Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Liberty and Security

A thought for today and for the future

Yesterday I wrote about why there will always be strong encryption.  Encryption is only a technology – it can enhance both security and liberty, and it can damage both.  The more potential it has to enable criminals and terrorists the more it also serves to protect privacy, necessary military secrets and financial transactions and assets.

If you believe that criminals and terrorists outweigh the lawful military, corporations and private citizens who benefit from strong encryption, I feel sorry for the blighted world you live in.  Where I live, such evildoers are but a flea-bite in comparison.

The people who want to scare you into letting them outlaw good encryption only want it outlawed for you.  Not for them.  What they want to protect is their power.  The good news is that bypassing their schemes is almost laughably easy.


There Will Always be Strong Encryption


The CIA Wants Us to Investigate Flying Saucers


  1. jacques

    I concur that our liberty and privacy should be sacrosanct. I’m more concerned with what the NSA does in secret than black hats.

    And in regards to your Benjamin quote: http://www.npr.org/2015/03/02/390245038/ben-franklins-famous-liberty-safety-quote-lost-its-context-in-21st-century

    • David Frier

      You are correct, in that the “liberty” Franklin referenced was government’s role in providing emergency defense, and the “security” was the right of a plutocrat to opt out of paying taxes:

      You know, there are all of these quotations. Think of kill all the lawyers – right? – from Shakespeare. Nobody really remembers what the characters in question were saying at that time. And maybe it doesn’t matter so much what Franklin was actually trying to say because the quotation means so much to us in terms of the tension between government power and individual liberties. But I do think it is worth remembering what he was actually trying to say because the actual context is much more sensitive to the problems of real governance than the flip quotation’s use is, often.

      250 years later, “the tension between government power and individual liberties” is still what we’re litigating. And so in that more general sense, the quotation still hits the nail on the head.

      • Jacques Paquin

        plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!

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