Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Security State as a bumbling giant

The Government security apparatus doesn't realize that the key to getting the People's cooperation is to be widely seen as being not just reasonable, but on the People's side.  Because who knows what the People could do if they thought otherwise:
Local police confiscate a suspected drug dealer's phone—only to find that he has called his mother and no one else. Meanwhile a journalist's phone is examined by airport security. But when officials look to see what is on it, they find that she has spent all her time at the beach. The drug dealer and the journalist are free to go. Minutes later the names, numbers and GPS data that the police were looking for reappear.

A new programming technique could bring these scenarios to life. Computer scientist Karl-Johan Karlsson has reprogrammed a phone to lie. By modifying the operating system of an Android-based smartphone, he was able to put decoy data on it—innocent numbers, for example—so that the real data escape forensics. He presented the hack in January at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
Governments are filled with not very smart people in positions of power.  Often time their time horizon is short, and no thought whatsoever is spent on foreseeing the unforeseen consequences of their actions.  The security world in particular excels at routing around this sort of drooling idiocy.

The Security State is run amok, and has absolutely no idea what it is creating.
Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?
- Sun Tzu


John Balog said...

Very interesting article, but short on details. Any source for better info on what he actually did to the phone?

Borepatch said...

John, the paper is here.