RSA 2016: Ex-NSA officer admits other countries could open encryption backdoors

The Apple-FBI encryption battle rightly dominates discussion at the 2016 RSA security conference in San Francisco, at least kind of…

The NSA and FBI are exhibiting alongside encryption vendors on the show floor of the RSA security conference. They seem to be on a dual-pronged mission mixing recruitment (there’s plenty of talented folk walking the floors here) with marketing, but their appearance is somewhat ironic given their attitudes to encryption. Edward Snowden has accused the NSA of breaking encryption methods to protect web users’ data. The FBI, meanwhile, is currently embroiled in a battle with Apple in Congress, seeking to force the tech giant to help it bypass an iPhone security barrier. This has been the main talking point here at RSA 2016 when you leave the fantasy world of the vendor booths on the show floor. Move into the smaller halls and the multiple conference rooms, and you’ll find the academics, security researchers, tech experts and policy people who really are all talking about the problems of deliberately weakening strong encryption.

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