Ist es besser etwas zu wissen oder etwas nicht zu wissen?

“Is it better to know something or not to know something, Mr. Loest?” Question in a ZDF interview with the 87-year-old Leipzig writer Erich Loest, two weeks before he died recently.

Q: What condition is better, Mr. Loest? Knowing something or not knowing something?

Erich Loest: Knowing is always better. Because sometimes some other people know, and then things can get unpleasant. So knowing is always good.

Mr. Loest wrote over 50 books, including Nikolaikirche and the 1977 autobiography Es geht seinen Gang, which was censored by the East German S.E.D. regime. He asked that at his funeral celebration [Trauerfeier] there be no speeches and no lies, just champagne.

(Isst   ess   bess ah   ett voss   tsoo   VISS en   oh dear   ett voss   NICHH t   tsoo   viss en.)

Schwachstellen in Sicherheitsprodukte einbauen

“Building in vulnerabilities in security products,” one of several methods the N.S.A. and G.C.H.Q. used to unlock encryption methods previously thought secure, according to the Guardian.co.uk, NYTimes.com and ProPublica.org. When the Canadian company BlackBerry updated its encryption in 2009, for example, the N.S.A. cracked it in mere months, according to a Spiegel.de article headlined “Champagne!

These two large agencies and their partners in e.g. the Five Eyes alliance have also been benefiting from encryption cracking via supercomputers, targeted hacking committees, strange U.S. letters and court orders that forbid the ordered from ever mentioning the order, an N.S.A. Computer Solutions Center that “provided security testing” for tech products, subversion of international security standards used by developers but especially persuasion of tech companies, whose names remain most secret.

Tagesschau.de reported on 06 Sep 2013 that the “Bankenverband“—the name indicates an association of banks but the reporter did not define it more specifically—announced that N.S.A. employees and contractors can only view Germans’ online banking but cannot transfer money out of (“plunder”) their accounts. German consumers will not be reassured by this.

Brazil’s TV Globo on 08 Sep 2013 added to the list of snooped targets the international S.W.I.F.T. bank transfer network, the closed computer networks of “airlines, foreign governments, power companies and financial institutions” and the state-owned Brazilian oil company Petrobras, increasing fears of industrial espionage by the U.S.A. and its allies.

The Guardian.co.uk article on the targeted placement of back doors into encryption software was very angry about how vulnerable to criminals this makes everyone (called “the consumer and other adversaries” in one Snowden trove document). Weakening software causes people to commit crimes who wouldn’t normally have done so.

(Sh VOCHH shtell en   in   ZICHH ah heights prod OOK teh   EYE n bough en.)

Sektsteuer

“Sparkling wine tax.” In 1902 Kaiser Wilhelm created a champagne tax to help finance construction of the Kiel canal.

(ZECKED shtoy ah.)

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