The most serious threat to your digital privacy

Celine's First Law:

National Security is the chief cause of national insecurity

Governments spying your encrypted communications

  • Slovak Information Agency (SIS) repeatedly wants to change a legislation to implement backdoors for any "legal" encrypted communication
  • Czech Military Intelligence Service ("Vojenská rozvědka") wants to put "blackbox" sniffing devices (with a secret functionality) to all Czech ISPs/mobile operators
  • The government's fight against end-to-end is global (e.g. Cameron also wants to ban the end-to-end encrypted communication in the UK) 

The question:
What is a political legitimity of such dictatorships proposals?

  • If someone wants to propose a law for "tagging" Jews with a yellow star, should we consider him to be serious?
  • If not, why we take seriously the institutions like SIS, Czech Military Intelligence or crazy politicians?

What can we learn from Wikileaks I.

  • Slovak SIS and Czech secret police bought a special hacking malware (FinFisher/Galileo) from companies which provable work for dictatorship regimes (i.e. tax payers' money are used for supporting dictatorship-friendly companies)
  • Because these special hacking tools use 0-day exploits (tools for exploiting not-revealed yet 0-day vulnerabilities which are not patched), for citizens there is ALMOST NO WAY to protect their digital privacy against these dangerous tools
  • Huge asymmetry between the government and individuals
  • There is no transparency at all (!) how to reveal this dangerous government's activity, because everything is top-secret & classified

Reaction of Czech Police

  • Everything is OK because the hacking malware is used for "legal purposes"

Analogy:

Is it OK to use tax payer's money to buy guns from ISIS terrorist organization just because they are used for "legal purposes only"?

What can we learn from Wikileaks II

  • Recent leak of hacking tools of CIA
    • CIA knew about 0-day vulnerabilities of millions of Internet users exposing them to potential attacks of all Internet criminal gangs
    • CIA threatened Internet corporations not to fix these vulnerabilities, because it's a (leaked) classified information exposing of all their customers
    • CIA behavior presents a significant threat to all Internet users (!) 

No information about our privacy without whistleblowing

  • Unfortunately, whistleblowing is becoming the only way how to reveal these immoral government's practices regarding our digital privacy
  • More corrupted or misused power -> more leaks
  • Less "official" transparency -> more leaks
  • It's a shame that despite of leaks, often nothing is changed (e.g. the most serious political corruption leak in Slovakia - "Gorila")

Impact of government's privacy interventions

  • All system with government's backdoors will be weakened leading to significant decrease of citizens' digital privacy, especially when sufficiently secure privacy solution will be blocked
  • Central government "storage" system (data retention, EET, ..) can be always misused - by potential hackers or corrupted employees

The most serious threat for your privacy is government's agencies

  • Because they are:
    • Usually completely non-transparent (classified)
    • Monopolized (with the impossibility of bankrupt in case of leak of huge amount of sensitive information)
    • Used 0-day very efficient spying malware with no possibility for citizens to defend themselves
    • Unlimited financial sources (compared to the private sector)

Protect yourselves against government's spying & tracking

  • Encrypt all your calls and messages (Signal)
  • Encrypt all your instant communication (Jabber+OTR)
  • Encrypt all your email-communication (PGP, S/MIME)
  • Encrypt your Windows (Microsoft Bitlocker)
  • Encrypt your Linux / Mac (dm-crypt/LUKS, FileVault)
  • Encrypt your Android / iOS
  • Prefer cryptocurrencies instead of fiat money

Thanks!

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The most serious threat to your digital privacy

By Pavol Luptak

The most serious threat to your digital privacy

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