Wikipedia Could Encrypt All British ConnectionsAdded: Monday, September 17th, 2012
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Current Events
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Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has recently admitted that the portal may have to encrypt all incoming UK-based connections in case Snooper’s Chart comes into effect.
The law in question was designed to track Internet, text, and e-mail communications within the country. That’s why Jimmy Wales warned that it would have disastrous effects for the UK’s communications. In addition, he pointed that the restrictive regime of the bill pales in comparison to others, like China or Iran. That’s’ why Wikipedia will inevitably have to encrypt the connections if Snooper’s Chart is passed as law. Indeed, if the administration of the online encyclopedia finds that the British Internet service providers have to keep track of every single web page a user reads at Wikipedia, they would immediately move to a default of encrypting all communication to the United Kingdom.
Jimmy Wales also pointed out that the encryption would most likely push the government to “hack” users’ Internet activities, but it isn’t something a civilized democracy wants to be involved with. Indeed, the online industry is coming with evidence to show that this law could create opportunities for hackers and various “malicious agents” to gain access to sensitive information about almost anyone who uses Internet.
In fact, they aren’t the only ones to highlight this problem. For instance, the London Internet Exchange has already told the MPs that there are major concerns about this law, because it can create a so-called “profiling engine”: detailed profiles will be created on everyone surfing the web, while allowing comprehensive data mining. Such database will have to be protected, because if malicious 3rd parties get their hands on it, national security will be in danger.
In case Snooper’s Chart passes, all British broadband providers and phone providers will have to retain and keep for a period of one year the “traffic data” of every citizen’s online, text and mobile phone use.
Finally, the founder of the online encyclopedia warned that encrypting British connections may not stop just at its service, but could be applied by other popular websites, like Facebook and Google. It is unclear whether the country is ready to take such a huge risk, let alone that broadband providers and their users may have a say in this, after all.
September 17th,2012Posted by:
Monday, September 17th, 2012
|posted by (2012-09-17 23:17:33)|
|I seem to be failing to find any part of this article that removes the need for me to ask one simple question: What's the big deal with encrypting the connections anyway through the use of a standard SSL certificate and setting HTTP to redirect to HTTPS automatically upon a user connecting to the site? If Wikipedia (and whoever else) are so concerned with the safety and protection of their users' information - to the point that there's apparently an article written about it - why wouldn't they encrypt the connections anyway? Yes, there would be a slight amount of network overhead for the encryption/decryption but not any more noticeable than it is on other services like banking sites or web-based email services.|
|posted by (2012-09-18 02:32:43)|
|Because as it stands no data about who and where you are is saved when going to Wikipedia. After the law is passed then you will need a secure connection because your credentials will need to be saved and monitored so that what you do ion Wikipedia can be monitored. Think of it this way go to a public WiFi and use your credit card with out using a fire wall and see how fast your identity gets sold.|
|posted by (2012-09-18 13:32:23)|
|I'm not sure why you threw in the example about a public WiFi and using a credit-card since my post says that I didn't understand why they WOULDN'T encrypted the data streams anyways - meaning that I think it SHOULD be secured. I've been a network engineer and administrator (professionally) for over 15 years, so I'm fully aware of what a firewall does, how encryption works, and how to implement and maintain it in an enterprise-level organization as I do it daily.|
You simply paraphrased the article instead of actually answering my [rhetorical] question.
While I understand that no data about each person is saved currently, I still don't see what the big deal is with encrypting the connections anyway - regardless of this law - since it won't impact anything.
|posted by (2012-09-19 18:35:46)|
|This Snooper's Charter seems *very* draconian. While I understand it can be a way to curb undesirable activities that are plain to see, surely the undesirables could simply rename their activities? So say if I was a terrorist making a bomb this weekend I could just tell my fellow terrorists "I'm having an early night tonight". The Authorities would have a hard job in deciphering that so only of use in hindsight.|
So although I am in favour of stamping out certain activities I'm not too sure if this is too big a cost on my personal privacy.
They may say "Its only a problem for people who have something to hide". Well OK let me say back "Can I watch you go to the lavatory and take a dump and wipe your arse?" Would that be a problem or have you something to hide? Having someone snoop on everything I did online would feel a bit like that for me. Or like someone having freedom to look through your personal belongings at home.
I do think people need a degree of privacy so its all about where you draw the line and individuals will have individual comfort thresholds.
Hard to call but I don't like the idea.
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