Found an interesting read sharing with you; THE VAST stores of digital information generated by everyday lives—communications data, CCTV footage, credit-card records and much more—are now yielding invaluable clues about the terrorist attacks in Paris and are helping guide the hunt for the surviving plotters. But prevention is better than cure. The attacks have highlighted the failure of the authorities to share information across borders and agencies. How can this be improved?

Each government sets different rules for what data may be looked at, by whom and with what authority. The attacks also reignited a long-running debate about encryption—encoding messages such as e-mails, in ways that even government intelligence agencies cannot break (it is easy to make a code, even with an ordinary computer, and much harder to break it). There is no proof, however, that the Paris attackers used encrypted communications. They seem to have mostly communicated by sending innocuous-seeming messages over regular mobile phones. Banning encryption, or forcing companies to weaken the services that they provide, would be ineffective: there are plenty of free encrypted-messaging services available. It would also be misguided: for security against the huge wave of cybercrime now afflicting individuals, businesses and governments, we should be using more and better encryption, not less and worse.

Regarding Cyber-Crime, Cyber-Terrorism, Cyber-Warfare : C3 Cyber

Breaking down barriers to information-sharing is a much better idea. Terrorists and criminals cross national borders easily. Law-enforcement should be able to do the same. The police should have access to databases such as passenger name records on internal flights, and the fingerprints of people who have arrived claiming refugee status. Interior ministers are already pushing strongly for this. Public worries about privacy and abuse of power are reasonable, but the answer to that is good intelligence oversight. Britain for example, is making reforms which would require the spy agencies to have judicial authorization before they bug individuals, rather than just doing on a politician’s say-so. The state is the enemy in Hollywood screenplays, but not in real life.

The other big question is anonymity. The internet has (by accident, not design) has fostered a culture in which anybody can pretend to be who they like, or give no details at all: “Nobody knows you’re a dog” as a New Yorker cartoon put it. This has many benefits, but it comes at a cost in security. We do not allow anonymous births, cars, planes or bank-accounts. Insisting on absolute anonymity online looks a bit anomalous. That is already changing. Belgium, for example, now wants to require ID for anyone buying SIM cards. Anonymity may face more constraints in future.



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