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The NSA are not the Stasi: Godwin for mass surveillance

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and so it is and
in well thank you all very
much it is our sincere pleasure to be back Republic of thank you for coming in thank you to the Republic organizers and especially the volunteers for the good work that they're doing a few administrative notes thank you for them but the administrative notes there will be a brief question period after my talk when I do question periods of notice that they tend to be very male-dominated and so now I alternate between people identify as women or non binary and people identifier's man so I want you to think about your questions through the talk so that you have a chance thank you and I don't mean to put women on the spot but it does increase participation but the other thing I wanna say is that obviously I'm an ignorant monolingual anglophone and I am also 1 of nature's fast talkers so I'm now in your country speaking English probably too fast because of drunk enough coffee to kill a
rhinoceros up and I would like to invite you when I speak too quickly to wave your hands in the air and also them so we live in a world so that is made out of computers but when I when I say that I don't mean not metaphorically I don't mean and in the sense that some day the world will look like 1 of those sushi Internet of Things videos where everything is kind of curved and widen looks like roller ball I mean that today here and now our world is increasingly made out of computers are bodies to spend much of the day inside of very large dangerous computers in a modern building a new office block that's a computer that your body is inside of it has such a high specification of insulation there without computers to control its respiration and some temperature that building will very quickly fill up with black mold and be permanently uninhabitable we discovered this in Florida when all of those new build houses were uh um that's seized from people who couldn't make their mortgage payments during the financial crisis and they turned off the power when they went back 6 months later that discrete those houses to the ground and in the financial centers of the world all of those places that ring colonized by the finance
industry where you find these enormous novelty towers built by stock architects the way that they can build those tall willowy buildings is by using computers to dynamically allocate the reinforcements in the buildings as wind and seismic stressors act against them when you take the computers out of those buildings they don't fill up with black mold if fall over yeah to spend all day with your body inside of a giant case knowledge that you happen to share living space with and when you get in the car and it's a computer that hurdles down the road at 120 kilometers an hour every year when you go to conferences like CCC or DEF CON nor black hat you'll see presentations from people who have figured out how to get into the car informatics systems sometimes through something as trivial as the Bluetooth interface for the sound system and through that they're able to control the speed the the brakes and steering the most important fact about your car is and what it's
made of or whether runs on petrol or a battery it's how the computer's programmed in how well secured it is of a Boeing 747 as a flying Sun Solaris workstation and a very fancy aluminium case connected to some very tragically see badly secures data controllers and it's not just that we keep our bodies inside of computers all day increasingly we have computers inside of our bodies you may know someone who has a cochlear implant there already living with implanted hearing aid under the skin and their heads but if you grew up like me with the Walkman or you're a little younger you graph with M P 3 players you will some day if you live long enough in are killed by a self-driving car someday all of those punishing here but hours that
you have logged will come to you and you will have to get a hearing aid and it's really unlikely that's going to be a beige retro analog transistorized hearing it right it's going to be a computer inside of your head and depending on how the computer is configured it will let you hear what's around you or might prevent you from hearing some of the words that are spoken or might tell someone else what you're hearing or it might make you hear things that aren't there what you probably know someone who's alive today because of their implanted defibrillator if your heart can't keep the rhythm and but under normal circumstances you would fall over and tied your doctor can implant a powerful computer connected to an even more powerful battery right in your chest cavity connected to your heart and will listen to your heart beating loses the rhythmic shot to back to life no doctors 1 update the firmware on these things and they wanna get telemetry off of them and it's difficult and messy to attach a USB cable to a computer that's inside of your chest cavity so they have a wireless interface everything has a wireless interface we basically live inside of microwave ovens these days and i it's through that Wireless interface that a researcher in Burnaby Jack show that from 10 meters away he could compromise 1 of those computers and cause it to deliver lethal shocks to its owner out so we have computers inside of our bodies and the way that they work matters now I'm a science fiction writer and I feel like when I talk about this stuff people think that I'm being futuristic but this is really rooted in the present so like some of you I travel a lot you know i'm changing the climate ask me how and the 1st rule of every traveller is ABC always be charging and so whenever I come into a room I situation awareness makes the scan the baseboards for electrical outlets because I need to charge all of my devices your laptop as your lifeline 1 day I was in an airport lounge was feeling very smart because I camped out on the only electrical outlet in the room and I was charging my laptop before a long flight and a man came up to me very cheekily I thought and he said can use that electrical outlet and I can all looked over my glasses and I said I'm charging my laptop before the flight the rolled up his trouser leg he showed me that his leg ended at the knee and beneath in the he was
robot is wearing powered prosthetic he said and each charge my like before the flight so is it alright it's all yours so we live in a world made of computers inside of our bodies are bodies inside of them and this matters because computers pose entirely novel regulatory challenges that not only do our Governments struggle with but our governments get terribly Offaly wrong so it's not unusual for a new technology to cause a social problem happens all the time you look at the history of the
