John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

See, We Told You It Was a Dangerous Precedent

“We think it sets a dangerous precedent.”

–State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley on the United Arab Emirates BlackBerry ban

Coming as it does after the State Department’s condemnation of the United Arab Emirates demand for oversight of BlackBerry mobile services, a White House-sponsored bill that would require all Internet-based communication services to be technically capable of intercepting and unscrambling encrypted messages on behalf of the government seems more than a little ironic.

Sadly, that irony appears to have been lost on the Obama administration, which plans to submit the bill for congressional deliberation next year despite the unsettling implications. Requiring providers of encrypted communications services to create back doors through which government officials with a wiretap order can eavesdrop carries no guarantee that only government officials with wiretap orders will use them, is it?

“Back door” is really just another term for vulnerability, and there are plenty of interests out there willing to try their hand at exploiting them. And that’s without including the National Security Agency.

“I think it’s a disaster waiting to happen,” Columbia University computer science professor Steven Bellovin told The New York Times. “If they start building in all these back doors, they will be exploited.”


Twitter’s Tanking

December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

2013 Was a Good Year for Chromebooks

December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

BlackBerry Pulls Latest Twitter for BB10 Update

December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik