Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

The Twitter Bitcoin Hack’s Implications For Online Freedom

This is very much a quis custodiet ipsos custodies moment:

A hacker allegedly behind a spate of Twitter account hacks on Wednesday gained access to a Twitter “admin” tool on the company’s network that allowed them to hijack high-profile Twitter accounts to spread a cryptocurrency scam, according to a person with direct knowledge of the incident.

The account hijacks hit some of the most prominent users on the social media platform, including leading cryptocurrency sites, but also ensnared several celebrity accounts, notably Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden.

Vice earlier on Wednesday reported details of the Twitter admin tool.

A Twitter spokesperson, when reached, did not comment on the claims. Twitter later confirmed in a series of tweets that the attack was caused by “a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.”

Think on this for a moment. Sure, Twitter needs to have such internal tools because they do monitor and, to some extent, manage those high profile accounts. Who gets to be the real Donald Trump is something they both care about and also manage.

But now think of the wider point here. We are forever told that the government must have a back door into encryption for example. That means that there must be that backdoor, as here with Twitter account management. But the existence of a backdoor means, by definition, that there’s a backdoor that can be hacked.

To stretch the point a little further, those insistences that Facebook – and no doubt Google search results – must be managed to make sure that those not in full agreement with the Woken SS don’t gain publicity. But once we’ve a system of such censorship then it’s only a matter of time before someone else gains access to its use.

The very fact that any such system – Twitter account management, backdoors into encryption, censorship by politics – exists means that it will, in time, be used by evil actors.

This is why we don’t pass Enabling Laws because we know they will be badly used. Not because the people who we grant those powers to initially will misuse them (although that’s always a pretty fair bet) but because the existence of the powers will attract those who would misuse them.

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3 years ago

I’m still searching for a legislator of any party who will find the Enabling Law for the health State of Emergency that has turned the state into a one-man fascist dictatorship, to put constraints on it before the 2021 flu season. It’s attractive to boycott the party in power, except that the other party has already named the next “emergency,” the existential threat of extreme, scary weather.

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