[Cryptography] Comey: targeted ads => plaintext access

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at hallambaker.com
Mon Sep 14 11:34:08 EDT 2015

On Sun, Sep 13, 2015 at 4:42 PM, Henry Baker <hbaker1 at pipeline.com> wrote:

> When I hear people talk about the crypto wars, it throws me because wars
> are fought between people with different values I think we all share the
> same values here.
> We all care about safety and security on the Internet, and I'm a big fan
> of strong encryption, we all care about public safety, and the problem we
> have here is those are in tension, and a whole lot of our work increasingly
> in counter-terrorism and criminal work and counter-intelligence work and
> given that we care about the same things, I hope we can all agree that we
> ought to come together to try and solve that problem.

No, we have very different values. Comey works from an office building
named after an individual who committed some of the worst abuses of office
in any democratic country. And he committed those abuses to deny black
people civil rights and to deny union workers the right to fair wages and a
whole raft of causes I do not recognize as any type of 'value'.

Comey's office is unique in a democratic county in combining the office of
head law enforcement with head of counter-intelligence. The techniques and
methods that are appropriate to one are completely incompatible with those
that are appropriate to the other.

The blurring of the lines of responsibility meant that there was no
distinction made between FBI law enforcement activity and counter-espionage
activity. And since counter-espionage is also an NSA function, between the
FBI, a civil law enforcement agency and the NSA, a military agency run by
generals who I have heard to talk in private like a Pinochet or a Franco.

I believe in accountability and the FBI obviously does not. There have been
no investigations, let alone prosecutions of the officers and politicians
involved in the Bush era torture program. And every officer serving in the
NSA does so under an 'up or out' promotion program that requires them to be
promoted every two years or lose their job. This inevitably means that
there is no internal accountability as any officer who refuses an illegal
order from a superior is simply denied promotion and eliminated. That
approach to management is what permitted and sustained the culture of
criminality at Enron.

The fact that the FBI has found even the laughably lax requirements for
getting a court warrant too much of an inconvenience is ample demonstration
that they don't believe in accountability.

And that is before we get to the fact that information gathered under the
PRISM collection of programs was used for a long list of illegal purposes.
Including as swap collateral with Israel.
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