Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It seems to me that remote access is a better way to exchange secret love letters

    It's interesting to hear how Gen. Petraeus and his lady love exchanged email love letters.
    They didn't actually send the emails to each other. Instead, they shared a Gmail or similar account and would write the emails and save them to draft. Instead of actually emailing the documents, and thus creating a traceable online trail, they would just take turns logging into the gmail account to read each other's missives.
    The news media tell us that this is a communication technique long used by terrorists and teenagers to evade detection. I have noted no irony in the equation of the two groups.
    One problem with saving drafts on a gmail account is that gmail is forever. Anything saved on these servers once is saved forever somewhere. If a scheme should be found out, eventually each and every incriminating document will also come out -- as apparently is happening now.
    It seems to me that a better way to communicate would be with various computer remote access programs. Such communications would require a computer in a safe location, but all actual documents could be saved to a removable drive on the remote computer. Such love letters could even be encrypted before they are saved. And if the heat arrived that removable drive could just disappear.
    I really don't know much about computers, or code, or the Web. These are just things I thought about as I was listening to the problems of the man who used to be America's top spy. My only conclusion is that if he's the best we've got, we're in trouble.

UNRELATED: I predict the next wave of government spyware and spying will be to aggressively surveil unsent drafts of various cloud email programs. I do not object to this as long as the government informs parents if their teenagers are engaging in risky behavior.

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