Encryption has been a topic of massive debate in recent months, as various government officials feel the need to install backdoors on devices. Or to be more precise, they believe manufacturers should build backdoors into the machines they produce in their factories, in an attempt to weaken encryption. But it looks like none of these doom scenarios will happen as a now proposal is on the table to ban encryption backdoors altogether.
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Republicans and Democrats See Eye To Eye On Encryption
In a very surprising turn of events, the Republicans and Democrats of the United States are agreeing on something. Device security has been a topic of debate among officials in both camps, as some people feel the need to weaken encryption at the device level. Needless to say, these proposals didn’t go over well with the general public, as they are tired of the government spying on them at every turn..
But by the look of things, that general dissatisfaction is paying off a change, as a new proposal is on the table to make encryption backdoors illegal. The Encrypt Act, as this plan is called, will prevent states or other forms or local government to force manufacturers to install encryption backdoors. Furthermore, these companies will not be allowed to modify the security settings of any of their devices.
After recent proposals in both New York and California to weaken device encryption, there was a lot of backlash from the general public. Assuming these suggestions would have been approved, any device manufactured in either state would be subject to weaker encryption from day one. This would give government officials access to every user’s information on a 24/7 basis, which is completely unacceptable.
Furthermore, there was a lot of concern regarding how some agents of the state took it upon themselves to demand these backdoors on behalf of their states. It is simply not feasible to have different security laws for individual states, as it takes the whole discussion several steps too far. Plus, it would not be financially viable for device manufacturers to build a different device for select states, compared to the rest of the world.
While it is true the war on terror needs to be addressed in the technological playing field as well, weakening encryption should never be on the agenda to begin with. Protecting consumers should be the top priority for government officials, yet countermeasures like these would have the opposite effect. It is good to see the Encrypt Act coming to fruition, even though it is still pending approval.
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