Blogs -Should We Build a Backdoor into Mobile Devices?

Should We Build a Backdoor into Mobile Devices?

February 22, 2018


Beth Kindig

Lead Tech Analyst

Two years ago the San Bernardino shooting stirred a debate within the security community regarding warrant-proof encryption. The debate, known as “mobile backdoor access,” refers to exceptional access to encrypted communications and data by law officials. In theory, the Department of Justice wants technologists to “hide a key under the door mat” for law officials to access when they have the proper warrants. However, many security professionals and technologists have resisted this request due to creating weaknesses that are irreversible and require falsified automatic updates which may introduce other vulnerabilities.

Perhaps the biggest conflict for technologists, as pointed out by Herbert Lin, the Senior Research Scholar of Cyber Policy and Security at Stanford, is that anything less than deploying the best security (that is technologically possible) could constitute a neglect of professional obligation and ethics. Last November at the Intertrust LINE event, I had the opportunity to interview Lin, who is on the front lines of this debate. The conflict, as he pointed out in his keynote, exists in whether you can technologically design a system allowing exceptional access that is also secure. The security community says this is not possible while law enforcement says it is possible. Lin argues the parties are not talking about the same thing, as to talk about the same thing will require less-than-maximal security for users and less-than-desired capability for law enforcement (the proverbial grey area). In other words, maximal security is a technology issue, and adequate security is a policy issue — and it’s impossible to use a technical argument to solve policy.

Watch this 2 minute clip by Herbert Lin briefly covering the topic of mobile backdoor access: “Should We Build a Backdoor Into Mobile Devices?”

In his keynote, Lin poses questions that all sides must eventually answer during this debate and inevitable compromise, including tech vendors and the privacy community.

Questions we must answer for mobile backdoor access:

Questions for Law Enforcement:

· Why is law enforcement unwilling to acknowledge they’re asking the public to accept a lower level of cybersecurity?

· Why has a technical proof of concept not been provided? You think it can exist. Then prove it.

· How often and for what purposes are exceptional access capabilities expected to be used? If it begins for terrorism, when will it end?

Questions for Tech Vendors:

· Why do vendors provide password features if they’re against backdoors? This proves there situations where technologists have decided the benefits outweigh the consequences.

· How would exceptional access stifle innovation? Why should information technology not be subject to regulation? Lin points out technology is often subject to regulatory measures such as seat belts in cars.

Questions for the Privacy Community:

· What is the actual harm of having a back door? There are many people who are worried about being harmed that would not actually be harmed.

· How often are improper exceptional accesses expected to occur? The privacy community has the understanding there are to be zero improper uses, while one in 1 million or one in 10 million is more reasonable.

Click here to view the full keynote by Herbert Lin, entitled “Unresolved Issues Regarding Exceptional Access to Encrypted Data and Communications.”

Thanks for reading.

p.s. Don’t forget to follow me if you enjoyed this article!  On Twitter @Beth_Kindig and on Medium 

Gains of up to 485% from our Free Newsletter.

Here are sample stock gains from the I/O Fund’s newsletter --- produced weekly and all for free!

+370% on Nvidia

+485% on Bitcoin

*as of May 02, 2024

Our newsletter provides an edge in the world’s most valuable industry – technology. Due to the enormous gains from this particular industry, we think it’s essential that every stock investor have a credible source who specializes in tech. Subscribe for Free Weekly Analysis on the Best Tech Stocks.

If you are a more serious investor, we have a premium service that offers lower entries and real-time trade alerts. Sample returns on the premium site include 2583% on Nvidia, 806% on Chainlink, and 665% on Bitcoin. The I/O Fund is audited annually to prove it’s one of the best-performing Funds on the market, with returns that beat Wall Street funds.


More To Explore


Amazon Building

Amazon Stock: Nearing $2 Trillion Club From AWS Growth & Ads Catalyst

Amazon is on the verge of joining the $2 Trillion Club, driven by a 4-percentage point accelerating in AWS to 17% YoY growth combined with strong 25% growth in advertising revenue.

May 21, 2024
Big Tech Logos

Big Tech Q1 Earnings: AI Capex Increases As AI-Related Gains Continue

Recent Q1 earnings releases from Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Meta reaffirmed that AI spending is continuing to increase through 2024 as companies seek AI-related revenue gains.

May 14, 2024
The Risk is Higher in the Market than it Feels

The Risk is Higher in the Market than it Feels

In this report, we will show that the sentiment readings over the last several months suggest investors should be cautious. This is backed up by our broad market analysis, which indicates that risk is

May 02, 2024
We Are Raising Our Bitcoin Targets To $106K - $190K

We Are Raising Our Bitcoin Targets To $106K - $190K

Bitcoin is an asset where the bulls pound the table to “buy, buy, buy,” and the bears relentlessly and stubbornly call it a scam. In reality, both are the wrong approach. This is because although Bitc

April 26, 2024
Investing In AI with Beth Kindig: 1-Hour Video Interview

Investing In AI with Beth Kindig: 1-Hour Video Interview

Jordi Visser, CIO and Chairman of Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers, spoke to Beth Kindig on the Real Vision podcast on March 20th, to dive deep into AI’s potential for explosive economic growth, how to f

April 19, 2024,compress

Semiconductor Stocks Q4 Overview: AI Gains Heat Up

Semiconductor stocks are standout performers so far in 2024, with investor appetite for AI stocks remaining elevated as AI chip leader Nvidia continues its streak of high growth.

April 15, 2024
I/O Fund Catapults to 131% Cumulative Performance Due to Leading AI Allocation

I/O Fund Catapults to 131% Cumulative Performance Due to Leading AI Allocation: Official Press Release

I/O Fund, a tech research site that actively manages a real-time portfolio, announces returns of 57% in 2023 with a cumulative return of 131% since inception. This compares to popular tech ETFs that h

April 03, 2024
The Importance of Verified Returns and Risk Management for Retail Investors

Verified Returns & Risk Management: A Retail Investor's Imperative

Last year was a stellar year for investors – in 2023, the Nasdaq 100 rose 54% for its best annual return since 1999, while the S&P 500 gained 24%. The Magnificent 7 were the de facto leaders of this m

March 27, 2024
ARM Building

Arm Stock: AI Chip Favorite Is Overpriced

Arm Holdings is positioned to capitalize on the growing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, leveraging its established licensing model and extensive ecosystem to drive future growth

March 26, 2024
Meta Building Picture

Top 3 Ad-Tech Stocks For 2024

Ad spending growth is widely forecast to accelerate in 2024, after a challenging macro environment significantly dented budgets and growth in 2023. The US advertising market is already showing positiv

March 18, 2024

Sign up for Analysis on
the Best Tech Stocks
The I/O Fund specializes in tech growth stocks and offers in-depth research for Premium Members. Investors get access to a transparent portfolio, a forum, webinars, and real-time trade notifications. Sign up for Premium.

We are on social networks

Copyright © 2010 - 2024
Get Free Weekly Analysis on the Best Tech Stocks