car or the telephone the television as each new technologies come along its created new problems and 1 of the ways that we solve those problems sometimes with some success is by handing down legal mandates that say you must do this you must not do that on your radio must emit in these frequencies and must not jam air traffic control signals and that as a paradigm has worked reasonably well and it's worked reasonably well because all of these other technologies were relative to computers special purpose I have a car is a car is a car even if it has but 1 feature or lacks that feature right if if that State says you may not put an ashtray in a car remain up the car phone in a car and they end up people are forced to remove those things from their cars manufacturers are required not to build them and we may argue that the government has over reached we may disagree with their conclusions but no 1 will say when I take the ashtray out of my car it stops being a car because that harness can be preserved even if it lacks 1 feature or another that we think of as a kind of of mainstay of the automotive industry yeah but computers are general purpose computers I can't have features removed from them in this way on all computers can execute all instructions that we can express in symbolic logic and then you talk about that a little more what that means is that this way of solving our problems by mandating that things may do something must do something or must not do something that's not something that works when it comes to computers and these days everything we have is a computer in a fancy case so to understand this we have to talk about but some of the technological innovations that produce the
computer during the war during world war 2 i during world war 2 but it was the 1st war that was really in information technology war dominated by radio codes and the allies up worked very hard to figure out how to break the Enigma codes that the Axis powers for using and to that end a special research unit was set up in Bletchley Park headed by Alan Turing assisted by the Polish mathematicians who were in exile from occupied Poland and apparel Research Institute was created in America at the Princeton Institute with girdle OnStar Einstein and then the Hungarian mathematicians in exile are particularly youngish for 9 and and these researchers me going down the cold here these researchers collectively built a general-purpose computer and it was nothing short of a miracle because historically if you had some computing work you needed to do you needed to do some kind of mass and you wanted an electronic calculator to add those math stuff for you you would build a computer that just did that kind of computation so we need to calculate ballistics tables you built the ballistics table
computer and when you needed to tabulate an election you built the election tabulating computer but if you wanted to rock calculate ballistics tables on the election tabulating computer it was really hard you would have to do I actually could you leave that up there for me but I actually need to drink it so here thanks I that sorry and so in order to calculate that they if you wanted to calculate ballistics tables on the election tabulation computer you would but if you could technically probably have pull it down into its their components and then rewire as a i as a new kind of computer but be the least efficient thing you can imagine and Turing and run no I mean created this novel architecture for a universal computer that could run every program we could conceive of and it was it ushered in a new era that we're still feeling the aftershocks of in fact I would argue that we're still in the 1st days of the new era of Turing-completeness Turing-completeness
is not only miraculous in that it lets us do all computing with all computers and shows us that all computers are really equivalent the very oldest computers that we have can run all the programs that are most modern computers can run albeit the modern computers are millions of times faster so if you try to run those programs on the very old computers you might end up running up against the heat death of the universe or have to burn all the coal on earth to power the but nevertheless
given enough time enough power all computers can compute all things that all other computers can compute this is actually turned into something of a security nightmare because there's lots of times when we want computers that can just do a few things but not all things right like maybe you want a computer that can live in your printer and can turn instructions into I think on a page but you don't want to be able to stand your network for unpatched computers I install viruses on an actual trade all your corporate secrets it turns out that the very powerful computers and printers are really good at being infected with malware that will crawl your local network Annex filtrate all of your most precious data to everywhere else and we can figure out how to get those computers do not compute all that stuff and still be able to compute are printer pages and even up card games like magic the gathering turn out to be Turing-complete you can with enough time Take magic gathering debts and compute any any program that you need the you care to name now again you might run out of time the sun may grow calls this solar system a fly apart before you finished running a particularly sophisticated program but it is Turing complete and it we keep running up against it in all of these mundane security context like every now and again someone for some unknown godforsaken reason will decide to make yet another social network and they'll decide that in order to give people the awesome power of self expression they will put at the top of everyone's page a glittering out Unicorn animated GIF it's pronounced but a glittering animated unicorn Jeff i and give them the power of self expression by giving them a scripting environment that they can use to make the unicorn dance across the page and it has maybe 3 instructions 5 instructions and then the next year 2 big Security Conference yeah without fail almost someone stands up on a stage like this it goes you know you had like 5 instructions and I figured out how to use them to build up all of the instructions in a Turing-complete computer and I wrote a virus in you're dancing unicorn sparkle just that scripting environment
