NSA dreams of smartphones with “split” crypto keys protecting user data | Ars Technica

NSA dreams of smartphones with “split” crypto keys protecting user data | Ars Technica.

Ideally, the legal and technical difficulties involved in getting past someones encryption, and getting past the lock on their safe, should be the same.  After all, these two things do essentially the same job.  Some details of various laws and regulations might have to differ, but it should all aim towards the goal of the peoples rights being the same, and the governments authority being the same, and the ability of both parties to act on their interests being the same.

Failing perfect equivalence, I’d like to see policy err on the side of protecting privacy.  Artificial weaknesses introduced to force equivalence can spiral out of control.  Even if you trust the authorities won’t misuse it ever, if there’s a backdoor, other people can use it too if they find it.  And if you trust the authorities that much, you’re deluded.

Hopefully some of these proposals get us to a better balance of the need to stop bad guys, and the need to maintain privacy.  At least the NSA is indicating some willingness to compromise.  Probably not enough of a willingness, but it’s better than we’ve had so far.

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