Saturday, 27 January 2018
How do we explain: Maths does not work like that?
Theresa May is asking for back doors in encryption (here).
"These companies have some of the best brains in the world. They must focus their brightest and best on meeting these fundamental social responsibilities."
I don't know how many times we have to try and explain that mathematics does not work like that. You cannot make a way to decrypt something only when there is a valid warrant issued by a judge. Maths does not understand judges or law. The only way it could work is if someone, somewhere, on accepting the warrant as valid, uses some back door that has been built-in to allow access.
Even just that one person, as if it would be only one person, could, on a whim, for their own amusement (or because criminals are paying them enough to move to a new country) decide to do the thing they would do if presented with a valid warrant. That person has means to hack in to encrypted communications - they have to have in order to enact the warrant, so the encryption is inherently flawed to allow that.
The system only works if there are flaws and back-doors, and no matter how you try, these will be exploited by criminals. Simple as that.
So my thought is how the hell do we explain this to politicians.
They are using "passive-aggressive flattery". They are saying we are smart and so surely we can work it out.
Well the same applies to the politicians, surely. They are smart. Surely we have some of the best brains in politics and law making. Surely they can just "make a law" which somehow only applies to "terrorists" and bans them using encryption and is a workable law that they will abide by. This leaves the rest of us the protection that strong encryption affords, but allows the government to see the communications of terrorists. Simples!
Surely they can make a law that would do that? They just need to get the best brains in law making together to focus on making such a law. How hard can it be?
I am no law maker, but surely this must be possible. And I will refuse to accept the comments from anyone being so negative as to suggest that "that is not how law works". They are just not trying hard enough.
Just make an effective and workable law that bans all terrorists from using encrypted communications. How hard is that? Do it!
Go on then? You have a civic responsibility to make such a law, get on and do it already?