This FBI Citizen's Academy session on Counterintelligence was one of the best yet, cause who doesn't love a good spy story?
One of my favorite places in Washington DC is the International Spy Museum. The first time I toured this museum I was struck by the high number of documented female spies, and how good they were. Apparently, women are very successful at espionage. Who woulda thought?*
The more I think about it, the easier it is to understand why women make such good spies. We are adept at:
- Hiding our emotions
- Faking our emotions
- Telling people what they want to hear
- Persuading others to tell us their secrets
- Multi-tasking in general, and
- Flying under the radar in a career considered to be male dominated
But enough of that and back to my FBI spy experience. The session began with a Counterintelligence briefing that significantly increased my fledgling understanding of "Encryption" and explained why the FBI hates "Going Dark." Shortly before I started this Academy I read a long Time magazine article** about the Apple vs FBI iPhone debacle. The briefing brought back all my lingering concerns and questions about which of these concepts is more important to Americans?
- Protection or Privacy?
- Security of our possessions and information, or Security of our physical bodies and beings?
Everyone has heard about the San Bernadino iPhone and why the FBI wanted to get into it (terrorism, 14 killed, 22 wounded...). Given the fact that Americans did not overwhelmingly insist that Apple get the FBI into that phone, I doubt that anyone will be swayed by other examples of how this kind of data protection (encryption) prevents the FBI from catching the bad guys, but I am going to provide them anyway:
There are cases that illustrate how encryption protects all of these individuals:
- Child predators- they are more free to acquire and spread child porn
- Terrorists - the are more free to communicate and store information
- Murder and Kidnap victims - law enforcement are unable to access their computers and mobile devices
- Thieves - they are more free to steal tech/trade secrets/intellectual property/ state secrets
**My tweet stream during my reading on a plane of the Time FBI/Applie/iPhone article by Lev Grossman:
- Nothing makes me feel more stupid than the FBI/Apple phone issue. Just don't get why due process warrant can’t unlock only the relevant phone.
- "Does one company really have the right to defy 2 centuries of American jurisprudence about proper searches and the reach of the law?" #Time
- How much value is placed on personal privacy if it competes
with the needs of law enforcement?"
- It's really weird how passionate Americans were about how awful terrorism was until Apple got involved. Now fighting it is a privacy issue.
- Tim Cook sees the dangers of hacking the invention the FBI wants him to build real enough to weigh against a possible terrorist attack.
- But security
experts say that code has a way of getting out, "like the dinosaurs in
Jurassic Park," lol
#apple #fbi #Time
- Obama apparently
said that if we side with Apple we are "fetishizing" our phones above
other values like safety.
#apple #fbi #Time
- "We have comprehensively bugged ourselves good" with our devices. Legal scholars call it the "Golden Age of Surveillance." #Time
- "George Orwell knew mass surveillance would invade our homes. He just didn't know it wasn't Big Brother who would do it. We did." #Time
- I'm about to start a community relations FBI Citizens Academy. Instructions say that I can't have my iPhone with me in class. #securityirony
- "There's probably more info about you on your iPhone than there is in your home." #Time
- "Now that we have this deep, rich intimately installed new surveillance infrastructure, should Big Brother be allowed to access it?" #Time
- I still don't fully understand encryption but after reading the article with an open mind I'm still on the side of the FBI. #Time
- Apple shouldn't have the power to create a pass code protected place for terrorists to keep data and secrets. #time
- Apple fears hackers taking out power grids, FBI fears the terrorists. Shouldn't they unify against both enemies rather than feud? #Time
- It's probably too
late for me to learn to code, right?
- One thing I found
funny is how Cook assumes everyone backs up their iPhone to the Cloud, which is
- Cook: Congress should study this issue. Grossmann: Product development, much faster than a congressional committee, would continue to evolve
***As seen on TV.