Wiretapping scandal PRISM: Do we now encrypt all or not there are other measures needed?




Wiretapping scandal PRISM: Do we now encrypt all or not there are other measures needed?

It is the theme of the last few days and will probably keep us busy for a while. The wiretapping scandal PRISM by the American NSA and other partners such as the UK with the program tenses . One of the few issues where the policy takes up a rather technical subject, which Edward Snowden has set in motion and which are interested in some of the media at the start is more likely where he flees well as to report on the actual secret surveillance of all citizens and high-ranking inger politicians .

Jonathan McIntosh: Surveillance CC BY SA 2.0

Backgrounds and previously known information

The previously published slides from the Guardian and the Washington Post have the impressive world public made ​​aware of what the technology is already capable of and what the states and their intelligence intensively exploited. Shortly after the first disclosure of the documents I read other comments on Twitter and the response that, although these troubled periphery but they did not expect otherwise.

Now you can indeed argue that the U.S. in its delusions of control since the 11th This September under the hand has long admitted that they have built up a huge but infrastructure rather than intensively monitor the countries that the ” axis of evil are “as bezeichnte George W. Bush once, but then a different dimension.

They Served In Silence
Austin Mills: They Served in Silence – CC BY SA 2.0

A real-time monitoring of more than 100,000 people to the damaligem state in which every action was recorded, regardless of whether they have logs in your email client or just a chat message sent – without legal Legitmation and notification of affected countries and their partners. Germany is only according to the information of the mirror in it as the land of third grade assigned, which is also a target for espionage. Hard tone for a country that constantly emphasizes the importance of him were the transatlantic partnership.

Privacy in the digital network is practically no longer take place, it will just once again led us strongly in mind. Not only the large Internet companies like Google, Microsoft or Facebook earn millions of records – the U.S. authorities may, according to previous information directly tap all relevant information and integrate this into your software that the huge amount of data via different mechanisms and experiences with Big Data now probably can analyze amazingly well. The former STASI would have been proud to have such a mass of data on all persons, as a former Stasi employees informed recently .

As the submarine cable by British intelligence are already tapped and probably also many information-intensive tapped in Frankfurt, of course, no one is interested in the retention without suspicion, in this country by the Federal Constitutional Court is prohibited .
Encrypt All future?

Shortly after the publication of course many wondered how you can protect your private data from government spying. Quickly falls naturally to a one, the word encryption. Even Snowden said in an interview shortly before his immersion assume that this would be a relatively safe option, even if the ends of the communication are so far secured only weak and so the NSA still often get to the information. In principle I can agree here, the technical conditions have long had:

Operating Systems provide complete encryption, in part during the installation (eg LUKS , FileVault 2 in Mac OS or BitLocker in Windows)
Encrypt individual files or container with Truecrypt , encfs , PGP are easy to use
OTR (Off the Record) encryption of messages in chat clients like Pidgin, Miranda & Co is easily includable
Mails safely encrypt is not rocket science more, thanks Enigmail for Thunderbrid – even for Gmail there are similar extensions with Mailvelope
VPN providers are plentiful and the TOR project existed for a very long

It’s not like that for some time has been made aware of the risks of unencrypted communications at various points. But people are comfortable, I know in my environment, which is technically quite well versed in part, as good as anybody encrypted the mails or instant messages.

PRISM is also not likely to change the. The outcry now though is great, but who really wants to give up the comforts of services from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple & Co since. This website lists alternatives that are almost all long – wide spread they have not been found and this will probably also (unfortunately) do not change as quickly.

This is not to encrypt important data be no plea. This is of course useful, but for normal, relatively non-critical, communication encryption methods are currently not really practical for the majority of the population and this seems almost impossible to re-educate me. Here it would be to develop it to Google or Apple benutzerfeundliche encryption mechanisms and incorporate into their services that operate from home. Although if they were safer from the U.S. authorities is questionable, but it would certainly be a start.

In a few weeks, but you would probably get back the surprised ask why unless you at once so intent on security, and that you overdo it with the encryption and unnecessary complication. Without a broad segment of the population that uses those encryption but this is also actively offer no real protection for the foreseeable future, I guess you try to classy after a few weeks desperate abandon.
The solution lies in a much more general rethinking of the population and the policy

For me, one possible solution is to encrypt is not everything and that to live in a culture that is characterized by the constant suspicion that my entire life is completely digital communications and suspicion analyzed independently. Our President has an interview in the summer of ZDF withdrawn on the general job security as a necessary justification, which restricts the freedom of getting a little. It must remain only relatively, of course, on any topic which you can always tell.

To have in his pride made the American president, he seems to have forgotten his great freedom about it, a real criticism came not to his lips, despite the understandable maintaining diplomatic relations – he was supposed to evaluate such methods with its critical history.

But the Chancellor, after all, obliged to avert damage from the German people , is far more cautious and has occurred very rapidly with Obama’s response to his visit to Berlin resigned that this serves the security and even some terrorist attacks had prevented even in Germany. Only their government spokesman made ​​it a little clearer to speak .

Although some Oppositionspolitker and members of the European Union demanded an urgent explanation to what extent the United States and Britain are ready but for now remains questionable. Especially when other data between the EU and the U.S. already before intensive data exchange was maintained (eg flight data agreement ) to me is the emerging issue of whether the BND is not significantly more involved in the affairs, as he likes to admit, and can. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has again refilled impressive :

“I did want to say every country in the world did is engaged in international affairs, of national security, under takes lots of activities to protect its national security and all kinds of information Contributes to that. All I know is thatthat is not unusual for lots of nations. ”

All the excitement he can not understand therefore, Finally, the approach is normal in a lot of states. Usual bit cynical, but I think with a proper thesis also Sascha Lobo commented recently to PRISM.

Marina Weis band recently has this one worth reading comments written whose main message I share. To protect our communications all measures restricting ourselves are indeed safe at first, but in the long run not what the individual actually wants. Everyone wants to communicate in freedom without huge data acquisitiveness and analysis of these data and constantly restrict yourself. The Western States would only finally overcome their general fear of terrorism and get the population of the corresponding signals. Although in a different context, but the issue here was quite fitting together properly after the attacks in Oslo, Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

“Our response will be more openness and more democracy.”

More openness in intelligence (although that contradicts their nature) and more restrictions in their practice of secret surveillance with parliamentary scrutiny here is the right approach for freedom and continue an open and trusting communication. Of course it does because not only the state but some movement in all countries, which is, unfortunately, probably difficult to realize, but a start was supposed to be to make!


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