12 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2020
    1. The industry argues that encryption backdoors will result in a weakening of end device security, making it more likely they will be compromised.
    2. “End-to-end encryption,” NSA says, “is encrypted all the way from sender to recipient(s) without being intelligible to servers or other services along the way... Only the originator of the message and the intended recipients should be able to see the unencrypted content. Strong end-to-end encryption is dependent on keys being distributed carefully.” So, no backdoors then.
    3. Once the platforms introduce backdoors, those arguing against such a move say, bad guys will inevitably steal the keys. Lawmakers have been clever. No mention of backdoors at all in the proposed legislation or the need to break encryption. If you transmit illegal or dangerous content, they argue, you will be held responsible. You decide how to do that. Clearly there are no options to some form of backdoor.
    4. Governments led by the U.S., U.K. and Australia are battling the industry to open up “warrant-proof” encryption to law enforcement agencies. The industry argues this will weaken security for all users around the world. The debate has polarized opinion and is intensifying.
    1. Such is the security of this architecture, that it has prompted law enforcement agencies around the world to complain that they now cannot access a user’s messages, even with a warrant. There is no backdoor—the only option is to compromise one of the endpoints and access messages in their decrypted state.
    1. Putting that risk more simply, the EARN-IT bill is cleverly leaving it to the tech platforms to keep themselves safe—there would be little option other than some form of access to encrypted content, even though it would not be specified in law. Sophos describes this as “the backdoor virus that law enforcement agencies have been trying to inflict on encryption for years.”
    2. On the encryption front, HRW echoes others that have argued vehemently against the proposals—that weakened encryption will “endanger all people who rely on encryption for safety and security—once one government enjoys special access, so too will rights-abusing governments and criminal hackers.” Universal access to encryption “enables everyone, from children attending school online to journalists and whistleblowers, to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.”
    3. Lawmakers and security agencies want legally warranted access to encrypted data. That can’t happen without some form of backdoor in those end-to-end systems.
    1. If the EU is set to mandate encryption backdoors to enable law enforcement to pursue bad actors on social media, and at the same time intends to continue to pursue the platforms for alleged bad practices, then entrusting their diplomatic comms to those platforms, while forcing them to have the tools in place to break encryption as needed would seem a bad idea.
    2. First, the recognition that sensitive information needs to be transmitted securely over instant messaging platforms plays into the hands of the privacy advocates who are against backdoors in the end-to-end encryption used on WhatsApp, Signal, Wickr, iMessage and others. The core argument from the privacy lobby is that a backdoor will almost certainly be exploited by bad actors. Clearly, the EU (and others) would not risk their own comms with such a vulnerability.
    1. Security agencies use anti-terror efforts to justify planting backdoors. The problem is that such backdoors can also be used by criminals and authoritarian governments. No wonder dictators seem to love WhatsApp: its lack of security allows them to spy on their own people, so WhatsApp continues to be freely available in places like Russia or Iran, where Telegram is banned by the authorities
  2. Apr 2020