The battle between high tech firms and law agencies regarding encryption has reached a high point. The Federal Bureau of Investigation formally spoke against encryption during a Senate committee meeting.
The chief is said to have stated that the high tech firms needed a new business model as far as their encryption policies were concerned in order to establish goodwill with the law enforcement agencies. Encryption was getting in the way of obtaining evidence and important information which in turn affected court orders and vital criminal investigations.
The FBI had had trouble with court order compliance as far as extracting information on the internet is concerned. They believe that the issue is not technical and something that can be changed if the high tech companies wanted to.
Tech companies these days are specifically designing products that surpass court order compliance. This has irked the law enforcement agencies. It is why the FBI has asked for these companies to consider a new business model.
The new business model is basically about these companies complying with the court orders and decrypting the data on their devices. If they were ordered by court to give a law enforcement agency access to the information on a user’s device, they should do so.
The FBI chief cites the example of the good phones which till today can be unlocked when asked by court. Then there are those devices which a year ago were complying with the law but are no longer doing it now.
This new business model should also eliminate any possibility of a ‘backdoor’ for encrypted data.
People are also slowly coming to terms with the fact that the government does not need to deal with these backdoors. The government is looking for a middle ground where it can access information through a court order
Tech companies can supply information on their own terms and the government should not be intervening in that process.
Encryption is one of the competitive advantages that many high tech firms possess.
Many technical experts have critiqued the FBI’s statements regarding the business model and see them as the government’s way of telling these tech companies how to run their businesses.
Analysts have seen this as a way to prevent people from securing their information and devices.
Providing good security to their customers has actually turned into a selling point for the tech companies since the Edward Snowden revealed the government’s spy network.
Many competitors such as Apple, Microsoft and Google claim that they can protect their users’ form the government’s spying with the help of encryption. When it comes to the global market, this has an even bigger appeal.
The customers in Europe can be assured that their data cannot be accessed by the U.S government due to technological differences.
The need for everyone to have unbreakable encryption is debatable.
Government officials believe that the average user does not need their data to be protected by a powerful encryption just because banks and corporations do.
However, the tech companies make large profits by encrypting the average user’s data. The build trust between their consumers via their encryption policies and if they were to change them, the result would be loss of revenue and customers.