Stop the Secrecy

BoingBoing: Governments should focus on cybersecurity, not spying

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 15:30 -- Eva Prkachin

Government spying is putting our cybersecurity at risk

Article by Cory Doctorow for BoingBoing

Citizenlab's Ron Diebert lays out the terrible contradiction of putting spy agencies -- who rely on vulnerabilities in the networks used by their adversaries -- in change of cybersecurity, which is securing those same networks for their own citizens.

The world doesn't need more dingo babysitters.

There are other ways we can proceed. A different approach could focus on the securing of communications systems as a function of the preservation of human security and on the basis of widely respected international human rights, regardless of territorial boundaries. Starting this way would result in different points of institutional emphasis: a much greater role for civilian agencies compared to military and intelligence; the prioritizing of distributed centres of early warning and information sharing, and a model in which such information sharing is insulated from national rivalries. Such an approach would put checks and balances around law enforcement and intelligence front and centre while giving greater power and authority to independent commissioners and public advocates. We would need to extend these principles to the private sector because of how much data they now control about our habits, movements, social relations, and intimate thoughts, and ensure that what they do with those data, with whom data are shared is transparent and accountable to users. We need to assert the widespread use and adoption of encryption at every point of the network, and encourage continuous open, peer-reviewed research to ensure encryption standards are robust.

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