Nobody expects Rudd to have a PhD in cryptography, but understanding why backdooring encryption is a bad idea is different…
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference earlier this week the UK home secretary, Amber Rudd, stated that she didn’t need to “understand how encryption works to understand how it’s helping the criminals.” She does, however, need to understand how backdooring encryption would disadvantage perfectly legitimate businesses and potentially cost them dearly.
With such things as the EU General Data Protection Regulation coming into play in May next year, and the UK Data Protection Bill already progressing through Parliament, encryption is a topic that will not be going away. It’s vital that businesses not only know under what circumstances encryption should be implemented, but also understand the how such encryption gels with the regulatory compliance process. That Rudd is, in effect, muddying the waters with demands for technical solutions to enable encryption to be broken on demand is unhelpful to say the least.
This is not just a case of talking technical semantics either; understanding how encryption enables law-abiding business is central to the whole backdoor for law enforcement debate. Rudd insists that she will “engage with the security services” to find the best way to combat the ‘end-to-end encryption threat’ as she refers to it. Trouble is, here at SC Media UK we have been hard-pressed to find any security vendors who feel much like being part of that engagement process.