You dabble on two issues...1) Profiling and 2) National Security interests vs standard laws.
Tomes have been written on these two subjects. I suspect that neither you (nor I) would wade through a post of that magnitude simply to get a point across. As such, certain arguments can not be argued effectively in a shortend forum such as this. Some critical elements may be missing.
That said, I'll deal with the second item first.
Our country was founded on the rights and freedoms of the individual within the Union. Laws are passed to regulate certain types of activity and have to pass consitutionality tests.
However, National Security interests outweight the needs of the one or few for the good of all within the Union. In general, restrictions issued on these grounds have been few and far between because of their ability to restrain our "rights and freedoms". Encryption, however, is one area that our gov't has been unable to successfully deal with while preserving your rights and freedoms.
In a country founded on the principle of free speech, we quickly forget that you do not have a right to conspire to commit a crime. Encrypted communications conceal that activty. In the interest of "National Security", our gov't has te right to ban the practice. If they had the ability to read your traffic, they wouldn't give it a second glance...would they? Even if they do have the ability to read your encrypted traffic, it still consumes resources that should be looking for bad guys and not your love letter to your mistress, for example (I do not imply you have a mistress...only for example sake).
Now, profiling is another tough subject. Let's consider what profiling is all about. You state With that, a suspicious looking (or acting) person not only has to deal with the increased scrutiny attracted, but also can be punished. This can prohibit anything from wearing black trenchcoats to being in the "wrong neighborhood" to carrying a duffel bag around.
To this end, I say, yes, law enforcement does have the right to stop and detain a suspiciously "acting" person. Provided their individuals actions meet the criteria ofprobable cause. Let's consider the crime of terrorism as it applied in the past several weeks. The perps have been described as of being of middle-eastern descent or appearance, clean shaven, limited (if any luggage), purchased one way tickets and attended flight school with the intention of learning how to fly a plane on a level course (in one instance).
Now, that is a profile. When somebody else meets that criteria, you can bet law enforcement will be watching them very carefully. A profile becomes illegal and morally wrong when it singles out a group simply because of their race, religion or ethnicity (i.e. all middle-eastern people or african-american). The banning of all profiling activity, as some are calling for, is counterproductive to law enforcement and national security.
Finally, the internet is a public network. There is no implied privacy on the internet. All traffic on the internet is subject to the laws of the land through with the traffic traverses.
FWIW, I don't like the fact that encryption is regulated. Aside from the object of privacy infringement, I'm in the business of providing encryption services and capabilities. These regulations prevent me from making a more substantial profit. I'm also in the business of providing products and services to law enforcement (including encryption). I want to make sure law enforcement has the tools to do their job effectively. The nature of my business, I feel, makes me more in tune with these issues from that particular perspective.
If you lost someone close to you because of a violent crime that, theoretically, was preventable, would you/could you still feel and think the same way? I hope and pray you never have to find out.
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