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Danger Lampost

Futurist & Technology Consultant,


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Should private citizens be allowed to set up public servers that allow anyone to securely hide any information from every government?

Those familiar with the TOR network are familiar with this issue, or you may be familiar with this issue if you remember the history of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and our government's attempts to prevent Philip R. Zimmermann from publishing a computer algorithm.

The technology is here, so this debate is not hypothetical. Should I be allowed to set up a network of servers that allows people to upload and share information securely, in such a way that it is technically impossible for any government to ever access the information without the secure passwords of the information owners?

Or should our government *always* be allowed to access any data, hopefully with a search warrant if required?

There are hybrid possibilities (based on Shamir's aglorithm for the technical), that would create digital key escrows, allowing government to view anything but only after retrieving 2 or more keys from an escrow service. At this point, you are only as secure as your escrow service though.

So should such a service be allowed to exist?


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  • Oct 23 2012: Lead by example I'd say.

    If a government always wants the ability to have access to their citizens data it's only a given we want the same in return.

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