Warrant-Proof Encryption

Attorney General William Barr, in front of the International Conference on Cyber Security at Fordham University, said that

“warrant-proof” encryption was “enabling dangerous criminals to cloak their communications and activities behind an essentially impenetrable digital shield.”

Of course.  And the FBI, in the aftermath of a mass-shooting in California a while back, (in)famously said that it needed Apple to crack the lock on one of the murderer’s smartphone so they could read it, insisting they were helpless without Apple’s cracking (and they demanded then, too, that Apple install encryption backdoors on its commercial cell phones).  Then the FBI hired a third party, which cracked the encryption forthwith.

And before that, crime investigations were hindered by lack of fingerprints because the crooks wore gloves.  Until DNA technology and testing opened other avenues of identification.  With search warrants required before that DNA could be sought out from individuals so that crime scene deposits could be matched.

And before that wired messaging, done privately, hindered crime investigations until wire tapping technology opened that for investigation.   With search warrants required before wire tapping could be done.

It’s always an arms race between the bad guys and the good guys.  And the good guys always win in the end, because they’re always able to get the better technology.

This time, The Wall Street Journal says, is different, though, via its subheadline at the link:

[Barr] offers no clear path forward

Of course, there is a clear path forward: get a warrant.  Do old-fashioned detective work.

And: hold onto that communications device. There’s no such thing as unbreakable (and so warrant-proof) encryption, there’s only encryption that can’t be broken today.

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