546 reasons why America should reject encryption ‘backdoors’

“Enter Bruce Schneier. The crypto expert and best-selling author has spent the last few months bolstering an economic case for why the U.S. should reject any proposed mandates for ‘backdoored’ encryption,” Robert Hackett reports for Fortune. “In fact, Schneier counts 546 reasons.”

“The U.S. is not the only place in the world that creates encryption products. If the nation were to strong-arm companies headquartered on its turf into weakening their encryption standards or building in access points for the benefit of cops and Feds, business would suffer,” Hackett reports. “Consumers—not to mention the worst criminals—could simply flock to whichever overseas service offers better privacy and protection.”

“Oh, and companies could relocate too,” Hackett reports. “In 2014, for example, the communications firm Silent Circle moved to Switzerland, citing the country’s historical neutrality in its decision. Imagine if Apple, one of the world’s most valuable companies and an outspoken critic of encryption ‘backdoors,’ chose to uproot itself?”

MacDailyNews Take: Big empty spaceship in Cupertino. But, Apple has enough money to build 43 more spaceship campuses. Switzerland is a beautiful country. There are many beautiful countries. Countries that not only understand encryption, but also corporate taxation issues. We’re sure any one of these countries would love the massive amount of clean, high-paying jobs (read: taxable personal income) that Apple would deliver.

“546? That’s the number of encryption products developed abroad. Although Schneier cautions that the data set is not comprehensive, he says he believes it is a good representation of the present global market,” Hackett reports. “Two-thirds of encrypted products, by his team’s count, originate outside the U.S.; each can be viewed as a possible alternative, thus a threat, to American industry.”

“Germany, which claims the number two spot, has already firmly staked out a position opposing encryption ‘backdoors,'” Hackett reports. “The Netherlands, tied for ninth, recently did the same. Either could become attractive alternatives for consumers if the U.S. were to make ‘backdoors’ compulsory.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The idea of encryption “backdoors” should be opposed because it’s a stupid, unworkable fantasy promoted by idiots who don’t understand basic math and who have never read Orwell, much less the U.S. Constitution. But, if economic threats are what it takes to wise them up, so be it.

Adhere to the U.S. Constitution.

Visit the Apple-backed reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

SEE ALSO:
Why Apple defends encryption so jealously – January 20, 2016
Apple, Tim Cook, and encryption discussed with Jeb Bush during Republican Debate in Charleston – January 15, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook opposes government back door to encryption – December 21, 2015
Donald Trump: To stop ISIS recruiting, maybe we should be talking to Bill Gates about ‘closing that Internet up in some way’ – December 21, 2015
Hillary Clinton: We need to put Silicon Valley tech firms to ‘work at disrupting ISIS’ – December 7, 2015
Tim Cook attacks Google, U.S. federal government over right to privacy abuses – June 3, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook advocates privacy, says terrorists should be ‘eliminated’ – February 27, 2015
Apple’s iPhone encryption is a godsend, even if government snoops and cops hate it – October 8, 2014
Short-timer U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder blasts Apple for protecting users’ privacy against government overreach – September 30, 2014
FBI blasts Apple for protective users’ privacy by locking government, police out of iPhones and iPads – September 25, 2014
Apple thinks different about privacy – September 23, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for government, police – even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
Would you trade privacy for national security? Most Americans wouldn’t – August 6, 2014
Apple begins encrypting iCloud email sent between providers – July 15, 2014
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013
U.S. NSA seeks to build quantum computer to crack most types of encryption – January 3, 2014
Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up U.S. feds’ surveillance – April 4, 2013

18 Comments

  1. OK, here goes my best analogy.

    If you or the WDC crowd like backdoors to encrypted devices, then you should not mind the government having a key to your car, house/apartment.

    After all, what could go wrong with all the minions in the government agencies having access to EVERYTHING?

    1. Here is the simple problem to the argument based national security agencies possession of keys to your car or home, as an analogy.

      They kind of already have that.

      It’s called by many names, but basically it’s a crowbar.

      And this is precisly their premiss. They can get into everything you have, by brute force, going back eons. Only recently or in the past 20 years, has getting into the personal space – property of its citizens, with or without a warrant, has seen some kind of true roadblock. You can see the sweat on their brow over this realization.

      The 4th amendment exists precisly because it used to be so easy, and there needed to be checks and balance to the practice of an illegal search. The caviat to that is they did it anyway, but couldn’t procecute over what they find. Now they can’t do it at all.

      The difference between an anolog world and a digital world, we have removed the barrier of time and space, and gave it to the public. We proceeded to connect our whole lives to networked data stores and then made them impossible for governments to access. At least it used to be a huge government level resources and capabilities to overcome proximity roadblocks.

      With backdoors, none of that exists. No real protection. What a mess.

    2. Who says they don’t already have keys? Lockpicks and bumpkeys will open practically all the currently used physical key locks in use on today’s doors. With electronic locks no one has asked the car companies if they have given special keys to governments.

  2. It would seem the UK is looking at the precipice of isolation. Not from the outside or other nation states, but seriously would companies around the world choose to compromise their security, in order to sell products to 65 million people? I could imagine, those who could travel to Ireland, France or Spain, something very easy to do, would buy their technology at the border. It could have unintended consequences for HMRC.

    Feedback is appreciated.

  3. We have to come up with a better analogy. Yours doesn’t work because the government can already break into your car house/apartment. That is the only reason that they haven’t squawked about being able to do that. Perhaps a better analogy is the invention of an impenatrable home with unbreakable coded locks and the government insisting on access to your locks for the greater good.

  4. Police positively must be able to read everything on an iPhone, albeit with a warrant. They catch killers, drug dealers, rapists, extortionists and Obama supporters all the time. On their phones is evidence to round up this greasy ball of sh*t. They have to get into the phone. Lets leave back door talk to Ted Cuck.

    1. What everyone here has to realize is that “encrypted device” means they could get at all individual messages or files.

      But if I use an encrypted app, or better yet, encryption on a photograph, then the access to that specific App contents or photo is not “viewable” unless you have the specific key.

      What’s App is encrypted. Steganography can hide entire email messages easily inside a relatively small photo image. Neither one would necessarily be “readable” with a back door.

      This arena is complicated.

      The reason the NSA & CIA want backdoors is that Obama has shut down many of the covert spy programs which used people on the ground to collect intelligence and that is just plain stupidity of the worst order.

      Sun Tzu about 3000 years ago in The Art of War, said prophetically, “I would rather have one good spy than 10,000 good soldiers.”

  5. Talk about a dangerous commentary “The U.S. is not the only place in the world…”
    That’s possibly a temporary situation if that huge wall gets built around the country to keep the population inside. I know there would be plenty of free nations from the civilized world who would volunteer to pay for that. Then they could be the only place in the world, not that much would change for them, they certainly have been acting like it for a while.

    I have heard a lot of analogies about this encryption concept that use mechanical lock devices such as safes, cars, homes. All these items can be penetrated by government or non government types.

    This is what makes encryption new. When properly assembled you can’t break it with today’s technology. Like any technology, encryption can be used for beneficial and nefarious purposes. It can protect a terrorist’s data, just as much as it can protect the data of an innocent person staying at the Guantanamo Hotel on the bay. Having a device encrypted makes it less likely to be stolen. Having a device encrypted makes it more likely that managers at the Guantanamo on the bay will use it.

    Either way. it’s not going away, and it’s really going to come down to the one defining principle that one reason that drives this organization.

    There may be 546 reasons in the article for rejection of encryption “backdoors” but there is the one defining reason for accepting encryption “backdoors” and that’s war. That’s something that this particular country has demonstrated for 80% of it’s history, so you know it’s part of its DNA (Destructive Nuclear Arsenal).

    Yup, embracing the backdoor concept makes a line in the sand for others to not cross and once they do, it will be war. Heck no one even have to cross it, they’ll just send their president and a few generals to the UN and show photos of some spot that is developing weapons of mass encryption and that will be it, the war on encryption will begin. The media will love it and so will the management at Guantanamo Hotel on the bay.

    1. You want to make our country’s security weaker, to promote warfare? I don’t know which part of your view I find the most detestable – its overwhelming stupidity, its utter cowardice, its shameful belligerence, or its complete treachery.

  6. One of the biggest problems with the BACK DOOR EVERYTHING bullshit, apart from the self-destructive drive to totalitarianism, is the Tech-Ignorance of the poliTards. We here know perfectly well that politicians are, essentially, the OPPOSITE of tech minded. They like to be relational. We like to be productive. They think we’re crazy and want to kill us and our technological creativity along with us. No, that doesn’t make sense, which is the usual result of their unproductive thinking. IOW: Nightmare of stupid.

    Creative humans are required to leash and muzzle the poliTards before creativity, not to mention privacy, is outlawed.

  7. Encryption comes in many flavours and there will be many more flavours if device encryption is neutered. There are already third party messaging apps such as Wickr and Confide which don’t rely on the phone’s encryption functions.

    This current bout of terrorism will not last long: it is fuelled by oil and we are already entering the post-oil phase. When foreign companies pull out of the Middle East the west will no longer offer a target to the terrorists who can be left to fight amongst themselves.

    The world’s police forces will need to rely on the processes that have worked for decades: applying to the courts for warrants to seize evidence.

    In the meantime, if the UK or US governments pass legislation to require phone manufacturers to give them the keys to their data, consumers will just shift their business elsewhere, choosing mail and messaging providers based in other countries, choosing devices made elsewhere or made for markets where encryption is still allowed, and buying third party encryption software where necessary.

    In the meantime, Congress is trying to stop California insisting on a backdoor. It is hard to see where any support for breaking encryption would come from.

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