Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Sep 2018 21:14 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption

The US, UK, and three other governments have called on tech companies to build backdoors into their encrypted products, so that law enforcement will always be able to obtain access. If companies don't, the governments say they "may pursue technological, enforcement, legislative, or other measures" in order to get into locked devices and services.

Their statement came out of a meeting last week between nations in the Five Eyes pact, an intelligence sharing agreement between the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The nations issued a statement covering a range of technology-related issues they face, but it was their remarks on encryption that stood out the most.

Break encryption, or we'll break you.

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whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

I actually don't have a problem with backdoors on physical items, basically following what I call the "Safe" principal.

Simply, if the authorities seize a safe, and you don't provide the combination, what do they do?

They cut the thing open, effectively destroying it in the process.

The have a lawful warrant, representing a lawful need and due process, then they should have access to the safe. As a society, we've basically agreed that this kind of evidence gathering for law enforcement is an "OK" thing.

So, similarly, if there was a technique that allowed a device (i.e. a hand held device) to be "unlocked" that require both physical access and, effectively, physical destruction of the device, then I'd be just fine with that. Unsoldering a chip, breaking the motherboard for a "fortune cookie" back door key, who knows.

The biggest problem for me is "secret" and/or "remote" access. Monitoring vs access. If you come back to your home and find your safe busted open, well, you pretty much know someone got it to the contents.

If you come home and find your phone broken in to pieces, then, again, you know someone got in to the contents.

None of this stops folks from using other methods to protect their information or property. But it covers a large swath of the law enforcement use cases for common, mundane crimes.

Rather than hopping on some slippery slope argument that leads to the destruction of mankind, I simply posit that I see no reason why a phone should be any more or less accessible than a safe or something of that nature. I just don't want them doing it behind peoples back.

"You need to open your phone for us, or we're going to not just open it anyway, but destroy it -- so, your call."

Reply Score: 2

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

Interesting argument and one that is easy to grasp.

One weakness is that the tools which would allow access to the contents by authorities (when in possession of a valid search warrant) could also be used by other entities/individuals for illegitimate purposes.

Nevertheless, "hard access" leaves clear signs that it has occurred. Any "remote/soft access" can potentially be enabled for illegitimate purposes without one ever noticing it.

Reply Parent Score: 2