Latest in Backdoor

Image credit:

White House group considered four ways to unlock encrypted info

23 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

A group of law enforcement officials, intelligence agents and diplomats conjured up ways to access encrypted data over the summer, according to The Washington Post. The publication got its hands on a draft paper that details four techniques to bypass encryption that tech companies could use under court order. Among the four, the most alarming one is perhaps the proposal that suggests the use of software upgrades to introduce spyware into the target's device, because that sounds like it could be easily abused. Another idea is to add physical keys to phones that law enforcement can use to unlock them. The group also listed splitting encryption keys that can only be combined with the court's permission and having companies back up data to an unsecured location for access by authorities as other possible approaches.

While it's no secret that feds would love to have access to private information, senior officials insist that these four are nothing but proofs-of-concept. One of them told the Post that they're "just saying these are things that could be done," while National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh assured the publication that these proposed actions aren't being actively pursued. In fact, the team detailed the drawbacks of using these techniques in the draft memo and even came up with a set of principles to guide the government when dealing with the private sector. Those principles include not doing bulk collection and not giving the government "golden keys" to access private info.

[Image credit: merznatalia/Getty]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
23 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Fossil's latest Wear OS watches now make calls using iPhones

Fossil's latest Wear OS watches now make calls using iPhones

View
Toyota will debut its tiny city EV at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show

Toyota will debut its tiny city EV at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show

View
Adidas readies an entire collection of Star Wars basketball shoes

Adidas readies an entire collection of Star Wars basketball shoes

View
Mercedes app was leaking car owners' data to other users

Mercedes app was leaking car owners' data to other users

View
AT&T hikes TV Now prices by as much as $15 per month

AT&T hikes TV Now prices by as much as $15 per month

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr