Thursday, 26 February 2015

When I want my back doors kicking in, I’ll ask

A Yahoo executive has publicly challenged the National Security Agency (NSA) over encryption "backdoors".

Alex Stamos pressed NSA director Adm Mike Rogers on whether the access to encrypted data requested by the US authorities should also be granted to the Russian and Chinese governments.

This rather misses the point. If backdoors are enforced then someone will find a way to exploit them. It might be hackers for profit or mischief. It might be ours or another government. But there is no such thing as a backdoor that can only be used by a friendly government doing things in the interest of its citizens.

After initially dodging the question, Adm Rogers - who took over as director of the NSA last year - responded: "I think that we're lying that this isn't technically feasible.

It’s technically feasible to share data and/or access to backdoors with other nations. I don’t imagine for a second that anyone has ever said otherwise. It’s simply not the issue

The enforcement of backdoors in encryption will be a disaster. And it obviously won’t prevent the acts it’s imagined to prevent. And if access between nations to backdoors and/or data revealed becomes a mainstream political tool, conducted without oversight and fudged about by senior intelligence personnel, we lose again.

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