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The internet privacy horse has bolted

Posted by Greg Roake

18/12/14 09:07

The horse has bolted as far as Internet Privacy goes

You are delusional in believing that encryption on its own is THE answer to internet privacy?

Call me naive but I think that the horse seemed to have bolted some time ago and all of this encryption activity we are seeing is just window dressing and feel good fluff!.

The Wiki Leaks put paid to the belief that the internet was private.  Slowly since those early revelations we have seen a growing move to utilise encryption technology to protect our data and email communications from prying eyes on both sides of the fence. 

Privacy-on-the-Internet-575x396

'Good job, NSA! You turned Yahoo! into an encryption beast'

Yahoo! has announced major encryption improvements designed to thwart dragnet surveillance efforts by the likes of the NSA. Alex Stamos, Yahoo!'s recently appointed CISO (chief information security officer), said the internet giant has finished encrypting traffic between its data centres. Stamos also outlined a roadmap for … John Leyden, 03 Apr 2014

Why US Feds and g-men kick up a stink about a growing smartphone encryption trend

ANALYSIS Over the last few weeks law enforcement officials on both sides of the Atlantic have been kicking up a fuss over Apple and Google deciding to include effective encryption on their smartphones. Comment - Iain Thomson, 2 months

This sounds all well and good and no doubt have provided some with a sense of relief that prying eyes, such as the NSA and the GCSB,  are going to be thwarted in their attempts to gather and analyse anything and everything that travels around the internet. 

But as I opined at the start of this blog “THE HORSE HAS BOLTED?”

ISPs are stripping encryption from netizens' email – EFF

Some ISPs are removing encryption from customers' connections to email servers – threatening the privacy of their communications – claims civil-liberties group the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Incidents in the US and Thailand over recent months have seen service providers intercepting their customers' data to strip a security …John Leyden, 1 month

FBI boss: Apple's iPhone, iPad encryption puts people 'ABOVE THE LAW'

FBI Director James Comey has complained that Apple and Google's use of stronger encryption in smartphones and tablets makes it impossible for cops and g-men to collar criminals. "There will come a day – well it comes every day in this business – when it will matter a great, great deal to the lives of people of all kinds that we …Iain Thomson, 3 months

If you think not them maybe it is you not me that is naïve.  Think about it – with what we have discovered along the lines of these three posts from http://www.theregister.co.uk/Tag/encryption it’s not a big stretch to accept the fact that THE HORSE HAS BOLTED.

NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

UPDATED The tech world is aflutter over the Heartbleed encryption flaw in OpenSSL, but it seems that the bug was no surprise to the analysts of the NSA, since they have reportedly been using it for two years to spy on data traffic. Two sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that NSA staff picked up on the fatal flaw shortly …Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2014

Snowden docs: NSA building encryption-cracking quantum computer

The latest document stash from whistle-blower Edward Snowden shows that the NSA has budgeted $79.7m for the development of a quantum computer capable of "owning the net." "The Owning the Net (OTN) Project provides the technological means for NSA/CSS to gain access to and securely return high value target communications," one …Iain Thomson, 03 Jan 2014

Reports: NSA has compromised most internet encryption

The NSA and the GCHQ have compromised much encryption used on the internet through a potent mix of technological theft, spycraft, and collaboration with major technology companies, according to new reports. In a series of news articles that highlight how the code-breaking crypto-fiddling agencies NSA and GCHQ are doing their job … Jack Clark, 05 Sep 2013

So what do you do to protect the privacy of the messages and data that you transmit across the internet? 

Well you could write it out by hand and deliver it personally to your recipients, wait whilst they read it and then destroy the message by fire – yes that will do the job!

Realistically do I give a jot that someone is reading my email recipe for date scones? Not one bit.

What I do want to protect are the messages and attachments that are by my definition, commercially sensitive. For those types of commercially sensitive communications (Trade negotiations, M and A dealings, product research, etc) I need to be able to:

  1. Manage the circle of contacts that will be involved in each transmission
  2. Manage what these contacts can do with the communications (no save and no forwarding for instance) and for how long
  3. Eliminate ISP’s (exct for their routers) and for that matter effectively have your own private internet.

I want my sensitive communications to have no leaks, no trail and no fail. Yes I can see you thinking this guy is really naive, but before you make such a supposition watch this short video.

If you like what you see, sign up for a free VeilMail trial and feel the privacy!

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As always - your comments and feedback are welcome. Join the discussion below.

Image credit http://www.byuipt.net/teachingwithtechnology/archives/1059 

Topics: Privacy Issues, Privacy Opinions, Secure email

About this blog

There are times where privacy matters. Under the Veil explores the concept of PRIVACY - when and why it matters, and how to ensure that when privacy matters it does and that delete actually means delete.

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