and i've infected every page in your social lying in your social network with that so it's that we don't know how to solve social problems that computers are part of the way that we use to by saying make a computer controlled radio that can emit as a baby monitor but not as long as they are air traffic control system because really what that's saying is make a computer that can run the baby monitor program and not the air-traffic-control system program we don't know how to do that it also poses some business challenges because
the dominant business model of computers in the 21st century is this ecosystem walled-garden model where manufacturers make a product that is very attractive and then they use cryptography to lock that product so it only works with other products that come from the same manufacturer if you want to install you're inkjet cartridges you have to buy them from the company that major printer if you want to add more devices to your Internet of Things your automated home lighting system or any other piece of of equipment that you've already spend money on you have to buy from the manufacturer now that's not a new thing I'm companies have been doing this since Gillette made the disposable razor hand that there were disposable razor and blade and so let's razor handles but there's always been something that limited how much rent companies could extract from us for our naive attain becoming their customers and thinking that they were giving us a square deal and that limit was how much it would cost us to throw away all that stuff and buy something new and that was the most friendly they could extract from us at a certain point it's cheaper to throw away your printer and buy another printer that has cheaper rank than it is to keep buying the original manufacturer's Inc for the
printer even if your printer works perfectly now the way that I that digital locks are used to accomplish this what kind of control is really interesting and it's a kind a textbook case of how this regulation fails and how the business of art lessons fail as well so in torrent in order to understand this you have to understand just a very little
bit about cryptography and I give you a 10 minute cryptography primer with no mathematics at all is generally speaking a good thing to know about anyway so understand cryptography you 1st have to know that all cryptographers start with an example that involves 3 people locked in
eternal triangle of rivalry Alice all of the carrot Alice and Bob are in love with each other and they trust each other and they wanna communicate with 1 another and Carol is evil and she wants to read their e-mail so Alice and Bob use cryptography to scramble messages and send them back and forth to each other and when they do they make 2 very very important assumptions the 1st is that Carol can get the message in transit and make a copy of it and that assumption on its face may sound a bit weird you know my when use a special courier why not and what I have some secure path a wire that goes between Alice's hasn't Bob's how's that it has around that Carol can't get into what's because increasingly we use public spaces to convey our messages like we making their messages by radio so anyone near the receiver the transmitter can receive a copy of it maybe we transmit are messages by satellite in which case we got a satellite in orbit whose footprint is the size of a continent and if Carroll was anywhere on the continent she can receive a message or maybe we send it over the internet and everyone between Bob and Carol all those internet service providers all those online hosting companies all those long-haul fiber links every single 1 of them could be subverted by Carol analysis and and could read Alice and Bob's message so if Allison Barber only securing Carol doesn't have the message Allison Barber not secure they make another important assumption which is that Carol knows what they did to scramble the message now this seems even stranger on its face because they not only believe that Carroll knows how they spread the message they make a point of telling carol how they scramble the message in fact they tell everybody how they scramble the message what tool what cryptographic equations they used to scramble the message in the reason they do that is because anybody can design a security system that works on people who were stupider than that right but unless you're the smartest person in the world chances are someone smarter than you will figure out how to break it this has deep roots in modern science before we had modern science we had a thing that looks a lot like science called alchemy an alchemist did science like activities they formulated hypotheses
they executed experiments but alchemists had no way of knowing whether they were indulging in the endless human capacity for self-deception they had no way of knowing if they were kidding themselves about whether their experiments were successful because they never told anyone else what they learn and that's why every alchemist discovered for himself in the hottest possible weighted drinking Mercury is a terrible idea and we call the 500 year period of Alchemy the dark ages and when alchemist started publishing and submitting their material to adversarial peer review where your friends tell you about the dumb mistakes you made your enemies tell you what it is you are having made those mistakes we call it came out that the Enlightenment and we call what they practice in the Enlightenment science and all science starts with the idea that you have to tell other people what you think you've done to find out about the dumb mistakes that you've made that you yourself a blind to and Alice Bob making up cryptographic cyphers to transmit their messages there no exception so Carroll knows what Alice and Bob did and she has a copy the message how can Alison but keep the secret of the way they keep the secret is by having a key that is secret and if the key is secret and the math is correct and we think the math is correct because everyone who wants to look at it has been able to look at it and then been able to find the any failings in if the key is secret in the math is correct then nothing Carol does can
underpin up candy scramble that message without Alice and Bob's cooperation even if Carroll could take every hydrogen atom in the universe and turn it into a computer that ground away on that encrypted message until the universe rank holds we would run out of universe before we ran a possible keys so Allison Barber secure now how does this work in the ecosystem World how does this work or same netflix wants to make sure that you only watch a video using up unapproved device program that doesn't let you save it to your hard drive and I never watch it with 1 of your own creation that let you turn your stream into a
