Banning Cryptography: Fact and Fiction

Every so often, usually after a national security event, prominent political voices in many countries will emerge to decry the availability of encryption software and its uses for nefarious means. They reason that as such software could be used to hide the movements of those wishing to commit crimes, that the concept of cryptography which law enforcement does not have ready access to should be banned, forcing all users to utilise insecure platforms with backdoor access built in.

On many levels, this is a reasonable assertion; ignoring the sizeable challenge it represents to the concept of privacy in digital communications, the idea is not completely ridiculous on its face. Law enforcement has been able to intercept communications for centuries, from letters to telephone calls, after all. However, today’s network communications have a significant difference.

In the past, cryptography – and other methods of hiding the intended content of a message from all other than the intended recipient – were almost exclusively the domain of the military and other secret services. The principles of cryptography were not widely known, not taught, and kept hidden from the outside world for as long as possible.

This began to change around the middle of the 20th century, as interest in cryptography grew and civilian research on the subject increased. Happening in concert with the availability of home computers, this brought about many knowledgeable civilian researchers and practitioners of cryptography where none had existed before.

Today, devices used for sending and receiving private, public, even military and government communications use a cryptographic cipher – the complex system which encodes and decodes a plain text message – designed by a civilian research team. The Rijndael cipher was chosen in 2001 as the basis for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), used in many military and government networks across the world.

This and other ciphers are freely available for others to implement today, without requiring the blessing of or any information from a military or government organisation. What’s more, very few (if any) organisations are known to be able to break ciphers which are recommended for usage today with an appropriate-length key in anything approaching a reasonable amount of time, under many hundreds of years.

So, with the widespread public availability of very competent cryptography, both public and private key (so messages can be protected whether or not the intended recipient has a shared private key) the situation today is very different from the past. Now, novices with no knowledge of cryptography whatsoever can utilise easily-accessible encryption software and send messages that for almost all intents and purposes are unreadable except by their intended recipient.

If legislation were enacted banning the use of these programs, the following things would then occur:

1. The legislation would have to specify a replacement cipher to be used, as cryptography has been a necessary part of enabling the widespread use of network communications for sensitive information such as financial transactions.

2. This replacement cipher would then need to be breakable by a government organisation, either by an intentional backdoor in the cipher or via mandatory usage of a short encryption key.

3. Anyone, such as criminals, who was sufficiently interested in still retaining their secure encrypted communications could still use software implementing the more secure ciphers, as the mathematics, design and code required to do so is widely available already.

With these points in mind, we can see that the only people disadvantaged by such legislation would be everyday legal users, who now have their security compromised by the use of a weaker cipher. If the history of designing complex systems (as cryptographic systems certainly are) has taught us one thing, it is that if a vulnerability (such as an intentional backdoor) is present in a system, more than the intended party will eventually find it.

This is why cryptographers are continually at odds with government organisations on the subject of back doors; to be able to provide one user with unfettered access as is so often requested, the door is opened to anyone interested enough to find it; and with cryptographic schemes would could be mandated for the majority of network communications in a country, there is no shortage of interest.

So, what can realistically be done about the problems law enforcement faces with secure cryptography communications? While the mathematics and system design of cryptographic ciphers are thoroughly vetted for many years by the academic, private and public communities of cryptographers, one area is typically not: the application implementing these systems and ciphers.

Indeed, there is a thriving underground market for known exploits of these applications which would allow unintended users to gain access, and the developers and operators of these applications are also under continuous pressure from government organisations to open access to their data in transit and at rest.

The most likely method of success for government organisations to gain access to data of interest is to covertly contact these developers and operators, compelling them directly to provide access to data in a way that does not alert the users of the service.

Although this method is arguably more legwork than simply providing a cryptographic backdoor and outlawing strong encryption, it is far more realistic. There is no real way to ban the use of strong encryption on today’s internet, and attempting to do so only further disadvantages honest users while handing the leg-up to those with criminal intent.

