Intolerable Invasions of PrivacyModern conveniences in our lives such as bank cards, credit cards and cellular phones often require security codes.
It is believed that the average adult in our society has more than 10 different security codes.
Those ten-digit numbers create more pressure on our everyday lives than perhaps we need. Whenever I am asked to supply a service provider with a numerical code, I try to come up with a unique combination. Despite my best efforts, however, the number invariably is an ad-mix of my social security number, birth date, or former military service number.
I’m concerned that the codes could be easily accessed by anyone who happened to find my wallet or was well-versed in computers. I’m also beset with anxiety that I’ll forget the numbers.
Security codes are passwords to a vast archive of personal information. In 1883, Auguste Kerckhoffs wrote ‘La Cryptographie Militaire’ in which he set forth six basic requirements of cryptography.
According to him, ciphertext should be unbreakable in practice, and the encryption system should be convenient.
Moreover, the password should be easily remembered and changeable. He argued that the ciphertext should be transmissible by telegraph, and the cipher apparatus easily portable.
Finally, the encryption system should be relatively easily to use. These were wartime requirements that are still being applied today.
Starting in the 17th century, the decoding techniques of the Western world, which resulted in the establishment of intelligence agencies, came under criticism.
The United States enacted laws designed to protect privacy in the 1840s. Following the United States, intelligence agencies responsible for code breaking in much of Europe were disbanded or redefined. One reason for this was that the agencies had, it was believed, overstepped their bounds.
In modern society, passwords have become an indispensable and important part of our daily lives. Encryption systems are essential for intelligence gathering, protection from industrial espionage and private intrusions.
For average citizens, passwords and security codes are their only protection from unwanted or unwarranted governmental or criminal intrusions.
At a National Assembly hearing, an argument was raised that government agencies were provided not only with recordings of conversations but also security codes of mobile phone users. In recent years, questions regarding illegal wiretapping and other invasions of privacy have been brought up by lawmakers.
Whenever such questions were raised, the government tried to give assurances that there is no danger of wiretapping, saying, “Mobile phones are safe.” The government has yet to adequately acknowledge or recognize the problem.
It is a matter that deserves to be addressed in no uncertain terms.
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