File under STUPID: Governments to Declare War on Mathematics and Dumb Criminals

Chris Duckett has published an interesting article in ZDnet entitled Governments to Declare War on Mathematics and Dumb Criminals. He writes about the attempts of several governments around the world to stop encryption or to create “back doors” in all encrypted information. Of course, these efforts will always fail because of some very simple truths. Namely, encryption is impossible to control or stop.

I don’t know who is dumber, the criminals or the politicians and bureaucrats.

In one brighter note, the U.S. bipartisan House Judiciary Committee & House Energy and Commerce Committee recently wrote, “Encryption is inexorably tied to our national interests. It is a safeguard for our personal secrets and economic prosperity. It helps to prevent crime and protect national security.”

If you want to read about futile efforts by politicians and bureaucrats, read Chris Duckett’s article at: http://zd.net/2rNc5uk.

European Parliament Committee Recommends End-To-End Encryption For All Electronic Communications

Governments worldwide are providing mixed signals about the rights of citizens to use encryption. The U.K. government has proposed banning encryption. (See my earlier article at http://bit.ly/2rFlB7K for details) while other branches in the same U.K. government have praised the use of encryption by individuals and corporations by writing, “Privacy is an essential prerequisite to the exercise of individual freedom, and its erosion weakens the constitutional foundations on which democracy and good governance have traditionally been based in this country. (See http://bit.ly/2splavi.) France and Germany have called for legislation banning encryption. (See  http://tcrn.ch/2rFGCPt.)

In the U.S., the various government agencies, including the FBI, have condemned encryption while other agencies have praised it. The bipartisan House Judiciary Committee & House Energy and Commerce Committee recently wrote, “Encryption is inexorably tied to our national interests. It is a safeguard for our personal secrets and economic prosperity. It helps to prevent crime and protect national security.”

Now the civil liberties committee of the European Parliament has released a draft proposal “in direct contrast to the increasingly loud voices around the world to introduce regulations or weaken encryption.” The committee of the European Parliament suggests that ALL personal communications should be encrypted. to protect to European Union citizens’ fundamental privacy rights. The committee also recommended a ban on backdoors.

You can read more at: http://bit.ly/2rtMyqN.

Sia – a Safe, Secure, Affordable and Very Private File Storage Service in the Cloud

Most computer users are familiar with the leading online file storage services, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, SugarSync, SpiderOak, Apple iDrive, Amazon Web Services S3, and a number of others. However, many people are reluctant to use any of these services because of concerns about security, privacy, and/or expenses. Sia plans to meet those concerns by providing low-cost file storage capabilities that are even more secure than any of the above-mentioned services. In fact, the company plans on building the largest storage superserver on the planet. However, the superserver will not be in one location. Instead, it will be distributed amongst thousands of homes, offices, and data centers around the world.

That is a lofty goal, but reading about Sia convinces me that the company might be able to meet its objective. If it does, and if you want to safely store files off-site for backup and security purposes, you probably will want to investigate Sia. The software is available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.

First of all, Sia won’t own many servers. Sia is a new approach to cloud storage platforms. Instead of all datacenters being owned and operated by a single company, Sia opens the floodgates and allows anyone to make money by renting out space on their hard drives to other Sia users.

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Macintosh Computers Are Being Targeted By Ransomware, Spyware

For years, Mac users smugly told themselves and everyone else, “Macs don’t get viruses.” Indeed, that was true for years but not true these days. While still rare, a few Macintosh viruses and other malware (malevolent software) are now floating around the Internet. If you are a Mac user, you should be aware of new variants of malware that have been created specifically to target Apple computers; one is ransomware and the other is spyware.

Mac users need to make sure their machines are kept up to date with the latest software patches and be wary of messages they receive via email. Apple does a good job of neutralizing malware by issuing frequent updates that eliminate the specific weakness exploited by such malevolent software.

Details may be found in an article by Mark Ward in the BBC News web site at: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40261693.