The next time you read an article with a lawmaker and a cryptographer arguing over the issue of outlawing encryption, think about what both sides are saying. Lawmakers (mostly) don’t want to leave the public without any method of protecting their private information, and cryptographers (mostly) don’t want to completely lock out law enforcement agencies from accessing information to protect people either.

In this situation, the problem is one of understanding: cryptographers cannot wave a magic wand and add a police-only backdoor to all the mathematics underpinning the design of a modern cipher without it being discoverable by anyone. The sooner this is more widely understood, the sooner we can get to discussing real solutions to this problem.

1 thought on “Banning Cryptography: Fact and Fiction”

  1. I have a new cryptography technology capability with 4 issued patents that is multidimensional: X, Y & Z information based. The “Z” is what garnered all the patents as a Novel breakthrough.

    Our company is looking to discuss a licensing arrangement with a large established company in cryptography as the areas we are focused upon has more to do with document authentication and security as starters.

    The technology is an invention, very new and has been used commercially for tyhe past 4 yaers; so we know it is past proof of concept and works. Yale University, for example, has applied our technology and are extremely pleased along with the Library of Congress – to name a few of many.

    But cryptography is not our focus today – we would prefer to enable a major global player. The technology is impenetrable.

  2. custom auto parts

    Plumber Washington DC, Plumbing Services, Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, plumber in washington dc.
    Plumber in washington dc The interest rate you’re charged on your personal loan will change depending on the amount you borrow Plumber Washington DC, Plumbing Services, Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, plumber in washington dc. the term you Plumber Washington DC, Plumbing Services, Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, plumber in washington dc. to pay it back over, but some Class Plumber Washington DC, Plumbing Services, Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, plumber in washington dc. are made from vintage coach buses and even school buses. Air booking sites, travel writing with a twist. We must carry it with us or we …
    The post Plumber Washington DC, Plumbing Services, Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, plumber in washington dc. appeared first on VDS .

    Washington Finance
    BONUS 100 FREE DOFOLLOW Links SITE

    http://roof64.ru/blog/aktsiyauteplis-letom/#comment_8644/
    http://fh7778nc.bget.ru/users/REMONTet
    http://www.akskagroep.com/showthread.php?3051-wood-chipper-rental&p=23596#post23596
    http://www.ppfyq.com/home.php?mod=space&uid=130239
    http://smkknbi.sch.id/legenda-kutha-surabaya.html

    http://quickcalicut.com/listings/salkara-restaurant/?unapproved=1295&moderation-hash=418229021f35470b6b379a5f3c01af35#comment-1295
    http://octagondesigns.com/2014/06/this-is-the-first-awesome-post-6-2/?unapproved=26560&moderation-hash=be97b6a74bd9741751bd59e9375c5d18#comment-26560
    http://aluthmovies.webuda.com/arrow-season-06-episode-03-next-of-kin/?unapproved=107384&moderation-hash=92cc930a4f4b052e5bbe739aee0d455d#comment-107384
    http://masscomputers.com.bd/Education-Board-Bangladesh/?unapproved=40294&moderation-hash=89e1fcd9e6426bebcfab6135f986198d#comment-40294
    https://www.starcoachshow.com/42-stop-rescuing-start-coaching-with-donna-zajonc/?unapproved=2347&moderation-hash=837738d1cf691ca2ceee8fa0d59ba699#comment-2347
    http://www.gespect.com/jai-su-que-cetait-possible/?unapproved=9159&moderation-hash=be6ce73ad7615d098407ab626221a2f7#comment-9159
    http://www.schelper.de/pressmeup/?p=98&unapproved=4422&moderation-hash=119cb2652a18bdc07a14c2ea32200f58#comment-4422
    http://www.mijnschoolwebsite.nl/portfolio/basisschool-de-trompetvogel/?unapproved=38866&moderation-hash=1f3f9231b0598e33edb6c399a9460074#comment-38866
    http://www.fanghuwang88.com/?unapproved=24123&moderation-hash=f425f1dc0e4724a20ef792d922513a10#comment-24123
    http://4descarga.com/showthread.php?tid=85272&pid=164934#pid164934
    http://www.tracklink.com.ec/blog/encontrar-auto-parqueado/?unapproved=3590&moderation-hash=4f405117e643766abfdd6366ed7fe44e#comment-3590
    http://resfriando.com.br/compressores-trifasicos/?unapproved=5240&moderation-hash=c9e6e502e8b9fae6281e5735f091ad42#comment-5240
    http://cgttelefonicavalencia.org/2014/02/historia-telefonica/?unapproved=32728&moderation-hash=c7add1f0846b430ba2fe692a201e43e8#comment-32728
    http://8953sh.cn/?p=222&unapproved=1078&moderation-hash=d84753d0eb89da1262c244b13fed7662#comment-1078
    https://ecologicval.com/introduccion-la-agricultura-ecologica-ae/?unapproved=3194&moderation-hash=f8667f044800f4439b2d50fd829ae2a2#comment-3194
    http://www.mikaelsol.se/?page_id=2&unapproved=7763&moderation-hash=6e420e912d3568cf3880b04ec38fbc0f#comment-7763
    http://wandsworth.lgbt/new-website/?unapproved=11792&moderation-hash=b1d589832813d68806965ea6d374d5aa#comment-11792
    http://vitafirmfacts.com/brain-r8/?unapproved=2219&moderation-hash=12b07bd6ea2ecf668af101790a5d492c#comment-2219
    http://www.schoolgirlfuck.net/czech-casting-lucie-4495/?unapproved=22476&moderation-hash=4a2bc688f35bca29f218fe145f26c324#comment-22476
    https://www.usteed.com.br/275/?unapproved=1923&moderation-hash=0751339695197f96aefef2d73aa6a0cc#comment-1923
    http://arrowmotors-ea.com/?p=1&unapproved=30050&moderation-hash=8ac17d1d0625715c6048237f5fb0a68c#comment-30050
    http://bluelinebeginners.com/nobody-can-ever-take-that-away-from-you/?unapproved=9038&moderation-hash=8e1cf11f091793c0aa181e6505dac106#comment-9038
    http://lovelongandprosper.com/episode-40-bazoombahs/?unapproved=12318&moderation-hash=965b0ad725b5859697aaf0a147d92f44#comment-12318
    https://bauermechanicalhvac.com/heating-your-tiny-house/?unapproved=1113&moderation-hash=5220d0b2a3a2372d7ad4e6ce2ce0330b#comment-1113
    http://www.worldfaiths.org/religions-for-peace-not-hate/?unapproved=33829&moderation-hash=f790fb01e1933fbc8a75fe0da5e98b3c#comment-33829
    https://mfaas.com/resources/understanding-click-injection/?unapproved=4208&moderation-hash=6df45aa9bdca699a3e7c23c62407be6c#comment-4208
