US in group of nations calling for encryption back doors

The privacy of Internet users “is not absolute,” according to a statement from a five-country coalition that includes the United States following a meeting about security, with the overall theme demanding technology companies to make social networks and messaging services safer and to offer more support to government agencies to break encryption and access potentially sensitive data…

“Privacy laws must prevent arbitrary or unlawful interference, but privacy is not absolute,” the statement reads. “It is an established principle that appropriate government authorities should be able to seek access to otherwise private information when a court or independent authority has authorized such access based on established legal standards. The same principles have long permitted government authorities to search homes, vehicles, and personal effects with valid legal authority.”

Lockstep unity between these five English-speaking nations and they all sound like they’d have no problem with the divine right of kings, either.

OTOH, There is this letter to Washington politicians from lots of organizations concerned with our human rights – including privacy.

In the Melting Arctic, an Account from a Stranded Ship


Aground on a shoalDONGLAI GONG

❝ On the second day of a U.S. National Science Foundation-sponsored expedition to the Arctic, we were sitting in the presentation room of the 364-foot Russian cruise ship, Akademik Ioffe, about 45 miles north of the Inuit village of Kugaaruk…

As the briefing transitioned into ways of avoiding a dangerous polar bear encounter, the Akademik Ioffe suddenly grounded to a violent halt. I knew that we were in a very remote area of the Gulf of Boothia in Canada’s central Arctic, and I knew the danger we were in if the hull of the ship had been breached in a serious way.

❝ Rumors – spread quickly, as the hours on the shoal passed. The captain wasn’t communicating with us directly. What little information was offered came from Dave Sinclair, expedition leader, who did wonders calming everyone’s nerves even though he had almost no idea what was going to happen.

RTFA. A good read. Firsthand experience sometimes rocks.

Plus I had to do a quick search through the article for an old bud of mine often on journeys to the poles. All clear.