[cryptography] Paris Attacks Blamed on Strong Cryptography and Edward Snowden

Arshad Noor arshad.noor at strongauth.com
Tue Dec 1 14:40:24 EST 2015

On 11/30/2015 09:19 PM, dan at geer.org wrote:

> I would find it refreshing were Brennan to present
> said electorate with the choice between [1] content analysis (hence
> crypto side doors and the exposure of content), [2] traffic analysis
> (hence data retention at a level heretofore unseen and the cataloged
> exposure of real social networks), and [3] a willing resolve to tolerate
> the occasional terrorist success.  It is a choice amongst losses.

(I know I should refrain from responding to this, but against my better 
judgment, here goes...).

It is a "choice amongst losses" only when you believe you are in a 
zero-sum game.  However, there is another choice that can reduce, if not 
eliminate, violence.

Many humans, like rats in laboratories and in the real-world, will 
attack (even to their own detriment) when cornered and given no 
alternative (to resolve their grievances).  It requires keen insight and 
an extraordinary strength of character to espouse non-violence in the 
face of injustice - but it is possible. The 20th century alone has given 
us many examples: M K Gandhi, M L King, N Mandela.

When corporations in democratic nations do business with despots or just 
plain corrupt business-men in countries that do not believe in the rule 
of law, democratic nations engender an oppressive environment in the 
trading partner's nation.  The despots and corrupt business-men - to 
ensure their personal profit - must oppress people who attempt to shine 
a light on the corruption.  What begins as the suppression of a few 
honest people becomes a systemic disease that corrupts the way of life 
in such nations.  Soon, one starts seeing symptoms of oppression: 
inequality, bigotry, the rule-of-might, class-distinctions, eventually 
leading to violence.  History is replete with examples of this disease.

What we are witnessing today is a system that has undergone so much 
entropy, that cracks in the system are becoming more than visible, 
releasing pent-up frustration in random acts of violence.

It has always been my opinion that a reasonable person, if provided an 
outlet for their physical and mental energy through work that results in 
a decent life for themselves and their family, will have neither time 
nor desire to express their opinions through violence.

When democratic nations express their desire to preserve their "way of 
life", it is critical we translate that desire into actions on how we 
deal with trading partners.  We *always* have the choice to walk away 
from a corrupt/unethical business deal and deny the corrupt person the 
opportunity for oppression of any kind.  It is when we choose not to 
walk away, is when we start sowing the seeds of violence.

Arshad Noor
StrongAuth, Inc.

P.S. Let this response not be misunderstood as providing an excuse for 
violence.  I do not believe violence is an answer to any problem.  But, 
I also recognize that violence is not the disease - it is a visible 
symptom of a larger problem; and if we want to eliminate the symptoms, 
we need to identify and eliminate the underlying problem (which is 
almost always, a corruption of the mind, body and/or values).

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