Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Everybody Gets To Use Them

I'm going to lump a few somewhat different things together here, but one argument crazy civil libertarians/privacy experts/technologists make is that all of the various backdoor surveillance systems that law enforcement and The State generally love can of course be used by anyone. There's no way to make these back doors available, and especially not in common usage, without making all of the systems in question much more vulnerable. And security - including national security - is probably threatened much more by the existence of these types of devices (and the desire to make sure they can be used) than by letting the government play with them. In other words, being devoted to finding and destroying these toys would be much smarter than building them. If your stated goals are what you say they are, of course.

For the first time, the U.S. government has publicly acknowledged the existence in Washington of what appear to be rogue devices that foreign spies and criminals could be using to track individual cellphones and intercept calls and messages.

The use of what are known as cellphone-site simulators by foreign powers has long been a concern, but American intelligence and law enforcement agencies — which use such eavesdropping equipment themselves — have been silent on the issue until now.

Above my pay grade, but I'd guess detecting and destroying/blocking these things would be trivial unless, of course, you were more concerned about them being detectable when used by the "good guys."

What's it all about then...