download well Netflix provides you with a piece of software a client or they bless a piece of software that someone else has made and they give it a key and they scramble the movie and they send the movie you and the 1 thing that they make sure before they give that that's software the key is that it won't let you save the file when you get when it when you when you're watching and ends on are they send you the encrypted movie and the
software they provided the crypts and because crypto works on Netflix can keep the movies intact name is spot of the problem with this is we're not talking that Alice and Bob and Carol anymore when talking about the Apple iTunes store or the App Store or them the nest store the PS for store or that Nintendo store flexed we just have Alice and Bob Bob sends Alison message Bob gives Alice the key Bob then hopes that Alice will figure out where he put the key so that she can figure out how to read the message later on her own terms and Alice is anyone in the world who wants to become alice how do you become a Netflix Alice given Netflix account but if you're aboard grad student with the weekend off 30 undergraduates you need some extra credit in your own electron tunneling microscope you can be Alice for 7 euros a month and go at the devices in your own home on your own lab to extract the keys keeping keys in devices that you give to your adversary doesn't work for the same reason that making banks safe that you keep in the bank robbers living room doesn't work in technical circles we call the security model wishful thinking and over and over again Bob discovers that you can't both Trust Alice and not trust Alice that when you give Alice the key she will extract but but businesses have gone to governments around the world and convince them that completeness is a
blog and not a feature and that of technology won't let us design computers that can run all the programs except for the ones that they don't like that maybe laws can and so starting in the mid nineties with a pair of UN treaties from the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO Copyright Treaty the WIPO performers and Phonograms Treaties and then spreading out all over the world through the UCB in Europe in 2001 through the digital money in Copyright Act in America 1998 embarrassingly my own country Canada passed its bill see 11 2011 and it's 1 thing to make a really dumb mistake about the Internet in 1996 and 1998 a 2011 excuse but as my good friend Aaron Swartz once said it is no longer OK not to understand the internet so what are these laws say they say that it's against the law to break a
digital lock to help people break a digital lock to distribute tools that break digital locks were take key ever digital lock make your own player i and that's all allegedly in the name of preventing piracy the of course we all know that the magic incantation inferred out of breaking a digital lock if you don't wanna bother breaking the lock itself is to type the name of the movie or other file that after and the word BitTorrent any search engine and you can enjoy the efforts of someone else who's smarter and has more time than you gone to the trouble breaking the lock off of it so it as not really anything to stop piracy that's not to say that wasn't useful to those firms it's been very useful because you can't start a business that operates and takes the ads on the sides of busses and does things in public that breaks these locks you have to be underground you have to be hobbyists you have to keep your names off of that you can get any capital for it and you can't take it out to the rest of the world and and end up at build the kind of usable highly polished software that gains widespread attraction to see how this works think about CDs and DVDs
imaginatives 1996 and you go to the High Street and you go into a Tower Records and you spend a thousand euros on CDs and a thousand euros on DVDs and you come home you put them on a shelf for 10 years and after 10 years you take them off the shelf and you blow the dust off of them all what happened in 10 years is that your CDs have gained value is almost without precedent right usually view by technology and you put it
on the shelf for 10 20 years by 20 years later it not only has 0 value has a negative value have to pay someone else to get rid of it for you but the CDs because there's no digital lock on the companies were able to make products that expanded the features that came with your CDs when you bought the CD all you could do is listen to it but now we put it in your computer you computer automatically launches a piece of software that says would you like to rent mix and burn the CD to make a ring tone alarm town a youtube soundtrack a school project a mash-up of back up a stream out of this CD in the music on all of those features were unlocked just by the march of time but in the 20 years 19 years since DVDs were introduced not 1 new feature has been added to DVDs all you could do with a DVD in 1996 was watching all you can do with the DVD today illegally is watch it if you wanna listen to a song on a CD on your phone you put it in your computer and your computer will automatically formatted so can go on your file if you wanna watch a movie that you own on DVD on your phone you have to buy it again from 1 of the digital stores so of course this is something that businesses like because they can charge you money for something that you get for free but the problem with this isn't just a user rights problem in fact the user rights from is really the least of that is just wide businesses like it because the real problem is that in order to stop people from availing themselves of additional features for the DVDs are buying their software from an unofficial AppStore or having a mechanic of their choosing fixed the car we have made laws that criminalize telling people about flaws in their devices because if you know about a mistake that the programmer made in the device you can use it to extract the keys and make your own player or grab a cleartext well it's well it's playing on the device now if you're not allowed to know about the flaws in your device people who find flaws in devices aren't allowed to tell people about it those flaws in those devices last longer right imagine if we had a rule that public health authorities that discovered pathogens in the water weren't allowed to
