Feds pushing new plan for encrypted mobile device unlocks via court order, Seny Karmara

EMCS Professor, Seny Kamara

Seny Kamara, Brown University Computer Science professor and Executive Master in Cybersecurity faculty member is quoted in ArsTechnica’s coverage of the Department of Justice’s latest push for a new industry proposal that would grant law enforcement access to encrypted digital devices with a warrant.

Kamara commented on a system that is being developed by a team that includes Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie. This system, under certain circumstances, would provide police with access to an encrypted device without the owner’s password. Only the manufacturer could generate this “special access key.”  It would not decrypt messages scrambled in transit (ie, WhatsApp) or encrypted cloud-based storage (ie, iCloud).

Kamara pointed out to ArsTechnica that even if Ozzie and his colleagues were successful in making their system work, companies might not implement it. Furthermore, Kamara is quoted as saying,

“Even if the government compelled companies to comply, it doesn’t mean that law enforcement would be able to get the information it wants, because third-party app developers could still provide encrypted apps that would protect information even given access to the device.”

He continued,

“Is the government going to compel all app developers as well? What if the apps are developed in another country? What if the apps are developed and published anonymously?”

Read the rest of the ArsTechnica article, Feds pushing new plan for encrypted mobile device unlocks via court order

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