End-to-end encrypted messaging is a major issue for law enforcement—as the world shifts from easy to crack (for governments) cellular SMS messaging to various flavors of IP messaging, such as WhatsApp, iMessage, Signal and Wickr, governments are exploring their options. The challenge is that such services are provided by technology companies, mostly based in the U.S., making them to a large extent out of reach from lawmakers elsewhere. The messaging services run “over the top,” meaning they are not tied directly to the provider of the network or the phone.
All of which means that the powerbroker here, as in most things tech, is the U.S. government. Which is why when Politico reported that “senior Trump administration officials met on Wednesday [June 26] to discuss whether to seek legislation prohibiting tech companies from using forms of encryption that law enforcement can’t break,” it was of real significance, “a provocative step that would reopen a long-running feud between federal authorities and Silicon Valley.”
So we all have to be less secure because law enforcement doesn’t like having to go through the hassle of getting warrants.
Putting backdoors into encryption defeats the whole purpose. This could have huge implications for security and privacy.
When encryption is outlawed, only outlaws will use encryption.
I wonder how we could energize tech entrepreneurship outside the U.S.
There is already a massive hole in WhatsApp, courtesy of some Israeli software people.
Surely there must be a Russian variant…