Tag: Government & Law

When You Pick Up The Encryption Stick, You Pick Up Both Ends

By Seth James Nielson and Daron Barnes of Ironwood Experts.

Many Americans in the technology space are aware that their government is pushing to install “back doors” into cyber security. Apple, for example, makes their iPhone in such a way that even the company itself can’t decrypt the contents of a user’s phone. The government can subpoena Apple all they want, but Apple simply has no way of unlocking the protected data within. That doesn’t make law enforcement, and others, happy.

Just last month, Tim Cook went to the White House and had a heated exchange with the Attorney General about this very issue, then went on 60 minutes to discuss it again. This particular battle between security and privacy has been on-going since last year, when terrorist attacks in California prompted a renewed call, in some quarters, for back doors.

The crux of the government’s argument is that there must be “balance” between a person’s right to protect their data and the government’s responsibility to protect its citizens (e.g., through police investigations and so forth). To the U.S. Attorney General and the Director of the FBI, there should obviously be some way to get to the data.

It is unsurprising that many dislike the idea of government having backdoor access to their data for personal and political reasons. But to security experts, the problems go far beyond balancing rights and responsibilities. The core truth is this:

If you make a back door, the bad guys will find it.

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