A Belated April Fools Day Joke: SIMPs for Safety

Some Background: I originally wrote the below blog post intending to use it as an April Fools Day Joke.  When I showed it to a couple of people to read it early, I got feedback that it would be too subtle and could go over the heads of people who would then react badly.  Rather than making it more heavy handed and absurd to avoid this (and therefore ruin the tone I was going for), I decided to forego it all and go with a joke Twitter Poll, insead.  I still wanted to use it and hopefully put a smile on people’s faces, so I’m posting it today, a day after April Fools.  Enjoy!

Written for April 1st, 2018 – Posted April 2nd, 2018

Everyone knows that privacy and safety are mutually exclusive endeavors.  You can either be selfish and have privacy, or you can enjoy absolute security and allow others to do the same.  The debate about privacy vs safety has raged on for decades without resolution.  Some new insight and fresh ideas are sorely needed to lead both sides of the argument to the logical conclusion.

That is why, over the coming months, I will be starting, SIMP – “Safety’s Important, Moreso than Privacy”.

In the last decade alone, there have been many complaints by officials regarding the detrimental effects of privacy-focused software on the efforts of law enforcement and homeland security.  In 2016, the FBI requested that Apple build a backdoor into their products for their use to combat terrorism.  Experts and privacy advocates the world over whined that such a “golden key” wasn’t a good idea, could set a “nightmarish precident”, and listed a number of other excuses.  The FBI was frustrated that they weren’t able to adequately express their legitimate need.  So they dropped it.

Had big tech only realized the perks, on that day.

Clearly, a think tank is needed to aid organizations like the FBI in the communication of their stance.  When the agency was confronted by the opposition with “facts” about how encryption is “just math”, and therefore impossible to truly ban, or naysayer’s claims that the Bureau’s arguments ignore their “laughably poor track record” and “reality” – a group of SIMPs could have been useful.

But talk is cheap.  As a proof-of-concept, our founding members came up with an obvious solution to the problem from two years ago: Host all modern communication and computing software and services on the federal government’s servers.  WHICH federal government?  The United States of course.  What if you and/or the service in question don’t have anything to do with the US?  Clearly you aren’t thinking about the superiority that comes from absolute centralization of power AND information, so allow me to explain.

There are a million advantages to consolidating all of our needed data and services on the government’s cloud.  The point of all of this is security, so let’s start there.

FBI, NSA, CIA, and other three-letter agencies have invested heavily in computer experts, who have expressed eagerness in hosting and maintaining any and all company infrastructure and data. Those we reached out to in our initial inquiries also suggested in addition to their cloud being an absolutely secure place for company and customer data, the overhead of extraneous concepts such as encryption won’t be an issue. Applications and database IO will be lighter and snappier than ever! By keeping data security methods proprietary, system admins are all but assured to ward off any and all hack attempts.

Convenience AND security, you say? Other concepts that have long thought to be at odds are no longer! Password storage services will be on the network and in many cases, the same hardware as the social media service it is being used to log into. How much easier could it be?

“This all sounds great”, you’re thinking, “but what about the route from your device TO and FROM the secure platform?”  Massive tech companies have shown that by vertically integrating their products and services, you will, without fail get a better product at a lower price – that’s why, our very next recommendation will be a complete overhaul and acquisition of all ISPs by the same experts running the services!

In conclusion – Technology has proved to be a nuisance to governments for centuries. In the same way the printing press took away the ability of officials and religious leaders to distribute information at a pace the masses could handle it, electronic cryptography gives people – the wrong people, mind you – the chance to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.  Even if some people claim such technological advances are “entirely unavoidable”, we can’t squander this opportunity to slow down those terrorists for even one additional day.

The world truly needs someone to bridge the gap between giant unaccountable government agency and giant unaccountable tech company.  SIMPs everywhere beg the question. Which would you rather have? Your oh-so-precious privacy? Or unlimited protection from every threat imaginable to humankind? And all at the low price of your opinions, individuality and so-called “freedom”.

If you like the project and find my work useful, please consider donating – your generous contributions help pay for the hosting, tools, and time I need to do my research and keep the data fresh.

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