In the wake of the brutal terrorist attacks in Nigeria, Beirut and Paris the privacy all citizens enjoy is once again being held in tension against the privacy that gets inadvertently provided to potential terrorists. The crypto advocates are under fire as folks come to the direct conclusion that we should be able to subvert encryption if the need is great enough.
What generally happens next is that the actors on both sides of this argument play a cat and mouse game with a variety of extreme scenarios that highlight how the others sides arguments runs counter to sound and moral logic. In contrast, I would simply like to propose the following points:
- Many protections currently exist that when applied by the letter of the law provide material advantages to otherwise guilty persons. We keep these laws because we sincerely believe that in most instances it protects the rights of everyday people.
- Cryptography techniques that have back doors, cannot practically or mathematically be considered encryption.
- I believe mathematical cryptographic techniques once discovered should be considered part of Natural law (see Jurisprudence), and as such exist beyond the objective and practical limits of any legislative process.
- Natural law (whatever form that takes) cannot simply or easily be undone, especially when it is not inherently evil or socially destructive.
- Natural law can be warped and modified by sufficiently advanced technologies.
- What some well-meaning folks are saying when they point to cryptography as the problem to uncovering illegal activity is "No technology should be able to circumvent the efforts of a lawful investigation".
I have no conclusions here, just bullet points…