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Backdoors: When Good Intentions Go Bad

Whenever bad things happen where perpetrators had used encryption, the topic of government access to encrypted data turns into a heated debate. The latest example comes on the heels of the horrible terrorist attack near the Palace of Westminster in London, where there was evidence that the perpetrator had used WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging program, possibly to communicate with accomplices. UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd raised the government access issue, saying …Read More

Elite cryptographers scoff at idea that law enforcement can ‘overcome’ encryption

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ call for a way to “overcome” cryptography met with scorn from a panel of elite cryptographers speaking at this week’s RSA Conference 2017 in San Francisco. “Any one of my students will be capable of writing good crypto code,” says Adi Shamir, the ‘S’ in RSA and a professor at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. Sessions’ use of the term “overcome” during his confirmation hearings …Read More

Protecting the Republic: Securing Communications is More Important than Ever

For some time I have argued that encryption is a security versus security issue. Given our reliance on cyber, that is, our increasing intertwining of the physical world with network controls, I continue to believe that securing communications and devices is critical for our safety and security. But events over the last weeks have convinced me that securing communications is also crucial for preserving our democracy. That is, securing communications …Read More

FBI sued by news organizations for information on San Bernardino iPhone hack

Three news organizations are jointly suing the FBI for information on how the agency broke into the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. The Associated Press, Vice Media, and USA Today parent company Gannett said in a lawsuit filed today that the FBI has no right to keep the technique it used to crack the phone hidden from the public. The suit, brought under the Freedom of Information Act, asks …Read More

More hacking and undercover work: Police chiefs answer to strong encryption row

Police and tech security experts have weighed in with a possible solution to the immovable-object-meets-irresistible-force conundrum posed by the use of strong encryption. Across Europe, police argue that the rise of uncrackable encryption, in particular end-to-end encryption, allows criminals to plot in secret, and that investigators should have some way of reading these communications when necessary. Privacy advocates insist that strong encryption is not only vital for the operation of …Read More

Apple’s CEO On Encryption: “You Can’t Have A Back Door That’s Only For The Good Guys”

There’s a burning debate – bordering on a battle – between the U.S. government and technology companies over encryption. The government asserts that encryption – when it is so strong that the police can not eavesdrop on communications in their efforts to catch and prosecute criminals – is a bad thing. Some government officials have even suggested that terrorists use encrypted communications to help carry out their acts of malice. …Read More