Personally, I'm a fan of sarcasm, I just can't get enough of it. Some people are really good at it, makes me laugh sometimes, sometimes it just makes me sad however.
So as a short introduction to understand what I'm going to post, in case you're not familiar with the history of East Germany:
There once was a wall between West and East Germany (no shit Sherlock). Do note that all the quotes I'm posting are originally in German (see the original at the end of each quote).
About two months before the wall was built, an Eastern German politician, named Walter Ulbricht, said the following:
"Nobody has the intention of building a wall." ("Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten.") - Walter Ulbricht, 1961
A true master of sarcasm.
Lately there seems to be another politician mastering the arts of sarcasm in Germany, namely Wolfgang Bosbach. I've collected quite a few quotes of him already, so let's just take a look.
"Nobody wants to establish a surveillance state in Germany." ("Es hat niemand vor, einen Überwachungsstaat in Deutschland zu errichten.") - Wolfgang Bosbach, 2007
"Nobody wants to introduce scanners in Germany which optically expose the passenger." ("Niemand will in Deutschland Scanner einführen, die den Passagier optisch entblößen.") - Wolfgang Bosbach, 2010
And his latest addition, just few days old:
"We also don't want that the German armed forces will be converted to some sort of police assistance which can always be called when police forces of the German federation and states are overloaded." ("Wir wollen auch nicht, dass die Bundeswehr zu einer Art Hilfspolizei umfunktioniert wird, die immer dann gerufen werden kann, wenn die Polizeibehörden des Bundes und der Länder überlastet sind") - Wolfgang Bosbach, 2010
Convincing, if you ask me.
Sometimes however he kind of gets lost in his own scheme and actually says things how he truly intends them:
"We badly need a definite legal basis for law enforcement agencies to monitor encrypted communication of terror suspects via the Internet." ("Wir brauchen dringend eine sichere Rechtsgrundlage für die Strafverfolgungsbehörden, um auch verschlüsselte Kommunikation Terrorverdächtiger über das Internet überwachen zu können") - Wolfgang Bosbach, 2010
This country clearly needs more security! OMG, we're all going to die because people blow themselves up all the time!
On a totally unrelated note: Choot that pizza chit!
I got up the other day after a long night, not fearing anything being wrong, just the usual morning. Still a little sleepy I turned to my PC just to find this in my face: "Germany on high alert due to 'plot'"
I panicked. Immediately I called my local police station to report these weird looking Middle Easterns who moved in next door. They don't speak German, they don't look German, they just look like a big bomb waiting to explode to me. After what seemed to me the longest half hour of my life, a black van pulled in the driveway, men rushing to my neighbor's door with weapons drawn, kicking the door in. I hear screaming and loud noises. Five minutes later the men escorted these monsters out the door, into the van and tagged them with a yellow star. What a relief.
Oh no, wait. I think I got a little bit confused with history there. Anyhow.
So, I was relieved, lying back proudly in my chair thinking I did a fine service to my country when suddenly the men from the van rang my doorbell. They were probably going to thank me, or so I thought, so I opened the door just to suddenly have a gun in my face and get arrested. What for? The reason seems obvious enough, really. I'm a terrorist. Now that I think about it, it all makes sense. How could I, as a citizen of a democratic country, read articles by a terrorist network like Al Jazeera? What was I thinking? I must have been out of my mind. Of course the Stasi logged what I was doing on the Internet and acted appropriately.
OK, fine. While this might have been a work of fiction in some parts, just take a minute and think about what my point is.
Let me quote what the interior minister of Berlin, Ehrhart Körting, said:
"If we see something in our neighborhood, if suddenly three rather strange-looking people move in who try to keep out of sight and who only speak Arabic or another foreign language that we don't understand, then I think one should make sure the authorities know what is going on." - Ehrhart Körting (Spiegel article)
And with the findings of a "bomb" in Namibia that apparently was headed for Munich, Germany, I have reason to be scared, or do I?
What appeared to be a "bomb" was found at the airport of Windhoek, Namibia. It was a suitcase which had:
"batteries that were attached with wires to a detonator and a ticking clock". - Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) statement
Later it turned out that this was just a "test". A testing device manufactured in the U.S. for usage at airports and other security areas, to see whether detectors and employees will detect the major threat this device eradiates. Have you seen the device? It's actually pretty funny:
X-RAY TEST OBJECT NON-HAZARDOUS
and some info about the manufacturer (Larry Copello Inc.) below. On a funny but irrelevant side note, the wiring was apparently done by an 80-year old woman.
Question is, who planted this device? At the moment they're blaming it on a police officer in Namibia.
Whoever they're going to blame it on, let me see if I got this right:
You're telling me a device that appears to be a bomb was found at the airport of Windhoek, Namibia (which once was a German colony) and was supposed to head for Munich, Germany one day after Germany raised their "terrorist threat level" because they're fearing an attack. Really? They're still looking for the culprit?
