Personal Liberty and Security, a rant

Libertarian Commentary #16-08B by Nathan Barton

While we understand (as too few do) that liberty is a greater good and priority than security, the two ARE connected. Overall, in the long term, security for individuals and families is ONLY possible in the context of liberty. Otherwise, it is a false sense of security for all but a few powerful people. News this week points that out.

The Freedom-Busting Idiots continue to try to force Apple to surrender and give them the backdoor they lust after so badly. From Freedom Outpost comes this report. “Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an open letter to the American public about the FBI’s attempts to compel the company to crack the iPhone of the San Bernadino Jihad attackers, saying that such a tool for the government is too dangerous to create, as reported elsewhere. Google, Facebook and Twitter have now joined Apple in the phone encryption battle.”

To make a long story short, the article recommends a 13-digit passcode, average 12,683 years to crack.  I’ve reported more than once that several IT security specialists STRONGLY recommend using 14- or 15-character passcodes or passwords for ANY and ALL devices, which also do more than just take a lot of time.  The article does point out that we once (well, anyone over about the age of 25) used to memorize several 10-digit phone numbers routinely.  A word, together with numbers and (where allowed by the software) several different symbols, can make it very VERY difficult, provided you don’t write it down on the bottom of your desk pad or something. Or use something that makes it easy for a savvy hacker to figure out. If you use a 10-digit code but it is just your cell phone number, that won’t take an average of 12.5 years, but probably all of 12.5 minutes.

What is ALSO of interest is another article referenced in the Freedom Outpost story, at the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, about a court case about a year and a half ago, stating that people cannot be compelled to reveal passwords but CAN be made to use their fingerprint or retinal scan to unlock devices, just as they can be forced to surrender a key to a lock but NOT a combination. Apparently, your fingerprint (and DNA) is an “object” and does not count as “self-incrimination.” The Nazgul strike again.

What can we do about our own personal, private security? We can’t depend on government at ANY level to protect us – indeed, in the Fifty States today, it is pretty obvious that the biggest threat to our personal data and physical security IS the governments.

We have to take care of it ourselves: we can cooperate with each other and with companies (even if we can’t trust them all that much) and keep things as much in our own hands as possible. Here are some ideas:

1. Increase the security of your communications and documents on your own computers and on-line by using 15-character passwords and NOT writing them down or using ones that are going to be easy to figure out.

Mama’s Note: Here is a great website to help folks understand and create strong passwords. You don’t, however, have to memorize them. I can hardly remember what I had for breakfast some days, so writing down my passwords is critical. I use different ones for each application, so it’s even more important. Find a small thumb drive and record your passwords on that. Put it in a safe place. Don’t forget to back up a new password to that drive, of course. I used to change my passwords constantly, but after creating long, complex passwords this way I don’t think frequent change is necessary. But that’s up to you, naturally.

2. Maintain back-up HARD copies of important documents, including medical records, bank accounts, property records, and such things. Don’t depend JUST on computers and digital files.

3. Make sure that you and your family are able to defend themselves against physical attack AND against attacks (intentional or not) on their computers (which includes game machines and phones and tablets). But self-defense in any situation requires that you have the tools and training: guns, software, and practice!

4. Don’t depend on just ONE thing for anything: have backups and alternate plans to deal with any sort of problem: lost power, lost water, blocked sewers, gas leaks, failure to get propane deliveries; whatever might happen.

5. Don’t expect 9-1-1 to save you from ANYTHING: be prepared to go it alone. They might come in to clean up the mess, but don’t count on anything more than that.

Give me some feedback and let me know what you think: I’ll revisit this soon. Meanwhile, here a a couple of stories on this theme:

Sounds to me like a good reason for open carry, no? CNS News repeats a report from National Public Radio that is more subtle than most in pushing an anti-gun agenda, talking about how many “gun-toting women” are wandering around the country. Although they are obviously covering up the dozens of cold-blooded massacres of school children, strangers, and politicians by all these modern-day Bonnies (no doubt for fear of panicking their listeners), they clearly hope to communicate the incredible danger that these women present to their children, families, neighbors, and communities. Seriously, it is GOOD that more and more women are taking responsibility for their own defense and that of their family.

We can’t depend on the government. Even as we send more and more troops into harm’s way, we do more and more stupid things. Compare the next two stories.

What happened? Cold War Two is upon us? The Secretary of Defense, according to CNS News says that there will be a LOT more American troops in Europe in the coming years: not in the old occupation zones and allied territories like (West) Germany and the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, but further east in Poland and the Baltic States and Ukraine. Supposedly to counteract the “growing” Russian threat. This “new” thin green line is not anything at all like the original development of NATO against the Soviet threat of aggression. The major threat of aggression now seems to be coming from members of NATO. These “lot more” US troops are NOT a defensive shield against a renewed Russian threat NOR a shield against the very real invasion of Europe by Muslim migrants, but instead seem to be a dagger pointed at Russia’s heart.

The Grand Prairie Armed Forces Reserve Center in Texas is an example of why and how the regime in DC is creating the next Fort Hood or Chattanooga terrorist attack, by failing to allow soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen (reserve, Guard, or active duty) to defend themselves and their installations. WFAA-TV has a detailed video story, showing that the base is “protected” at least part of the time by a 73-year-old UNARMED contract security guard at the gate, who doesn’t even look at ID cards (but claims he does). And this is an installation that has received supposedly “legitimate” threats of bomb and other attack in recent weeks, right in the heart of the nation. This is not about whether we “owe” military personnel anything, but whether government has ANY ability or will to protect its own, much less those it claims to be responsible for protecting.

We are on our own, and the threats are real. And government is one of them.

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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One Response to Personal Liberty and Security, a rant

  1. Pingback: Rational Review News Digest, 04/25/16 - China: Regime sends fighter jets to Woody Island - Thomas L. Knapp - Liberty.me

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