    http://www.seth-engstrom.se/2016/02/12/markup-text-alignment/?unapproved=941&moderation-hash=ead0f9a40dcac8e2cc7e0cd0d00b6422#comment-941
    https://vermontgreenline.com/attachment-f-alternatives-analysis/?unapproved=6258&moderation-hash=8c9e292cbbabfac62c3f1d998e0c1abc#comment-6258
    http://netzerobuild.ca/design/hello-world/?unapproved=49804&moderation-hash=d22f4805944260abadad3ae7072cc53e#comment-49804
    http://vfb-oberursel.de/fussballspiel-vom-tablett-auf-tv-streamen?unapproved=29503&moderation-hash=0aafcbe81d519a2b670ddcbe3fb6e37d#comment-29503
    https://www.deloneplasticsurgeon.com/2014/06/25/hello-world/?unapproved=5691&moderation-hash=a8448c635a991cccb8f4ff7122ee281d#comment-5691
    http://hamidtalebzadehconcert.com/songs/mage-na/?unapproved=29186&moderation-hash=b00a329e4b7630b47c1f4bb77cdf6e3b#comment-29186
    http://www.vmfat101.com/2016-las-vegas-reunion/?unapproved=20120&moderation-hash=643ecaad456dda83676b235997eb5e85#comment-20120
    http://phspectator.com/2016/03/23/senate-passes-n6-07-trillion-2016-budget/?unapproved=42352&moderation-hash=6404299e8b648e629758a71fc41c7efb#comment-42352
    https://megalith-workflow.com/component/k2/item/1/
    http://studioblanka.net/giraffe-day-at-the-zoo/?unapproved=50&moderation-hash=cd4bd38db279094613bff73adf823c16#comment-50
    http://blog.cravenliteracy.org/index.php/2016/05/24/meet-our-board/?unapproved=29907&moderation-hash=00780af96348c924abbbf9bebc763c9e#comment-29907
    https://teamneverquit.com/blog/brians-coal-mine-story/?unapproved=5240&moderation-hash=60939ea73cceeca68bd2c57a9f5804dd#comment-5240
    http://johnsoncityhomeinspector.com/?unapproved=54418&moderation-hash=440049aa255e94eff9fcc0414f6b1175#comment-54418
    http://www.hindisharemarket.com/gst-relief-small-entrepreneurs/?unapproved=20798&moderation-hash=8304c07f519ea88955fb4767df84e3fe#comment-20798
    http://blazerformen.com/always-be-prepared/?unapproved=3831&moderation-hash=00c7a3b31958ffc588c253c2f3e82e38#comment-3831
    https://big-step-training.com/customer-forum/?unapproved=11964&moderation-hash=cfcf5ba8b2f23829d79ec5548c014eeb#comment-11964
    http://riskystrategy.co.uk/the-emir-of-kano-and-feeling-safe-with-risk?unapproved=321&moderation-hash=c2c2a66f313ed58d786ac223a4e20e27#comment-321
    http://serce-malwiny.pl/zarabianie-na-fotografii-w-praktyce/?unapproved=841&moderation-hash=3c1791946c729d7a6cb02ea5d367bc98#comment-841
    https://newseed.eu/2012/08/10/newseed-eu-opens/?unapproved=20246&moderation-hash=d69b5e86d01554dcdbef85ea8b47bed4#comment-20246
    http://mazharplating.com/electroplating/chrome-plating-2/?unapproved=18750&moderation-hash=fe3f4276cfa268f925991bed2ea1eb8f#comment-18750
    http://ceadmathisa.com.br/for-those-who-are-functioning-how-to-compose-an/?unapproved=151029&moderation-hash=b4cad0cb94633236aed77506d40457f7#comment-151029
    https://mvow.nl/events/wandelen/?unapproved=1745&moderation-hash=c1db24e6473becef269793d4e51e5064#comment-1745
    http://www.montgomeryrose.com/choose-perfect-flowers-occasions-date/?unapproved=22876&moderation-hash=951fc205b2e0c0301987139b2a5428f6#comment-22876
    http://www.gamepatchplanet.com/forums/member.php?u=2948
    http://freespiritandmind.com/natural-garden-trellis/?unapproved=106351&moderation-hash=29f65985a9590d9c7c049e79b0ad8cc8#comment-106351
    http://innerpeaceacademy.org/?unapproved=41227&moderation-hash=29f84582fd3d09dec9ccf0226bef1131#comment-41227
