EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.15.13

TechBytes Episode 82: Richard Stallman on Data Protection, Collective Responsibility as Tyrannical Tool, and Encryption of Data

Posted in TechBytes at 2:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techbytes 2013

Direct download as Ogg (00:09:58, 7.4 MB)

Summary: Stallman speaks about security, privacy, networks, and the NSA

TODAY’S part (fifth in this series of interviews) deals with several different topics that Stallman rarely speaks about publicly. The full transcript follows.


Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz: The next bunch of things I’d like to speak about is the data, showing whole data security, I mean, security from the point of view of the user, not security from the point of view of, you know, “national security”, which could mean just about anything.

Richard StallmanDr. Richard M. Stallman: I understand.

RSS: The repositioning of the datacentres and the location of datacentres that companies are selecting — what role do you think that plays in privacy?

RMS: Well, if you’re going to deal with a company and it’s going to get some personal information about you and that company’s servers are hosted by a US company — whether in the US or not — then that means that the US government can get all your information.

If a country wants to provide data protection to its citizens, part of their data protection must include not permitting that data to be searched in any way as part of the company’s operations, to have [...] fully reliable and cooperating data protection. So for instance, a European company should not be allowed to host its data on an Amazon server.

“…the encryption of a network hub is not something that you can depend on for your own privacy because, you know, if other people are getting on the network hub, they can listen to your packets too, so if you want to maintain your privacy, you do that with something else like communicating with SSH.”
      –Richard Stallman
RSS: There was one case way back in 2008 or so, several of us European people and people in the FFII were trying to encourage the European Commission not to put Google Analytics in its Web site. That was a public service Web site which was providing, using JavaScript, a helluva lot of details about the European citizens accessing the site to a US company. I don’t think that’s being addressed sufficiently, even now a lot of the servers…

RMS: Well, you’re certainly right and I would suggest that if a Web page is set up so that it will provide information [to] these companies, that should be treated as legally equivalent to the case where the operator of that Web page explicitly sent the same data to [these companies] and of course in Europe that would bring the European data protection rules into play and that would say, “no, you can’t send this data to Google Analytics or to some advertising network or anyone.”

RSS: I want to also ask you about encryption. I’m not sure to what degree you’re into, into all these — I suppose this is an area that enthusiasts in the field of security are very much into — but several of us people are trying to find reliable encryption, ubiquitous encryption method…

RMS: Well, I can help you find that. I know how to use the GNU Privacy Guard. However, in order to use that you’ve got to have somebody’s public key. So that’s why I was wondering if when I go to the UK we might meet and then can I could get your public key.

RSS: We’ll probably come to it later, but in the UK we have this big scandal right now about spying on diplomats in the G8 summit and that’s probably something that Russia — I read about it today — Russia is apparently going to take some legal action over it as well as the NSA leaks. There was spying on people using, basically honeypots as access points, as a way in which it would connect to a wireless access point and of course even if people are using E-mail with SSL/TLS, I’m not sure to what degree this is safe. We know WPA — WPA2 even — is crackble. And…

RMS: Well, okay, the point is, the encryption of a network hub is not something that you can depend on for your own privacy because, you know, if other people are getting on the network hub, they can listen to your packets too, so if you want to maintain your privacy, you do that with something else like communicating with SSH.

Now, the relevance of encryption on the network hub — that’s not just a way of controlling who can use it. It’s very important for people to maintain Wi-Fi networks without any kind of password, because if you don’t, then you’re becoming an enforcer in the war on sharing. One way to resist the application of unjust laws such as the Digital Economy Act is by not having a key on your Wi-Fi network.

RSS: That increases the pressure through liability claims, so…

“Collective responsibility is the policy that says, if you don’t help keep everyone else subjected, we’ll punish you.”
      –Richard Stallman
RMS: Of course, collective responsibility is the tool of tyrants. Collective responsibility is the policy that says, if you don’t help keep everyone else subjected, we’ll punish you. Right now the UK government is using the system of collective responsibility to divide people and turn everybody into an enforcer against everybody else, and that’s why it’s people’s duty to refuse to do it.

RSS: And I suppose the same…

RMS: …Wi-Fi that works without passwords, so that they refuse to enforce the system of unjust control on everyone else.

