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Four cryptography experts have backed a US Senator's campaign to force the FBI to explain how exactly a Feds-only backdoor can be added to strong and secure encryption.
The four are: Stanford professor Martin Hellman, of Diffie-Hellman fame and who helped invent the foundations of today's crypto systems; Columbia professor and USENET co-creator Steve Bellovin; top cryptographer Paul Kocher; and information security guru Bruce Schneier.
Week - Letter - PDF - Senator - Ron
All four this week signed a letter [PDF] to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) applauding his "effort to find out with whom the bureau has been consulting and which cryptographic experts believe an exceptional access system can be built securely."
Late last month, in response to a speech given by FBI director Chris Wray in which he argued that tech companies "should be able to design devices that both provide data security and permit lawful access with a court order," Wyden sent a memo [PDF] to the bureau boss taking issue with his position.
Idea - Backdoors - Software - Policy - American
Calling the idea of introducing backdoors into software a "flawed policy that would harm American security, liberty, and our economy", Wyden noted that "experts are unified in their opinion that introducing deliberate vulnerabilities would likely create catastrophic unintended consequences."
He asked Wray to produce a list of the eggheads the FBI was talking to about designing such a system, giving a deadline of February 23. The letter from the four cryptography experts is seemingly designed to bolster that request.
FBI - Engineers - Secure - System - Crypto-boffins
"The FBI is asking engineers to design a highly complex, yet secure, system," the crypto-boffins noted in their missive. "Just because a non-technical person believes that such a system can be developed does not make it so. In fact, and as your letter notes, many experts have warned that security would be weakened by exceptional access mechanisms."
Therefore, they argue, it is "extremely important" that the FBI reveal "which cryptographic...
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