    http://ronpaulforcongress.com/pauls-core-beliefs/?unapproved=2682&moderation-hash=33fff2a6ce97db4b31365d451c6847e4#comment-2682
    https://schreib-essay.com/promotion-bestehen/?unapproved=6000&moderation-hash=5964ade7ad085ad9da5725a9b3e26078#comment-6000
    http://www.real-estate-at-whistler.com/buying/understanding-closing-costs/?unapproved=2375&moderation-hash=a26268534b36994c46f7afb6d6e8da4f#comment-2375
    http://askesis.us/how-can-i-protect-my-carpet/?unapproved=1407&moderation-hash=618e8bba39c126d7f289b4a283823f00#comment-1407
    http://breccaconstruction.com/hard-facts-about-concrete/?unapproved=25087&moderation-hash=c1bc48109eaa6f116d5f819a71bf2a6e#comment-25087
    http://steelp.it/tabella/?unapproved=288&moderation-hash=d53e427684623a870072b3f323ed1c3d#comment-288
    http://visite-guidee-auvergne.com/groupes/visite-nocturne-ydes/?unapproved=27037&moderation-hash=fad5d716568aee3cb1d9dd9c1245be68#comment-27037
    https://herrlow.com/birchfield-blood-draws-new-developments-dui-law/?unapproved=6672&moderation-hash=514d650119c08fe7b730470708a40738#comment-6672
    http://www.wordlecreator.com/wordle-maker-blog/music-word-cloud/?unapproved=9317&moderation-hash=fa54968b352115b8cc4ccddf2d04e227#comment-9317
    https://institut-internetmarketing.com/headline-und-subheadline/?unapproved=18683&moderation-hash=2974781654b021bb5817ee0b43e7a4f0#comment-18683
    http://lightillusionsstudios.com/2016/10/hello-world/?unapproved=12453&moderation-hash=5fcbd244543ae6e4822ad913d6bd0622#comment-12453
    http://www.klaster-poljomehanizacije.hr/partneri/attachment/itg/?unapproved=31644&moderation-hash=cce552a1d54a10e131a76385f76c9e8f#comment-31644
    http://spiritu.chistlukeshealth.org/spirit-u/?unapproved=12117&moderation-hash=484e04dc7524cad26a0fc4c67e848923#comment-12117
    http://www.bezawadatoday.net/hello-world/?unapproved=4429&moderation-hash=c988ecde168227f6de0e619a23b66022#comment-4429
    https://al-talib.org/ramadan-recipes-make-talbina-in-3-easy-steps/?unapproved=83725&moderation-hash=d014007ab9d5477032cf0160236407d3#comment-83725
    http://marine-malgogne.fr/volkswagen/?unapproved=11630&moderation-hash=734d851278da8a8ee37d9d973c47cb1a#comment-11630
    http://www.tusellolatino.com/gallery/galeria-1/?unapproved=6699&moderation-hash=12fc3be4cf505d4804eb033bf396e560#comment-6699
    http://www.blitzersyogurt.com/blog/what-the-icons-mean/?unapproved=10982&moderation-hash=d1bd615c80332640ce45708d7dce1ecf#comment-10982
    https://tantalus.questu.ca/questublog/2013/11/14/a-quest-for-the-sky/?unapproved=8858&moderation-hash=88b094c7fcbb89f794fb3d17288a50f5#comment-8858
    http://guspenmigas.org/2016/04/29/harapan-disela-sela-musta-x-apmi/?unapproved=26906&moderation-hash=85541592d179e97fc1f10d0d3eca231b#comment-26906
    http://forsinracing.se/racerapport-mantorp/?unapproved=24839&moderation-hash=2c37355a789385277c814c91a7687896#comment-24839
    http://moises-perez.com/photography/tranvia-of-lisbon/?unapproved=49531&moderation-hash=d69bea0addb72576edb9b1eff3314ec1#comment-49531
    http://www.mftrainingblog.com/2017/11/30/look-inward-thats-the-answer/?unapproved=5472&moderation-hash=53712b514afcea1e79b0377f85c0b063#comment-5472
    http://wherethekidsroam.com/2016/12/death-in-asia-part-ii-himalayas/?unapproved=57542&moderation-hash=f01e1ad8045537b06dbd81e56a157702#comment-57542