tell you about what was in the tap water those pathogens would last longer the pathogens in your digital devices are prohibited from disclosure and so are digital devices have become reservoirs of long-lived digital pathogens that can be used to attack us in every conceivable way because your phone is not just a distraction rectangle and tracking device that let you throw birds and pigs your phone is a super computer that lives in your pocket and those who all of your friends are and what you talk to them about and where you are when you're talking to them it knows what your doctor told you last week it knows which your lawyers sent confidence it can log in to your bank account they can out refinance your house but it has a camera it has a microphone it up controls your insulin pump you take it into the
toilet you take it into the bed and you can be sure unless the phone is telling you the truth whether it's a listening to you and watching you do the bonds in our software in our software and devices are just used to jailbreak them to add new features the bugs in our devices are used by Mark malware and crime where authors to take advantage of us to attack us in lots of ways I and this is getting worse because if you think back to those who she Internet of Things videos the 1 thing that everyone does in those Internet of Things videos as they walk into the rollerball house and they turn the lights on with like a gesture from drama school right and then they speak to the house they say house T. Earl Grey hot right what the house that has gesture control and voice control in every room that's a house with a camera and a microphone in every room and because the Internet of Things is being born with the ecosystem business model because it's being born with digital locks to make you buy from the vendor is a criminal offense to tell you about the flaws in your Internet of Things house a world where are devices are designed to
distrust us is 1 where corporations get us on the way in and governments get us on the way up so you'll remember just over a year ago in Ukraine in Kiev the central square the mind and was full of protesters who wanted to bring down the government didn't and very well in the as it turned out but 1 day these protesters went home from the demonstration and the distraction rectangles buzzed they took them out and it said Dear subscriber you were registered as a participant in a legal disturbance today right be warned how did they know who is in them mind don't all they had to a device called is the color sting right and stingrays a pretend mobile phone towers the very small and what they do is they wake up and they send at the beacons that mobile phone towers and out that says i'm a mobile phone tower do you need service and all the phones wake up and they say I'm the phone and this is my unique identifier what kind of service you have and then that testing races 0 never mind and shuts itself off but it remembers all those unique identifiers and if you have a way to turn those unique identifiers into the names of the people on those phones like for example if you have a police force that can go down to the phone company and say tell us to these numbers belong to that you can identify all of those people in the US accord has just
rules that stingrays can be used without court orders without words that there is no expectation of privacy in your location when you use a mobile phone but think about what this means for the future right but if you but if you if you've been worried about climate change 1 of the things you probably seen are the smart meters that go on the walls of our house that are different from a regular thermostat may have 1 really important and really good feature which is that the power company can press a button and turn your he down or your air conditioning on just a little bit so when the power starts to spike across the grid rather than firing up the old coal fire fire generator to keep the power grid from going down they can just adjust downwards the amount of power that we're all consuming by my new amount but of course the power authorities don't want you walk back over Internet back up again so they designed it so that it doesn't take orders from you it takes
remote orders from whoever it is controls the power company so imagine that the next time there's a might an uprising instead of coming home and getting a message that says Dear citizens you're registered as a participant and a legal demonstration it says Dear citizen you're registered as a bird has been legal demonstration we've turned the heat off for the nite think before you come out to the modern next time right it's getting worse I I I I I mentioned a lot of a burden on there is at this article The New York Times about 2 months ago now about sub-prime lending you may remember that the worldwide financial crisis was in part precipitated by subprime house lending where they would take people who were poor credit risks and loan the money to buy houses and then turn those loans into bonds well having run out of houses to pump and dump the finance industry's not doing this with cars there 1 million sub-prime cars on the road in America and to make those bonds there are based on the loans for those cars as valuable as possible and to make it easy to repossess the cars from people who don't make their payments those cars are now all fitted with ignition overrides that the networked and location aware so it's it's pretty bad stuff as you might imagine it it kind of it but embodies all that venomous hatred and cruelty that have become the hallmark of how we treat the poor in the 21st century if you miss a payment it has its own speaker system and the speaker system starts broadcasting as soon as you put the key in keeps going until you get out of the car you're laid on your payment your on your payment your laid on your payment but that's not the main attraction I mean attraction is turning off your engine so in the new york times article they profiled 1 woman who had taken out a lease that had a condition that said she wouldn't leave the county that she lived in 1 day she went to the woods with her family and she crossed the county line not knowing at non non understanding and are not remembering the condition she walked around with the kids in the woods and then it started to get dark and cold maybe there were walls and I she brought the gets back to the car and that she but turn the ignition on the car in the car said I can't let you do that days right it had been designed to disobey her wouldn't start the course she's at a cell phone range and no 1 else is there doesn't end well and it's not going to get better until we fix this problem so I mentioned before this guy with the artificial leg and all the ways that computers are entering our bodies there's incredible presentation if you ever get the chance to see this diary looking up on you you should check it out there's this guy named Hugh Herr like like server
