The govt need “back doors” to thwart terror attacks? Bullshit: they just need to do their jobs properly.

01/01/2016

Govts everywhere are talking up their need for back-doors in encryption etc by saying how the Paris killers got away with so much because of their encryption opsec skillz… but it turns out their opsec is flaky as shit and backdoors wouldn’t be nearly as useful to the cops as listening to the repeated warnings they’d got from Turkey.

Wired.com reported that “news reports of the Paris attacks have revealed that at least some of the time, the terrorists behind the attacks didn’t bother to use encryption while communicating, allowing authorities to intercept and read their messages…

“Reports in France say that investigators were able to locate some of the suspects’ hideout this week using data from a cellphone apparently abandoned by one of the attackers in a trashcan outside the Bataclan concert hall where Friday’s attack occurred, according to Le Monde. Authorities tracked the phone’s movements prior to the attack, which led them to a safehouse in a Paris suburb where they engaged in an hours-long shootout with the other suspects early Wednesday. These would-be attackers, most of whom were killed in the apartment, had been planning to pull off a second round of attacks this week in Paris’s La Defense business district, according to authorities.”

Other reports indicate that a previous ISIS terrorist plot targeting police in Belgium was disrupted in that country last January because Abdelhamid Abaaoud—suspected mastermind of both that plot and the Paris attacks—had failed to use encryption. He also carelessly left behind a cellphone in Syria, which contained unencrypted pictures and videos, including one now-infamous video showing him smiling from a truck as he dragged bodies of victims through a street.

The killers were guilty of serious OPSEC failures… sometimes they didn’t use encryption at all, sometimes they left plaintext evidence lying round where anyone could find it. But as crappy as the terrorists were, the French cops were worse: Turkish authorities have said they tried to warn French authorities twice about one of the suspects but never got a response.

But Western authorities, notably the US and the Brits, have been complaining that they need their secret back-doors to beat the killers, even suggesting that  “US companies like Apple and Google have blood on their hands for refusing to give intelligence and law enforcement agencies backdoors to unlock customer phones and decrypt protected communications”.

My question for the authorities is this: if encryption products have back doors built into them for law enforcement to use, isn’t it likely that crooks will also be able to use these back doors to steal our personal info, IDs, banking details, our entire fucking lives?  The govt are constantly losing top secret laptops on trains and in taxis, and computer intruders regularly bust into official data centres and make off with piles of sensitive data.  Do the authorities think their new back doors will somehow be magically better than all the fucked up attempts at secrecy and security they’ve tried before?

US-paramilitaries

Also, if the authorities get their way, they will be able to find out anything they want to about us.  Maybe (ha ha) that’s not a big problem right now.  But who knows what changes in governments will happen?  Far-right parties are getting more popular all the time.  And look at US presidential hopeful cock Trump: one press of a button and he’ll know exactly where to go to round up the Muslims he hates and send them to be tortured and killed by his friend Assad in Syria.

Don’t listen to the authorities when they say why they “need” the ability to access every bit of data on us.  They don’t need it.  They want it.  Just as they’ve always wanted new ways to eliminate those they don’t like.

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French police attacked by “urban guerrillas”

28/11/2007

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French police searching a suspected rioter

There are riots in Paris – last night, over 70 policemen were injured, in the second night of violence in the Parisian suburbs. And police spokesman Patrice Ribeiro claimed that the youths they were facing are “urban guerrillas”! They were armed with a variety of weapons including firearms, and shot at policemen and reporters.

The riots were prompted by the death of two teenagers in a motorcycle accident involving a police car on Sunday in Villiers-le-Bel, an area dominated by public housing blocks.  Angry residents said the police left the scene of Sunday’s crash without helping the two teenagers whose moped had collided with their car.

Police officials said the moped ignored traffic rules and crashed into the police car, and that the bike was unregistered and not road legal. Neither of the riders – aged 15 and 16 – was wearing a helmet, and the prosecutor’s office said the bike was going at top speed.  But this announcement has done nothing to calm feelings in the suburbs – it’s as if the police are saying that it’s okay to kill illegal drivers.

Omar Sehhouli, whose brother was one of the victims, told France Info radio: “This is a failure to assist a person in danger. It is one hundred percent a police blunder. They know it, and that’s why they did not stay at the scene.”  Sehhouli has also said that the rioting “is not violence but an expression of rage”.

The police have started an investigation into the crash.  They say that none of the officers involved had been drinking, and that it seems they were not responsible for the accident.  But the angry youths of Villiers-le-bel think that the police are just covering their backs. And they are incensed by the suggestion that the crash victims were responsible for their own deaths.

If the police want the rioting to stop, they will have to accept responsibility for what they’ve done.  And they need to lose the superior attitude with which they treat the inhabitants of the suburbs.


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