Has modern law enforcement gone a bit overboard with the recent Twitter arrest?
by Paul Rosenberg, Cryptohippie
On July 30th, a man was arrested in London, for the crime of… being rude on Twitter.
I am not making this up. The proper charge was “suspicion of malicious communications.”
I agree that the man who wrote the Tweets in question was world-class rude, but the response we’re talking about here is the state locking a man in a cage, for rude speech!
You can read the story here.
Electronic monitoring has become a tool for law enforcement. Please understand that spying on communication with sophisticated electronic tools, is a LOT easier than gathering evidence the old-fashioned way. Which would you rather do, sip coffee while surfing the net, or slog down a dark, cold, windy street, knocking on doors?
So, what do you think your local enforcer is choosing to do?
There are a lot of companies selling such systems to the local enforcers, and an ocean of grant money to pay for it is coming from top-tier agencies like the Dept. of Homeland Security.
The police state is not coming, it is here.
I could go on with stories, you understand.
A year ago, two young British kids were arrested and spent most of their vacation in jail. Their crime? They texted “we’re going to destroy America” (that’s slang, meaning “party like wild”). That’s all. None of the glorious enforcers asked them to clarify their meaning, instead, they were mindlessly thrown in cages and held until someone with functioning neurons eventually let them out.
And there was the Swedish guy who was locked up for sending his friend a message about having “an explosive headache.” (Again, I’m not kidding.)
And, of course, lots of other thugs are monitoring your emails, like this union guy who bragged about it on camera.
As far as the enforcers are concerned, reason does not matter; only electronic evidence. They get to stay in an air-conditioned office, find their perp, send out a team to grab him or her, then put a notch on their belt and call in a prosecutor to sort it all out. Another good day at the office, then home to watch cop-worship TV.
Please don’t think that “being arrested” is an especially safe thing to undergo; it isn’t. Even in the best case, being locked in a cage by armed men is traumatic (not to mention the wonderful people you can meet in holding cells).
I sell Internet protection, and I have been accused of trying to scare people to pump sales. (If you think that, please don’t buy from us; we don’t need the hassles.) Contrary to that accusation, I also tell people how to protect themselves for free.
Here, I’ll do it again:
- Get and use Tor. Always.
- Set every program that can touch the Internet (which is almost all of them these days) to use only Tor.
- Get on the security forums and pay daily attention.
- Adapt, promptly, as required.
- Get GPG and use it for all communications.
- Get Pidgeon and use the OTR GPG extension.
Do that and you’ll be pretty safe, but DO IT.
Alternatively, you can pay us to protect you. Installation takes about 15 minutes, and turning it on in the morning takes about 30 seconds.
But, whatever you do, don’t go for cut-rate protection. Do free if you like, but not cheap.
If you do want to try our system, we’ll be pleased to get you started without obligation. Click here and you can have a free seven-day trial.
Our system protects all your surfing, Skype, and so on. It gives you a secure email account (which is optional, and won’t interrupt any of your old email accounts).We also protect iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
It’s getting worse out there, folks. Do something.