Backdoors, Government Hacking and the Next Crypto Wars

January 6th, 2014   Submitted by Seth King

I really have to thank the likes of Richard Stallman and other longtime outspoken advocates of free and open source software. They sufficiently instilled the fear in me of government backdoors that allow for complete surveillance of my personal computing, including built in microphones and video cameras. I’d also like to thank Edward Snowden for vindicating them and showing the rest of the world just how vulnerable we really are.

I’ve been watching several videos from 30c3, the 30th annual Chaos Communication Conference. Let me tell you, the events and revelations of 2013 concerning government spying and the state of cryptography made for a lot of interesting talk. I’m very hopeful knowing that the hacking community at large is now fully aware of the threat matrix we’re facing and is working overtime to address it head on. The spying capabilities of the NSA and other alphabet soup agencies are no longer relegated to conspiracy theories. They are real and they are being used against us relentlessly.

Please watch this video for just a taste of 30c3, and if you like it consider watching some more talks on youtube. If there is one thing I hope you’ll take away from this speech, and others, it is that it’s time to switch to a 100% free software operating system. I choose Debian Gnu/Linux. Unlike all other non Free Software Foundation recommended distributions, it contains no binary blobs or nonfree software in any of its default repositories. There are legion of white hat hackers in the world working overtime to debug cryptographic standards, software packages, and libraries. But they cannot help you if you are running nonfree software. With that being said, enjoy the video!

3 Responses to “Backdoors, Government Hacking and the Next Crypto Wars”

  1. Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

    Very very interesting. Do you know enough about this stuff to do a series of articles about it?

    OpSec is going to take alot of changing.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      I’ve published several articles on the importance of free software and encryption technologies. I’ll continue to do so over time every few months as a gentle reminder.

  2. JdLNo Gravatar says:

    Fascinating video; thanks! As a programmer, I write my own steganography apps, but am looking forward to new products from people who understand the ins and outs of cryptography better than I do and that will be available to, and usable by, anyone.

    I consider the government a gang of criminals, the worst gang ever to infest the earth, but even people who love the government should be concerned about protecting their data and their communications from predatory interception, no matter who is doing the intercepting.