The representatives sent by Apple and Facebook on 10th December to Washington were threatened to regulate their technology, or else, the companies make encrypted user data accessible to law enforcement.
Around three years ago, the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) demolished an effort to force Apple Inc. to extract data from an encrypted iPhone. The technology companies, however, did not put a stop to their efforts. They have continued to seek legal ways to stop the government from attaining access to digital secrets.
Help from the government
Recently, Australia and the UK passed laws, making it easier for law enforcement to exploit tech companies over data. The argument of the government is that encryption makes criminal investigations a greater task.
The US Senator Lindsey Graham at the Senate Judiciary Committee challenged the representatives. He said, “My advice to you is to get on with it.” Reasoning with his statement, he said, “Because this time next year, if we haven’t found a way that you can live with, we will impose our will on you.” The Democrats and Republicans showcased a united front while recalling cases of child abuse and mass shooting cases. Encryption had denied access to key evidence and retarded the rate of investigations.
Facebook has been facing attacks from various governments since it announced an extension of end-to-end encryption across its messaging services. Facebook replied, “The ‘backdoor’ access you are demanding for law enforcement would be a gift to criminals, hackers and repressive regimes.” They clearly mentioned that this is was not something they could ever aim for. Such statements, improved their past reputation of scandals over handling of personal data, not making them the pariah anymore.
Apple’s user privacy manager said, “We’ve been unable to identify any way to create a back door that would work only for the good guys.”
The threat might be easy to give for the senators, however, passing a law on back doors will be a struggle with no sure shot victory. The tech companies are rightful in protecting their users’ data in any argument. However, this just inhibits investigation for the officials and proves that building a back door for technology might not be possible, or at least effective in a good way.
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