October 9, 2007

Encryption seems to work…

Filed under: cryptography,law,privacy,skype,surveillance — admin @ 11:40 pm

In the last few days 2 news showed in a way that encryption really works. And therefore the government is looking for new ways to still gain access to your data:

  • In UK you can now be charged with up to 5 years of prison, if you don’t give away your password to encrypted data. Heise.de (German)
  • In nearly every newspaper in Switzerland there have been reports about the problem that drug dealers are using more and more Skype to communicate, which encrypts the traffic in a secure manner and the Skype company seems not to really want to work together with the government. Heute-Online (German)

The first news is indeed a shame and an attack on your right to not cooperate and not to charge yourself. However it is rather questionable how investigation teams can show that you really won’t have forgot your password.

The second one is in the context of security not that good: Skype is not a free/open protocol. It is still proprietary and the company won’t open the protocol nor the services. So if you’d like to communicate in a secure manner you have to rely on their integrity, that they won’t wiretap on their servers or change the software (like JAP did it) that eavesdropping is possible. Therefor we, on immerda.ch are encouraging people to use open protocols like Jabber or SIP (Hopefully to come soon 🙂 ) to be sure that no wiretapping is possible and that you are not depending on a company providing you the services for free and without any cooperation to the police.

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