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Communications Encryption Government HP Security Politics

Carly Fiorina Says Government Needs a Way To "Work Around" Encryption (dailydot.com) 345

Patrick O'Neill writes: Carly Fiorina wants the government to be able to "work around" encryption to aid intelligence agencies and law enforcement in their investigations, she said on Monday. The Republican presidential candidate and former HP CEO shifted the focus of her campaign to national security two days before the last Republican debate of 2015. Fiorina is the latest but not the first presidential candidate to weigh in on the encryption debate that has taken on a new life since terrorist attacks in Paris and California.
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Carly Fiorina Says Government Needs a Way To "Work Around" Encryption

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  • Good for her (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @09:20AM (#51120891)

    I'm sure lots of people want a 'work around', but what they want isn't always possible.

    This is just a nonsense statement intended to get support from those who don't know better. At least she knows how to play the game.

    • Re:Good for her (Score:5, Informative)

      by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @09:51AM (#51121097) Journal

      I'm sure lots of people want a 'work around', but what they want isn't always possible.

      It is probably not what she meant, but off course there is a workaround for encryption. I am talking off course about good old detective work, infiltration and what we expect our national security services to actually do. If you know beforehand what is about to be encrypted, you have the perfect workaround. If you only know after the message has been sent, you are probably already too late.

      • Suppose they've done the good old detective work, infiltrated and done what the national security services were expected to do and gotten this result:

        "The target for assassination is 89HWE79G and we will do it by planting explosives in *()H(& DJKSDF and beneath ((*BBSEUFU^. We will also target the following: SDF^KJDSDF&Gm, ##()*#&$)L#K, and *^)(()*WERWER, ( and if we have time %QAWERA)."
        • Re: Good for her (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @10:15AM (#51121295) Homepage Journal

          Your hypothetical is nonsense but just to be safe we should install microphones in everybody's homes and record from them all the time. For safety. 'Terrists.

          "Alexa, what is a police state?"

          • Re: Good for her (Score:5, Insightful)

            by DarkTempes ( 822722 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @11:08AM (#51121705)

            I think we should declare war on lightning.

            I mean, lightning strikes kill more americans than terrorists so lightning is obviously an immediate threat to our national security.

            Obviously, if lightning is allowed to persist then america as we know it will no longer exist.
            I propose we effect this war by putting all of the politicians on tall metal poles and wishing them good luck.

        • Re:Good for her (Score:5, Insightful)

          by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @10:28AM (#51121395)

          Then a few of us will die, but the rest of us keep our freedom. It sure beats having more of us die under runaway tyrannical regimes while the rest of us toil under them. Ever notice how those who spy on others get more maniacal the more dirt they get? It builds a culture of paranoid delusion. Americans saw it first hand after 9/11. The reality is the threat never goes away. We can only choose how we live in spite of it.

          However, that doesn't mean we can't take action. If such people really are the threats claimed, then it's time to declare war on the countries enabling them. Compromising western values is exactly what they want us to do.

          • Re:Good for her (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @11:53AM (#51122041)

            Then a few of us will die, but the rest of us keep our freedom.

            And just to quantify "few of us will die", how many people have been killed in terrorist attacks on American soil since 2001? Even including the 9-11 attacks, I'd wager less than 4,000. Let's say 5,000 to pad the numbers a bit. That's over 14 years so that's 360 people per year (again, rounding up). The population in the USA is 318.9 million so we're talking about 1.13 in every 1,000,000 Americans. Put another way, each American would have a 0.00013% chance of being the victim of a terror attack.

            As a comparison, over 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2013 alone. That's almost 28 times the "terror fatality" rate. Yet you don't see politicians calling for all cars to automatically report back to the police when an impaired driver tries to start the car.

            • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

              Of course. Saving people from drunk driving doesn't feed the paranoid delusion.

              Yet you don't see politicians calling for all cars to automatically report back to the police when an impaired driver tries to start the car.

              yet. You think this isn't coming, along with a ton of other checks (did you pay your taxes? your tickets? no? no going to work for you)?

