Scaring People Into Supporting Backdoors

Bruce Schneier, observing the shift from “terrorism” to “pedophiles” as the boogeyman of choice with which to try to turn public sentiment against strong encryption:

Let me be clear. None of us who favor strong encryption is saying that child exploitation isn’t a serious crime, or a worldwide problem. We’re not saying that about kidnapping, international drug cartels, money laundering, or terrorism. We are saying three things. One, that strong encryption is necessary for personal and national security. Two, that weakening encryption does more harm than good. And three, law enforcement has other avenues for criminal investigation than eavesdropping on communications and stored devices. This is one example, where people unraveled a dark-web website and arrested hundreds by analyzing Bitcoin transactions. This is another, where police arrested members of a WhatsApp group.

How hard are law enforcement authorities trying to push this line? Testifying before Congress, New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance said:

In fact, we were never able to view the contents of his phone because of this gift to sex traffickers that came, not from God, but from Apple. As a result, our investigation of sex trafficking was blocked by encryption.


Thursday, 9 January 2020