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The economics of back doors

Todd Bell | Feb. 24, 2016
The debate between Apple and the FBI has become a major national public issue. The key component missing from this debate is the economic impact to US corporations and the US economy.

4. For Part 2 of the decryption method-The device manufacturer will provide the US government agency the encryption key and the first half of the decrypted key using tamper-proof encrypted communications to share this sensitive information. The device manufacturer will provide the US government a provided algorithm to decrypt the second half of the encryption key to have the full decrypted key value to enter the device and read the contents at rest. The US government agency can only unlock one device at a time. The US government would not be able to unlock a device without the manufacturer initiating the decryption process.

The benefits to the aforementioned decryption process is to comply with the US Constitution, respect the privacy of US citizens by only unlocking one device at a time and not on a mass scale, and to protect the manufacturer from catastrophic financial loses and erosion of its customer base.

There will be no exposed backdoors for hackers or terrorist groups to attack since only one mobile device can be attacked at a time. In addition, this method could support other foreign governments and not just the US government alone. The device manufacturer can determine if they want to support or decline government requests to view the contents of its customer devices to ensure proper due diligence is being performed to protect its customers from government overreach. This will be a cooperative process to fight terrorism, but also respect the privacy and security of US citizens and the financial viability of US corporations.

Bottom line, the US government needs to rethink its encryption "backdoor" strategy, because the US government is playing with billions of dollars and thousands of jobs that could adversely impact the US economy if they make a single mistake. If we stop and think about the consequences if Apple was forced to install a "backdoor" into its software code and if the US government lost the decryption passcode, this single action could destroy an innovative multi-billion dollar global corporation at the expense of a single mistake.  

If Apple is hypothetically forced to install a "backdoor" into its software code, you can bet Apple will relocate its headquarters outside the US and kill thousands of jobs in the US.

It is time to compromise with a better solution and stop rolling the dice with the thought of using a "backdoor" with this modern day dilemma.

Source: CSO 


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