Quoted: Yahoo exec vs. NSA on ‘backdoors’

“If we’re going to build defects, backdoors or golden master keys for the U.S. government, do you believe we should do so… for the Chinese government, the Russian government, the Saudi Arabian government, the Israeli government, the French government?”

Alex Stamos, chief information security officer for Yahoo, to NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers at a cybersecurity conference Monday hosted by the New America Foundation.

Rogers reportedly replied: “The way you framed the question isn’t designed to elicit a response.” Then, when pressed, he said, “hey look, I think that we’re lying that this isn’t technically feasible. Now, it needs to be done within a framework.”

Who wants to build “backdoors”? Well, U.S. spy types have criticized encryption methods being adopted by tech companies, saying they can hinder fighting against crime and terrorism. One of those companies is Apple, which has made encryption the default on its iPhones. At President Obama’s cyber summit in Silicon Valley this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook took aim at the criticism.

“People have entrusted us with their most personal and precious information,” Cook said, according to Troy Wolverton’s report. “We owe them nothing less than the best protection that we can possibly provide.”

The tension between the U.S. and tech companies stems from the reports about NSA spying revealed by the Edward Snowden leaks. Since the initial reports in 2013 of massive surveillance of users of Internet services, tech companies have distanced themselves from and even sued the U.S. government. Some, like Apple and Google, have tried to assure their users their information is secure, including by stepping up encryption efforts that make it harder for government agencies to collect information.

 

Illustration from MCT archives

 

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  • blackdreamhunk

    I think of companies like Google who try to force your personal information on the net.

 
 
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