My Own Private Operating System
from the go-snoop-somewhere-else dept
As the UK gets ready to introduce their own clipper chip like system, some hackers have built their own operating system called M-o-o-t, which is designed to bypass the UK government’s ability to get encryption keys by storing them on servers overseas. The article itself is a bit short on technical details. However, they include the obligatory government spokesperson complaining that (gasp) such a system might be used by criminals. The fact is that criminals who want to get around this legislation are going to figure out ways to do it. Blaming the technology because criminals might use it is (once again) pointless.
Comments on “My Own Private Operating System”
Crime and technology
*Gasp* I believe we should outlaw telephones, faxes, and computers, as criminals may use them in the pursuit of their illegal activities.
It will also be used by people who want to avoid stupid roadblocks to their lives too. Sheesh.
Re: Crime and technology
For serious criminals the solution is simple: just don’t divulge the key. The penalty for that is probably less than for the crime you’ve committed. In fact, if you are a good enough actor to convince a jury that you’ve ‘forgotten’ it then you will get off scott free. Legit businesses will have to use insecure methods that retain confidential keys, which are also easily accessible at a moments notice in case they have RIP served on them. Spot the loser here? And in reality criminal organisations are far better funded and technologically advanced than our police, combined with the security gaffs by even companies should know better (eg BT) have suffered it’s easy to see the potential for disaster. Do the benefits of RIP outweight the risks? On the current evidence I know which way I think it points.
The government is stuck in the old days where it was easy for them to get a phone tap but tricky for your average citizen. They don’t realise that anyone can install a packet sniffer and some cracking software. In the UK we have a good civil service populated by some well-meaning people. But our civil servants have to move every couple of years meaning that we don’t have anyone technically literate consistently occupying a senior position. We do have a very active concerned population (I’m not going to say civil liberties group, as many are merely concerned pragmatic professionals and not what you would call ‘activists’) and the DTI do listen. There is hope but it really is a shame that Labour rammed RIP through on a purely political agenda against the wishes of the DTI.