Michael Chertoff, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security and a former federal prosecutor, made some surprising remarks last week, coming out strongly against cryptographic backdoors that could be provided to the government upon request.
“I think that it’s a mistake to require companies that are making hardware and software to build a duplicate key or a back door even if you hedge it with the notion that there’s going to be a court order,” he said to the crowd at the Aspen Security Forum.
This sentiment stands in contrast to what the FBI and other top government officials have said while lamenting the problem of “going dark”—the idea that criminals, ne’er-do-wells, and miscreants have access to more encryption than ever before, and that’s bad for law enforcement.
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