It’s common knowledge that a number of governments want tech companies to do away with encryption. From the perspective of law enforcement authorities, this will help them to stop crime and terrorism.
Many of the tech companies involved have -up until now- kept their silence since most of it has been rumoured. An Apple security exec speaking at CES broached the subject and brought up the importance of encryption from the Apple perspective:
Our phones are relatively small and they get lost and stolen. If we’re going to be able to rely on our health data and finance data on our devices, we need to make sure that if you misplace that device, you’re not losing your sensitive data.
Jane Horvath – Apple Senior Director
The Director also said she felt that she doesn’t necessarily believe building those backdoors will actually help governments in solving crimes:
Building back doors into encryption is not the way we are going to solve those issuesJane Horvath
This is not to say Apple does not work with law enforcement companies at all. They provide the information they can get their hands on but the encrypted stuff stays behind an encryption wall:
When the FBI requested information from us relating to this case a month ago we gave them all of the data in our possession and we will continue to support them with the data we have available.
The debate on whether these backdoors should exist will continue to rage on because one of the major questions that can’t be answered satisfactorily is whether government won’t use these backdoors to spy on people who aren’t suspected criminals. Obviously implementing such backdoors will also lead to new avenues for cybercriminals to access people’s data so there’s no simple solution that will make tech companies, authorities and consumers happy universally just as yet.
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