Reply to post: Good you included Wyden

Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors

DCFusor Silver badge

Good you included Wyden

It was an epic slam-down and you should have quoted it more fully, actually.Here's a little more


Wyden blasts FBI chief over encryption remarks

© Camille Fine

A Democratic senator is blasting the leader of the FBI over recent comments he made about encryption, calling them “ill-informed.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday criticizing him for advocating for a technological solution to what is often referred to as the “going dark” problem: the inability of officials to access data on encrypted devices for ongoing investigations.

Wray said during recent remarks that devices could be designed “that both provide data security and permit lawful access with a court order.” He also dismissed the idea that law enforcement investigators are looking for some kind of “back door” into encrypted devices.

In his letter Thursday, Wyden slammed the suggestion, saying that it would inevitably degrade the security of the devices themselves.

“Regardless of whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation labels vulnerability by design a backdoor, a front door, or a ‘secure golden key,’ it is a flawed policy that would harm American security, liberty, and our economy,” Wyden wrote.

Wray made the remarks at a conference in New York earlier this month, during which he described the bureau’s inability to access encrypted communications as a “major public safety issue."

According to Wray, the bureau was unable to access digital content of nearly 7,800 devices for investigations last fiscal year despite having the “legal authority” to do so.

“If we can develop driverless cars that safely give the blind and disabled the independence to transport themselves, if we can establish entire computer-generated virtual worlds to safely take entertainment and education to the next level, surely we should be able to design devices that both provide data security and permit lawful access with a court order,” Wray said.

“We’re not looking for a ‘back door’ — which I understand to mean some type of secret, insecure means of access,” Wray added. “What we’re asking for is the ability to access the device once we’ve obtained a warrant from an independent judge, who has said we have probable cause.”

On Thursday, Wyden countered that designing such a proposal that still preserves security would be impossible.

“Experts are unified in their opinion that introducing deliberate vulnerabilities would likely create catastrophic unintended consequences that could debilitate software functionality and security entirely,” he wrote.

Wyden asked Wray to provide a list of cryptographers he has consulted with to arrive at his proposal. "

Because the list would be zero-length of credible cryptographers.

What they want is for there to be no end-to-end encryption and have companies (ie, customers) pay to store it all along with the keys so they can get it with a warrant. Of course, online CC and banking would be exempt, because they are already in the palm of their hands and will willingly (or not) give the feds all records (this problem is described in a fun way in the "stainless steel rat" scifi series, harry harrison, not great scifi but fun).

But the real reason the extension passed isn't because we didn't harass our congress swamp critters, it's because the very first snooping was to get the dirt on them to get votes to go the 5-eyes way every single time - no exceptions, even for show - name one, I dare you. It's the dog that didn't bark.

Really, what does anyone suspect. That pols are clean? Don't we know better, much better? Who cares if my personal habits come out - not me, but if I was a pol fishing for re-election, then I care, eg, the MAIN targets of blackmail are the pols - the guys who sign the paychecks of the 5 eyes. Even if you were a brain-dead beaurocrat, who would you get the dirt on first? Meaningless citizens or people involved with "national security" or - keeping your rice bowl full. Occam's razor.

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