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Author Topic: What would a ban on encryption mean for bitcoin?  (Read 1768 times)
RodeoX
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February 25, 2016, 06:45:21 PM
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The battle for encryption is on in America and many are pushing for a system that does not allow encrypted communication. The Apple iPhone of terror is just one example of the misguided sense that people should not be allowed to communicate without the supervision of the government. To my mind it's antithetical to the whole idea of freedom of speech.

Such a measure threatens the security of almost every American. Because encryption is the only thing between you and the theft of your money, identity, and your ability to have a private conversation online. I can't see how current online spending could even happen in such a scenario.
 
Bitcoin would surely also be a target as it represents something even more powerful than speech. We may soon see a call to change the bitcoin protocol so that anonymous transactions are not possible. Right now they are if you know what your doing. Or maybe a rule to make all encryption illegal, that would include bitcoin. Believe it or not, that is being considered right now.

I am not a paranoid, conspiracy minded person and I do not think these efforts are part of some Orwellian takeover. The people arguing this in the government think they are doing the right thing and that they are fighting terror. In reality they are destroying their own freedom as a fearful reaction to terror, which is exactly what real terrorist hope to see happen. That is the point of terror, it is not to kill people, it is to provoke a self destructive overreaction. These efforts at banning encryption must be resisted. A well meaning fool is just as threatening as a tyrant in a democracy. And make no mistake, the advocates for this haven't a clue what loosing encryption would mean for our economy and freedom.

If you share the governments concern about terror consider who is the "real" terrorist. In North Korea it is people who suffer from the "mental illness of not respecting communism". In Saudi Arabia gay people are the real terrorists and so they are subject to the death penalty. Each government will follow suit and crack down on the rights of their opposition. Every despot in the world would love to invade the lives of rivals and destroy their ability to get out the message. And the U.S. will have zero moral ground to stand on because they would have provided legitimacy to the very idea of attacking encryption to stop the "bad guys".

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February 25, 2016, 07:07:16 PM
 #2

Save copies of all your favorite tools now.
RodeoX
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February 25, 2016, 09:02:58 PM
 #3

Save copies of all your favorite tools now.
That is an excelent idea!  Don't take it for granted that you will be able to freely communicate in the future.
Look for encryption tools that are:
Open source - Open source software assures you that no backdoor is present in the code.

End-to-end - This means that only you and the recipient can view the message. Systems that decrypt on some server are only as good as that server.

Not associated with identity - It should NOT be tied to your email or phone number.

Strong encryption - The stronger the better. And that includes passwords that look like this: "GhjWs7$kTewwRW@!UDEXkrm8#" not like this "cooldude1996".


Here is a good example of the kind of thing you want.  https://www.surespot.me/

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February 28, 2016, 01:29:27 PM
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Are they really going down this road? Surely they're not stupid enough. Back door encryption and pretty much everything else electronic falls apart too. It's kind of an all or nothing deal surely. You can't have encryption lite.

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RodeoX
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February 29, 2016, 03:31:36 PM
 #5

Are they really going down this road? Surely they're not stupid enough. Back door encryption and pretty much everything else electronic falls apart too. It's kind of an all or nothing deal surely. You can't have encryption lite.

Oh it's quite real and quite stupid. The first order of business is to create a commission with the authority to take away your digital rights. Taking away your rights will be presented as a good thing, because, well... Terrorists and pedophiles will get you if you have rights.   

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2724061/McCaul-Warner-Commission-Sec-by-Sec-1-1.pdf

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2724063/Commission-Xml-1.pdf

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March 01, 2016, 11:18:10 AM
 #6

I don't understand American politicians. They seem to be trying to impose restrictions on the rest of the world, and as a cosequence, they are creating an isolated economy without world communications. They can't force changes on Bitcoin, they can only try to restrict its use in the US. This will actually strengthen Bitcoin imho. The keyloggers and other stuff they are forcing into Windows will just push people to Linux.
There is more world support for Russia than the US now as a result of their pro-ISIS and anti-Assad policies, and they seem to be escalating their war with China.  I think we should carry on developing Bitcoin and supporting the original philosophies, and leave the US to JP Morgan and the other ponzi scammers.

