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Tag Archive: Encryption

Feinstein-Burr 2.0: The Crypto Backdoor Bill Lives On

When it was first released back in April, a “discussion draft” of the Compliance With Court Orders Act sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) met with near universal derision from privacy advocates and security experts.  (Your humble author was among the critics.) In the wake of that chilly reception, press reports were declaring the bill effectively dead just weeks later, even as law enforcement and intelligence officials insisted they would continue pressing for a solution to the putative “going dark” problem that encryption creates for government eavesdroppers. …   continue »

Congress’s Embarrassingly Empty (National Security) Record

This week, we learned the United States will send 250 special operations troops to the war in Syria, bringing the publicly known total number of American troops operating in the country to 300. This news came little more than a week after the Pentagon announced it was sending 200 more troops and Apache attack helicopters to Iraq, pushing the official US troop numbers there to 4,087 (this number doesn’t include units temporarily deployed into Iraq).…   continue »

FBI Discovers It Can Access That iPhone After All

Update: The FBI is now explicitly denying that the method described in this post is the one they’re planning to employ — so apparently my suspicion was mistaken and they may well be employing a truly novel technique. The more general point, I think, is still valid: The relative speed with which an outside firm was able to demo a solution once the case hit the headlines should raise legitimate questions about how serious an independent effort FBI made before claiming “necessity” and turning to compulsion to access the phone.…   continue »

Security and the Internet of Things

On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced a program to better secure the “Internet of Things” and also highlighted the opportunities networked devices provide for the US intelligence community. The juxtaposition of these announcements casts the Internet of Things (IoT) as the latest iteration of a recurring tension about the role of the federal government: On the one hand, the government seeks to secure US persons against technological vulnerabilities, but on the other hand, the government seeks to exploit those same vulnerabilities for intelligence and/or law enforcement purposes.…   continue »