Begin forwarded message:
From: Eugen Leitl <eu...@leitl.org>
Date: May 12, 2009 11:51:13 AM GMT-04:00
To: i...@postbiota.org, cypherpu...@al-qaeda.net, t...@postbiota.org
Subject: cryptohippie: the electronic police state ranking 2008
The Electronic Police
2008 National Rankings
Most of us are aware that our governments monitor nearly every form of
electronic communication. We are also aware of private companies doing
the same. This strikes most of us as slightly troubling, but very few
say or do much about it. There are two primary reasons for this:
1. We really donbt see how it is going to hurt us. Mass surveillance is
certainly a new, odd, and perhaps an ominous thing, but we just
donbt see a complete picture or a smoking gun.
2. We are constantly surrounded with messages that say, bOnly crazy
people complain about the government.b
However, the biggest obstacle to our understanding is this:
The usual image of a bpolice stateb includes secret police dragging
out of their homes at night, with scenes out of Nazi Germany or
USSR. The problem with these images is that they are horribly outdated.
Thatbs how things worked during your grandfatherbs war b that is
things work now.
An electronic police state is quiet, even unseen. All of its legal
supported by abundant evidence. It looks pristine.
An electronic police state is characterized by this:
State use of electronic technologies to record, organize,
search and distribute forensic evidence against its
The two crucial facts about the information gathered under an electronic
police state are these:
1. It is criminal evidence, ready for use in a trial.
2. It is gathered universally and silently, and only later
use in prosecutions.
In an Electronic Police State, every surveillance camera recording,
email you send, every Internet site you surf, every post you make, every
check you write, every credit card swipe, every cell phone ping... are
criminal evidence, and they are held in searchable databases, for a
long time. Whoever holds this evidence can make you look very, very bad
whenever they care enough to do so. You can be prosecuted whenever
they feel like it b the evidence is already in their database.
Perhaps you trust that your ruler will only use his evidence archives to
hurt bad people. Will you also trust his successor? Do you also trust
his subordinates, every government worker and every policeman?
And, if some leader behaves badly, will you really stand up to oppose
or her? Would you still do it if he had all the emails you sent when you
were depressed? Or if she has records of every porn site youbve ever
surfed? Or if he knows every phone call youbve ever made? Or if she
knows everyone youbve ever sent money to? Such a person would have all
of this and more b in the form of court-ready evidence b sitting in a
database, waiting to be organized at the touch of a button.
This system hasnbt yet reached its full shape, but all of the basics
place and it is not far from complete in some places. It is too late to
prevent this b it is here. Our purpose in producing this report is to
people know that their liberty is in jeopardy and to help them
how it is being undermined.
Firstly, we are not measuring government censorship of Internet
police abuses, as legitimate as these issues may be. And, we are not
including evidence gathering by traditional, honest police work in any
the categories below. (That is, searches pursuant to honestly obtained
warrants b issued by an independent judge, and only after the careful
examination of evidence.)
The seventeen factors we included in these rankings are:
Requirement of state-issued identity documents and registration.
Inspections at borders, searching computers, demanding decryption of
Statebs ability to search and record all financial transactions:
Checks, credit card use,
Criminal penalties if you tell someone the state is searching their
Outlawing or restricting cryptography.
A lack of constitutional protections for the individual, or the
overriding of such protections.
Data Storage Ability
The ability of the state to store the data they gather.
Data Search Ability
The ability to search the data they gather.
ISP Data Retention
States forcing Internet Service Providers to save detailed records of
all their customersb
Telephone Data Retention
States forcing telephone companies to record and save records of all
Cell Phone Records
States forcing cellular telephone companies to record and save records
of all their
States demanding records from all medical service providers and
retaining the same.
The statebs ability to use overwhelming force (exemplified by SWAT
Teams) to seize
anyone they want, whenever they want.
Lack of habeus corpus b the right not to be held in jail without
prompt due process. Or,
the overriding of such protections.
The lack of a barrier between police organizations and intelligence
organizations. Or, the
overriding of such barriers.
State operatives removing b or adding! b digital evidence to/from
covertly. Covert hacking can make anyone appear as any kind of
Warrants issued without careful examination of police statements and
by a truly independent judge.
For each of these, we assigned a value of between 1 and 5. A value of 1
indicates minimal development of electronic police state abilities in
area. 5 indicates a full operation.
THIS YEARbS RESULTS
Our rankings for the year of 2008 show China and North Korea occupying
the top spots as the most complete Electronic Police States in the
followed by Belarus and Russia. Next, however, we leave communist and
recently-communist states, with the UK (England/Wales), the United
States and Singapore following closely on their heels.
We ranked 52 major states. The map below displays their rankings:
Nations depicted in Red are the most advanced electronic police states,
with an average rank of 3.0 or greater.
Nations depicted in Orange are strongly developing electronic police
states, with an average rank of 2.5 or greater.
Nations depicted in Yellow are lagging (but still developing) electronic
police states, with an average rank of 2.0 or greater.
Nations depicted in green are states that seem to be going toward the
electronic police state model, but not as quickly.
Our raw data may be downloaded here.
Here are the 52 states and their rankings:
2. North Korea
5. United Kingdom: England & Wales
6. United States of America
13.United Kingdom: Scotland
THE 2009 REPORT
We will issue next yearbs report toward the end of Q1. We welcome input
from any and all reliable sources. (The information required to prepare
such a report is not easy to obtain, and webll take whatever help we
We may be reached at: i...@cryptohippie.com
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