Tag Archives: encryption


27 Nov

london 8.04am 11.6C drizzle friday 2015

the govt has asked tech companies to provide a backdoor to their encryption so that govts can use it to break the encryption on potential terrorists and read their communications.  the companies are fighting this, by saying there is no evidence that those people are using encryption, but of course there wont be evidence, as the encryption is very effective in hiding what they say or write in their communication.

the companies also argue that encryption is essential to safeguard govt and hospitals etc. if a backdoor is provided hackers can use it too.  

of course tech companies are afraid they will lose business if they provide that backdoor, as people will use encryption products sold by non USA( or british? or european?) companies who dont have to comply. it is possible that only china, (or russia? )might not comply but companies may not be able to trust that they dont allready have a back door for the chinese or russian govt to snoop on its citizens and not told anyone about it.

 it might be dangerous to deliberately weaken encryption which at present is foolproof and impossible to decrypt.

so it boils down to will we weaken our encryption just to be able to read what trouble makers say and to detect potential trouble makers and take them out before they commit the killings?

or use other means to find them out. for eg, tighten the sale of nitrites, etc ,and investigate everyone who buys them. quite a tedious and not fool proof way of finding terrorists.

or just stop and search more?

its a dilemma of our times.

windows 10 upgrade pulled

25 Nov

london 7.22am wednesday 2015 8.2C cloudy

this story about windows 10 having to cancel its november update (does it upgrade every month? or is it just a reference to this upgrade. how many times now have windows 10 upgraded since it first came into existence, does anyone know?)because when u do it on a windows 10 computer , it does not remember your privacy settings and bring them all back to the default setting.

it makes me realise that the way windows operate is not the way to go. everytime it has to update it has to persuade each individual to allow it.

that is a very bad way to do business. unlike chrome that do it all in the background so that the end user dont even know it and does not require his permission to upgrade. and chrome upgrades centrally which does not affect any settings that the user has selected. 

i can see someone might be shaking his head and muttering ‘you fool’, chrome is able to dig out all your data and use it and there is nothing u can do about it. he is right of course. 

in the end, i think it comes to this question of  how much u want to give them for the free use of their facillities. and with chrome it seems the answer is ‘ it is everything’. haha. 

another item is this.. that for android users , it seems google can override the controls and allow remote snooping if asked to do so by the govt.

this is useful to detect terrorists, but privacy fears have made google encrypt the device that have lollipop (android whatsist number 5)installed. so even if the govt insists google allow them access to that phone , no one can read the encrypted stuff.

maybe with the terrorist factor coming into prominence, we might have to accept that allowing surveillance is not a bad thing after all. but perhaps u disagree. i wonder if that means we will have to accept being bombed and shot at like in paris as a price of keeping our privacy.

even then there is no guarantee that even if we invade everyone’s privacy that we can detect  the terrorists amongst the huge amount of data to wade through. it would be like finding a needle in a  haystack. though i can think of one situation when it can be useful , for eg, finding the mobile phone of a terrorist who  has committed an assault on the public and be able to search through that phone to find out info about his contacts. 

added. interesting this

By default Windows 10 Home is allowed to control your bandwidth usage, install any software it wants whenever it wants (without providing detailed information on what these updates do), display ads in the Start Menu (currently it has been limited to app advertisements), send your hardware details and any changes you make to Microsoft and even log your browser history and keystrokes which the Windows End User Licence Agreement (EULA) states you allow Microsoft to use for analysis.