We’ve been hearing a lot recently about law enforcement officials
upset over the so-called “going dark” problem, with Apple and Google
implementing stronger encryption solutions for their mobile platforms.
These government organizations are arguing that by making encryption easy to
use and unbreakable, Apple and Google will help criminals escape from
justice by impeding investigative work.
“You can’t build a backdoor that only the good guys can walk through.”
As security-focused developers, we discuss these issues
quite often at Rietta. Sometimes it is difficult to articulate our opinions on the subject, but luckily
Bruce Schneier’s post on the subject
does a superb job of laying out the major considerations along with supporting
evidence, which is well worth a read.
“… let’s wait for some actual evidence of harm before we acquiesce to police demands for reduced security.”
The essential takeaway is that providing a way for the government to
legitimately access the data means there is also a way for the various bad guys
of the world to access it as well. At the end of the day, the goal is to protect
people from harm. Unbreakable encryption can certainly help with that, but
sometimes-breakable encryption usually can’t.