‘Give Us Your Passwords’

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“What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords.”

That’s what U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly wants foreign visitors to hear before they’re allowed to enter the United States. “If they don’t want to give us that information, then they don’t come,” he said, while testifying in front of the House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday.

The suggestion was met with horror among privacy advocates. “With that kind of access, they can not only see what you’ve publicly posted, but things you haven’t posted yet, private messages, private lists, they can impersonate you, and even do these things on accident,” wrote Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, on his website. “This kind of access is profoundly invasive.” More at The Atlantic.

Surely very few people think this is a good idea. But what if those very few are the ones who currently have the power?



Categories: Politics, Tech News

2 replies

  1. Might as well have no passwords at all. First off, even if you trusted your government (note: not an individual) not to abuse the information, who’s to say that their servers don’t get hacked. In fact, having this sort of information stored would be extremely tempting and I’m sure that someone inside would either be coerced, bribed, or do it themselves.

    Second, even if you trusted your current government, what about the next and so on. And what happens in security type emergencies. And it’s not even if you have nothing to hide, other than perhaps disagreeing with the current regime.

    I would love to have no passwords, and no trolls, and no hackers, and world peace.

  2. I’ve been a foreigner living in a foreign country of some sort for most of my life. Does that mean I should leave my house unlocked at all times just to show I have nothing to hide?… Probably not, because as fortune would have it, I’m a white European. I’m OK apparently. ; -)

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