Friday, April 8, 2016

Feinstein the fascist strikes again

I have to apologize, just a little, to Texas. I have often thought that the Lone Star State sent the most regressive idiots to Washington. And make no mistake, Louis Gohmert and Ted Cruz alone are formidable contenders for biggest horse's ass in Congress.

But as a Californian, I have to hang my head in shame at the fascistic, anti-democratic instincts of Dianne "Police State" Feinstein.

Feinstein and Richard Burr are circulating draft language for what they've called the "Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016".

Per The Hill's article that includes the draft text, the "Sense of Congress" is that while the Constitution and laws provide for "civil liberties", it also provides that "no person or entity is above the law". You can see where this little paean to Congress' noble instincts is going.

(4) all providers of communications services and products (including software) should protect the privacy of United States persons through implementation of appropriate data security and still respect the rule of law and comply with all legal requirements and court orders;

(5) to uphold both the rule of law and protect the interests and security of the United States, all persons receiving an authorized judicial order for information or data must provide, in a timely manner, responsive, intelligible information or data, or appropriate technical assistance to obtain such information or data ...

Then the bill goes on to turn the "Sense of Congress" into actual legal requirements.

Of course, Congress doesn't want to grub around in the filthy details of how to do this, so the CCOA explicitly doesn't "require or prohibit any specific design or operating system". We don't care how you do it, tech monkeys: just be sure you can do what we tell you.

Feinstein, like the authoritarian she is, doesn't give a shit that "Sense of Congress" item 4, above, is patently nonsensical. For the benefit of those whose minds aren't utterly in thrall to a fantasy of perfect security, let me identify the conflict:

You cannot "protect the privacy of United States persons" and provide on-demand decryption. You can't.

The only way to defeat state-of-the-art encryption (outside of whatever voodoo the NSA has developed) is to make it not state of the art. You have to introduce weaknesses into the encryption. And those weaknesses will not be used only by law enforcement, which is what Feinstein and Burr want you to think. Introduce a weakness and it will be found by anyone who is sufficiently motivated.

It would be bad enough if I thought Feinstein were ignorant enough to believe in the ideals promulgated by this bill, but I know she's not that stupid. She knows she's essentially taking away people's privacy, and she doesn't care. She's that big a fan of the police state.

Dianne, you're a disgrace.

No comments:

Post a Comment