Picture of Jacob Appelbaum
Translated from: http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/actualidad/item/soluciones-para-desarmar-al-espionaje-en-el-ecuador.html
Jacob Appelbaum is co-author with Julian Assange, Andy Muller-Maguhn and Jeremie Zimmerman of a book about cryptography and the future of the internet: Cypherpunks, http://bit.ly/1bw9Sc6 freely available. The book is based on the following conversation (dubbed in Spanish), which was part of the RT program Assange: The World of Tomorrow.
July 25, 2013: From Jacob Appelbaum
“Let’s pretend for a moment that in Ecuador there is a person who speaks using a completely safe means (although currently there is not).
Take for example, President Rafael Correa. Maybe he has a safe phone and he is not vulnerable to espionage. But what happens if he’s with his daughter and his daughter wants to call a friend from school? And what about her friend’s phone?
At some point, the security enjoyed by the President disappears. Anyone who compromises the safety of their friends with the president’s daughter can spy in any room where Rafael Correa is, because every cell is a possible microphone. If Correa has a secure phone, but not his daughter, then what happens? He’s not sure. And when the whole country is so insecure what happens?
The intensification of espionage is a game, and the U.S. plays on a team and we know what happens: The NSA agency of the United States spies the entire planet and uses that data for political gain.
The fundamental freedoms of individuals, commonly described as human rights, are the basis of modern democracy.
Because these freedoms are limited, a legal entity must establish the reasons for putting aside these rights. Also, one must make clear, with a warrant, the activities to be carried out to limit any basic rights.
For example, in the USA. If police want to venture into the home of someone charged with a crime, or read their correspondence, a judge must issue a warrant authorizing entering the private space of this person, and that order must list the items they want and that warrant the raid.
In the past it was impossible that every house was contrived, that every letter was opened and read, that every phone call was recorded. But with the technology that reality exists today; it is possible that every aspect of digital life is and can be captured. In Ecuador and in many countries, it has been established that although there is capacity to digitally penetrate and undermine the privacy rights of individuals, it is a crime, just as one might enter a home without a warrant.
Using Cryptography and Ecuadorian law
Court ordered massive reaches that capture and store everything, without specificity, are, then, a tyranny imposed on civilized humans. It is only by using cryptography that we can combine the principles of freedom and the power of our rules of law to declare independence from those who wish to impose this tyranny upon us.
Consider someone who has a database that incorporates mass information of all citizens and thus manages the equivalent of a nuclear bomb. The specific intelligence is, instead, more like a landmine. Both weapons will give enough power to the oppressor; he who controls the gun.
Today, Ecuadorian law does not require cryptography. There are no phones, SMS, emails and encrypted instant messaging services available to regular people in the country. Normal machines can be equipped now to incorporate cryptography systems GnuPG / PGP, OTR messaging (“off the record” or off the record), as RedPhone phone applications, TextSecure, and the computer, Tor browser. All these require the specific user to install a specific desire and a special skills to use.
President Correa has stated the importance of free software. This software is an important step in distributing and decentralizing networking media. This commitment must be strengthened.
As said, the intensification of espionage is a game, and the USA is playing with a loaded team. Ecuador always loses against the countries which are bigger and more powerful that play this game. The only way to win, as hackers often say, is not playing at all. Ecuador and other countries need to get out of that game and create a new one.
How? Ecuador must move away from espionage, either as a target or as the author of the practice. It should incorporate encryption from side to side, creating a world where anonymity is possible. Only when we are confident in our personal lives can we ensure the democratic ideals of our nation.
Together we can make the transition to a world with a security element we canall understand and that will work.
In such a world, although the U.S. exercises their power and violates the laws by capturing all computer data on the planet, its agents cannot do text searches to find specific data such as your email address.
In such a world, Ecuador could provide not only secure computer services based on its rule of law, but on mathematics.
Imagine a country with security companies having to certify that all systems are protected against espionage. The laws regulating trade could penalize companies that implement “back doors” to their technologies (which allow access to the private data of customers).
These are current benefits available to Ecuador which could improve society and the world. It is a way of ensuring that the empire would be over once and for all.”