By Julian Sanchez – It’s a fight over the future of high-tech surveillance, the trust infrastructure undergirding the global software ecosystem, and how far technology companies and software developers can be conscripted as unwilling suppliers of hacking tools for governments.
It’s also the public face of a conflict that will undoubtedly be continued in secret—and is likely already well underway.
Law enforcement and intelligence agencies have for years wanted Congress to update the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1992, which spells out the obligations of telephone companies and Internet providers to assist government investigations, to deal with growing prevalence of encryption—perhaps by requiring companies to build the government backdoors into secure devices and messaging apps. In the face of strong opposition from tech companies, security experts and civil liberties groups, Congress has thus far refused to do so.
This would create an internal conflict of interest: The same company must work to both secure its products and to undermine that security—and the better it does at the first job, the larger the headaches it creates for itself in doing the second. more> http://goo.gl/S6Whjj