriver writes "Russia Today's correspondents have visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange has been holed up for nearly 6 months now. In the 12 minute long interview with RT, Assange has many interesting things to say about privacy, and government data interception in particular. A small excerpt: 'The people who control the interception of the Internet and, to some degree also, physically control the big data warehouses and the international fiber-optic lines. We all think of the Internet as some kind of Platonic Realm where we can throw out ideas and communications and web pages and books and they exist somewhere out there. Actually, they exist on web servers in New York or Nairobi or Beijing, and information comes to us through satellite connections or through fiber-optic cables. So whoever physically controls this controls the realm of our ideas and communications. And whoever is able to sit on those communications channels, can intercept entire nations, and that's the new game in town, as far as state spying is concerned — intercepting entire nations, not individuals. ... So what's happened over the last 10 years is the ever-decreasing cost of intercepting each individual now to the degree where it is cheaper to intercept every individual rather that it is to pick particular people to spy upon.'"
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Julian Assange: "Online Totalitarianism Is Near, Entire Nations Are Intercepted"

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  • Re:RT (Score:4, Informative)

    by MacDork ( 560499 ) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @08:59PM (#42164693) Journal

    I was listening to Julian Assange being interviewed about this topic on NPR this week. Is that one good enough for you? BBC was doing a show on this too this week. Are they unbiased enough? First post and you derail the comments with ad hominem.

    You are aware the US Govt has been intercepting everything that goes over the US internet [] for quite a while now, yes? Assange is telling us what /.'ers have been aware of for years and here you are throwing mud at RT.

  • Re:I blame the geeks (Score:4, Informative)

    by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @01:10AM (#42165811)

    Geeks are to blame for most of the loss of human rights on the net.

    When I started the Internet had a lot more people who cared about tinkering, improving and contributed to the network than people seeking to profit and leech from it.

    It was a few years later that the spam started flooding in.

    The rise of centralized systems fueled by the masses who just want to pay to be users without contributing back to the network is a bigger problem to our freedom than any government spying. If you really want to change things you have to find ways to get more people to be involved with the network again...

    Running your own servers has to be cool again.... not "to the cloud" cry of marketeers who seek money and control.

    The barrier as I see it is not really about technology it is more about getting more people interested and involved with the network.

    Ease of use as you point out is a critical factor but I recall lots of ordinary people learning html and setting up home pages back in the day...

    Wikipedia codes are hardly user friendly yet lots of ordinary people are still motivated to learn unecessary shit in order to improve and contribute information they care about.

    Technology and making things easier is critical but I believe motivation is more important.

    Unless we can find a way to get more people to care about the network I don't see uber technical solutions alone being sufficient to cross the finish line.

  • Re:use encryption (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday December 03, 2012 @01:42AM (#42166025) Homepage Journal

    You can't use encryption in isolation. Want to send your email encrypted?

    Which is why PGP is a failure (as a global tool) and IPSec or even just SMTP/SSL is the much better solution.

    The moment you start to encrypt traffic, you are drawing attention to yourself.

    Which is... basically, encryption needs to be universal for that very reason.

    You have to be clear who you are protecting your communication from. If the answer is friend or family, then it might work. If your answer is that you hope to protect yourself from government intercept, you are kidding yourself. Every major nation has the ability to intercept and brute-force decrypt messages.

    I very much doubt that. We have very strong crypto these days, that has stood the test of time. Sure, the NSA might know a trick for AES to reduce the time to break it by two or three orders of magnitude, like they did with DES. They might have special hardware to reduce it another three or four orders of magnitude. That still leaves us with enough strength to make any kind of mass-brute-forcing unfeasable.

    The point is not to protect one particular message against all the worlds' resources in cracking. The point is to encrypt everything, so even the government can only try to crack what they really, really care about.

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.