Learn to encrypt your data! Really! Honestly! Pleeeaaase!! *nod*

Published on Sun 12 of Dec, 2010

All the last days I was pretty sure that thanks to WikiLeaks it is obvious how the net works and governments just have to get it now. I was asking for media literacy and governments helping their people to acquire it! No, apparantly this is not how the world works. No one seems to get that decentralization is the way of making stuff work in the long run. That it is a bad idea to put things into a central repository controlled by a few.

When I started mirroring WikiLeaks not so long ago I thought of having a blog post "How to brace for impact as a finnish guerilla" and explaining to you that you should immediately start encrypting all your data to protect your freedom in increasingly hostile times for people raising their voice. But then I thought that it's not fair to project my paranoia onto you - believe me: paranoia is not a nice thing to have most of the time! ;)

Anyways.. I should have blogged that because a finnish guerilla needs to cultivate a bit of healthy paranoia that tells him/her/it: "Hey, there is some single point of control that can fail." And this also means failure as in censorship or other forms of restricting freedom of speech. French government just made a law that allows it to censor the internet1, WikiLeaks is known for having released an australian internet cesorship-list that has very questionable entries in it and german hackers are constantly fighting against implementing any centralized mechanisms of internet censorship, because they know that such things are too easy to misuse... so far they won.

And now the controllers and censors of this society again come sneaking through the backdoor. People! Learn using encryption!!
The german government tells us that end-to-end encryption is a bad idea2, because people are stupid. People won't get how encryption works. So instead of educating them and creating media literacy - the government just takes care of the complex encryption for their people. This way it can also decrypt all your mail and check it for viruses. This way they also build their backdoor to filter your mails.. just in case that you might be sending around digital information that they don't like.... Sanctity of the mail anyone?!?

To have real sanctity of the mail in the digital age you as a partisan have to be in control of your encryption and that only works when you use end-to-end encryption - don't let anyone tell you otherwise. A third party is rarely reliable and if you don't need it - why use it in the first place?! As an educative start to creating media literacy in the digital age, let me post this nice video here from the guys of Netzpolitik, who also get why being in control of your encryption is an essential thing for your freedom (not only of speech).


BTW: Giving your digital (and therefore endlessly copyable) lock away to the people communicating with you - yes, that's the right metaphor to explain asymmetric encryption! Why didn't I come up with this?!? ;P

1. http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/16/190238/The-French-Government-Can-Now-Censor-the-Internet
2. http://www.bundestag.de/presse/hib/2010_12/2010_418/04.html

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Born, went to school, started hacking on free software, did some major high availability sysadmin work in between, now back to my original passion: managing knowledge. :) -- Long CV

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