RSS: I totally agree with you and the same was said about the solidarity when it comes to encrypting E-mail. We should make it a standard thing to encrypt our E-mails although, to tell you the truth, I mean, all the encryption methods are based upon industry standards that are accepted at the other end of the line, so when you send somebody an E-mail you have to make sure they have the same decryption methods upon which…

RMS: Right. That’s why it’s difficult, in practice, to encrypt all our E-mails. We can encrypt E-mail with people that we know and have arranged to exchange keys with. But the other thing to point out is that encrypting E-mail doesn’t disguise any of the metadata, so the NSA can still track who sends E_mail to whom, even if the contents are encrypted.

RSS: And I suppose with all the mathematicians at the NSA — they seem to be hiring quite a few very skilled people who can do analysis on the encryption methods and…

RMS: They’ve been doing that since 19…

RSS: Fifty?

RMS: 1949 or so.

RSS: I think the NSA was only founded in 19…

RMS: Well, it wasn’t then called the NSA, but it doesn’t matter. You know, details like where it’s put don’t matter.


Later today I’ll be meeting Stallman in Oxford to get some video interviews done with him. This time the audio quality will be vastly better.

We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an Identi.ca account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

As embedded (HTML5):

Keywords: gnu fsf richardstallman

Download:

Ogg Theora

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Financially Backs Patent Trolls That Attack Its Competitors

    Corporate media continues to ignore the elephant in the room, which is Microsoft's deep involvement in arming patent trolls and using them against rivals, including GNU/Linux



  2. PTAB Engages in Patent Justice, But Lobbyists of Patent Trolls Try to Blame PTAB for All the Problems of the US and Then Promote Iancu

    In an effort to curtail quality control at the US patent office, voices of the litigation 'industry' promote the irrational theory that the demise of the US is all just the fault of patent reform



  3. Team UPC Has Been Reduced to Rubble and Misinformation

    A roundup of the latest falsehoods about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and those who are peddling such falsehoods for personal gain



  4. CRISPR Patent Debacle Demonstrated That Opposition Divisions Do Their Job, But Also Highlighted Serious Deficiency in Patent-Granting Process

    While it is reassuring that EPO staff managed to squash a very controversial patent, it remains to be explained why such patent applications/applicants were even notified of intention to grant (in spite of the EPC, common sense and so on)



  5. Links 23/1/2018: Castle Game Engine 6.4, Qt 5.9.4, SQLite 3.22.0

    Links for the day



  6. Confidence in European Patents (EPs) is Eroding and Stakeholders Are Already Suffering

    The rush to grant lots and lots of patents at the EPO is already taking its toll; quality is declining, decisions to grant are being overturned, and the already-overburdened appeal boards are unable to catch up



  7. Even More Uncertain a Future for the Independence of the EPO Boards of Appeal as Judge Corcoran Too Gets Sent to 'Exile'

    The attack on supposedly independent judges at the EPO escalates further; the judge whom the EPO was ordered to reinstate (by ILO) is being constantly pushed around, not just legally bullied



  8. The Response to Accusations of Censorship by Team UPC? Yet More Censorship to Shield UPC From Criticism

    The Empire of Lies upon which the Unified Patent Court (UPC) was conceived is being exposed for its lies; The Empire Strikes Back with yet more censorship



  9. Links 22/1/2018: Linux 4.15 Delayed Again, Libinput 1.9.901

    Links for the day



  10. Team UPC Calls Critics of the UPC Idiots, Deletes Their Comments, and Blocks Them

    A new low for Team UPC, which is unable to cope with reality and has begun literally mocking and deleting comments of people who speak out truths



  11. How the Opposition to CRISPR Patents at the EPO Sent Shockwaves Through the Industry

    Additional reports/coverage on the EPO (European Patent Office) revoking Broad Institute's CRISPR patent show that the issue at hand isn't just one sole patent but the whole class/family of patents



  12. Unified Patents Says That RPX, Which Might Soon be Owned by Patent Trolls, Paid Patent Trolls Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

    Unified Patents, which helps crush software patents, takes note of RPX’s financial statements, which reveal the great extent to which RPX actually helped trolls rather than stop them



  13. IAM Together With Its Partner, IIPCC, is Lobbying the USPTO to Crush PTAB and Restore Patent Chaos

    Having handled over 8,000 petitions (according to Professor Lemley's Lex Machina), PTAB champions patent quality at the USPTO, so front groups of the litigation 'industry' creep in and attempt to lobby the likely next Director of the USPTO (inciting him against PTAB, as usual)



  14. Software Patents Are Still Dropping Like Flies in 2018, Thanks to Alice v CLS Bank (SCOTUS, 2014) and Section 101 (USPTO)