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March 01, 2016, 03:03:19 PM
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To me, the engine behind bitcoin is pure mathematics... It is very difficult, if possible, to draw a line between maths and encryption. There is no way to ban at all!

Doesn't internet banking make use of some kind of encryption? Your email? How about those commercial research institutions who transfer patent-able data between their servers/computers? Your handphone? Encryption is everywhere!

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RodeoX
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March 03, 2016, 04:32:19 PM
 #8

To me, the engine behind bitcoin is pure mathematics... It is very difficult, if possible, to draw a line between maths and encryption. There is no way to ban at all!

Doesn't internet banking make use of some kind of encryption? Your email? How about those commercial research institutions who transfer patent-able data between their servers/computers? Your handphone? Encryption is everywhere!
Unfortunately some see that as a problem. What the government is pushing for is a world without privacy. One in which the government would be able to read all encryption. Of course this foolish idea would immediately be compromised. With in a year or two information would be free for the taking by foreign governments and every kind of criminal. Your private conversations, your medical records, your money; you and I would live in a glass box. 

I am not the least bit afraid of terrorists but the idea of losing the only real protection on the internet is a fear. And I can't see how bitcoin would be spared. The same tactics will be used to argue the need for a backdoor in bitcoin. Which can not stand.

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March 04, 2016, 02:51:41 AM
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It should be interesting to see this commissions report.  Actually, none of the wording in either of the documents available so far directly states an intent to weaken or ban cryptography, but I agree with you when governments start to say they want to "study the effects" of weakening any security measure, it generally means they want to have easier access into what is being secured.  Any citizen of average intelligence will recognize the danger to civil liberty and rights this commission represents!

If anything, they should be studying ways to enhance cryptography and all communications security measures! 

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March 04, 2016, 04:05:01 AM
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Hey, i am newb on forum but longtime bitcoin user...
i will respond with the famous quote, "You can kill a man but not an idea." Even if the zeitgeist changes to where 99% of society disapproves of encryption, the 1% will carry on.

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March 08, 2016, 07:18:48 AM
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I don't understand American politicians.

In most cases (shockingly), it's not really the politicians, or at least not enough of them to make the changes that the FBI, CIA, NSA, et al. are pushing for. For decades now, the law enforcement and intelligence communites, along with a small handful of politicians and judges who refuse to learn anything about technology, science or math, have been pushing for any kind of encryption backdoor they thought they could sell. So far, Congress has consistently refused to grant them the powers they've been asking for, which is really what the 'iPhone of terror' (I'm totally stealing that, BTW) is all about. Now they're trying to get several federal judges (with the one in San Bernardino being the most high profile case) to give them a new power that Congress has repeatedly denied them, based on a ludicrous and unprecedented interpretation of a 200 year old law, telling the judges that it's "just this one phone" and "it won't set a precedent" while simultaneously arguing to Congress that this is going to set the precedent that they need.

One judge already has rejected their claim that the All Writs Act gives the court the power to do what the FBI wants to do, and I doubt Congress is going to cave and give the FBI a power that it's been withholding from it for decades in spite of repeated requests, hearings and arguments on the subject(and even in the wake of 9/11 when the law enforcement and intelligence communities were given all kinds of new surveillance powers).

Also don't forget that while they get away with a lot, American politicians do have their limits before the people start pushing back. They sneak a lot of things past a mostly uninformed public, but the people were able to stop things like SOPA/PIPA (at least at the time.. sadly a lot of that got slipped into TPP while nobody was allowed to look) and even the "Clipper chip" backdoored encryption they were pushing for back in the Clinton days.

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March 08, 2016, 03:40:48 PM
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Here is where I think this is headed. Some never gave up on Total Information Awareness.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Information_Awareness

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March 09, 2016, 07:46:16 PM
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Quote
Here is where I think this is headed. Some never gave up on Total Information Awareness.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Information_Awareness

you are right my friend

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March 09, 2016, 07:50:35 PM
 #14

Cryptography code is protected, in America, by free speech (I think so)
If that ruling gets overturned, then we might have a serious problem.

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