The American Democrats (the Hillary Clinton party) seem to have strange ideas for the internet. In ABC News's Talk of Presidential election this evening, the candidates were rather vague, and marginally illiterate in technology. Especially Hillary Clinton.
It all started when ABC made a foolish question, describing encryption as "a terrorist tool used in the Paris attacks." (!!!!)
In response, Hillary Clinton said that instead of breaking the encryption, the US would have to launch a kind of "Manhattan project" that would "bring the government and technology communities together" so that law enforcement authorities can to "prevent the attacks."
"Maybe the back door is not the right door and I understand what Apple and the others say about it," said Hillary Clinton.
"I just think there should be a way, and I would like to hope that our technology companies could co-operate with the government to help it understand."
Naturally none of the above makes sense.
To find a way to do what? Do they completely encrypt encrypted communications? (This is called back door.)
Improve the exchange of information between industry and government intelligence services? (We already have PRISM and CISA.)
Clinton's answer here was disarming: "Do not worry about the details, the experts understand them."
"It's not good if terrorists can have encrypted communications that law enforcement agencies can not break before or after. There must be some way. I do not know enough about the technology to be able to say who it is, but I have great confidence in our experts. "
Aaaaaaaaand Hillary just terrified everyone with an internet connection. #DemDebate
- Edward Snowden (@Snowden) December 20, 2015
Her opponent did not go any better. Martin O'Malley, a former governor of Maryland, expressed a vague meditation on "scene" about ... something.
At least he was a layman.
"We all have to figure it out," O'Malley said. "How do things work in modern times? we really need to gather around a table and figure it out. With new technologies, I believe that people who create these products have an obligation to approach law enforcement authorities to understand. "