Technological Wizardry

ian   October 5, 2014   Comments Off on Technological Wizardry
The Washington Post editorial board just suggested that the tension between consumer’s right to encrypt their devices and the government’s legal power to access data with a search warrant could be resolved by magic. Here is the final paragraph from Friday’s editorial Compromise needed on smartphone encryption:
How to resolve this? A police “back door” for all smartphones is undesirable — a back door can and will be exploited by bad guys, too. However, with all their wizardry, perhaps Apple and Google could invent a kind of secure golden key they would retain and use only when a court has approved a search warrant. Ultimately, Congress could act and force the issue, but we’d rather see it resolved in law enforcement collaboration with the manufacturers and in a way that protects all three of the forces at work: technology, privacy and rule of law.
They also seem to think that Congress could pass a law preventing us from using publicly available encryption technology on computers we own, which seems like a pretty big misunderstanding all be itself. Do you think they also want congress to mandate a secret unlock code for all physical safes sold in the US?