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View Diary: Is granting Snowden asylum a greater offense to America than murdering a U.S. citizen? (47 comments)

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  •  The technical aspects can be trivial, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave

    depending on how much they want to improve things.  There are a lot of ideas about that, and we might not be the ones who get to implement them in the future.

    The big hurdle is acceptance.  If there are two TYPES of Internet, and they bridge each other through some interface, then the question is which will gain greater acceptance over time.  A different protocol, no matter how much better, that is used by too few people to justify its own traffic patterns, has to have some other reason to exist and get a chance to eventually thrive.

    Well, now there's a great reason: corporate and national security OUTSIDE the US.  

    Think about it -- if we in the US are the ones using an Internet designed to make it incredibly easy to be spied upon, but the rest of the world moves on to a more secure model of the Internet, then the rest of the world will be able to spy on us Americans, but we won't be able to spy on them.  That sort of flips the whole idea of "National Security Agency" on its head, if their primary goal is to make spying on Americans easy.

    It seems like it would be a more logical and less self-defeating goal for the National "Security" Agency to make it difficult to spy on Americans.  But that's only logical if you think that the enemy is abroad, not the American people.

    •  For many years American companies were... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, Dutch Doctor

      ...forbidden from selling in the US or exporting software or hardware that handled encryption keys longer that something like 42 bits.  So other countries developed their own technologies with longer encryption keys.  128 bits, 256, 512 and even longer. Long enough that even the NSA would have a hard time.  So others got better at it.  Who knows what is going on out there.  And after Snowden it will become increasingly difficult for American companies to compete against the Chinese and others.

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      by Shockwave on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 09:12:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, encryption is NOT the only answer. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave

        The way the Internet works now is much like a party line, with everybody's messages available to everybody else, but with an informal agreement to listen to what the other people are saying.  You're probably limited by where you are to what traffic you can hear from your home and your laptop, but even you can spy on your neighbors (those close enough to have traffic on your hub) by just intercepting their packets.  Combine this "party line" problem with the centralized nature of the backbone, and you've made it incredibly easy for the NSA to spy on everything and everybody in the world by just tapping into the backbone.

        A better solution would be one that is first, more decentralized.  The Internet itself IS decentralized already, in a hypothetical model way.  You, as a user, don't normally have to wonder which backbone servers your messages go through.  You just assume that it gets from where you are to wherever you want it to go, and all the steps in between amount to a big black box you don't have to care about.

        A less centralized Internet is a more robust internet because it has more redundancy.  A hurricane in one wrong place becomes less likely to screw up communications for half the world.  It also makes it harder to track individual messages, because you can't be absolutely sure what path it will take, and even if you do know what path it will take, you can't watch EVERYTHING at the same time this way.

        Add an extra level of encryption on top of that, and you're starting to look a lot better.

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