Okay, let’s try this again since I cannot seem to press the appropriate buttons today.
So I am always reticent to comment on our *ahem national cybersecurity policy. It’s painfully evident that there is a disconnect between the reality and the “world” as it is seen in Washington. Today is an exception. I literally spit my coffee out after reading this story in the Washington Post this morning.
The story is focused on a proposal to allow the government to fine companies who do not comply or are unable to comply with wiretap orders.
Original post here: http://m.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/proposal-seeks-to-fine-tech-companies-for-noncompliance-with-wiretap-orders/2013/04/28/29e7d9d8-a83c-11e2-b029-8fb7e977ef71_story.html
Now aside from the creepy factor that comes along with idea that big brother wants to see your Facebook page and Gmails, this is a bad idea for a few reasons:
- Having a skeleton key to Facebook and Gmail won’t help you stop terrorists (al-Qaeda will never expect you to be able to see their Facebook page), but it will stop law-abiding people from having confidence that our privacy is important to the government.
- The government has been whining and complaining about software companies developing insecure software for decades… decades! Now that developers are finally listening and beginning to build secure software, what is the government’s response… “Make your software less secure so we can protect you or we will fine you lots of money!”
“One former senior Justice Department official, who is not privy to details of the draft proposal, said law enforcement officials are not seeking to expand their surveillance authorities. Rather, said Kenneth L. Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security from 2006 to 2008, officials are seeking “to make sure their existing authorities can be applied across the full range of communications technologies.”
Forcing companies to develop security bypasses for law enforcement use is counter productive to security and invites abuse, both by bad guys and “good” guys alike. This is hands down the worst idea I have heard in a long time… and that is saying something.