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Communications Encryption United States Politics Your Rights Online

ISIS Supporters Abandon U.S. Encryption Tools As Apple-FBI Fight Rages 162

blottsie writes: Islamic State militants and supporters are promoting strong encryption tools from outside the United States that the American government cannot touch with legislation. In the last month, Islamic State supporters have promoted security software from Finland, Romania, America, France, the Czech Republic, Canada, Panama, Germany, Switzerland, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and other nations, a Daily Dot review found. The international availability of encryption technology, of which Islamic State militants are well aware, underscores FBI Director James Comey's long-held desire to build an international legal regime to deal with the problems posed by encryption, what he calls "going dark."
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ISIS Supporters Abandon U.S. Encryption Tools As Apple-FBI Fight Rages

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Israel's bombing of an iraq nuclear reactor basically started the weaponized nuclear program in iraq: http://972mag.com/the-myth-of-... [972mag.com]

    Same goes for politicans demanding to ban encryption because terrorists could use it. The paris terrorists didn't use encryption. But ISIS now will make sure they will use encryption from now on.

    • What a pile of BS that article you linked to is. Saddam Hussein indicated in 1975 that the purchase of the reactor from France was "the first Arab attempt at nuclear arming" source [nuclearweaponarchive.org]
      Make sure you read the full article. It's quite enlightening, especially the part about how Saddam determined Iraq needed an insider at the IAEA in order to find out how it operated, what it knew, and how best to keep their program hidden from them.
  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @12:47PM (#51622505) Homepage Journal

    The international availability of encryption technology, of which Islamic State militants are well aware, underscores FBI Director James Comey's long-held desire to build an international legal regime to deal with the problems posed by encryption, what he calls "going dark."

    Almost all of the data the FBI is interested in was already supposed to be inaccessible to them. So maybe encryption should be called, "going legit".

  • Sometimes I wish slashdot permitted embedded images, cause things like this just beg to for a nice big Nelson HA HA.

  • by Brannon ( 221550 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @12:54PM (#51622555)

    The current one is shaking his fist at a storm. Why can't we hire someone who has some common sense about technology?

    You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, encryption is here to stay--and there's nothing you can do about it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Buuuuut SPYING is HARD *humph*

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      This may be a sign that the current efforts at quantum computers are finally paying off. And he wants everyone to trust encryption that is breakable by anyone with a big enough budget.

  • by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @12:56PM (#51622581)

    Islamic State supporters have promoted security software from Finland, Romania, America, France, the Czech Republic, Canada, Panama, Germany, Switzerland, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and other nations, a Daily Dot review found.

    For the people that love (falsely) claiming that they came up w/ the number system and zero, it's fascinating that they have to promote encryption software from the above countries - ALL non-Muslim - to protect their jihad-plotting communications from being broken into. Can't they get encryption software from Islamic paradises, like Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Emirates, Iran, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, et al? Or (gasp), even roll their own in their labs in Raqqa, Mosul, Sirte...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      the entire premise seems doubtful. we are feed disinformation. wmd comes to mind.

    • Not to mention that they included "America" in the list. Despite America being the name of a continent (or up to 3, depending on the criteria, or lack thereof) there is only one nation that commonly goes by the name "America".
      • Canamerica?

    • by wiredog ( 43288 )

      They did. Used it, too, until Snowden announced to the world that NSA had broken it.

    • No, the Islamic State can only get good encryption technology from Israel.
  • by rs1n ( 1867908 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @01:17PM (#51622691)
    Before the big commotion between the FBI and Apple, they (the FBI) at least had a chance of breaking into a phone (made by Apple) that was used by an ISIS member (by the help of Apple, through legal means). Now the FBI has essentially shot themselves in the foot. Their demands have basically been a loud horn warning ISIS to stay away from the very technology (phones by American companies) that they could actually get access to... 'cause... well, good luck getting foreign companies to make backdoors for you.
    • by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @01:36PM (#51622823)

      More than that, Apple to date has been handing over information which they actually had in their possession... iCloud data and so forth... in response to valid warrants and subpoenas. It was specifically the FBI's abuse of the all writs act, demanding that they rebuild iOS in order to introduce a security-crippling backdoor, to which Apple objected; not cooperation with law enforcement in general.

      With their current overreach, and the public spectacle they decided to make out of it, they not only cut themselves off from any information that would have been on the phones themselves in the future; they've pretty much assured that anyone using an iPhone as part of a nefarious endeavor will make sure not to upload anything to iCloud going forward. I seem to recall a fable about killing the goose that lays golden eggs.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        With their current overreach, and the public spectacle they decided to make out of it, they not only cut themselves off from any information that would have been on the phones themselves in the future; they've pretty much assured that anyone using an iPhone as part of a nefarious endeavor will make sure not to upload anything to iCloud going forward. I seem to recall a fable about killing the goose that lays golden eggs.

        There are actually many good reasons to do local backups (non-iCloud) through iTunes. An

    • Its not just a loud warning horn to our enemies... It's a loud warning to all foreign companies, that data stored in the US, or protected by companies based in the US, may be intentionally weakened by our government someday in the future. It's an undisputed fact that many US based 3 letter agencies are actively seeking to break, route around, and weaken every encryption model they can, whether publicly, or secretly. This is absolutely driving away foreign business, and is going to hurt US business intere
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      It's that law enforcement mindset of demanding compliance rather than asking for cooperation.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      The FBI is screwing over the American economy really. NO big company, foreign or domestic that cares about their security will use any American product. Heck, even Apple might decide to simply leave the US, it has enough cash to relocate all it's core designers and developers and their extended families to some other place.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @01:17PM (#51622695) Homepage

    ROT13 is still uncracked by the US government and will forever stay safe to use.

    Even the worlds best encryption experts can not break ROT13.

    • by pr0nbot ( 313417 )

      I encrypt everything as a Perl program.

      Unfortunately it's then also uncrackable even by me.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh, thats right, those terrible people (the TERORISTS) that want to kill all of us for no reason. Hold on, maybe there is a reason after all. Maybe they are fed up of US,UK bombs dropping on their heads over the last decades.

    Heres a thought... a logical one I think... instead of trying to monitor all communications and create a great deal of internet collateral damage, we just STOP FUCKING BOMBING OTHER COUNTRIES!!!!!!! then maybe we won't need to watch our backs all the fucking time. We'll also regain th

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @01:28PM (#51622759) Homepage

    the US is a country spending nearly 1.4 trillion dollars per year on defense. It dwarfs the spending of the next 7 largest countries combined. Americans endured this sort of breakneck spending for 50 years under the guise that, once communism fell, we would embrace a newfound wave of peace in the west.

    instead we've invented boogeymen by hook and by crook. We invented ISIS by the iraq war. We invented the iraq war by weapons of mass destruction. we invented the war on terror by 9/11. we invented 9/11 by founding and training al-quaeda. we invented al-quaeda by funding an training the mujahadeen. we invented the war in afghanistan by proxy through our desire to defeat russias communism. we invented communism as a threat through the implicit desire of our oligarchy and capital class to disarm any real objection to capitalism by any means necessary.

    now we're faced with a guerilla enemy, as we were when we created most of our proxy wars in central and south america...but the rules have changed. our "wars" before were innocuous as they werent winnable or loseable, only profitable. we would fight until public opinion turned, then broker a peace deal and leave. Sometimes with oil contracts, other times with infrastructure contracts. Now with the advent of a perfect shield by which our newly created enemy can conceal their intent, we are all but on a level playing field. an actor needs no longer obtain advanced weapons or tactics to defeat us, they merely need to plan extensively.

    the solution is to step back from the carter doctrine of foreign policy, and deprecate our dependency on defense economy.

    • by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @02:10PM (#51623087)
      Great summary of how the US military-industrial complex works in today's world. Eisenhower's farewell address warned of the power this growing (at the time) hybrid group of military leaders and defense contractors has. They aren't about to give it up for the sake of a better world.
    • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @02:12PM (#51623105)

      I'm sorry, but while there are definitely unforeseen consequences in some of those events, we didn't "invent" communism as a threat. Communism did that all by themselves. Communism from the beginning was a theory that expected the export of revolution, and violent revolution at that. It was right and proper to fight it head on. While workers were certainly being exploited by owners, there are still other ways than exporting violence.

      Now, if you were to suggest that it is possible that fighting monsters makes it easier to make a monster out of yourself, I would not disagree. However, let's not lose ourselves in the blame game and mistake cause for effect. There are things you fight against because they are wrong, but there is also a battle within to ensure that you don't become just as bad. There are two different things.

      Losing the second battle doesn't mean the first was wrong to fight. If someone was to attack my wife, I would be 100% right to get that person away from her, and put him in a position that he could not hurt her again by knocking him on his ass.

      However, if I was then to go burn his house down and torture and then kill his family because I was so consumed by rage that I wanted to end his entire genetic line, then I've gone too far.

      In the second "part" of the scenario one could certainly suggest to me that I have done worse to this person than he ever did to me, but don't tell me that I had no right to end the initial threat that he posed. The question instead is one of self-control and perspective.

      Should we have done everything possible to end Communism, including supporting dictators? I don't think so. Should we have opposed Communism directly and without compromise for the evils in that system? Absolutely yes. We made the right decision, we just failed to avoid entering the mud with the pigs.

      • by eam ( 192101 )

        However, if I was then to go burn his house down and torture and then kill his family because I was so consumed by rage that I wanted to end his entire genetic line, then I've gone too far.

        We'll have to agree to disagree.

    • by butchersong ( 1222796 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @04:00PM (#51623979)
      Well I'm not going to get into our conduct in the middle east but our navy does essentially enable the modern world, enforcing maritime law and safe trade on the oceans. Of course I suppose that enables the consumer culture and oursourcing of labor and manufacturing.. but that is another argument.
    • the US is a country spending nearly 1.4 trillion dollars per year on defense. It dwarfs the spending of the next 7 largest countries combined.

      I wonder how much of that is actually spent on defense and how much is spent on offense

  • So they are promoting some particular encryption tools but to whom and for what purpose? It doesn't make sense to endorse these particular encryption tools for high security purposes. Actual terrorists would want to add on extra encryption from a third party and not rely on any built-in encryption from any service or software. What does make sense is for ISIS supporters to promote these particular tools to the general public for two reasons. First, the more widespread strong encryption becomes, the less
  • going dark (Score:4, Interesting)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2016 @02:43PM (#51623365)
    Sure, you can argue that the government insisting on crippling United States industry will only make United States corporations go dark and that unbreakable encryption is certainly a capability of industry outside the United States. But you are foolish if you do. That would simply allow the government to continue to pretend this is about ISIS. Clearly it isn't, it is about the government's war against its own citizens.
  • US acronym agencies like the CIA, NSA, FBI, IRS, etc. have had things their own way for far too long. It's made them lazy, incompetent and stupid.

    Remember the Secret Service yahoos who were too busy screwing Colombian whores to do their job? They're the tip of the iceberg. Now the FBI and the rest of the lazy bastards want back doors into every phone and computer on the planet because they refuse to do the hard, slow, dangerous work of infiltrating groups like ISIS, or turning existing members into willi

  • Finding an encryption scheme that isn't already backdoor'd by the CIA.
    AFAIK the US/CIA has corrupt deals with all the known for-profit crypto suppliers.

    http://mediafilter.org/caq/cry... [mediafilter.org]
    https://www.schneier.com/blog/... [schneier.com]

  • But they will never abandon U.S. Dollars [slate.com]

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