When a Backdoor Isn’t a Backdoor: Is This Time Different? presented at Suitsandspooks 2016

by Randy Sabett, James Denaro, Ken Mendelson,

Summary : Governments are seeking a process for access to encrypted data - particularly on mobile devices and in the cloud - as strong encryption becomes commonplace. Governments fear “going dark” – with encryption hindering criminal and national security investigations. Privacy advocates have opposed backdoors as fundamentally insecure and even unnecessary in light of the vast metadata increasingly available. The U.S. tried to mandate backdoors before, and failed in dramatic fashion. We provide an update on the current state of affairs, covering the various proposals for working around encryption and counterarguments. We conclude with proposals to address the lingering question of whether governments can walk away from the question this time and whether there is a solution that enables limited government access to secure communications.