            • Meh, we're really talking about emotionally manipulating voters, not rationally setting policy. The focus group said terrorism is scarier than drunk drivers, and when they explained their fears, numbers weren't mentioned.
          • Right. Get rid of the no fly rule for people in the country. If you *truly* belong on the list then the evidence should be brought forth. Either you are a dangerous individual or your name ought to be cleared and removed from the list.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Then they didn't do enough. The 4th Amendment is around for good reason. The police and government are not entitled to every bit of your information despite what fascists and their gullible idiots like yourself believe.

          Some bad people are going to get away with their crimes because upholding due process and the 4th amendment are far more important to having a free society instead of a police state. It sounds like North Korea is the place you want to live.

        • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

          Suppose they've done the good old detective work, infiltrated and done what the national security services were expected to do and gotten this result:

          "The target for assassination is 89HWE79G and we will do it by planting explosives in *()H(& DJKSDF and beneath ((*BBSEUFU^. We will also target the following: SDF^KJDSDF&Gm, ##()*#&$)L#K, and *^)(()*WERWER, ( and if we have time %QAWERA)."

          What if they decrypt the message and all they get is "Code Word "Alpha". Target: "Pink Rabbit". Date: "See Spot Run". You don't need high tech for effective encryption.

        • by Matheus ( 586080 )

          Hey.... passing terrorism planning messages through /. comments is really uncool dude!

        • They apply the XKCD "backdoor" [xkcd.com] and/or arrest or bring in for questioning the recipients of that email.

    • She is so naive that she thinks the government has no backdoors and ways around encryption?

      I'm sure lots of people want a 'work around', but what they want isn't always possible.

      I think the term you're looking for is "reach around".

  • Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by James_Duncan8181 ( 588316 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @09:24AM (#51120913) Homepage
    No change in her technical competence since she ran HP into the ground, I see.
  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @09:24AM (#51120917) Homepage Journal

    why she was such a shitty tech CEO.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @09:28AM (#51120947)

    In Soviet Russia, government needs a way to work around Carly Fiona!

  • by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @09:29AM (#51120955)
    A workaround for overreaching governments and individuals abusing their power. It's metabullshit because you aren't obfuscating who the data is comming from, where it is going to, or even how often. Supposedly that was all that was important right? The American government couldn't secure their own data, idiocy is rampant. How exactly is compromising all business and personal transactions to intercept a nearly non-existent threat even helping at all, except to perhaps facilitate your own illegal agenda? FFS the day the government actually addresses issues in the order of deaths per year, or even in financial damages per year to the American public is the day hell will freeze over.
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @09:35AM (#51120985)

    The republicans seems to state that the Government is a bunch of bumbling idiots where the free market can outperform it hands down, yet they also expect it able to perform things such as conspiracies where thousands of people are involved. Making a back door that only the government can break. Creating a super virus so advanced that no mortal individual outside the government can't possibly make.

    In short any government back door is a back door to the rest of the world. It isn't as much about the government spying on us, but who else, can. What if Snowden decided not to go public with the stuff he learned and decided to use it to profit off of the information? It takes one underpaid/underappreciated rouge employee to mess up any grand security system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by clonehappy ( 655530 )

      It's because all people are hypocrites.

      Republicans, the right, etc. all clamor for smaller government. Which I happen to whole-heartedly agree with. However, smaller government includes staying out of what substances people put in their bodies, what a woman chooses to do with hers, staying out of the average citizen's email and electronic communications, the list goes on and on. Repubs want to control all of those things, so I can't agree with their position.

      Democrats, the left, etc. all clamor for bigge

  • by dominux ( 731134 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @09:38AM (#51121009) Homepage

    it is patented, here it is https://www.google.co.uk/paten... [google.co.uk] differential workfactor encryption, as used in the International version of IBM Lotus Notes until the US government decided not to classify encryption as heavy munitions. It gives the US government 40 bits of encryption to crack and everyone else gets 128 bits. (and you can vary the assisted evesdropper and workfactors to taste). As far as I am aware they never once gave a single shit about it whilst they had it, and never wanted other products to implement it.

