Last week I wrote about iOS 8 and the 5th Amendment, the first installment on this topic. I figured it wouldn't take long for the other shoe to drop.
The director of the FBI, James Comey feels that in the ‘post-Snowden’ era, the pendulum of distrust in the government has swung too far. He said that encryption software on smart devices will create a ‘black holes’ in which bad people can operate. He asked the question, “Are we so mistrustful of government and law enforcement that we’re willing to let bad guys walk away?”.
He also suggested the current administration may seek laws to force tech companies to create ‘backdoors’ for law enforcement to use for surveillance.
Unfortunately, ‘backdoors’ aren’t special, magic portals. They’re gaps in software security. They are vulnerable to any hacker, not just to law enforcement.
That’s why MS is patching ‘backdoors’ all the time, especially on ‘Patch Tuesdays’.
Jon Tanguy, senior technical marketing engineer from Micron, a maker of solid-state drives (SSDs) pointed out that not only are hackers smart and able to find backdoors, but any employee of a tech company who'd been involved in encryption deployment would be able to share that information.
Not to worry. Many SSD makers have flatly refused to put ‘backdoors’ into anything because frankly, what’s the point of having AES 256 bit or (coming soon) AES 512 bit encryption if there’s going to be a backdoor which will completely negate that encryption. When AES 512 bit encryption arrives, the government (and every hacker on earth) can fold up shop because it would take a super computer decades to break it.
Using an example, “Good news! We’re giving you a special injection to protect you from Ebola. Bad news: It will mean you have constant colds and influenza and may die broke of another infection or the injection’s side effects.”
Honestly? If you’re dead, you’re dead. Doesn’t matter one iota (to you) what killed you. So, please don’t give me every bug under the sun in order to protect me from one I stand little or no chance of getting.
Oh yes, that question Mr. Comey asked…the answer is yes, and could you please give me a score card so I’ll be able to tell who’s wearing which color hat, today?