    Section 101 (§ 101) is thriving in the sense that it belatedly throws thousands of patents -- and frivolous lawsuits that depend on them -- down the chute; the patent trolls and their allies in the patent microcosm are very furious and they blame PTAB for actually doing its job (enforcing Section 101 when petitioned to do so)



  15. Patent Troll Finjan Looks Like It's About to Collapse, But Patent Maximalists Exploit It for Software Patents Promotion

    Patent trolls are struggling in their use of software patents; few (if any) of their patents are upheld as valid and those that miraculously remain in tact become the subject of fascination if not obsession among trolls' advocates



  16. The Attacks on PTAB Are Slowing Down and Attempts to Shield Oneself From Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) Are Failing

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reapplies patent eligibility tests/guidelines in order to squash likely invalid patents; The litigation 'industry' is not happy about it, but its opposition to PTAB is also losing steam



  17. Links 21/1/2018: Wine 3.0 Coverage, KaOS 2018.01, Red Hat Among 'Admired Companies'

    Links for the day



  18. Blockchain Patents Are a Catastrophe in the Making as Trolls and Aggressors Accumulate Them

    As patents pertaining to blockchains continue to be granted -- even in defiance of Alice/Section 101 -- it seems likely that patent wars will sooner or later erupt, involving some large banks, IBM, and patent trolls associated with the notorious Erich Spangenberg



  19. Qualcomm/Broadcom/NXP Combination Would Become a Disastrous Patent Thicket Which Benefits Nobody

    Worried by the prospect of mega-mergers and takeovers which would put far too much market power (and monopoly through patents) in one place, governments and corporations speak out



  20. Patent Litigation in East Asia: Huawei, Samsung, HTC, Nintendo and COLOPL

    A quick look at some high-profile cases in which large Asian firms are embroiled; it seems clear that litigation activities have shifted eastwards (where actual production is done)



  21. Patent Litigation in the US is Down Sharply and Patent Trolls' Demise Has Much to Do With It

    Docket Navigator and Lex Machina both show a significant decline in litigation -- a trend which is likely to carry on now that TC Heartland is in tact (not for just half a year but a whole year) and PTAB completes another record year



  22. Cheating the US Patent System is a Lot Harder After TC Heartland

    Some new examples of tricks (and sometimes cheats) attempted by patent claimants and their representatives; it does not go as well as they hoped



  23. RPX Might Soon be Owned by Patent Troll Erich Spangenberg

    RPX, whose top executives are leaving and business is gradually dying, might end up as another 'asset' of patent trolls



  24. Patent Quality (Not Numbers) as an Asset: Oppositions, Appeals and Rejections at the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli wants a rubber-stamping operation (like INPI) rather than a functional patent office, but oppositions at the Office prove to be fruitful and many erroneously-granted patents are -- by extrapolation -- already being revoked (affecting, in retrospect, Battistelli's so-called 'results')



  25. Links 19/1/2018: Linux Journalism Fund, Grsecurity is SLAPPing Again

    Links for the day



  26. The EPO Ignores This Week's Decision Which Demonstrates Patent Scope Gone Awry; Software Patents Brought Up Again

    The worrisome growth of European Patents (EPs) — a 40% jump in one year in spite of decline in the number of patent applications — is a symptom of the poor judgment, induced largely by bad policies that impede examiners’ activities for the sake of so-called ‘production’; this week's decision regarding CRISPR is another wake-up call and software patents too need to be abolished (as a whole), in lieu with the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  27. WesternGeco v ION Geophysical (at the US Supreme Court) Won't Affect Patent Scope

    As WesternGeco v ION Geophysical is the main if not sole ‘major’ patent case that the US Supreme Court will deal with, it seems safe to say that nothing substantial will change for patent scope in the United States this year



  28. Links 18/1/2018: MenuLibre 2.1.4, Git 2.16 Released

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft, Masking/Hiding Itself Behind Patent Trolls, is Still Engaging in Patent Extortion

    A review of Microsoft's ugly tactics, which involve coercion and extortion (for businesses to move to Azure and/or for OEMs to preload Microsoft software) while Microsoft-connected patent trolls help hide the "enforcement" element in this whole racket



  30. Patent Prosecution Highway: Low-Quality Patents for High-Frequency Patent Aggressors

    The EPO's race to the bottom of patent quality, combined with a "need for speed", is a recipe for disaster (except for litigation firms, patent bullies, and patent trolls)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts