Why does government assume terrorists are dumb?

Making such an assumption is extremely dangerous.

Jack Straw, David Blunkett and Alan Johnson and Tory Lord Baker are leaning on Nick Clegg to support the Snoopers’ Charter (if he caves, any last shred of credibility he might still  have is history).

The thing is, though, do these clowns seriously think that terrorists can’t devise a scheme to bypass such surveillance? Here’s a couple.

Set up an email account and give all cell members the login details. Then they can all write messages, save them to Drafts and simply log in to read them, without the need for them to be sent at all, thus they remain invisible.

It also occurs to me that uploading messages to the Cloud, disguised as images, perhaps (to hide from keyword searches), might be a viable option, too, subject to the same log-in sharing. This, for example, is an image of this post:-

ScreenShot292 Click to view full size, Back button to return.

The first is hardly a secret, as I heard it mentioned in a TV show (part of the NCIS franchise), the other has just occurred to me, but seems equally effective. And if it occurs to me, it will occur to others of a more malign disposition. And undoubtedly has.

Any terrorist group** serious about secrecy can stay under the radar without breaking into a sweat (using fax is a good way too). But, of course, the snoopers charter is only minimally about terrorism – what it’s mainly about is spying on, and controlling, the population as a whole, especially those more tech-savvy than the Luddites in government (i.e. pretty much everybody – Lol, my arse, Cameron!).

**A lone terrorist, of course, will always be under the radar, having no-one to communicate with.

And if you truly believe that you have nothing to fear if you’re doing nothing wrong, you are seriously deluded.


8 thoughts on “Why does government assume terrorists are dumb?

  1. Pingback: Why does government assume terrorists are dumb?...

  2. I suspect it wouldn’t be difficult to get OCR software to read the images of text. So you’d have to use Catchpa style text. Maybe stick it on a cat picture, and adjust your language accordingly. “I can haz fertiliser bombz”.

    • They’d have to know it was there first. A keyword search of text, or even speech, is relatively easy. The Web is so image-heavy that finding a rogue image with no real way of searching for it, or even of knowing it exists, isn’t feasible. And any sensible terrorist would encrypt the file anyway.

      Don’t know if you’ve used OCR software, but it sucks. OK, MI5 can afford better software than I can, but any terrorist worth his AK would use a non-English language, or combination of languages – I know I would. That’d cause OCR meltdown.

      Just waiting for the storm-troopers to kick down my door, incidentally! Even though everything I’ve suggested would also occur to any terrorist with his/her eye on the ball – these are not difficult concepts.

  3. I thought one of the last groups that were charged as terrorists they hadn’t sent anything didn’t they recover stuff they’d typed and then deleted to talk to each other so they wouldn’t have need the law for that either they should introduce a law requiring companies to store all correspondence indefinitely so it is available by court order should they need it as this is one of the main reasons they need the law because companies are not always keeping it any more!

  4. People and terrorists (they are not people in my opinion, then again, nor are tories), will always find ways to communicate with each other. It’s been done throughout all of history no matter what the period. It’s the same with the last world war, the germans had the enigma machine and so it went on. Doesn’t matter how much we rely on computers etc. as there are always ways to send messages and instructions. It doesn’t have to be computers, they may be using alternative ways.

    • Blackberry have their secure SMS system, though that’s vulnerable to a court order, but terrorists can use lots of methods to communicate that are not amenable to electronic monitoring, from leaving each other notes to meeting and just talking – quietly – or even the method traditionally used by spies – the dead letter drop.

      But as I said, it’s little to do with terrorism and everything to do with monitoring and controlling the populace, as we’ll see when they make VPNs and encryption illegal for everybody, not just those involved in terrorism.

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