And humans. That’s why I know the government’s attempts to put backdoors into encryption will fail. Why? You had to ask, huh?
Me Oh My Why?
First, a look at the situation. Encryption is no longer considered munitions and no longer banned by the government. That means anyone with the proper background, understanding, and abilities in mathematics can create encryption, and with the proper tools, encryption that is almost impossible to break (it needs to be tested when quantum computing becomes a thing; but then there will be quantum encryption, so never mind).
Your iPhone and iPad are encrypted and that makes it difficult for thieves to get inside and just as difficult for the F.B.I. or other government agencies. Encryption is so easy to obtain these days, and so easy to use, that almost anything can be encrypted beyond the government’s ability to open.
That means hackers, terrorists, and crazy people can use their encrypted devices to plan and execute their nefarious deeds and the government cannot do much about it; even after the fact. Government agencies do not like warrant-proof encryption because they want to hack into devices to detect and prevent crimes before they occur and prosecute afterward.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr on what encryption does:
thwarting law enforcements’ ability to identify those responsible, or to successfully prosecute the guilty parties.
That sounds like the parties are guilty before they are prosecuted, which sounds ominous to me– almost as if the government wants to watch everything their citizens do without citizens knowing it.
Second, government agencies want back doors to encryption; Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, or whatever– the same governments that cannot keep secret information hidden, wants access to secret and hidden information from citizens.
I know. Goofy, right?
Third, encryption is so prevalent and so easy to obtain and use that even if the government could clamp down on major players and gain backdoor access to encryption from Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon or any other major entity, hackers, criminals, and terrorists would still have access to encryption the government could not hack and would not have backdoor access.
So, why bother?
This quandary may have more to do with the electorate and elected and appointed officials than it does with common sense. Law enforcement may want access to my iPhone’s encryption, but if I have an app that encrypts communication or information and it does not come with a backdoor to access, then, again, why bother?
Why don’t these well-educated people understand this?
This was published on Circus Pony, my personal website about techno-nonsense.