I worked at IBM at the time (I designed and wrote a good chunk of the C/C++ compiler back-end used for OS/2), and this is quite true -- but it was aided and abetted by IBMs inability to sell OS/2 outside their traditional corporate markets. OS/2 is sadly dead and not relevant today, and has been in this state since at least 1995.
That compiler was an interesting story -- we (the OS/2 back-end team) were told to write an RPG compiler back end for OS/2 (this was back in 1989). That didn't seem like much fun, but the IR (W-Code) was the same as the one used by the C & C++ compilers for the mainframes. So we decided to make the back-end support C & C++ too -- because that *was* fun. When there was the falling out between MS and IBM, we had a working C and C++ compiler for OS/2. I can still remember getting hello.c running, then dhrystone, and not much later bootstrapping the compiler itself.
That was a long time ago.
I think the grandparent post is completely wrong. We need to fight this on 2 fronts: Technically with encryption *everywhere* (even dram contents -- a DMA controller / IO processor should *never* see plaintext), and politically -- advocating against the surveillance state, voting for politicians who reign it in where ever possible.
(In Canada, in my opinion, this means your obvious choice in the next election is the NDP. They took Alberta, they can take Ottawa.)
Breaking the "rules" as the grandparent post advocates will be *very* counter productive, and will only invite *more* abuses, not less.
Even the *cables* and patch cords can have bugs hidden in the connectors. Trust *nothing*. Encrypt everything -- I think outside sram caches on the CPU there should be no unencrypted data at all -- even dram contents should be encrypted.
Of course Key generation and distribution will be the soft underbelly for NSA, CSEC, GCHQ et al to feast on.
But as you point out, give yourself the "reasonable expectation of privacy" that encrypting everything will allow you to claim in court. Force them to tip their hand with actions. Make "parallel" construction so hard it looks laughably obvious. Make un-targeted surveillance prohibitively expensive. Make targeted spying hard enough and costly enough that they'll only use it against real adversaries and not their own citizens and dissidents / political opposition.
It seems to be the only answer and the only way we'll hold on to the freedoms that so many of our grandparents fought, bled, and died for.
I can and do vote here in Canada, and in our upcoming election we have an option (NDP) who have promised to repeal the horribly flawed bill C51 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-terrorism_Act,_2015). I encourage all like minded Canadians to get out and vote this fall.
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