The Federal Bureau of Investigation is trying to get the technology industry on its side when it comes to accessibility of encrypted communications—something the majority Internet security and technology leaders aren’t terribly inclined to do. In a white paper published by MIT, U.S. cryptographers expressed numerous legal, ethical and practical concerns in giving the FBI and other law-enforcement authorities an essential means of decrypting all manner or digital content. While the FBI has been seeking a key decryption method since the 1990s, the specifics of the requested capability have not yet been determined. Further, today’s digital security and tech experts have pointed out how such a key, if achievable, could do more harm than good.
“The FBI’s current stance is even more problematic, the security experts argue, because it remains vague. [FBI Director James] Comey hasn’t described technically how his agency should be able to decrypt messages. He’s arguing only that tech companies should figure out a way to make it happen. One proposal discussed in Washington calls for technology companies, the government or another party store a special encryption key that would allow the government to decipher any user’s content if a warrant were issued. Although that would be possible technically, such encryption keys instantly would become holy grails of hacking targets.”
Where do you stand on this issue? Do you agree with many in the tech industry who believe the FBI or other authority should not have a free-pass to encrypted data? Do you think such decryption technology would help strengthen our national and personal security, and help law enforcement bring wrongdoers to justice? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.