Skip to comments.Computer scientists to FBI: don't require all our devices to have backdoors for spies
Posted on 06/05/2013 3:16:14 PM PDT by Zeta Beam
In an urgent, important blog post, computer scientist and security expert Ed Felten lays out the case against rules requiring manufacturers to put wiretapping backdoors in their communications tools. Since the early 1990s, manufacturers of telephone switching equipment have had to follow a US law called CALEA that says that phone switches have to have a deliberate back-door that cops can use to secretly listen in on phone calls without having to physically attach anything to them. This has already been a huge security problem -- through much of the 1990s, AT&T's CALEA controls went through a Solaris machine that was thoroughly compromised by hackers, meaning that criminals could listen in on any call; during the 2005/6 Olympic bid, spies used the CALEA backdoors on the Greek phone company's switches to listen in on the highest levels of government.
But now, thanks to the widespread adoption of cryptographically secured messaging services, law enforcement is finding that its CALEA backdoors are of declining utility -- it doesn't matter if you can intercept someone else's phone calls or network traffic if the data you're captured is unbreakably scrambled. In response, the FBI has floated the idea of "CALEA II": a mandate to put wiretapping capabilities in computers, phones, and software.
As Felten points out, this is a terrible idea. If your phone is designed to secretly record you or stream video, location data, and messages to an adverse party, and to stop you from discovering that it's doing this, it puts you at huge risk when that facility is hijacked by criminals....
(Excerpt) Read more at boingboing.net ...
The referenced Ed Felten post is here.
This is why I always speak in gibberish on the phone.
No doubt the fedgov has gibberish deciphering software.
“...the fedgov has gibberish deciphering software...”
I speak a very rare dialect of gibberish.
fleebre donzo costaqon zel rinbo?
“fleebre donzo costaqon zel rinbo?”
Loose lips sink ships!
Well, the fedgov has lots of experience in gibberish...Be careful.
Mandated DISA of my phone would render it useless.
None of my calls would be assumed private and I would make less calls.
Why would they need software to decipher their native language?
Sorry, I was tied up today. I'll be by tomorrow to mow your yard. /s
The solution is to provide a back door that shunts the request into IRS computers
I would venture that every bit of electronics manufactured in China, be it a computer, a telco switching system or even a cell phone already has a PLA mandated back door.