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Tue May 26, 2015, 09:45 AM

Philip Zimmermann: king of encryption reveals his fears for privacy

Philip Zimmermann: king of encryption reveals his fears for privacy

The creator of PGP has moved his mobile-encryption firm Silent Circle to Switzerland to be free of US mass surveillance. Here he explains why

When Philip Zimmermann was campaigning for nuclear disarmament in the 1980s, he kept an escape plan in his back pocket. The inventor of the world’s most widely used email encryption system, Pretty Good Privacy – more commonly known as PGP – was ready to move his family from Colorado to New Zealand at a moment’s notice.

The button was never pressed and the Zimmermanns stayed put. Until this year, that is. At 61, the Internet Hall of Fame inductee and founder of three-year-old mobile encryption startup Silent Circle has just left the US for Switzerland. In the end, it was not the nuclear threat that convinced him to leave his homeland, but the surveillance arms race.

“Every dystopian society has excessive surveillance, but now we see even western democracies like the US and England moving that way,” he warns. “We have to roll this back. People who are not suspected of committing crimes should not have information collected and stored in a database. We don’t want to become like North Korea.”

Zimmermann stopped in London to host a reception at the Victoria & Albert Museum where his cryptographic handset, the Blackphone, is currently on display, alongside the remains of a laptop destroyed on government orders by Guardian editors wielding angle grinders, because it contained a trove of secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden.


Continued:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/25/philip-zimmermann-king-encryption-reveals-fears-privacy

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Reply Philip Zimmermann: king of encryption reveals his fears for privacy (Original post)
newthinking May 2015 OP
Blue_Tires May 2015 #1
bananas May 2015 #3
newthinking May 2015 #4
Blue_Tires May 2015 #5
Blue_Tires May 2015 #6
bananas May 2015 #2

Response to newthinking (Original post)

Tue May 26, 2015, 11:59 AM

1. Someone tell this Zimmerman moron

That the Swiss collect metadata, too...Assuming he'd be able to hear anyone from on top of his high horse...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #1)

Tue May 26, 2015, 12:11 PM

3. Whoosh!

Silent Circle’s move to Switzerland was prompted by the Lavabit affair. Lavabit provided an email service for 410,000 people, including Edward Snowden. In the summer of 2013, its founder, Ladar Levison, was served with a court order requiring the installation of surveillance equipment. Despite protests, he decided to close his service.

Silent Circle took fright. Along with voice and text it offered email. The content was encrypted, but the who, where and when of messages was there to be hacked or extracted by court order. So the email tool was shut down and its database wiped. The next step was relocation to Geneva. “We are less likely to encounter legal pressures there than in the US,” says Zimmermann.

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Response to bananas (Reply #3)

Tue May 26, 2015, 02:54 PM

4. Also, there is no useful "metadata" in proxied and encrypted communications

Europe does some surveillance, but it also has much stronger regulations.

I don't think anyone has a problem with well regulated surveillance when it has strong protections to keep it from being abused/misused.

Nothing is perfect, but our few laws and regulations are extremely weak and many of them have "wink wink" just make this claim and get around them".

There is a HUGE difference in Europe. Many companies that rely on abusing customer data struggle to make business there.

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Response to bananas (Reply #3)

Tue May 26, 2015, 04:02 PM

5. Interesting, considering Snowden did a fair amount

of field work in Switzerland...

Maybe he should just move to fuckin' Moscow and bunk with Ed...

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Response to bananas (Reply #3)

Fri May 29, 2015, 11:12 AM

6. Well, I guess he now has to move again

If the U.S. can get fucking FIFA bosses arrested in Switzerland, Zimmerman has to know he can be touched over there as well...

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Response to newthinking (Original post)

Tue May 26, 2015, 12:09 PM

2. Jailed with Carl Sagan, Martin Sheen, and Daniel Ellsberg

By the 1980s he had moved to Boulder, Colorado, and was working as an IT consultant, but spending 40 hours a week as a peace activist. In 1984, he met the celebrity astronomer Carl Sagan, the actor Martin Sheen and the Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg – in a police jail. They had been arrested after breaking into the Nevada nuclear test site.

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