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From: BTR1701 <atropos@mac.com>
Subject: German Government Official Wants Backdoors in Every Device Connected to the Internet
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From: BTR1701 <atropos@mac.com>
Newsgroups: rec.arts.tv
Subject: German Government Official Wants Backdoors in Every Device Connected to the Internet
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Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2017 08:12:52 -0800
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The US Department of Justice is reviving its anti-encryption arguments 
despite not being given any signals from the administration or Congress 
that undermining encryption is something either entity desires. The same 
thing is happening in Germany, with Interior Secretary Thomas de 
Maiziere continuing an anti-encryption crusade very few German 
government officials seem interested in joining.

The key difference in de Maiziere's push is that he isn't limiting 
potential backdoors to cell phones. He appears to believe anything 
connected to the internet should be backdoored... possibly even the cars 
German citizens drive.

    The RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reported that Thomas
    de Maiziere had written up a draft proposal for the interior
    minister conference, taking place next week in Leipzig, which
    he has called "the legal duty for third parties to allow for
    secret surveillance".

    According to the RND, the proposal would "dramatically
    extend" the state's powers to spy on its citizens.

And it's not just backdoors being suggested. De Maiziere wants all 
electronics to be law enforcement-complicit. All things -- especially 
those connected to the internet -- should be constructed with government 
access in mind.

    For example, the modern locking systems on cars are so
    intelligent that they even warn a driver if their car is
    shaken a little bit. De Maiziere wants the new law to ensure
    that these alerts would not be sent out to a car owner if
    the police determined it to be justified by their

De Maiziere wants the government to be able to intercept and block 
notifications sent from cars to the people that own them. But it's far 
more than smarter cars being compromised on behalf of the government. If 
de Maiziere gets his way, it will be every connected device everywhere.

    De Maiziere also wants the security services to have the
    ability to spy on any device connected to the internet. Tech 
    companies would have to give the state "back door" access to
    private tablets and computers, and even to smart TVs and
    digital kitchen systems.

It's rare for government officials to blatantly state citizens should be 
under surveillance at all times. Craftier politicians tend to use less 
direct rhetoric, even if they aspire to the same goals. This blatant 
call for mass surveillance of millions of innocent people has provoked a 
reaction from de Maiziere's colleagues, although probably not the one he 
was looking for.

    The proposal was met with astonishment by digital activists and 
    politicians on Friday.

De Maiziere seems blissfully unaware Germany was once home to a powerful 
dictator who killed millions of his own citizens while deploying a 
secret police force. And once that period ended, part of Germany rolled 
directly into a program of intense domestic surveillance utilizing the 
Stasi -- one of the most brutally effective secret police forces ever 
wielded by a government against its own people. De Maiziere's proposal 
is so tone deaf -- given the history of the nation he serves -- it's 
tempting to believe he's an under-recognized satirist. But de Maiziere 
seems completely serious. Fortunately for Germans, no one else seems to 
take de Maiziere quite as seriously as he does.