Third Party & Independents Archives

‚ÄčThe New National Security Strategy & Freedom in America

On March 17, 1975, the Data Encryption Standard (or DES for cryptography wonks - unlike you and me) was published in the Federal Register. This was groundbreaking because it opened up to the public - especially the academic world - the heretofore secretive world of encryption and decryption. Coded messages. Invisible ink. The Enigma Machine and Alan Turing’s brilliant method of cracking that Nazi code machine; which laid the foundations for computer science.

All this was hush hush until the 70's when - along with what is called the Diffie-Hellman key exchange which you basically use every time you log in to your email with a username (public key) and password (private key) - cryptography became a collaborative public scientific field of enquiry. Innovation was farmed out by the National Bureau of Standards - today called the National Institute of Standards and Technology or NISTY (pronounced so that is rhymes with Misty with an N instead of an M). And of course the NSA was in the background all the time, or through the backdoors if you will, in ways people are still unsure of.

Cryptography began to be based on public competitions for new encryption standards, like the Advanced Encryption Standard or AES, the result of a competition in the late 90's. That means that something crucial for much of the internet - especially email and online banking but in countless other ways as well - is based on an academic and collaborative environment.

So when President Trump in his remarks on the publicly released National Security Strategy (a break with the usually more guarded way of informing Congress and others of any given administration's NSS) says this:

China gathers and exploits data on an unrivaled scale and spreads features of its authoritarian system, including corruption and the use of surveillance ... Part of China's military modernization and economic expansion is due to its access to the U.S. innovation economy, including America's world class universities.

One has to wonder how the cyber war between America and China, (as well as Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Islamic terrorists) has been and will be influenced by the accessibility and relative openness of American innovation, especially in cryptography. (Yes, European academics have been important contributors to the field, but America is the main player.)

In other words, cryptography is everywhere. Bitcoin at new astonishing price levels? It works in part based on Elliptic Curve cryptography and the SHA 256 hash algorithm. DNC and NSA hacks? How did they penetrate the encryption walls? Assuming they weren't insider jobs. Russia's manipulations and interference in the election? Cryptography has long been part of Soviet intel. Just ask the ex-KGB Colonel running Russia.

So as America's Cyber War with its rivals enters dangerous and uncertain territory with autonomous weapons (no that's not automated, rather that's Artificially Intelligent drones etc. who think and fight on their own essentially), and as rivals develop drone and other technology, how does America maintain it's leadership in innovation while at the same time protecting against hacks, leaks, intellectual theft and the rest of the tactics used by China and Russia and others as well?

Innovation and transparency versus secrecy, security, and encryption. Consider the trade off in this way: how does America's economy support it's world leadership in innovation? What must America do to maintain that leadership? And how do you bridge contradictions between innovation and security?

On the one hand, a relatively de-regulated economy with less restrictions and lower taxes. On the other hand, military (which means state) spending on cyber readiness - including cryptography. You lower regulations and incentivize trade, for example, but does that mean you allow increasing Chinese control of the consumer drone market in North America? A sleeper army of drones ready to be unleashed by a satellite signal from Beijing. Ok, that might be a little too Sci-Fi Channel BMovie special: Drone invasion versus Sharkanator!! Or is it ... ?

It seems that the GOP's Tax Reform, rolling back regulations and increasing freedoms to boost the incentives for innovation on the one hand, and the National Security Strategy, putting up literal and cryptographic walls on the other hand, will have to co-exist uneasily at times, but there is really no other choice. Long after radical islamic terrorism is reduced to a predictable and manageable threat, the crypto wars will still be raging. Our freedom, ironically, depends in part on the spooks at the NSA, as it has for some time now. It may very well be the unavoidable price of such freedom.

Posted by AllardK at December 20, 2017 4:38 PM
Comment #422559

Cryptography won’t work if you give away or sell the key. America’s leadership is coming to an end on all fronts with Deplorable Dotard DirT and the Dastardly Dregs of Corrupt Self-Dealing that have invaded all branches of government. They have no interest in anything but maximizing their own wealth at the expense of this nation, and hiding it away on little islands and other secure places. Fortunately, some people in those places have started revealing some information,

Posted by: ohrealy at December 21, 2017 9:13 AM
Comment #422561

” the Dastardly Dregs of Corrupt Self-Dealing that have invaded all branches of government. They have no interest in anything but maximizing their own wealth at the expense of this nation, and hiding it away on little islands and other secure places. Fortunately, some people in those places have started “

It’s nice to see you finally being honest about the Obama administration, and all the corruption that infiltrated the gov’t at all levels under his watch. I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by: dbs at December 21, 2017 10:25 AM
Comment #422591

Another episode in the epistemological destruction of the Right (interview video is in English):

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 22, 2017 10:26 AM
Comment #422964

Kami adalah perusahaan terkemuka di bidang pembuatan dan penjualan tempat sampah dengan teknologi canggih inovatif.

Posted by: tempat sampah at January 5, 2018 2:08 AM
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