Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Former Spy Chief: Encryption Backdoors are a bad idea

This seems important:
Former GCHQ director Robert Hannigan has spoken out against building backdoors into end-to-end encryption (e2) schemes as a means to intercept communications by terrorists and other ne'er do wells. 
UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has criticised mobile messaging services such as WhatsApp, that offer end-to-end encryption in the wake of recent terror outages, such as the Westminster Bridge attack, arguing that there should be no place for terrorists to hide. 
Hannigan, who led GCHQ between November 2014 and January 2017, struck a different tone in an interview with BBC Radio 4 flagship news programme Today on Monday morning, arguing there's no simple answer on the national security challenges posed by encryption.
GCHQ is the UK's NSA, so Mr. Hannigan is pretty well positioned to know what he's talking about.  It's an interesting story - Hannigan says that he started his tenure wanting to be able to break encryption and changed his mind after a year or so.

It' a little depressing that this keeps coming up.  The Spy agencies want their super secret backdoors so they can read anything, but promise that only they will ever have access.  It seems that they've learned nothing from the Snowden affair about the ability to keep high value secrets secret.

1 comment:

selsey.steve said...

Apparenty it is a truism amongs hackers that any "back-door" will be exposed and exploited within 14 days of the compromised software being released.
Back-doors become front-doors within 14 days.