Saturday04 February 2023

When is encryption not encryption? When it is faked.

Reading time is around minutes.

In the war against (yes against) encryption there are many things to hide behind. One of the most frequently used is that criminals will use it to mask their dastardly deeds. The term criminal is, of course interchangeable with just about any other popular bad guy; pedophile, drug dealer, terrorist…. You know the list. Anytime there is even a hint that one of these media boogeymen used some sort of encryption, we hear that law enforcement and the government need to be able to break encryption.

The latest example of this were the terrible attacks in Paris and the attacks in California. In both cases it is believed that some sort of encryption was used for their communication. To backup that point there was even a video floating around claiming that Daesh (a derogatory name for ISIS) is using and will continue to use encryption to communicate with agents in the field. They will use this to order them to strike and there is nothing that can be done about it…

Well, if the claim was true then maybe. However, according to Edward Snowden the claims are false and the examples shown in the video is laughable. Snowden explains that the date of the video does match up with the encryption key shown and that the key itself is the wrong format for what they (Deash) are claiming. There were other factors that make many experts feel the claim is fake and one meant to hurt infrastructure in the long run.

As it stands now there is an unconfirmed report that certain legislators in the US were looking to ride a major event to push for back doors in all technology that uses encryption. We have already seen some of the campaigning after the attacks in California and these continue with the push for kill-switches, deep packet inspection at the carrier and ISP level, hidden tracking features and reversible encryption on all devices.

Remember there is more than one way to accomplish a goal, if you want someone to jump a certain way you can always scare them in that direction by putting something in their path. This video and general paranoia amongst the increasingly tech-ignorant lawmakers in the US is a great way to hurt our communication infrastructure… Let’s hope they do not succeed.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.