[Freedombox-discuss] 4th Amendment Troubles

Bob Girard bgirard at esedona.net
Fri Jun 24 18:12:14 UTC 2016

On 06/23/2016 10:42 PM, Petter Reinholdtsen wrote:
> [Bob Girard]
>> Deterrence based on any kind of economic argument seems a little
>> dubious, at least in the U.S.  After all, the FBI/NSA/etc. have never
>> relented in their hacking because of budgetary constraints; they have
>> carte-blanche access to as much taxpayer money as they want.
> The point with raising the cost is that dragnet surveillance is only
> politically and practically possible because it is so cheap.  If we make
> it more costly, the governments will have to go back to targeted
> surveillance.
> As we lack the funding and capacity to avoid targeted attacks, all we
> can hope for is to make sure to raise the bar, not close the gate, ref
> <URL: https://www.xkcd.com/538/ >.
> If you remember the initial arguments from Eben Moglen, much of the
> point is to make sure our personal data is stored in a location where
> the government will need a warrant to get access, not to make it
> impossible for the government to get access.  "Impossible" require a
> different budget, while I believe we can manage "expensive" on our
> budget. :)

1. Even though this case did involve a warrant, the ruling 
enthusiastically invites the government to dispense with warrants 
altogether, because the defendant was ruled to have no reasonable 
expectation of privacy *on his home computer*.  And although that notion 
sounds extreme at the moment, I expect that more and more of the wrong 
people will warm up to it over time.

2. Surveillance of any kind will remain expensive only until secure, 
backdoor-less encryption is criminalized, which I fully expect to happen 
eventually.  It will happen simply because the Terrorism Industry is 
making so much money for so many people that there will be no incentive 
to rein it in.

3. The FreedomBox project is laudable and worthwhile, if only as a 
delaying tactic; but it seems to be a purely technological solution to a 
fundamentally political problem, that being that too many people are 
happy to trade liberty for the illusion of security; sort of like 
bringing a knife to a gunfight.

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