Countries Want Technological Backdoors

December 11, 2019

“Think of the children” is usually a weak claim people use to justify questionable actions, but law enforcement officials across the world are protecting children the correct way by teaming together to prevent child exploitation on the Internet. Ars Technica shares the story in the article, “Think Of The Children: FBI Sought Interpol Statement Against End-To-End Crypto.” Law enforcement officials, including the US Department of Justice, want there to be backdoors in technology for warranted search and surveillance.

US Attorney General William Barr and his UK and Australian peers asked Facebook to delay its plan to use end-to-end encrypt for all its company’s messaging tools. The FBI and the Department of Justice are encouraged other international law enforcement organizations to join their plea at the International Criminal Police Organization’s 37th Meeting of the Interpol Specialists Groups Group on Crimes Against Children. Delaying end-to-end encryption would find child sexual exploitation. Interpol has not officially supported the delay plea yet.

“The draft resolution went on to lay responsibility for child exploitation upon the tech industry: ‘The current path towards default end-to-end encryption, with no provision for lawful access, does not allow for the protection of the world’s children from sexual exploitation. Technology providers must act and design their services in a way that protects user privacy, on the one hand, while providing user safety, on the other hand. Failure to allow for Lawful Access on their platforms and products, provides a safe haven to offenders utilizing these to sexually exploit children, and inhibits our global law enforcement efforts to protect children.’”

Barr and his peers want technology experts should to agree with them about backdoors. Facebook and other social media companies already comply by terms in the CLOUD Act, a law to provide law officials with data no matter in the world it is located. Barr claims that if Facebook and other companies do not comply, they are allowing children to be exploited further. Research has shown, however, that encryption has had little effect on impeding law officials.

Facebook and other companies state there is not a backdoor skeleton key to any technology and if they did design one it would put people at risk.

Law enforcement officials have the right mindset, but they are missing the essential purpose of encryption and how a backdoor could be exploited by bad actors, including those who harm children.

Whitney Grace, December 11, 2019

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