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Comment: Re:Actually, ADM Rogers doesn't "want" that at all (Score 1) 406

by Steve B (#49123383) Attached to: NSA Director Wants Legal Right To Snoop On Encrypted Data

If companies want to take the direction of removing themselves from the encryption picture altogether, that is their prerogative.

And yet that is precisely what the government is pissing and moaning and setting its hair on fire about. Showing that sort of contempt for citizens' private prerogatives is what caused them to forfeit our trust in the first place.

Comment: Re:If they break into people's homes.... (Score 1) 392

That's another advantage of forcing the snoops back to "direct access" methods -- every so often one of them will get caught red-handed snooping on the wrong (i.e. clearly innocent and rich/influential) target, re-focusing attention on them and forcing another round of retrenchment until it blows over.

Comment: Re:Cost/benefit ratio (Score 1) 392

Now, if a backdoor is found by the bad guys, it will be used almost immediately to destroy a company.

If it's found by really bad guys (e.g. North Korea on a day when Dear Supreme Grand High Panjandrum is feeling especially trollish), it can be publicly circulated to destroy every company.

Comment: Re:And is this a bad thing? (Score 5, Insightful) 392

Forcing them to switch to "direct access" methods puts pressure on them to follow the law. First, as I noted in my earlier comment, the non-scaling time and manpower costs (each tail, bug, etc requires significant additional resources) forces careful selection of targets. Second, "direct access" methods put the snoops at a nontrivial risk of getting caught and/or leaving recoverable evidence each time they use them illegally.

Comment: That's Exactly What They SHOULD Be Doing (Score 2) 392

"Direct access" methods (tailing people, planting surveillance devices, etc) do not scale anywhere near as easily as network surveillance -- each "direct access" target requires a significant fixed cost in resources and manpower. This imposes discipline on the snoops and forces them to pick and choose actual suspects instead of trying to scoop up everything.

The trouble with being punctual is that people think you have nothing more important to do.

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