Photo courtesy of Perspecsys Photos
The pretext of terrorism should never be used as an excuse to remove privacy.
Right now we are under threat of losing our right of privacy and our civil liberties. You may be surprised to learn that this threat does not come from criminals, terrorists, foreign countries or coups.
Which countries are at risk?
You may be surprised to learn - The United Kingdom and the United States. Both countries are attempting to circumvent the security in-place to protect your bank information, your text messages, your online activity, your childs electronic toys, your medical records and your right not incriminate yourself.
If this sounds a little bit made up; just take a look over the last few weeks of headlines from any news outlet online or in print.
The UK is pushing an Investigatory Powers Bill from Theresa May that will grant near unlimited access to any information including your health records and the information can be kept at will. It requires internet service providers to keep a log of all sites you visit for 12 months. But it is not just you, your children and friends - every single person.
The law will require the ISP themselves store the information and keep it safe. Almost all the major ISPs have been hacked in the past few years resulting in lose of secured private information. But your entire history is to be kept by those same people.
The UK Government is renowned for losing data themselves, hacking is very common as is leaving CD's and flash drives on public transport.
The US has been increasing it so called security rules in the name of crime prevention. But the same government allowed hackers to access millions of public employee records.
Apple takes a stand
The US FBI is demanding that Apple create a way to access encrypted data on any iPhone, initially to see IF there is any useful information related to the deadly act of terrorism in San Bernardino last December.
Can we trust the Government
Given the wealth of information released over the past few years about the amount of illegal hacking, spying and other activities, it would be logical to conclude that having access to more ways will not remove these acts. Rather it is more likely to increase them.
But once the genie is out of the bottle then the game is over.
Compromising the security of all devices in the distant hope that a terrorist was stupid enough not destroy it - is infinitesimally small. With the hope being that useful information can be found after the event.
Now the FBI (and all agencies) will see the value in unfettered access and will require the ability for all devices in all circumstances for all cases. This is obviously a downward spiral.
But now there is a 'back door' - if this sounds scary it should do. Because even if we believe that the Government spy agencies and police forces will only ever use this ability with judicial oversight - we still have to worry about all the access we just gave to the same bad guys we were being protected from.
But the Government says it will be safe
If you hide a key under your door mat or inside a hide-a-key rock - then you already know that your home is at risk as you have provided a simple way in.
Three Little Pigs
The Three Little Pigs learned that true security is the only security. But Governments are trying to convince you that once you swap your brick house for straw house, that "everything will be fine".
So what can you do?
Call or write to your MP (UK), Congressman (US). Urge them to speak to experts in the field of security and to industry leaders. Those same people are already trying to convince the Government that you value your privacy far more than the appearance of security.
The Government needs to be told that what it thinks is security is so much more dangerous than the problem they think they are solving.
You'll Never Guess How Many Terrorist Plots the NSA's Domestic Spy Program Has Foiled. I will give you a hint; just ONE in the United States of America.