German hair but runs the prosthetics lab at the MIT Media Lab need as an amazing presentation is it's all visual I just talked he's got pictures and on the wall he shows picture after picture of these incredible devices that have been integrated in the most intimate ways of people's bodies are hands feet arms legs neural prostheses he's sensory press the sees that have profoundly improve people's lives 1 after another and then when he's done he clicks to the last slide and it's a slide of him and his climbing a mountain in Gore-Tex and is clinging to the rock like a gecko and he is a
super rat and at both knees there's nothing below them except prosthetics for climbing the mountain and he's been walking around like this the whole time right and that is as 0 yes then I mention he rolls up his pants legs and his legs are broken off at the knees these when robotic like starts to run around the stage jumping around the stage right it's that killer demo so the 1st question anyone as they said like how much did you links cost and he said 0 you know I mean the number you could buy like a brownstone in New York for her like I terraced house in Mayfair for it so the next question anyone
else's who could afford those legs is will anyone right of it's a choice between like a 6 year mortgage on a house and a 60 year mortgage and apparel legs we'll take the legs will think about what it means when you're sub-prime legs are repossessed right they walk themselves back to the repo deeper think about what it means when the police have an override to make your legs walk you into the police station and 1 that's not in the hands of a government that we think of as being democratic and fair but in the hands of an autocratic regime that we think of as operating outside of the rule of law and then think of what it means if your Government which you do trust which you may trust has that facility and never abuses that but lose track loses track of keys or the keys of lead
or turns out that there's a security flaw that allows other people to remotely override computers that are in your bodies which brings data cyber security and surveillance whether deliberately or through some all full convergence the world security services have had entered an era in which cyber security is all of fenced no defense rather than trying to patch the bugs in our devices so we can be attacked they're trying to create bugs in our devices so they can attack bad guys because all of the enemies of all the intelligence services use the same computers we do use the same software we do use the same Internet that we do to these programs are run jointly by the US and UK called Bull Run ad shall have a 250 million a year spent to deliberately introduce flaws in vulnerabilities into the technology that we all use and depend on for life and limb not only that governments have created thriving markets through which they buy vulnerabilities that security researchers discovered and rather than taking those vulnerabilities that they discovered and patching them so that we are all secure from criminals or foreign spies were griefers or hackers they keep them a secret and weaponize them so they can make them into industry honors so they can make them into technology that they can use to attack the people that they don't like come and now we have governments faced with the possibility that manufacturers might improve the defaults by their their devices by default saying that they will make it illegal to install software that embodies a code that is so strong they can't read at that Prime Minister United Kingdom who will remain prime minister for another 24 hours David Cameron I I know I know but remember the Tories just perfected the surveillance state labor invented it so and socks and he said that we will have no technology if he's elected no technology
no communications means that he can't listen in on that he can penetrate the FBI and the New York attorney general had made similar calls and people ridicule them like how would you stop me from installing software of my choosing that works I mean maybe you would say everybody has to use the broken software but how do you keep me from using the not broken software you actually see its seeds already if the platform is already designed to make it against the law to install unapproved software all you do is show up at the door of who ever approves the sovereign says we have a lot now and that law is that you have to make sure that everything you approve as a back door that we can listen in on and that back door will be independently discovered by criminals and it will be used by autocratic regimes it'll be used by spies it'll be used by griefers now the modern world exists in a state of constant mass surveillance and in Europe especially in the former East Bloc states we like to draw comparisons between the surveillance habits of the Stalinist security agencies like the stars the to the NSA and gchq but if you look even glancingly at the numbers you'll see that they don't add up at the peak of
the stars Stasi in 1989 there were and there were 16 . 1 million people living here in the GDR or art and there were about 264 thousand people working in 1 way or another for the stars the as spies performance that a ratio of about 1 to 60 every stores the operative spine about 60 people in total but to the extent that they were figuring out how at what who is doing what and what where they were at now we don't know exactly how many people participate in the western mass surveillance efforts led by the NSA but we know what the maximum number could be which is 1 . 4 million right that's how American that so many Americans have top-secret clearance and a lot of people are involved in mass surveillance they're doing other stuff they're making nuclear reactors or or something else right so the 1 . 4 million Americans + however many spies from other countries are cooperating with them but it's not going to be any Americans are more than 90 % of all the spies in the world working on the mass surveillance project that 1 . 4 million is the biggest number that could be working on mass surveillance and the surveilling 7 billion people this star the use of the type used an army to surveil a country the NSA is figured out how to use
