January 9, 2011
FBI Wants Your Data, part Deux
Basically, the WSJ article linked to above details how in the New Information Society information is power, and many countries are either attempting to have their own power over information (such as Saudi Arabia’s wanting a backdoor into RIM’s BlackBerry services). Others are afraid of US government influence and intervention in software, which is most likely the driving force behind Russia’s new push for open-source software. The reason for the worry on the latter point is that recently the FBI directory has been touring Silicon Valley companies, trying to get them to give him back doors into customer data, possibly trying to avoid normal governmental oversight on such things.
This, again, is something we care a great deal about. The whole concept that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear is a fallacy. Something the Computer Weekly article missed is that the “Nothing-To-Hide, Nothing-To-Fear” (NTH,NTF) concept assumes that a theoretical “nothing to hide” lifestyle coincides with the authority’s concept of “nothing to hide.” Political leanings, sexual orientation, love affairs with those of the “other” group, religious views, reporting abusive members of an otherwise benign government, or even holding governments up to the same NTH,NTF concept can bring severe problems upon an individual.
At SpiderOak, we’ve created a system that makes it impossible to for us to reveal your data to anyone; when you create an account, your client creates private encryption keys that we cannot get. If there was a massive SO data breach, either by accident or interference by a third party, all that The Bad Guys would get would be a mass of encrypted blocks- statistically, little more than random noise. Your data at SpiderOak is safe and is a crypto-nerd’s dream by virtue of being started by a bunch of crypto-nerds. That said there’s always the more likely scenario anyway.