I’m not paranoid, you’re just foolish

Remember this dialog from when you installed your distro?

Fake dialog saying "In the event of physical theft, grant perpetrators access to" with options for "My browsing history, My email and social media, My photos and documents, and similar". All boxes are checked by default.

Most distros have a step like this. If you don’t immediately recognize it, you might have used a different installer with different wording. For example, the graphical Ubuntu installer calls it “Encrypt the new Ubuntu installation for security”, while the text installer even more opaquely calls it “Use entire disk and set up encrypted LVM”.

Somehow, some people have gotten it into their heads that not granting the new owner access to all your data after they steal your computer is a sign of paranoia. It’s 2015, and there actually exists people who have information based jobs and spend half their lives online, who not only think disk encryption is unnecessary but that it’s a sign you’re doing something illegal.

I have no idea what kind of poorly written crime dramas or irrational prime ministers they get this ridiculous notion from.

An office desk covered in broken glass after a break-in.
The last time my laptop was stolen from a locked office building.

Here’s a photo from 2012, when my company laptop was taken from a locked office with an alarm system.

Was this the inevitable FBI raid I was expecting and encrypted my drive to thwart?

Or was it a junkie stealing an office computer from a company and user who, thanks to encryption, didn’t have to worry about online accounts, design documents, or the source code for their unreleased product?

Hundreds of thousands of computers are lost or stolen every year. I’m not paranoid for using disk encryption, you’re just foolish if you don’t.

3 thoughts on “I’m not paranoid, you’re just foolish”

  1. I think people are lazy bitches who take IT for granted. Same reason we have so much spying going on by (soon to be) Totalitarian Western Governments, let alone everyone else further down the spectrum of so-called ‘Democracy’… people are too lazy to get into abstract thought even to the pathetic level that is required to understand global spy networks and their abuses, public and private. Facebook data and manipulation of psychometrically-calculated political profiles per user, has been used already to swing multiple elections. Even in contravention of the law. See Dominic Cummings and allies. Check the over-spending on election outgoings. Look at what it was for. But anyway, good luck with consumer technology ever being worth a damn, if the market is that ignorant. Thanks for the blog.

    1. Oh and given this was written in 2015 re: illegal activity being what they lied people use encryption for. 1) Australia has passed a law allowing backdoors in encryption, I believe. 2) The UK passed the IP Act 2016 and now treats its own citizens as complete criminals by default (meaning the end of Habeas Corpus or a good step towards that, reversing 800 years of Common Law rights).
      3) The UK and Australia are SIGINT/ELINT partners in the Five Eyes alliance… possibly a lot to do with the pressure on the Aussie Government to pass that shady anti-encryption law. It certainly wasn’t on merit. The people stating that the Australian people are under tyranny due to Covid19 lockdowns, are closer to the truth than their detractors would realise…

Leave a Reply