Interesting last paragraph about Briar. It has Bluetooth connectivity too, of course.
It's always been cat and mouse, ever since the advent of written communication. But however paranoid governments become, we have a right to privacy.
India's government has reportedly banned 14 messaging apps on national security grounds, including some open source services. News of the move appeared in local media last week, citing government sources for news that apps including Element, Wickrme, Mediafire, Briar, BChat, Nandbox, Conion, IMO and Zangi were banned on the …
As far as governments worldwide are concerned citizens have no rights - they are required to support their governments without protest.
(Can you think of a living politician that you would be happy to leave alone in your house with valuables on display ? Yet they have life and death power over huge numbers.)
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
The UN needs to start defending its declaration (and the rights of humanity). If increasingly authoritarian governments won't hold to that which they have signed up to : then they should be held in contempt, and sanctioned accordingly.
Else the words are worse than meaningless : they're propaganda.
"Rights" are only meaningful when the people are willing to defend them.
Expecting governments or the UN to do that job for us is not going to work.
When big companies and governments decide to ignore our right to privacy and the majority of the people just shrugs it off ("i don't care", "i don't have anything to hide", "There's nothing i can do") that right will be lost.
Unfortunately that's just what is happening - not enough of us are willing to defend their right to privacy.
Citizens vs subjects
-> concerned citizens have no rights
We in the UK have a long history of serfdom, AKA subjects. The label used to read "British Subject" on passports. The wording nowadays is British Citizen. But as far as the powers that be are concerned, they are the priesthood and we are the unwashed masses.
Quote: "....right to privacy...."
(1) In a civil society, your right to privacy can be reduced if you are arrested and charged with an offence.
(2) But it's also clear that the idea of "innocent until proven guilty" has been replaced by "guilty by implication".....
.....no arrest, no formal charge!
(3) ....because it's also clear that the police (and others) regularly invade an individual's privacy without a warrant.
To get to the point.....citizens need to wonder whether there is any effective "right to privacy" in 2023!
>” To get to the point.....citizens need to wonder whether there is any effective "right to privacy" in 2023!”
If you become a person of interest to the tabloid press, evidence over decades shows you can forget any legal protections and reasonable ”right to privacy” expectations you may have…
"...innocent until proven guilty"
I think that you have inadvertently hit on something here.
It looks like the government of India is determined to keep going until they can jail anyone they dislike even if that person has acted within the law, so the government will just keep changing the law until it nails its target.
I say inadvertently because although your quote is in common use logic should make it "innocent unless proven guilty."
This nonsense always reminds me of Goodfellas~
"Paulie hated phones. He wouldn't have one in his house. He used to get all his calls second hand, then you'd have to call the people back from an outside phone. There were guys, that's all they did all day long was take care of Paulie's phone call."
....wondering how anyone (nevermind a government) can ban a peer-to-peer application.
The application only exists on individual peer end points......so the ban seems to have an impossibly large number of targets.
But I suppose that the ban might only apply to the TRAFFIC between peers (and not the application).......but how does that work?
Having the app on your phone will be sufficient for authorities to infer you are up to no good and thus dig deeper into your life…
So in a society where stop and search and produce papers is normal, just another reason to bully people.
Interestingly, I wonder whether the P2P mesh functionality can be exploited to actively locate devices running the app. For example, outside cafe, police open their device (operating in stealth/ghost mode) note the details of six devices in cafe, so deem it is worth entering and grabbing people and devices…
Many possibilities I guess. Possibly the most obvious is demand both Google and Apple use the delete feature of their app stores to force uninstall the apps from the devices. From there, a port scan of the offending apps for active preferred ports will build a map that the government can use to force ISP's to port block the traffic; usually these P2P chat apps contact a main server to get the address of the person trying to be contacted for the other end of the conversation and then these clients negotiate communications between themselves, and these main servers can easily be blocked.
Well the UK is trying to get Meta to water down their E2EE. Threats of WhatsApp pulling out of the UK. Imagine the public's reaction to that.
Should that eventuality arrive, surely it would push users onto other protocols such as Briar, Tox or Matrix... probably be a good thing.
Yes, citizens talking to each other is obviously bad for national security.
But India should take a leaf out of the NSA surveillance handbook. Let them talk, and monitor everything.
Or, for something more repressive, go to China, who monitors everything and suppresses, including by arrests, anything that Xi Pooh doesn't find palatable.
“The intelligence agencies also informed the MHA that most of these apps are designed to provide anonymity to their users and their features make it tough to resolve the entities associated with them.
So WhatsApp is not one of the banned apps because they can associate a phone with a person of interest by requesting user information from WhatsApp or the in country representative?
So although the message might be end to end encrypted they can identify who is talking to whom and their locations. Presumably with certain exploits (publicly unknown, except to intelligence agencies) they can access their phone and view the screen making end to end encryption null & void.
So if you know a WhatsApp username and the government requests all contact meta data associated with a user that gives you a lots of possible leads to monitor.
Seems odd to only ban foss and not apps owned by corporations?
Has India just let the cat out of the bag?
"So although the message might be end to end encrypted they can identify who is talking to whom and their locations. "
Sometimes that is enough - in the early nineties in the UK, it was said that the police hardly ever needed wiretaps of (landline) phone calls, the mere fact that 1 person was talking to another person they knew was dodgy would be enough to put you and others you called under suspicion.