The Privacy BlogPrivacy, Security, Cryptography, and Anonymity



Law Enforcement Back Doors

Bruce Schneier has a great post on issues with CALEA-II.

He talks about two main issues, with historical context.

First, about the vulnerabilities that automated eavesdropping backdoors always create in communications, and how that disadvantages US companies.

Second, about the fact that law enforcement claims of communications “Going Dark” are absurd given the treasure trove of new surveillance information available through social media, and cloud services (like gmail).

I know I have talked about this issue a lot over the years, but I am shocked that I can’t find any posts like it on this blog.

Bruce does it really well in any case.

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  • privacyplease · June 25, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Lance, in your opinion do citizens who are doing nothing wrong have a basic human right to communicate with one another securely? Do they furthermore have a right to use non-backdoored strong-encrypted methods to do so?


    • Author comment by lance · June 25, 2013 at 8:30 am

      I absolutely think that people have a right to use non-backdoored encryption. Because there are already a number of free open source strong cryptographic systems, I think it is practically impossible to keep people from using them.


  • communicator · July 6, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Lance, in your opinion do two people have a basic human right to communicate with one another without the State knowing that they are communicating?


    • Author comment by lance · July 9, 2013 at 7:16 am

      I don’t know that I would call it a human right. There should not be laws preventing people from using technologies to hide their communications. Law enforcement has always had legitimate need and the ability to intercept and monitor communications given appropriate court orders. I don’t think there is a right to be entirely free from that.
      The US 4th Amendment requires, to my eye, restrictions and oversight on that surveillance that are missing right now.


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