C74, the Modernization of Investigative Techniques act

Do police need additional powers to combat crime on the internet? If so, does Canada’s proposed legislation, bill C74, the Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act, meet those needs. This week’s techwatch critically analyses bill c74 and the expansion of police powers to address internet crime.

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The storage performance Council has reports of manufacturers who are proud to have million dollar storage networks that handle less than half a gigabit per second in the lab. My cable modem is 1/2 megabit, so a state of the art system publisized at the Storage Performance Council would handle fewer than 1,000 customers. That is if it performs as well in the field as it did in the lab. The net is full of stories of people who paid millions for these Storage networks but who see only 10% of the theoretical throughput. My ISP would need ten or twenty times the theoretical throughput, or hundreds of times what people see in the field in order to log all traffic.

Distributed.net is a massively distributed brute force attempt to break encryption keys. A 64 bit key took 331,252 computers 1,754 days to break. A 128 bit key is not twice as strong, but 2^64 or 1.8 * 10^19 times stronger. Commonly available 4096 bit encryption is 2^4032 times stronger than a 64 bit key. Those numbers are absurdly large. An simple explanation is if computer power continues to double every two years, it will take over eight thousand years before a 4096 bit key can be broken by 1/3 of a million computers working for 4 years.

Other articles on C74:

The Globe and Mail

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