[ExI] remote embassies

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Fri Oct 23 23:28:12 UTC 2015

On Oct 23, 2015 3:46 PM, "spike" <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On
Behalf Of Adrian Tymes
> Sent: Friday, October 23, 2015 2:06 PM
> To: ExI chat list
> Subject: Re: [ExI] remote embassies
> On Oct 23, 2015 1:51 PM, "spike" <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> > So why do we need ambassadors on the ground in dangerous places?
> 1)      Legalities.  Many of those places will not recognize a remote
presence for the purposes of an embassy.  …
> Ja.  The ball is in their court.  Americans are not clamoring to get into
their benighted and retrogressive countries.

Our merchants are.  If we want to get their money - and even the poorest
country can buy American guns - we need them to recognize us.

> 2)      Assurance.  "But everyone knows cyber-anything can be hacked!
American movies show this all the time!"  …
> Sure but we have military grade encryption.

Irrelevant.  It is not whether the hack can happen, but whether most people
in that country believe it could happen.

This is the difference between security and security theater.  As I'm sure
you are aware, either one alone tends to do a lousy job at the other in
practice, even if that should not be the case in theory.

> If the bad guys think they can hack encrypted email, then let them
demonstrate it.

China has apparently been doing so.  But again, that is irrelevant.

> 3)      Espionage.  You didn't really think that embassies weren't, from
the start, a safe place for spies to drop their Intel, did you?
> This sort of thing can be done by phone, by encrypted email, by any
number of untraceable channels.  Delivering hard copy of intel to an
embassy is perhaps the lowest security means of transmission, because the
couriers can be observed going in and out.

Hard copy might have been the original purpose, but these days if you want
a satellite dish within range of a low powered radio (or laser
communicator) far enough inside a county's borders that a spy can't lug
powerful enough equipment to transmit out, you can put that uplink in your
embassy, and there's nothing that country can do about it short of revoking
your embassy...even if they can and do firebomb their own citizens for the
same thing.
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