A Quick Look At the Fight Against Encryption

b-dayyy shared this overview from the Linux Security site: Strong encryption is imperative to securing sensitive data and protecting individuals’ privacy online, yet governments around the world refuse to recognize this, and are continually aiming to break encryption in an effort to increase the power of their law enforcement agencies… This fear of strong, unbroken encryption is not only unfounded — it is dangerous. Encryption with built-in backdoors which provide special access for select groups not only has the potential to be abused by law enforcement and government agencies by allowing them to eavesdrop on potentially any digital conversation, it could also be easily exploited by threat actors and criminals.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr and U.S. senators are currently pushing for legislation that would force technology companies to build backdoors into their products, but technology companies are fighting back full force. Apple and Facebook have spoken out against the introduction of encryption backdoors, warning that it would introduce massive security and privacy threats and would serve as an incentive for users to choose devices from overseas. Apple’s user privacy manager Erik Neuenschwander states, “We’ve been unable to identify any way to create a backdoor that would work only for the good guys.” Facebook has taken a more defiant stance on the issue, adamantly saying that it would not provide access to encrypted messages in Facebook and WhatsApp.

Senator Lindsey Graham has responded to this resistance authoritatively, advising the technology giants to “get on with it”, and stating that the Senate will ultimately “impose its will” on privacy advocates and technologists. However, Graham’s statement appears unrealistic, and several lawmakers have indicated that Congress won’t make much progress on this front in 2020…

Encryption is an essential component of digital security that should be embraced, not feared. In any scenario, unencrypted data is subject to prying eyes. Strong, unbroken encryption is vital in protecting privacy and securing data both in transit and in storage, and backdoors would leave sensitive data vulnerable to tampering and theft.