The only real terrorist here is politics and that's about it.
Read the original article "The "LOLWUT" moment" here if you haven't already.
In recent news: India also has access to RIM's BlackBerry Messaging codes for decrypting messages now:
"The Indian government press office is reporting that Research In Motion (RIM), the Canadian company behind the BlackBerry, has provided the government with an interim solution to enable Indian government agencies to eavesdrop on BlackBerry Messenger Service (BBM) traffic." - The H Security article
So, to avoid banning of services in certain countries, because they are actually secure in a way, they simply go ahead and hand out their decryption codes. Excuse me for the harsh language but, what the fuck? Privacy? Non-existent anymore it seems. What's making me rage the most, though, is how all these companies advertise with secure and private communication, yet they support countries in eavesdropping on their citizens.
This is just one example, there are other companies doing the same. See Deutsche Post for example.
Instead of providing security and privacy, which is what they advertise for, these companies take a dump on their customers and support retarded governments spreading terrorist and security propaganda. It's just sad.
Are you familiar with the "LOLWUT" moment? Yes? No? Well, let me present you two ridiculous examples.
You may or may not be familiar with ICQ, an instant messaging service originally developed by Mirabilis in Israel, later on bought by AOL and just recently sold to Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian investment company which also holds shares on the popular Russian mail service mail.ru and even Facebook. ICQ is not that popular in the U.S. or the U.K. but it's still widely used in Germany (ironic much?) and Russia.
So, let's get started with the hypocrisy. Who cares who owns ICQ? Why would you care in case you're using it? For instance, take this portion of the ICQ Terms of Service which you have to agree to when using the service and registering an ICQ account:
"You agree that by posting any material or information anywhere on the ICQ Services and Information you surrender your copyright and any other proprietary right in the posted material or information. You further agree that ICQ LLC. is entitled to use at its own discretion any of the posted material or information in any manner it deems fit, including, but not limited to, publishing the material or distributing it." - ICQ Terms of Service
Yay, let's have some intimate and private chats. Wait, what? This could already be our "LOLWUT" moment but trust me, wait for it, it's getting better.
The U.S. government is concerned about the sale of ICQ to Russian investment company Digital Sky Technologies, guess why? Because now they can't eavesdrop on ICQ conversations that easily anymore. LOLWUT?!
Of course (!!), that's only for your security. Since they're trying to catch criminals and "terrorists" this way. Sure. And Santa gets you presents on Christmas Eve.
The hypocritical part about this is what analyst Jeffrey Carr has to say:
"The move would also be a boon to Russia's powerful secret service, the FSB, says security analyst Jeffrey Carr. Russian law will require ICQ to open its logs when the spooks come knocking, notes Carr, so "if you're on ICQ, and you work for an employer who may be of interest to the FSB, now would be a really good time to close your account"." - NewScientist
U.S. secret service spying on you? Yeah, why not? Nothing bad about it, they're your friends. Any other secret service? No way. BAD, BAD, BAD. Side note: You can't close or terminate your ICQ account.
Now onto my other example, also in the name of security.
You may have read about the United Arab Emirates wanting to ban BlackBerry Messaging within their country. Why would they want that? Because the U.S. and Israeli governments may use it to spy on the UAE and therefore it compromises "national security" (I can't hear it anymore).
The interesting part about BlackBerry Messaging is that it uses an encryption supposed to stop people from eavesdropping on your conversations. All messages are routed encrypted through Canadian servers of Research in Motion (RIM), the developer of BlackBerry.
So basically governments can't eavesdrop on your conversations which, of course, as a result compromises "national security" and that's why RIM, has two options: Either hand the encryption codes to the UAE government or face a ban on BlackBerry Messaging. That's the basic idea. Wow. But again, wait for it.
UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) set a deadline to October 11, 2010 for RIM to hand out the codes.
On October 8, 2010 UAE's TRA released a notice stating that:
"The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has confirmed that Blackberry services are now compliant with the UAE's telecommunications regulatory framework." - TRA announcement
What does this mean? Did RIM hand out the codes? We can only assume, but check this out:
"The company has, in fact, already provided unencryption codes to officials in the U.S. and Great Britain." - NASDAQ article
And once again we're having the same hypocrisy: U.S. government eavesdropping? Sure thing. Any other government? No way.
Excuse me, but I don't want any government to eavesdrop on my conversations just because they're stuck up about "national security". Please, grow up.
So, in the name of your privacy, please use securer and open instant messaging services like Jabber/XMPP combined with GPG/PGP and/or OTR. Or even IRC combined with FiSH. Discuss without the fear of being eavesdropped. Stay private.
Update: Read an update of this article here.