Security Tricks

This chapter is an orderless collection of computer security tricks and techniques that don't really fit anywhere else.


“All right; here's the deal: We're the government, and we're here to prevent crime. It's not easy, criminals being as devious as they are. These criminals, scary criminals like drug dealers, terrorists, child pornographers, and money launderers, are using cryptography to protect their communications. We're worried that all of our court-authorized wiretaps won't be effective anymore; all of these scary criminals will get away. So we want to be able to decrypt everyone's stuff, just in case they turn out to be criminals. We want you, all of you, to make copies of all of your encryption keys and send them to the police (or someone the police trusts), just in case you turn out to be a criminal. And no, we don't trust you to do that—so we're going to make it automatic in the cryptography products you buy.”

Admittedly, that's not a kind picture of the FBI's position on key escrow, but it's accurate. Since 1993, the Clinton administration and the FBI have tried to force the American public to accept the idea that they should give some government-approved party access to their privacy. They've tried to cajole corporations into putting it in their products, persuade users that it is in their best interest, and, when they met resistance in the United States, obdurately pressured other countries to adopt the same policies. They've ...

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