27. September 2010 16:32
Well, the government is at it again. They (the FBI and others) want to require that all peer-to-peer and internet services have a cryptographic back door that allows wiretapping (see http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/us/27wiretap.html). What they don't say (IMHO) is this:
- This request will naturally be followed by a requirement for absolute identity linkage. Anonymity will disappear as ISPs are required to provide end-user log-ons to their internet services.
- Peer-to-peer services will disappear as service providers are required to route and/or monitor each and every connection. ISPs will be forbidden to allow arbitrary point-to-point connections.
- Every major cryptographic package will be required to provide a back door.
I don't know about you, but when I upload my personal and confidential backup files to a web host, I always encrypt them as strongly as is reasonably possible. This, too, shall pass. Under these proposed strictures, the very decentralized nature of the internet will have to end and only "approved" (i.e. fully regulated) web sites, hosts and service providers will be able to make direct connections.
This is an ABSOLUTE DISASTER! And the cat is out of the bag anyway. There is no way to return cryptography back to the 1980's. Even with 'approved' (monitored) services, steganography and other means will be available to the evildoers (and the good guys) to quickly pass secret messages back and forth to each other. Imagine two fictitious Facebook accounts used by bad guys who encode messages in seemingly benign pictures of children and dogs. The powers that be just don't get it: you can ask for change and destroy the utility and beauty of the internet, but you won't fix the problem.