Obama: cryptographers who don't believe in magic ponies are "fetishists," "absolutists"


#1

[Read the post]


#2

God. Fucking. Damnit Obama stop giving my racist relatives shit to bitch about.

Also in B4 acres and acres of Pony gifs.


#3

Congratulations, President Obama. You have successfully described the plot of Cryptonomicon.

I suggest you read the rest of it before making any more public remarks or executive decisions about encryption.


#4

Magic ponies.

Right.


#5

I’ve run into this attitude in other areas as well. If something is actually impossible, some folks like to say, “nothing is impossible! Believe in yourself!” Hey, maybe some new math will be invented that can tell good guys from bad guys. Moral algebra or something.


#6

We have protocols for multikey encryption. Data is secured with public key A and can be decrypted by private key 1 or private key 2.

So he’s correct that there is a way for crypto to be secure from the general public but allow law enforcement a master key to decrypt data.

Whether this is a good idea is, of course, a matter for debate.


#7

Years ago Obama claimed to read BB comments, so he actually might do that.


#8

In much the same way that TSA-approved baggage locks are “secure” from the general public.


#9

So, hear, hear, Cory, on the encryption thing. Dead spot on.

Turning other arguments into discrete analogies, not so much.


#10

Yep, this definitely exists. What does not exist is a way of preventing every other government on the planet from also demanding a key which, when you consider everyone’s policies (and data security) in totality, leads us to a place that falls decidedly short of strong encryption.

Maybe Obama thinks that is fine because all he imagines are Joe The Plumbers and not Fortune 500 CEOs and government employees who have secrets worth targeting also using the exact same phones.


#11

And when the key held by the government is leaked or otherwise discovered, what then?


#12

So we’re to trust the same government agencies that recently lost their personnel directory to hackers, and that sent me a letter about losing my personal information (which I don’t even know why they had) to Chinese hackers, and that has suffered multiple major leaks within the last couple of years that we know of with the key to everything?

Even if you were foolish and ignorant enough to trust that they wouldn’t immediately use this power to spy on and harass non-violent political activists, like they have with every single power that they have, this seems like a pretty bad idea.

There is no such thing as a secure backdoor.


#13

…which it will be, but to criminals. And we won’t know about it, because the TLAs won’t admit it.

I guess Obama is now thinking more about his future lecture fees and being seen as on the side of patriotism and against those pesky corporations.


#14

(I kid, I kid!)


#15

He should order someone to invent a working perpetuum mobile: no more dependency on oil and stuff…


#16

And worse yet, if Apple found out about it, they wouldn’t be allowed to fix it.


#17

Another issue with this is that we can be pretty certain the TLAs (and possibly even law enforcement) would want the ability to use these “master” keys in secret, which pretty much makes it impossible for there to be accurate accounting to ensure they aren’t _mis_used.

If there were accurate, immediate, public notice every time a particular key was used, then it might be workable. But you’d never be able to hold the government to that, and most people wouldn’t want to use encryption that puts a key into an unknown person’s hand anyways.


#18

#19

C[quote=“Boundegar, post:5, topic:74972, full:true”]
I’ve run into this attitude in other areas as well. If something is actually impossible, some folks like to say, “nothing is impossible! Believe in yourself!” Hey, maybe some new math will be invented that can tell good guys from bad guys. Moral algebra or something.
[/quote]

Sadly, all they have to do isscore a win against Apple/Samsung/Microsoft/Google or any other company that deals with a huge chunk of people’s data.

Smart people will always be able to roll their own devices and security systems, but those will always just be a vanishingly small group of people.

Meanwhile (once smartphone encryption is made illegal), everyone else will just have to march along.


#20

(or, of course, like “Vaccinations are safe,” vs “Vaccinations cause autism” whose middle ground is “Vaccinations are safe, but just to be sure, let’s not give ‘too many’ at once, because reasons, and nevermind that this will drastically increase cost and complexity and reduce compliance”).

I think if parents had some inkiing that the risks were being considered, that they had a voice in moderating these risks, and most especially if it were a socialized medical system administering the shots, we’d see compliance go UP, not down. It’s this black and white assertion that vaccines are always safe and if you disagree you are anti-science; that’s what’s driving superstion and noncomplince. Oh, wait- in this case the government is saying something you agree with, so they’re right. And in the larger article, they’re saying something you disagree with, so they’re wrong.

Not a good example to use!