[discuss] Blogpost: So What Do We Do Now? Living in a Post-Snowden World

Phillip Hallam-Baker hallam at gmail.com
Fri Jan 3 03:35:45 UTC 2014

On Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM, Stephen Farrell
<stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie>wrote:

> I disagree with this bit:
> On 01/02/2014 04:24 PM, michael gurstein wrote:
> > But the revelations have just kept on coming and the tech community like
> > everyone else recognizes the scope and depth and ultimately overwhelming
> > power of an agency with access to the full might and resources of the
> > richest, most powerful country on earth led by a President who himself
> seems
> > to be either in thrall of the surveillance machine or indentured to it
> for
> > reasons we may never know. They, now equally stand blinded by the
> headlights
> > of a headlong careening tank, are recognizing with appalled
> > self-incriminations what a horror they have allowed and contributed to
> being
> > born.
> >
> > Quite clearly technical solutions won't work (or at least won't scale) if
> > the dominant power doesn't want it to work, and anyway who would trust
> that
> > anti-surveillance solutions were working after all we know of how the
> > corporate sector and the tech community has been (willingly or or no)
> > brought in as semi-aware co-conspirators.
> While we can't solve the problem via solely technical means,
> there are technical things that we can and should be doing
> that can increase the costs and visibility of pervasive
> monitoring. And I don't think that the technical community are
> blinded by headlights at all. That's not to say that there's
> yet rough consensus on all the details, but I don't think the
> above matches the current reality very well.

We might not be able to stop the NSA but those are not the actors I am most
worried about. There are governments with rather worse ambitions and thanks
to Snowden their cyber-attack agencies have just received carte blanche
level funding.

We can certainly stop the Russian mafia from stealing money from our banks
and stop vandals attacking power and water plants.

We can also modify the behavior of the NSA so that they think really hard
before they authorize a program. From now on they are going to be thinking
about the likelihood that any new program they authorize ends up on the
front page of the NYT.

Website: http://hallambaker.com/
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