On the same day that an article titled Security and Privacy on the Encrypted Network: The Future is Encrypted was published by an information security research and advisory firm called Securosis, Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, was criticizing technology companies for making it more difficult for law enforcement agencies to track and prosecute criminals.
That was a not-very-subtle dig at Apple and Google for incorporating powerful encryption schemes in their respective mobile operating systems – the latest iOS and the next version of Android.
According to Apple, the encryption built into iOS 8 is so powerful that even it cannot unlock its mobile devices that run that version of iOS. And Google has indicated that the next version of Android will come with an encryption and security feature that’s just as good, if not better.
For end users, that’s good news coming from Apple and Google, in light of recent security breaches, particularly of Apple’s iCloud accounts. But what’s good for mobile computing device users seems to be bad for your government, because, as Eric Holder phrased it, “What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.”
Nice one, Eric, but don’t you think users have a right to privacy? Perhaps these companies just want to make it more difficult for your friends to conduct warrantless mass snooping. But knowing how these guys operate, you can bet your right thumb that they will eventually convince these companies to install backdoors in those mobile operating systems. That’s a sure thing.