The DEA has figured out that getting a wiretap order for an iPhone, executed at the phone company, doesn’t get them iMessage content. It’s pretty obvious the various TLAs engaged in law enforcement will use this as a concrete example to push the “Going Dark” initiative to get CALEA reinterpreted (or legislated) to cover various internet based communication services. And designing a service to use end-to-end protection will be right out.
iMessage is a special case here, since it inserts itself into the normal text message user interface. It’s the phone’s preferred way to send messages, and from the user’s (and law enforcement’s) perspective, it’s a native feature of the phone rather than an app.
I’m worried this will bring up yet another concern–even if they get what they want with CALEA, they are going to discover that they have execute multiple, maybe even many, wire tap orders to track a single subject. How long until we require each ISP to be able to MiTM attach every TLS connection? Or another clipper chip initiative?
Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up feds’ surveillance | Politics and Law – CNET News
(Apologies for violating my policy of not repeating stuff on slashdot. Also for basing a US-centric rant on a UK story.)
It seems that T-Mobile has released a new 3G data service in the UK. Sounds pretty neat, except their terms of service explicitly ban the use of VoIP or IM applications. The referenced article speculates that they plan to offer their own VoIP service.
If they are banning such applications because they think their network can’t deal with it, that is bad enough. But if they are banning them because they don’t want competition with their own service, then that is a real problem.
Believe it or not, I tend towards a laissez faire business philosophy, and really do believe the market will solve this sort of thing, if it is allowed to do so. I’m perfectly happy to let T-Mobile, or anyone else, have whatever network policies they like, under the condition that I am allowed to select a network provider that has policies that I like. The problem is, there are real barriers to entry for access network services, most of which are created by some regulatory regime in the first place. Whether it is regulation of spectrum, regulation of who can run a wire to my house, or regulation of who can provide service in my community, it’s still regulation.
Let’s not protect network providers from competition with one hand while freeing them to restrict access with the other.
It occurs to me that this technique could be adapted to other carrier media. Anyone want to help me write an update to RFC 1149 for large content indirection?
It appears that Trillian has added support for Apple’s Rendezvous protocol, which allows Mac users to find and chat with other Mac users on the same LAN. As much as I’ve thought that Trillian is a somewhat shoddy hunk of software (I run GAIM, and it’s plenty buggy — but better than Trillian was when I last tried it), this might be the protocol that makes me at least download and install Trillian again. I’ve always been fascinated by the Rendezvous functionality of the Mac clients — especially when you get critical masses of users on the same LAN, like at IETF meetings.
Edit: It appears that this feature is available only in the paid version of Trillian.