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U.S. Congress does not want investigation to “go dark” when coming to encrypted data, co-op between private and federal agencies is needed; the Year-End Report claims!

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As the House in Congress together with Encryption Working Group, which are different senators from all spectre of the House; they are coming from two parts of the House that are working in the Committee on Energy and Commerce & Committee on the Judiciary. They are here working on the public and private sphere, on the matter on encrypted data can be open and closed. These are because the companies can close the data for the investigation of the security organization. Something that can be hard and needed data to figure out the needed intelligence that the authority’s needs, but still the privacy of the citizens and also company secrets can go away if these encrypted data is uncovered. Therefore the working group to try to find a position on this hard conundrum!

“On February 16, 2016, a federal magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued an order requiring Apple, Inc. to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in obtaining encrypted data off of an iPhone related to a 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, California. Apple resisted the order. This particular case was resolved when the FBI pursued a different method to access the data stored on the device. But the case, and the heated rhetoric exchanged by parties on all sides, reignited a decades-old debate about government access to encrypted data” (…) “The law enforcement community often refers to their challenge in this context as “going dark.” In essence, “going dark” refers to advancements in technology that leave law enforcement and the national security community unable to obtain certain forms of evidence” (EWG, P: 2, 2016).

“Congress should not weaken this vital technology because doing so works against the national interest. However, it should not ignore and must address the legitimate concerns of the law enforcement and intelligence communities” (EWG, P: 4, 2016).

Data cross boarders:

“Data flows with little regard for national borders. Many of the private companies that met with the working group have a multinational presence and are subject to the laws of many different jurisdictions. Several of these companies noted a trend towards data localization requirements in foreign countries, driven at least in part by the difficulty in obtaining data for use in routine criminal investigations. Conversely, current legal authorities may be inadequate for federal agencies attempting to access data overseas” (EWG, P: 5, 2016).

The challenge of improving law enforcement access to encryption depends on a multitude of factors. Federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the United States Secret Service face obvious challenges from the growing use of strong encryption. Although federal law enforcement agencies told the EWG that they encourage the use of encryption for the protection of sensitive information—including data retained by the federal government—they cite the increased use of encryption by suspected criminals and victims of crime as a severe challenge to their public safety mission” (EWG, P: 6, 2016).

“Public perception and recent tensions notwithstanding, there is already substantial cooperation between the private sector and law enforcement. Private company stakeholders demonstrated an ability to assist federal, state, and local agencies with access to information to the extent possible and with service of a lawful order, and expressed a willingness to explore ways to improve and enhance that collaboration” (EWG, P: 7, 2016).

“Exploring tools that might help companies clarify what information is already available to law enforcement officers, and under what circumstances” (…) “§ Examining federal warrant procedures to determine whether they can be made more efficient, consistent with current constitutional standards” (…) “§ Examining federal warrant procedures to ensure that they are clear and consistent with respect to law enforcement access to digital information” (…) “§ Examining how law enforcement can better utilize existing investigative tools” (EWG, P: 9, 2016).

“Although much of the debate has focused on requiring third party companies to decrypt information for the government, an alternative approach might involve compelling decryption by the individual consumers of these products. On a case-by-case basis, with proper court process, requiring an individual to provide a passcode or thumbprint to unlock a device could assist law enforcement in obtaining critical evidence without undermining the security or privacy of the broader population” (EWG, P: 12, 2016).

“Encryption is inexorably tied to our national interests. It is a safeguard for our personal secrets and economic prosperity. It helps to prevent crime and protect national security. The widespread use of encryption technologies also complicates the missions of the law enforcement and intelligence communities. As described in this report, those complications cannot be ignored. This is the reality of modern society. We must strive to find common ground in our collective responsibility: to prevent crime, protect national security, and provide the best possible conditions for peace and prosperity” (EWG, P: 13, 2016).

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When it comes to data encryption there will be hardships as the multi-national companies are not following borders, neither is this just about privacy, certain parts of the lawful “hacking” is breaching the codes and copyrights of technology for multi-national companies. These are with the example of Apple, who wouldn’t accept that FBI decoded their Iphone in February 2016. Certainly this question and the encryption of data will be a continued problem for authorities, security organizations and also civilians who want’s their privacy kept secret and not all in the open.

The fear that Big Brother can see everything and can connect into everything we have is worry, as much as it is that the companies we consumers has bought products can get all of information and data should also concern us; as much as it if the Security organizations could monitor every action and get hold of all our data. This will be a continued problem as the privacy, the need to unlock privacy terms and the use of National Security to keep an eye on the public sphere.

As long as the security organization can unlock when they need, but not to violate or even use the enforcement in ways where they can trespass into the data for the sense of security. U.S. enforcement shall be in regard for public safety, but shall also secure the privacy of innocent civilians, as much as copyright and encrypted data of giant corporations. Therefore the clear case-to-case work has to be done in corporation between security organization and also private companies, as they together can secure National Security and also the lives of innocent civilians. These are codes of conduct that needs to be clear, the indication of proper work and also co-op that the investigation needs to partake. Peace.

Reference:

Encryption Working Group – ‘Encryption Working Group Year-End Report’ (December 20, 2016)

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