2017 is looking like it could turn out to be the year of backdoors, if FBI Director James Comey has his way. James is hard at work gathering evidence so that he can have an “adult” conversation about breaking encryption to make crimefighters’ lives easier.
Director Comey spoke at the Symantec Government Symposium in Washington. “The conversation we’ve been trying to have about this has dipped below public consciousness now, and that’s fine. Because what we want to do is collect information this year so that next year we can have an adult conversation in this country,” and this continued to be his theme.
“We want to lock some people up, so that we send a message that it’s not a freebie to kick in the door, metaphorically, of an American company or private citizen and steal what matters to them. And if we can’t lock people up, we want to call (them) out. We want to name and shame through indictments, or sanctions, or public relation campaigns – who is doing this and exactly what they’re doing.”
I understand what he’s talking about. But in our defense, most of the tactics that he mentioned only seem to work in the movies and TV. Indictments, sanctions, and public relations campaigns can only do so much. By leaving these backdoors in systems, we could be giving the criminals a tool to get into any system out there. This will only go to the detriment of his argument. When the FBI tried to make Apple build a version of iOS that would break its own encryption, Tim Cook said that he would not comply. Not because he thinks that criminals should get away with whatever they want, but he knew that if he were to build that version of iOS, it would only be a matter of time before it would get into the wrong hands.
You think that James would eventually give up on trying to get what he likes to refer to as a “front door” when the NSA and other industry experts say that it is impossible to create such a thing and it not fall into the wrong hands; sadly those statements have not dampened his spirit. Comey believes that it is possible to keep these “front door” accesses secret, even though he has offered nothing to support this claim. The biggest problem with his argument is that it seems to be based on an assumption that criminals will only use software that was developed in the US. In reality, about two-thirds of the software developed is created outside of the US.
These plans are more of a concern for American electronics companies as they will be the ones to suffer the most if these plans come to fruition. If they are put into place, it would bring the business to a halt. Any backdoor, no matter who implements it, will hurt sales both domestically and internationally.
Source: The Register