  • Does anyone else remember a time when politicians paid lip service to upholding the constitution and what it stood for?

    I mean, we all knew they were full of shit, and they knew we knew, but it was like a game. Who could spew shit with a smile and not blush about the bullshit they were feeding us.

    I miss those days.

  • Maybe Steve Ballmer should run for President. He's was a more competent CEO than Carly, at least a more enthusiastic one. Plus, he can outspend Donald Trump and certainly out shout him.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    We've just had GCHQ release their graph analysis software into the public domain. It's basically that, graph analysis, a database that can be constantly added to and performs data analysis. So what they're talking about is clearly bulk data mining, the so called 'power of big data' to spot terrorists and criminals.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/12/14/brit_spookhaus_gchq_creates_github_repo_offers_graph_database/

    Mass surveillance to collect the data then graph analysis to analyse it. Not targetted investi

  • Put appropriate oversight in place that a warrant can be issued against to access the keys required to access whatever meta data the law enforcement or intelligence needs access to. This means appropriate use of decryption and key mechanisms is legal and inappropriate use is not legal.

    This is what it looks like when the state doesn't want to give up the power to abuse the powers that it should not have.

  • On the danger of being modded down into oblivion: I understand and agree why law enforcement needs to intercept communications to do their job. And I WANT police to be able to do their job and catch criminals.

    but
    a) this should be law enforcement and NOT "The Gouvernment"
    b) on a case-by-case-base, watched over by a real judge and NOT a blanket surveillance issued by some Gestapo-Secret-Court and
    c) not weakening encryption by backdoors so that any criminal can listen in. (and this is what happens when someone

    • It should be noted that talking about doing illegal things is, in and of itself, not illegal.

      In other words, decrypting someone's comments is NOT a function of law enforcement. Law enforcement is about catching people who have committed crimes, not about monitoring everyone to make sure they can't commit crimes....

      • In general, yes.

        But that may be refined by defining plotting and preparing certain crimes as crime itself. (Of course this includes much mroe than merely thinking or talking about illegal activities)

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        In a world where lying to the government is a crime and where you can fill bound volumes with laws on "conspiracy to.." crimes, I'm not so certain that "talking about doing illegal things" is necessarily as clean, easy and legal as you might think.

        While I agree it *shouldn't* be illegal to talk about doing illegal things, decades of legislation aimed at organized crime, drug dealing, terrorism and likely now, the newish focus on "self-radicalized" individuals leads me to believe the authority structure is n

  • by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @09:59AM (#51121177)

    As a European, I always wonder how these politicians want to enforce these schemes. Will it be impossible to import strong encryption into US? But how? I still have a little closed-source shareware program with strong encryption online. So what happens if a US citizen purchases it via my web shop? Will this person be put into prison? Or will I somehow magically commit a crime in in the US even though I live elsewhere and have never been there, and will be extradited to the US? In the latter case, how should I prevent that US citizens buy my program? IP-based geolocation that is easy to fool?

    Has any of these persons who suggest "workarounds" and backdoors ever made any concrete suggestions how to handle this?

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      Those who suggest workarounds have no understanding of the implications or the technical challenges. They just desire something and expect everyone else to figure it out for them.
    • So what happens if a US citizen purchases it via my web shop?

      Terror watch list.

      Will this person be put into prison?

      Probably

      Or will I somehow magically commit a crime in in the US even though I live elsewhere and have never been there, and will be extradited to the US?

      Probably.

      In the latter case, how should I prevent that US citizens buy my program?

      Your problem not ours.

      IP-based geolocation that is easy to fool?

      Your problem not ours.

      While that is in jest it is sadly likely not far from the truth. The people proposing this, most of those who currently hold elected office or are seeking it as it is an authoritarian thing not D vs. R thing, are mentally deficient and would be best served by being institutionalized for the remainder of their lives lest they injure themselves or others. They do get lots of support because the general population, including the me

  • There already is a workaround. It's called investigation, surveillance, and basic detective work.
    • But that's too HAAAARD! Why can't they just click a button and get instant access to anyone's computer? It's not like criminals would be able to get past the "For Law Enforcement Use Only" backdoor?

      (Mandatory sarcasm warning to make sure people know I'm parodying law enforcement calls for less encryption and not actually advocating this myself.)

  • There always was a workaround... break the encryptor not the encryption. Governments world-round are old hands at that.
  • I'm not sure which I admire more in a candidate: The Republicans willingness to be upfront with the public how much they want to screw over the American people or the Democrats ability to keep it a secret until it is too late to do anything about it.
  • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @10:43AM (#51121487) Homepage Journal

    I just read a great essay [ucdavis.edu] (PDF format) by Phillip Rogaway [wikiwand.com] which strongly argues exactly that we need to develop new kinds of cryptography which are aimed squarely at making mass surveillance impossible. Once mass surveillance has been shut down completely, then maybe we can talk about ways for law enforcement to "work around" encryption in very limited and controlled ways[1]. But as long as mass surveillance is feasible, this is a complete non-starter, because any mechanism for bypassing cryptographic security will be used to increase the penetration of mass surveillance. And at this point I don't think we can settle for purely political means of shutting down mass surveillance. Political restrictions on surveillance are necessary, but not sufficient. We also need technology that makes it difficult and expensive, because if it's cheap and easy it can always be done on the sly.

    [1] Once mass surveillance is out of the way, then we can talk about "workarounds". But it's crucial that the workarounds not compromise the security of the result. At present, I don't think we have any cryptographic technology that enables controlled, limited access without compromising security in normal operation. Further, I don't think any such technology is possible. But until mass surveillance is shut down we can't even discuss it.

    • Once mass surveillance has been shut down completely, then maybe we can talk about ways for law enforcement to "work around" encryption in very limited and controlled ways[1].

      They already have that - they can intercept the message before encryption, or after decryption. Of course, that needs to be narrowly targeted and doesn't work for hoovering up everything.

  • Us GOPers can now safely scratch Carly Fiorina off the primary list permanently.

  • by stimpleton ( 732392 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @10:48AM (#51121543)
    A snippet from wikipedia: "Steven Levy, writing in 2015 on the agreement(an HP/iPod supply agreement/cobrand), wrote that "Steve Jobs blithely mugged her and HP's shareholders. By getting Fiorina to adopt the iPod as HP's music player, Jobs had effectively gotten his [iTunes] software installed on millions of computers for free, stifled his main competitor, and gotten a company that prided itself on invention to declare that Apple was a superior inventor. And he lost nothing..."

    Its a nice snippet as it encapsulates her well known lack of business skills and lack of strategic competency.

    I heard a term used by a lawyer referencing someone similar a while back. It applies here - She is a lightweight dolly bird.
  • Then they take away your right to privacy
    Then they take away your freedom to speak
    Then they take away your right to assembly
    Then they win.

    We're so, so close to this happening is not even funny. We're being snookered exactly the same way Imperial Japan and Germany both snookered an entire populace* and turned them against their neighbors, and in Germany's case, against an entire race and religion.

    * by educating the young with your doctrine, by using popular media to give your doctrine wide reach, well into

    • Then they take away your right to privacy
      Then they take away your freedom to speak
      Then they take away your right to assembly
      Then they win.

      We're so, so close to this happening is not even funny.

      My family comes from countries where people actually have lost these rights, and the US isn't "close" at all. That isn't to say that we shouldn't be concerned about political attacks on these rights, but we also shouldn't engage in such ridiculous comparisons.

      We're being snookered exactly the same way Imperial Japan

  • She's wrong. The government doesn't 'need' this, it just 'wants' it, like I want a millions dollars, but just like me, they won't get it.

  • by trawg ( 308495 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @11:28AM (#51121845) Homepage

    I mean I guess I can imagine Carly Fiorina, as a mere ex-CEO of one of the largest technology companies in the world, might not have any idea how, like, technology actually works. But this whole conversation is so stupid.

    What are these people anticipating? First of all they need to legislate that all crypto software has to have a back door. Leaving aside the security implications of that (which are immense), it means that any company that wants to make and sell crypto in the US will need to change their product lines.

    Then to actually make this effective, they'd need to legislate that any company that wants to use crypto within the US must use software that meets this requirement. Without that, then any company that wants actual security will just be buying products (that actually are secure) from overseas and using them in the US.

    I don't even know what would happen with people currently using non-crippled open source crypto. Would they be expected to pull it out and replace it with a government approved commercial solution? Would someone create a fork of the open source products that had some back door?

    To me every comment made by these clowns just demonstrates a complete lack of awareness about how software works, what open source is, and how tech people think.

    Good luck, USA. You're going to need it.

    • Well as a CEO she long ago had the managerial lobotomy. Although given the current crop of management everywhere that happens in business school before they ever get their first job.
  • you CANT have a way around all encryption... Honestly why the hell did she ever run ANY tech company being that uneducated?

    This is why I have ZERO respect for any CxO they all are fakers that bulshitted their way to their position.

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nospAm.nerdflat.com> on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @11:44AM (#51121961) Journal

    .... is to be condescending without sounding like you are trying to be.

    Such as...

    Ms Fiorina,

    While I can appreciate that your intentions behind this proposal may be driven by a sincere belief that such measures would be in the best interests of society, they fail to account for a single fundamental problem - that if the government, or law enforcement, ever has any foolproof way to work around any encryption, then so will the bad guys, who can then use it to eavesdrop on other people's communications. The problem with this is that of course, you are proposing sacrificing absolutely everyone's privacy, and exposing them indefensibly to anyone who might try to harm them by abusing their personal information. The government and law enforcement cannot be everywhere at once, and completely innocent people will be harmed by this proposal if it should pass. I can completely understand the imperative feeling that something might need to be done in this arena, but this is not the solution.

  • by Eunuchswear ( 210685 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @12:03PM (#51122117) Journal

    Who could have guessed?

  • I thought government was the problem and republicans didn't want "big brother".
  • We have several issues with granting government more power. Why would we not use spying to catch all criminals and not just terrorists? Why do we not have complete reports on incidents that were prevented by use of spying? It is impossible for every case to be so sensitive that it all must be kept hush, hush. So what would happen if we allow government to spy more? Suppose we catch an overwhelming number of people who commit crimes. Ultimately we would have to be selective and only arrest
  • Ms Fiorina,

    Since I don't assume for a femto-second that you are unversed in technology or have at your back a multitude of technical advisors, as does your brethren across all parties. I am only left to assert that you are being disingenuous at best or a bold faced liar at worst for suggesting that government needs a "work around" for encryption to address current international criminal conspiracies. You know as well as I that such a thing is IMPOSSIBLE. It is especially IMPOSSIBLE in reference to the high

  • And let's not forget how competent she is about technical issues... such that HP had to find a way to "work around" her (aka, firing her).

                  mark

  • For all the initial talk about the season of political outsiders, bunching Carly w/ the Donald or Dr Ben was a misplaced grouping of the 3. The third outsider in the group is Cruz. In fact, had Carly won her race against Barbara Boxer, she'd have been one of the insiders, had she still run.

    In fact, in the race, I hardly notice much difference b/w her positions and those of Rubio or Christie. Along w/ Bush, all seem to think that Russia is our greatest enemy, rather than Muslims. And Carly wearing a cr

  • Why doesn't Carly ask for a perpetual motion machine to get clean, free energy while she is at it?

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