    http://wellness360magazine.com/gym-etiquette-101-do-you-even-lift-bro/?unapproved=11096&moderation-hash=ce12e47ef21590f3ba506f971c77bc8d#comment-11096
    http://tjdengineering.com/wp/index.php/2015/09/03/hello-world/?unapproved=6804&moderation-hash=af80f5193399754bddccc4aa760aa421#comment-6804
    http://www.mehmetdemirci.org/40-levha-40-yorum/?unapproved=487579&moderation-hash=b59bb9b43aa480f0a5b77318e23ad5b4#comment-487579
    http://www.poulisrejser.dk/prag-tyn-kirken/?unapproved=17906&moderation-hash=8ca8dac36351fd5b7147497011bc6670#comment-17906
    http://katescraftycloset.com/ink-on-3-dance-twirl-blog-hop/?unapproved=8372&moderation-hash=34006c506c61248f5dfb13cd47f26bee#comment-8372
    http://frontierplunder.com/1940s-large-jb-moore-navajo-crystal-rug-blog/?unapproved=3622&moderation-hash=999d1d6bdb80c84e67e828db3267b71f#comment-3622
    https://rehabs.inrecovery.com/item/blh-psych-services-llc/?unapproved=52070&moderation-hash=934610e611d5b9464a47b479eacf9fee#comment-52070
    http://idworks.ie/opportunity/amazing-selling-machine-review-amazon/?unapproved=2467&moderation-hash=cdf788c1878648795a464772fbb96024#comment-2467
    http://www.breicarvacaciones.com/thomson-impressions-the-choice-home-for-buyers/?unapproved=3473&moderation-hash=71bff91eda7ca3efec43e01957af3cfb#comment-3473
    https://www.uxpatr.com/genel/evrensel-kullanilabilirlik-ve-tasarim-ile-ilgili-sormaya-cekindiginiz-bes-soru-ii/?unapproved=3735&moderation-hash=ec85caa57e928830ad2c4583d4e3b4e1#comment-3735
    http://www.nymanfoto.se/om-nyman-foto/?unapproved=20577&moderation-hash=9c489fc5d9ce562390026a0e7d289c14#comment-20577
    http://islamicwahdat.com/2019/03/04/merhaba-dunya/?unapproved=2333&moderation-hash=a71f524e77009bad2737d8ec0cc0d975#comment-2333
    http://jaynewilcox.com/2016/03/1-2/?unapproved=23568&moderation-hash=95623d456d7169efbbb22347d00a9f66#comment-23568
    http://www.deliver.org.za/2016/07/16/are-you-listening/?unapproved=6212&moderation-hash=3cd341888581cf07894348d0ec2702d8#comment-6212
    https://azldental.com/blog/dental-implants-tooth-loss/?unapproved=4220&moderation-hash=e190da5e0da98268afb7f8c6f1a3e2b7#comment-4220
    http://taqniahco.com/hello-world/?unapproved=13889&moderation-hash=8d4799385550a3ea3ad9f572d3c94be7#comment-13889
    https://www.aliexchile.cl/comprar-leggins-o-calzas-para-mujer-en-aliexpress.html?unapproved=5136&moderation-hash=8868cc81ba402712df0ac460b0e6a609#comment-5136
    https://blog.intellezy.com/2018/04/11/diy-ebay-reports-with-power-bi/?unapproved=7580&moderation-hash=4527429dbe5a6e8f017be9a5c859abc9#comment-7580
    http://www.cliviakingdom.com/european-essay-writing-service-london-uk-union/?unapproved=837&moderation-hash=ba76c1236ed1af65e518814bbcd81140#comment-837
    http://www.minnesota-lake-homes.com/pest-control-sound-investment/?unapproved=7791&moderation-hash=d3059936d0d875376dd313f59cfa9618#comment-7791
    https://forestghosts.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3474&p=13132#p13132
    http://www.hayashimusic.co.uk/2012/01/taster-tracks-nearly-at-400-listens/?unapproved=29828&moderation-hash=813e04f5e94cdb78da81311ea503aa68#comment-29828
    https://jazz-notes.com/jazz/jimmy-giuffre-divergent-tangents/?unapproved=9920&moderation-hash=d506083740fb07d142e9c41b4673288f#comment-9920
    https://www.radiomuqdisho.net/dhageyso-warka-subax-ee-radio-muqdisho-340/?unapproved=2845&moderation-hash=ff4ddc22b57fee986acb3251a4f17e44#comment-2845

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *