Update on encryption issue post the Paris attacks

A couple days ago, I posted comments about the tension between the need for reliable and totally secure encryption and the needs for law enforcement to be able to access messages with the goal of finding terrorists before they act. See Privacy in the Wake of the Paris Attacks.

An article in today’s Boston Globe entitled In the age of ISIS, privacy still matters by Hiawatha Bray reminded me about a crucial element that needs to be considered in this discourse: Even if the US and/or other western countries require encryption “back doors” in technology going forward, there are plenty of opportunity for terrorists and criminals to acquire and use secure communication apps that will not support such back doors.

This is no different than the problems of regulating criminal activity on-line. As long as the technology is developed in another country, it can’t be effectively regulated in the US.

In the rush to address to provide a very real but elusive law enforcement capability, the end result will certainly have significant adverse impact to our nation’s on-line and computer leadership, as well as to your data’s security and privacy.

 

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