Bad Encryption Policy Rears Ugly Head Again

Years ago there was an effort to create encryption that had a “back door” for law enforcement. Looks like Obama is reviving this idea. It’s a horrible idea, and not technologically feasible. You can’t have secure encryption that has a back door. I’m not sure how the government expects service providers to detect and disable encryption. Maybe I’m just sending gobbelty gook for my own personal edification.

This is like gun control. It’s not enforceable, and the only people who will comply will be those who have nothing to hide. It’s a bad idea that’s largely unworkable. Compliance is going to be very low. But I for one am so glad those civil liberty loving Democrats are in charge. If those authoritarian Republicans were in charge, I don’t know what we’d do!

9 thoughts on “Bad Encryption Policy Rears Ugly Head Again”

  1. Closed encryption is used every day for banking, over the net sales and a host of other data transfers and we (IT people, programmers and end users) rely on it being secure as possible. Anything that lowers that bar means the increased likelihood of cracking or people loosing trust and the whole Internet business model becomes suspect in this day and age of identity theft.


  2. Damn, I’ll have to revert to sending hand-written encrypted messages via common carrier :).

  3. ” But I for one am so glad those civil liberty loving Democrats are in charge. If those authoritarian Republicans were in charge, I don’t know what we’d do!”

    I expect, like most people, you’re going to keep voting for a Democrat or a Republican.

  4. “…the only people who will comply will be those who have nothing to hide.”
    I disagree. No criminal intentions or actions on my part but, without probable cause no one has any preemptive right to search any property or communications of any other U.S. citizen.

  5. And how would this idiotic proposal deal with one-time pad messages being sent in the clear? Many types of one time pads can be innocuous in appearance and the Government would never know secret communication was going on.

    Not a new idea. Funny how it’s always Democrats proposing this stuff. Clinton tried with the Clipper chip and that died for the same reasons as this should. Private citizens will not hand over their private crypto keys. They’ll simply work around the directives and head to stronger encryption.

  6. Freiheit:

    My brief fling with Libertarianism convinced me that Libertarians aren’t a serious political movement. They are a philosophy, which is nice, but it doesn’t change politics any. I’m not going to waste my time with them or any other third party, unless it looks like someone gets one started that has a prayer of going somewhere.

    The way to change is by pushing one of the two major parties. I’m hoping the Tea Party movement accomplishes that. The question is whether the Tea Party movement will fizzle after 2010, or keep going. I’m hoping the latter.

  7. I agree with Sebastian: I’m a libertarian at heart, but any attempt to work with the Libertarian party, either locally or nationally, is going to be half-hearted. Part of my feelings for this is that the Libertarian party doesn’t seem to have a local-level presence at all! At least, not in Utah.

    Utah, for example, has a Caucus system. We gather together in small caucuses, choose delegates to for county and state conventions, and in conventions try to select candidates–if the candidates fail to get a certain margin of votes, the top two duke it out in Primaries. This is what happened with the Republicans, at least.

    With the Utah Libertarians, you sign a non-aggression agreement and pay dues a month before the convention, then attend the State convention at the Salt Lake City Main Library. There is no “county convention”; there is no county-level party politics…yet, libertarianism is needed just as much on the local level as it is on the State and Federal levels!

    Indeed, in my caucus, one person complained about city ordinances–he complained that he didn’t move into a gated community! And he wanted to see the local regulations lessened. Where are the Libertarians? I don’t know!

  8. dbjack: Sebastian said the only people who will comply are those who have nothing to hide.

    Not that it was therefore okay to do it – just that, like with gun bans, it would have exactly zero effect on real criminals as well as being offensive to liberty.

    As a factual claim, I’m completely sure he’s correct. The ones who DO have something to hide will mostly ignore the law.

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