a battalion to surveil the entire planet yeah so you have to ask yourself why are they spying wider states by generally states by because they wanna maintain social order they're worried that either domestic or foreign entities wanna change the state in a way that will destabilize the status quo and make whatever the value about the state go away people who like the state that they live and people who feel like it's doing a good job generally don't work to tear down the states it's people who feel badly used by the state who try to terror down so if you think about North Korea North Korea as a bunch of people have a legitimate grievance about the way the country is run and the Kim family engages in out really detailed and invasive mass surveillance and they do so for a reason that's pretty rational when the Kim family things to itself there's probably someone out there who like to hang me from a lamp post the right and so of course they spy on their own population and of course the by another populations because outside of North Korea there's lots of people who wouldn't mind seeing them hanging from a lamp post and there's plenty of people would like to help given a chance but it's not just the autocratic basket case nations where we see the mass surveillance and it's not just those nations in which there are sources of a a potential destabilization in the US the UK and the EU are all engaged in mass surveillance and they're all engaged in mass surveillance because they correctly believe that there are a bunch of people who don't feel well served by those States so most people I happen to agree with some of those people I think are wrong but they're are all out there and it's not incorrect to say that there are people who would like to destabilize the states now stabilizing nation is not all about surveillance I'm in fact usually the go to measure for stabilizing the nation is to make it legitimate in the eyes of the people who live there remember people
live in a state to feel like it's legitimate and doing a good job I don't try to tear down and so the carrot of social control is redistribution social programs and the stick is God labor surveillance prisons security guards on our parole systems court systems other systems of control and states that do a lot of what guarding generally don't have a lot of social
programs like buffering where they put a lot of energy into spying on people and into are breaking heads when people demonstrate in the streets and a lot of energy into distributing bread and circuses to stop people from demonstrating in the streets and states where they do a lot of redistribution generally don't need a lot of God labor think of the Nordic states that have very extensive programs of redistribution and fairly minimal relative to other advanced states are levels of God labor and indeed there is a kind of maximum minimum problem here there's an optimization problem at a certain point you spend more money on guard labor that you would just giving people more hospitals and nurses and doctors to keep them from trying to hang you from a lamp post at that point it makes more sense to us to redistribute than it does to us to a spot but we have entered a period of unparalleled but efficiency in God labor we have given our security services of 2 and a half order of magnitude left in the efficiency of their surveillance operations through technology they're not spending 10 thousands of times more on surveillance they're spending 4 times more 6 times more on surveillance than they did during the cold war but they're getting thousands of times more surveillance for their money
without relatively modest increase because we are bearing that most of the cost of the surveillance we use the internet and we pay to use the internet and then they just spy on us using the internet they don't have to fit us all with ankle cuffs we carry them around in our pockets for birds of pigs with them have and we have entered as a consequence a period with very little redistribution an enormous wealth disparities are in the EU in the UCB by the OECD rather out we're at the worst levels of wealth disparity in 50 years of the 400 richest Americans control more wealth than the other 316 million Americans combined and the majority of those for the richest Americans inherited their wealth America calls itself a meritocracy but it's become a hereditary meritocracy it so wealth disparity is a source of enormous social instability not just because people resent the very rich as they get richer and that the people at the bottom have less but because as power concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people governments are less and less able to make evidence-based policy you know in Saudi Arabia power is concentrated into a very small number of hands and it's easy to see without doing any research at all the keeping 52 per cent of the population out of the workforce in public life is not good for sound there are people at who would invent cures for cancer better cars new kinds of video games and everything else that can contribute to the state who
are barred from making this contribution because of this policy and the reason they have this policy is because the very small number of people who control the wealth in this very unbalanced state are able to assert their bias over evidence and this is creeping into every domain of our activities so in London where I live we know that the finance sector is criminal right like not metaphorically criminal like HSBC stole a trillion dollars for the world's governments by reading Libor criminal but we keep acting like they're not because power thing concentrated into a very small number of hands and the people who control that power I don't want to talk about what the out with the finance industry does in Canada where I'm from are conservative government had its election campaign finance that has its power base in the dirtiest source of oil in the world the tar sands of Alberta and as a consequence it has deep but it has just destroyed the entire country science apparatus because in a resource which state you study climate change and studying climate change runs contrary to the project of adding up oil pipelines to Canada in fact a recently leaked memo from our security services the R. C. P. show that they are now classing people who objected peacefully to the new oil pipeline class and classifying them as domestic extremists and subjecting them to surveillance so what
