Emotionally yours, encryption

The Justice Dept. was poised to launch a public relations campaign to pull at the public heartstrings of those who suffered as a result of the San Benardino shootings.

(Why Apple went to war with the FBI)

Stop and think about that for a minute.

Suspecting that its legal arguments to undermine the security of Apple devices weren’t strong enough to win in court, the Department of Justice intended to assail the public (you and me, our families and friends, and all those other folks we don’t know) with an emotional story in order to get its way.

The intention was to get public support on its side to force Apple to create ‘backdoor’ access to ALL Apple devices – even yours and mine. Even though this is standard operating procedure in public policy these days, it doesn’t change anything about the fact that it’s nothing more than emotional bribery: the DoJ was going to throw a tantrum in the checkout line. They wanted to force a knee-jerk reaction from the public in order to get their craved candy bar.

If successful, the result will mean that you and I (and all those other folks) will have less privacy and will be less secure in our persons.

Subverting the encryption that protects our personal communication (and all those pics, data and other stuff stored on our indispensable devices) can lead to only one result: bad security and no privacy.

By trying to sway us with emotional arguments, the DoJ is showing just how weak its arguments really are.

John Oliver on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver does a very nice job of explaining why creating a backdoor can never be a one-off. This truly is an example of Pandora’s Box: once even the slightest opening in an encryption protocol exists, there is no way of closing it again.

You’ll laugh, but let’s keep the emotion out of it! ?

Warning: adult humor and language is used throughout the video.