Internet Politics Technology

National Security should be secondary to Personal Security

Spy SatelliteEchelon has for a long time been reportedly able to intercept communications in essentially any form, e-mail, telephone, fax you name it they are meant to be able to in real time intercept it, and “secure” the state against terrorist attacks. Or whatever they happen to be trying to find out. Such a system especially in the hands of the United States would with a high likelihood be abused to political purpose.

Then the FBI walks in.

They have been putting pressure on getting even more power of interception over communications. The latest achievement that they are looking for is to regulate the encryption industry.

Regulating a security industry in the sense that the FBI wants is a dangerous idea. Security should be between two communicating parties and, if the security worked, no one else will be able to intercept what happened. The very definition of what the FBI is seeking to do, mandatory back doors to encryption protocols is the complete opposite of security. Instead of having to work out what the private key is, you just need to find the government master key in a very One Ring to Rule them all approach to security.

Creating a security protocol to protect two parties from intercepti0n, whilst allowing a government agency the ability to intercept is something that cannot be allowed. A protocol which allows this would be notoriously difficult to design and maintain, and this will open up even more potential security risks well beyond just the government snooping capability.

Without enabling this back door , it is obvious from the number of security breaches involving large companies that should know better that security is a difficult task as it is. Google was breached by China, Cisco already has built a network that allows tapping by law enforcement, and this is vulnerable to a number of breaches to.

The arguments put forward against the use of regulation in the encryption market are very strong, and even take into account constitutional issues and freedom in general.

Black Hat
Electronic Foundation Frontier