if the stores the could have given themselves a 2 and a half order magnitude of an order of magnitude efficiency left and surveillance what would the former Soviet bloc of looked like how big with the Dodgers and then how much longer with the wall have stayed how 1 equal to those states have been we don't have to imagine that we can see what it looks like because we have states that emerged in that form so Ethiopia which has almost no domestic ICT capacity has become the world's 1st turn the surveillance state they have come to the European Union and bought from the European Union spying tools weaponize vulnerabilities in mass surveillance tools from our companies in the EU that they have used to put the entire country under a level of surveillance that matches the surveillance of any Western State I it's likely that the query that they use has backdoors in that so that our foreign spiders sees conspire on them when the stone lakes showed is that there is a single fourth-party collection when a spy agency gets inside another spiders see in spite of all the people they spy on there's also 5th Party collection were spiders he gets is satisfied and the that's inside of another spider's Matrioshka is for spooks I Ethiopia up uh has a huge diaspora people who have left the country to escape the art the autocratic tyranny of its ruling elite including our client of the Electronic Frontier Foundation amending Mr. Caetani was a permit resonated states was in Washington DC when a cyber weapon created by European company was used to hack his computer to get the information on dissidents the using communications with Ethiopia so that reprisals could be brought against him there we're representing him in an American court in a lawsuit against Ethiopian government so this global wealth disparity and surveillance they're bound up together with the rise of technology the ability of states to assert wholesale control at fire-sale prices is a key element of how we got to this place we're in a global arms race between the power of technology despite the appetites of the leads to amass ever-larger piles of well poised against the power technology to give us secure in cryptid integrated means to organize among ourselves and lobby for a a better just future
what so that i'm gonna skip a bit because I I went a little long here cryptography is not the real fight all the stuff that I've been talking about today all the tools that I want you to go used to make yourself private that's not the real fight not being surveil is not the real fight the existential threats to the human race are things like climate change the refugee crisis on the gross inequities between the poor and the rich are gross inequality based on gender racial identity are an ethnic identity those are real problems but we will win or lose every 1 of those fights on the internet and we will only when the if we have a free fair and open Internet the so kind of finish up now and take out
what questionnaire to people ask me if I'm optimistic or pessimistic about this stuff and that's that that's a prediction optimism and pessimism in science fiction writers make predictions about the future are like drug dealers who sample the own product and never ends well because after all of our optimistic about the future every morning I would get at that and do everything I could to make computers into a tool for liberation instead of surveillance and oppression and if I was pessimistic about the future I get about every morning to do everything I could to make computers safe for up for the world and the world safer computers instead of optimism or pessimism I'd like you to take on something far more important which is hope when you're ship sinks in the open sea as we've seen happening with horrific regularity in the Mediterranean you tread water and you don't tread water because you're it's likely that you'll be picked up almost everyone stranded out in the middle of C doesn't get picked up but everyone who's ever been rescued treaded water until someone came along it is a necessary but insufficient condition for improving things and moreover if there were people around you couldn't keep for themselves you carry you can't tell you ran out of until you rented of likes to kick well because maybe they would kick for you when you got tired and because you love and you take care of people that you love people care
about computers know about computers and know about the Internet and know about privacy and know that nothing to fear nothing to hide is is wrong where the people who are consciously aware and can keep kick in and it's our duty to bring along the people who haven't quite got drunk why got there after all privacy is a team sport if you run your own secure mail server but all your friends keep their mail on some web mail server run by a company with prisoners data center it doesn't matter you have to bring them along so the parts the problem that you can and maybe will think of what the next step is to solve the rest of the problem here in Germany you have nets quality all around the world we have the Electronic Frontier Foundation and France's Le budgeted in all across Europe we have entry in the Netherlands there's bits of freedom and on and on every country in the world their
organizations that fight for this stuff and none of us are pure all of us give money and time and energy to people who are working against our interests we buy products that have digital rights management on them we are participate in products sold by companies that advocate against Everton trality I think about how much you spend every month on companies whose mission is to make the Internet and the world's most perfect surveillance apparatus and figure out what proportion of that you think you should be given to 1 of those other groups that's working to undo the harm that they're
making you know every vegetarian a few heavily vegetarian eventually needs a vegan every vegan eventually needs of Rotarian every free-trade eventually need to breathe area nobody is pure but we all do what we can thank you very much the women have time for 1 quick question few alive other any other people who identify as women non-binary would like to start us off the Cunard so on any questions I did warn you at the start of the top right is there anyone who's got a question it all right in that case I'll go the say the stuff that i skipped thank you Justin I pay just to say that now I I wanted the stuff that i skipped thank you just know that was very kind of you are right thanks guys the to do good and
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Metadaten

Formale Metadaten

Titel The NSA are not the Stasi: Godwin for mass surveillance
Serientitel re:publica 2015
Teil 13
Anzahl der Teile 177
Autor Doctorow, Cory
Lizenz CC-Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 3.0 Deutschland:
Sie dürfen das Werk bzw. den Inhalt zu jedem legalen Zweck nutzen, verändern und in unveränderter oder veränderter Form vervielfältigen, verbreiten und öffentlich zugänglich machen, sofern Sie den Namen des Autors/Rechteinhabers in der von ihm festgelegten Weise nennen und das Werk bzw. diesen Inhalt auch in veränderter Form nur unter den Bedingungen dieser Lizenz weitergeben.
DOI 10.5446/31871
Herausgeber re:publica
Erscheinungsjahr 2015
Sprache Englisch
Produktionsort Berlin

Inhaltliche Metadaten

Fachgebiet Informatik
Abstract It's tempting to compare NSA mass surveillance to the GDR's notorious Stasi, but the differences are more illuminating than the similarities.

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