Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Apple Privacy Officer says that ‘Building Back Doors’ to Access iPhone Data Won’t Help Solve Crimes

Several governments, including the U.S., are pressuring Apple and other manufacturers to add “back doors” to all products that offer encryption. The latest example is a demand on Monday of this week when the FBI sent a letter to Apple requesting assistance to extract data from password-protected iPhones used by a suspected mass shooter.

You can read more about that “demand” in an article by Kif Leswing published in the CNBC web site at:

In this and in previous “demands,” the various governments claim they need to to be able to read all private messages and documents in order to spy on lawbreakers as well as spy on the general public, similar to the spying capabilities described in George Orwell’s 1984. Of course, these same government officials who claim that governments need this capability never mention that it is impossible to limit access to only government employees.

The assumption is that once government agencies are given “secret keys” to encrypted information that the “secret keys” will soon leak to foreign governments, to corporations (think “Cambridge Analytica and Facebook”), to credit card thieves, and to all sorts of other evil-doers. In other words, “secret keys” won’t be secret for very long.

Besides all that, such demands will always be ineffective simply because each government can only attempt to enforce laws within their own country. Even if the government of the United States, Australia, China, Russia, the Arab countries, or others do pass such laws, programmers in more conservative countries that cherish liberty and freedom will undoubtedly produce their own encryption software that does not have any “back door” capabilities.

If you are a business person or a politician or a battered wife or anyone else with secrets to keep, would you obtain encryption capabilities from a “government approved” organization in your own country or would you download and install encryption software from a foreign company that has a good reputation for not including “back door” capabilities that can also be decoded by governments, thieves, and who-knows-who-else?

Categories: Encryption, Legal Affairs

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