When I announced the talk on Twitter, somebody immediately was like, “Lawful abuse, isn’t that a contradiction?” But if you think about it for just a moment it might seem to be a little bit more clear. After all, the legality of a thing is quite distinct from the morality of it.
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Sure, cyberspace is about people and data. But it is also about applications. And devices. And the indirect and non-obvious relationships between all of this. It creates a very complicated and exciting ecosystem. One that is capable of dramatic innovation, and dramatic exploitation.
The Soviet experience suggests something really important for us today, which is that networks are entirely compatible with surveillance. And many of our favorite things to talk about, then, peer-to-peer production, or end-to-end intelligence, kind of missed the point that I think is now obvious. That whether you’re the NSA or Google or whoever else…you’re a general secretariat, seeking to privatize our power, and you are surveilling us, because you have a network in place.
Encryption is a key piece of a robust enterprise approach to cybersecurity. It keeps down the number of data breaches as the scale and the size of data breaches continues only to grow. It also is the first line of defense that users have against people accessing their data on an individual level.
We’re losing our ability to forget the things that should be forgotten. Wait until you try to run for Senate or Congress, some of you in this room, and some pictures or text roll up.
Although we haven’t reached peak surveillance, we’ve reached peak indifference to surveillance. There will never be another day in which fewer people give a shit about this because there’ll never be a day in which fewer people’s lives have been ruined by this.
We’re trying to say it’s on you, it’s your responsibility, figure this out, download this, understand end-to-end encryption, when it’s a shared problem and it’s a communal problem.
What does it mean to be private when you’re in a place where you have no right to privacy but are ironically deprived of the thing that makes your privacy go away?