Mailing List Message #114160
From: Clifford Lynch <>
Sender: <>
Subject: "Keys Under Dormats: Mandating Insecurity" report on government access to all encryption
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2015 13:33:00 -0400
US law enforcement agencies are making the argument  (for example at recent Senate hearings)  that they need some technological mechanism to give them access  to all communications channels and stored data, however encrypted.  Similar demands are being heard in other nations.

Without going into any detail on these issues, I wanted to share a recent very clear and concise report titled "Keys Under Dormats: Mandating Insecurity" from a group that includes a number of the world's leading experts on various aspects of computer security. This report, which has gotten some media attention recently, including coverage in the New York Times, briefly reviews the long history of this debate and the current situation in the context of technical realities as well as trust and risk issues.

The report can be found here, along with an abstract and author list:

I would note that at least in the United States, the calls for access seem to be very much focused on claimed law enforcement needs (with the Director of the FBI being the most prominent proponent of such access); the broader context of national security, encompassing not just law enforcement but  the security, integrity and resilience of public and private information systems, as well as economic interests of industry and the concerns of the intelligence communities, leads to a much more confusing, complex and nuanced landscape. For a taste of these complexities, one place to start might be two blog entries by Bruce Schneier, one of the group of authors of the report, and the various links and commentary connected to them.

Clifford Lynch
Director, CNI
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