A Simple Reason Why Encryption “Back Doors” Should Never Be Allowed

Several U.S. politicians and bureaucrats have called for “back doors” to be installed in all encryption products in order to allow the NSA, FBI, Homeland Security, and other U.S. government agencies to spy on both U.S. and foreign citizens. Anyone who makes such a suggestion obviously doesn’t know much about the encryption business.

Security and encryption expert Bruce Schneier of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University writes at https://www.schneier.com/cryptography/paperfiles/worldwide-survey-of-encryption-products.pdf: “There are at least 865 hardware or software products incorporating encryption from 55 different countries. This includes 546 encryption products from outside the US, representing two-thirds of the total.”

Obviously, the products originating from outside the U.S. will be unaffected by any ruling issued by the government in Washington. In fact, the opposite will probably become true: any weakening of U.S.-produced encryption products will only increase the demand for the encryption products that will advertise they are unaffected by U.S. demands. We will see an increase in sales by off-shore encryption products and a decrease for American-produced products.

Thanks Uncle Sam for driving even more programming jobs overseas!

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