Information Security: YES, YOU CAN!

As a sequel to my previous post, two questions arose.

1. What is the payoff of all sorts of digital trawling without reasonable suspicion?

2. Can anyone can actually opt out of all that digital trawling of the likes of PRISM or TEMPORA?
[Note: you find an answer to the second question at the end of this post.]

The payoff of digital trawling

Intelligence services have generally justified actions like PRISM or TEMPORA by referring to the constitution that obliged them to defend their citizens’ rights.

First, if this is not a textbook example of a vicious circle that assumes to defend constitutional rights after limiting those rights in order to limit more rights to be defended, then education in math and history is a waste of time.

Second, if the argument of citizens’ defense is true where are the successive results?
Unfortunately, nobody has heard any of such success stories despite the accountability of any governmental organizations towards its controllers and sponsors, the people and their legally elected representatives.

If the NSA and other agencies intercepted data transmission on the grounds of such defense obligations how easy would it have been to simultaneously block malicious data and sessions incurred by phishers, spammers, and other digital burglars?
According to the Symantec Threat Report of 2011, the number of web attacks is however growing in breadth and depth year by year.
So, let’s answer this: digital trawling is not a protective measure to save citizens from digital attacks which means nothing more that any cyber citizen is left to its own device.

The common argument goes into the direction of economics since governments in capitalist societies refrain from intervening in market transactions, here, the security industry. But this argument followed through means also that any government has to accept and let alone the counter part of such market transactions, i.e. a defense industry is to be justified by an attack industry and vice versa!
A more unknown argument points to the “principle of legality” that obliges legal and executive authorities to investigate any disclosed security breach.
Given Symantec’s number of 5.5 billion web attacks worldwide per year, no country could in fact scale up their forces in terms of people and sophistication. If any such attack required three months for investigation all governments were to spend 500 billion working hours or a head count of 2,3 billion. A third of the world’s population would then work for intelligence services, the police, or judiciary!

So, if the task of attack prevention and response had to be ceded to the market what have the intelligence services been looking for?
According to the NSA, “millions and millions and millions” of transmissions have been intercepted in order to find “dozens” of terrorist attacks.

When such actions were supposed to find the terrorizing needle in a haystack, then how on earth could intelligence services have ever found such suspects before the advent of internet?
Has the internet changed the “economics of intelligence” so tremendously that those bodies had to abandon some constitutional rights and their tools?

And how could they overlook the Boston bombers then?
Uh, don’t get me wrong, but if I got the math correctly any formula could be rejected when one finds at least one example proving that very formula not working.

Opt out of digital trawling

Face the facts!
The cyber space remains Wild West and any individual is to pay the price for digital trawling as well as for defensive tools.
As long as no politician prefers to mute itself rather than to stand up against their elector’s outrageous deprivation of constitutional rights, electors should have the right defend themselves even if that means to get to the same guns as those of hackers.

Can we?

Yes, WE CAN!

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