The government is insisting that their ability to track criminals is becoming less and less relevant as more communication moves to the Internet. Their solution? Legislation to force vendors of communication services to make allowances for wiretapping by law enforcement.

This is absurd, and it doesn’t actually work – the technology behind decentralized cryptography won’t allow it to happen. This is the modern equivalent of declaring Pi to be equal to 3 via legislation.

We need people with some tiny modicum of technical savvy drafting these bills.

6 Responses to “Wiretapping”

  1. Dan says:

    First off, this Roadflares post is the 4th hit on Google for “decentralized cryptography wiretap,” so that’s cool right?

    Second, it’s extremely difficult for people who do not work knee deep in this kind of technology for wrap their head around some of its basic principles. The idea that all the data isn’t just sitting in a box is pretty mind blowing for most folks, probably because all their knowledge stems from movies.

  2. matt says:

    I feel like a celebrity.

    It’s just amazing to me that with the ridiculous salaries and staffs that our government officials have access to, nobody has bothered to read a Wikipedia article on how public key crypto works.

    It’s designed to keep someone from eavesdropping on the middle of your connection. That “someone” can be legally empowered to do so, but the math doesn’t care. A law is not the same as a magic wand.

  3. Dan says:

    Holy Hell I hope none of them ever read that page. I can see the speech on C-Span now.

    “So my secretary has a key that anyone in the public can use. It’s there, on my desk, and it can open the drop slot to put things into the box. But I have my own private key, and with it I can open where the stuff is put and only I can read it. The public can’t read it, my secretary can’t read it, they can only open the drop slot.”

  4. Pitt says:

    Basically, they’ll be able to listen to anyone who isn’t using encryption. This is wonderful. Its sort of like outlawing weapons. You’ll have complete and total control of everyone who doesn’t own a weapon because they are afraid of breaking the law. Outstanding.


    I remember when Roadflares was the #1 hit for the phrase “Bowl of Gin”.

  5. matt says:


    More than that, they want to break the concept of encryption to fit political expediency. This is like passing legislation to lessen the value of G so that people weigh less in an effort to fight obesity. It’s insane.

  6. Pitt says:


    Wasn’t that part of Michelle O’s plan to fight childhood obesity? That and reducing the density of Big Macs.

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