What it is: The FBI recently arrested the CEO of a company selling secure Blackberry smartphones to gang members.
Encryption is a double-edged sword. If it’s secure, then people can use it for criminal activities. Id it’s weak, then ordinary people risk losing data to criminal hackers.
The government’s useless solution is to create encryption with a backdoor that only law enforcement can access. What governments fail to realize is that any backdoor open to law enforcement will also be open to hackers and hackers will find those backdoors eventually.
The US government once tried to get the world to use the Clipper encryption chip which had a backdoor that only the US government could access. So why would foreign countries want to use the Clipper chip if they knew the US government could easily read all of their messages? Would the US government use an encryption chip that the Russian or Chinese government could access easily? Of course not, which makes the Clipper chip and the idea of giving the US government sole backdoor access to encryption totally pointless, yet the US government keeps proposing this time and time again.
The truth is that encryption either works for everyone and nobody. If it works for everyone, then criminals will be able to hide their activities using encryption just as criminals can currently use pencils and paper for writing down notes. The US government won’t suggest banning pencils and paper from people, yet criminals can use them.
If encryption works for no one, then nobody’s information can be secure. Criminals will always find a way to break laws and use whatever technology is available, so banning technology from criminals simply bans technology for everyone, which the US government tried to do once by banning encryption algorithms.
What the US government must do is simply go after criminals. Period. Of course, who they decide are criminals depends on who they want to persecute at the moment. Yet encryption will never be accessible to just the “good guys.” Encryption either works or it doesn’t. There’s no in between, and that’s something the US government still can’t seem to get through their heads.