US Government to change mind on encryption
and use it?
Well at the very least, they should.
Ahhh the hacking over at the DNC, the hacking of the NSA linked spies, the IRS, the US military last year…it amazes me that our own government has not warmed to the idea of encryption.
One of the most appealing reasons consumers love encryption is because we feel safer having it.
In today’s world we have moved to a more technological way of living.
We shop online, pay for things with watches or phones, start cars with both, we can turn the air on or off in our homes from a phone, I can order Starbucks and pay for it all day long and go get it without having to say two words to anyone, we can even check our refrigerators from our phones.
We can can monitor how well we brush our teeth or not, from a phone app, check our health, heart rate, eating habit, calorie intake, workout routine, or get a new routine, yoga instructions and start a pot of coffee all from a phone, watch or tablet, if not all three.
The way we communicate with one another is also a lot less verbal than it was 10 years ago and why pay for a stamp or actually talk on the phone when it’s just as easy to send a quick text or email, or chat on Facebook or Whats App?
While we are at all of this, we choose encrypted devices and services so as to better protect ourselves from hackers. We lock our cars, our homes, we keep our money in banks instead of under a mattress and we do that why?
To keep it all safe from thieves of course. And that is how we view our messages, our data, our emails, our ability to shop online, to pay for things with our devices instead of a plastic card or paper and coin currency.
We have James Comey who still seeks a backdoor to encrypted devices and services when it’s warranted but we also see a telling reality that our government simply lacks the ability to be trusted should they ever be granted these backdoors.
For the sake of argument if a government can’t bother to encrypt it’s own devices and data, any backdoor they were given, well that would be gone and into the hands of hackers at some point.
Last August FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress and said that that terror groups are in fact, using encrypted programs to hide their communications from prying eyes and that they are aggressively targeting young Americans online and they are succeeding.
So that really even last year wasn’t new news. If you ever ventured onto the dark web into the right places, you sort of already knew that.
So instead of look at the actual real underlying issues as to why any young American would want to join a terror group like ISIS, we want to tout that encryption is bad. It’s evil and so so bad and it allows these bad guys to communicate…secretly.
That means, our government fears it. Rather than try to learn it much less outsmart it, they want to instill this fear. Yet I look around me and I see the guys at organizations like Apple, Whats App, Facebook, as well as many others working with encryption daily, making it smarter, easier for me to work with, understand and use.
And I along with many others trust it.
Ahh but here is the catch, these organizations make encryption user friendly to a consumer, instead of something to be feared. They are giving me exactly what I want and they have a great track record so I trust it.
So personally, I tend to feel that our government needs to come forward a few decades in terms of really understanding encryption, society and how we use things like, technology.
Some within our Government think that encryption puts us all at risk. I beg to differ, it’s our government’s lack of knowledge that does, not encryption.
Should companies like Apple, work with any government entity when faced with an issue like opening an iPhone for let’s say a person who committed an act of terror?
I vote for yes but only to an extent. They should help them open a device or message only if certain extreme conditions have occurred such as an act of terror.
Should they create backdoors and hand them to the FBI? Not at this point because our own government can’t be trusted with it and simply does not have the ability to secure it.
If a backdoor is needed to get into anything, its much safer at the company that created it and not ever in the hands of anyone at our government.
If our government creates a backdoor at some point (highly doubtful, very highly doubtful) fine.
The biggest issue however, is that our own government lacks the knowledge to deal with encryption, they can’t use it, don’t understand it and are reacting more out of fear than with knowledge.
According to Edward Snowden the recent hack of the NSA could be a warning from Moscow. By the way it’s good to see Edward back and tweeting again.
If what he says is true, our government truly doesn’t have what it takes to defend us when it comes to the cyber world.
As far as I can tell the issues and problems are not encryption, not in the least.
It’s the criminals and more importantly, that our government has been caught with it’s pants down over things like emails where what was said in them should have never been sent in an email if you didn’t want to get caught in the first place.
Emails that should have never been on a server that could be hacked, messages that should have been on an encrypted device, maybe?
If the most recent hacks have not opened our government’s eyes from the slumber of ignorance they have been in, I am not sure what will.
I really think that our government needs to start being part of the solution instead of the problem since hackers keep catching them with their pants down.
Cristal M Clark