The answer is simple: in our country and system of government, the military fundamentally, and as a matter of law, answers to civilian authorities.
That's not a simple answer at all. It's an easy 'corporate' line. But the truth is that strategic economic decisions made on the behalf of the US for the past 20 years have put China in a position to be able to use vast amounts of US currency to influence civilian businesses. But no, it's not like I think I'm telling you something you don't know. I just think that we deserve apologies from the companies that got rich selling out the human rights of the Chinese (e.g. the first public caving of Yahoo handing over a free speaking dissident to the authorities. Then up to e.g. the amount of Chinese cyber intrusions that all these companies covered up for years, providing the internet users of the world false illusions of levels of communication security).
The military doesn't need to have day-to-day "control", but we need to have the capability, when attacked militarily, to defend ourselves militarily -- including in the "cyber" realm.
Yeah, OK, whatever, pull the plug on Skynet. You guys have a lot of guns and bombs and money, and in a 'military defense' posture, can no doubt again, ask the network operators to pull the plug on Skynet. But the issue I brought up, which I think is central and stated in terms that most of us here can understand- Is it a good thing that the FBI is asking Google and Facebook to mandatorily backdoor ssh (or, if you want to be pedantic, any subsequent point release of ssh that includes fixed algorithms that block all exploits the US gov has. I.e. that could be 0 or more exploits now for all I or any civilian knows, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to believe that at some point some minor point release of ssh, if not secure from the USgov, might become secure again for awhile. And the cnet disclosure of that FBI pressure on businesses, described a policy that boils down in essence to outlawing non-backdoored versions of ssh.
The mistake people make is believing it's a binary either/or; either civilian or military.
OK, nice strawman then, as it was your super highlighted article that made that point which you now purport to tear down. I agree, it's not black or white, so lets get back to my question- government mandated backdoors in ssh??
The fact is that our information capabilities are so critical that they need appropriate levels of protection. The notion that civil authorities can defend systems from a cyber attack is a fine notion, but not realistic if we are under a coordinated cyber attack from a nation-state explicit seeking to cripple us. If a foreign military is bombing civilian targets within our own borders, is not the purpose of our military to protect us? Sure, civil first responders will be involved, too, but I think most would expect a military response.
That's almost funny. Where has this military response been for the last 10 years? All I've seen are lazy greedy corporations that don't give a rats ass about human rights or privacy, at least when it comes to standing up to threats to those arena from China. And then there is sad of how economic policy, i.e. to the point of folks like me not really believing there is a relevant line between the China and US governments. I mean, can folks like you do anything but order another drink and sigh when you look at the ongoing deficit issue with China, and then pretend that this can be looked at as a military issue between two superpowers, rather than a citizenship of the world issue trying to figure out how to live under a new government that is effectively, if not superficially, a single unified entity?
We as a nation are so used to the military being something we use in foreign lands and faraway places that the concept of our military being here to defend ourselves at home is a concept that is, well -- foreign.
Huh? I was propogandized with everyone else here in grade school about the issues of 'standing armies in times of peace' and so on and so forth. And that whole congress power to declare war and related stuff that the current world order completely ignores. I think what you meant to say, is the 'cyber' dimension is the game changer. Not the idea of domestic military. People who have an opinion one way or the other tend to have opinions about the domestic role of the military.
There can certainly be (and already are) public-private partnerships, civilian-military cooperation, etc. This also doesn't mean that secure systems and protocols should be "backdoored" for the government
Glad you think so, but it seems Obama and the FBI have different opinions-
In May, CNET disclosed that the FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a proposed law that would require firms, including Microsoft,
Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in back doors for government surveillance. The bureau's draft proposal would require that social-networking
Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly. ...
, but it might mean having some combination of infrastructure, equipment, accesses, standards, partnerships, rules, and similar in place at civilian facilities.
Describe for me the most obviously controversial such measure that would reside in my home, if I wanted to be running a civilian web server. I posit that the above suggests that Obama/FBI wants backdoors in ssh and any similarly encrypted protocol I use hosting a linux lamp server at my home, serving free speech to other americans and citizens of the world.
I think the problem people have is that we can see planes, tanks, and soldiers -- we are worried we can't "see" what "the government" is doing, as is the case in the digital realm. But what we can "see" is the law and a robust system of oversight. Yes, history tells us that there have been abuses. There no doubt will be again. It is a system made up of humans and all of their requisite imperfections.
But we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater -- just because we know we can't do something perfectly doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.
Unless you tackle the hearts of the issue. E.g. hosting a shell access server at your home with ssh, ala the infamous 'nyx.net', then this sounds like superflous B.S. Talk specifics. Lets start with ssh getting backdoored.
Does the benefit outweigh the risks? Some believe that giving any military or intelligence service ANY control over defense of systems and networks represents too big a risk -- I would ask those people to get a broader perspective.
Again, I think that's a bit of a strawman. Again, you guys have an immeasurable amount of money, guns, and manpower at your disposal. The real issue here is 'undeclared wars'. It seems as if your post to slashdot was, in some niche realm, part of a declaration of cyberwar with China. I mean, until yesterday, I hadn't really spent any time troll-battling alleged navy information warfare officers. Today seems to be a new day, and I'm just trying to figure out WTF the ground rules of the internet are. As from my manifesto, you can see I believe that even the paragons of the internet- Google, are blatantly and willfully confusing the issue (ToS says 'any server of any kind is prohibited from being hosted at your residence connected to the Google Fiber ISP in Kansas City'. But leaked to slashdot and yet to be denied, Google's CFO is 'really annoyed' by the no server clause, and Google's CFO say's it won't be enforced except for a 'large scale datacenter'. Then you get paranoid folks like me reading that, and the cnet/fbi/ssh-backdoor issue, and then a navy information warfare officer replying to clam666 on slahsdot's announcement of cyberwar with China, and I'm like- forget this internet thing, I'll just go find me a big enough bottle of vodka to drink my farewell sorrows from the internet away from. Honestly, if the disinformation on this issue was only coming from people like you I would't be so pissed. But the disinformation seems to be coming from all sides and I'm about ready to start throwing bricks through windows it's so infuriatingly frustrating.
Hope this answers at least part of your question; this is just my own view.
We'll see what the Kansas Attorney General and/or Vint Cerf say to my manifesto when I send it. Thanks for humoring me.