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The United Nations Meets 13 Principles Against Unchecked Surveillance (eff.org)
70 points by Garbage 1374 days ago | hide | past | web | 12 comments | favorite

This train wreck keeps getting avoided by the community, but the choo bloody choo is pulling in at the station with a big bomb that has already gone off, but people are just slow to notice.

Snowden killed the USA-centric internet.

Let's see what we can make out of the rubble.

No...the NSA killed the USA centric internet...Snowden just revealed the reason why it shouldn't be trusted.

It's okay, dude. Snowden has already been canonized by the Hacker Church. You don't have to defend him anymore.

> Snowden killed the USA-centric internet.

I am quite okay with this.

> Snowden killed the USA-centric internet.

Which - without doubt - is a good thing, for foreigners like me as well as for us citizens who do not want to depend on a trusted government for free communication.

There are an entire list of reasons why a USA-centric internet is a bad thing even without the privacy considerations. Not least of which is the fact that the US is effectively worst-in-class when it comes to Internet adoption. And not coincidentally, also the most ravenously capitalistic society. To far too many Americans, the Internet is a profit mechanism, not an infrastructure.

Too bad this will do practically nothing, just like everything else the U.N. "does".

Just to be clear (as someone working at one organization that helped develop these principles and the consensus around them), the principles were not developed or published by the U.N. They were created by a consensus of voluntary nongovernmental organizations from all around the world that work in the area of human rights.

Here, the principles were being presented to the United Nations -- not by the United Nations!

The UN do a world of good. Unfortunately, the US – which are the central actor in this surveillance scandal – do not respect the UN and other institutions of international governance.

> To fix it properly, we need to fix it everywhere, and for everyone in the world.

Assuming they will say one day "ok, we fixed it", how can we ever trust them again?

This line lost me. They're making the perfect the enemy of the good. I would rather see effective means in some states than ineffective means in all states.

The answer is to not have to trust them. Unwarranted surveillance has to have two components. Proving that it has been stopped is effectively impossible, but what the legislative component can do is to delegitimize it. Passing legislation makes the statement that unwarranted surveillance is unacceptable, and paves the road for people to implement measures to thwart it without allowing the government to use the law to threaten them.

Then we have to set out to thwart it. Build into the network the technology to make surveillance as difficult as possible. Decentralization, end-to-end encryption, perfect forward secrecy, etc. etc. Because that's how you can trust them again: When the math proves they can't do it anymore.

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