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Seems like this is a week of computer related shenanigans. Last week some yahoo who is apparently the director of the FBI declared he wants to mandate backdoors for the government.

This kind of thinking requires a special kind of stupid that is honestly quite baffling. You might be wondering what’s so bad about something like this. Well ignoring the gigantic breach of privacy it entails and access to your data the government should not have let’s go down the list of reasons why this is a bad idea.

  • Not Secure
    The most obvious reason is that a backdoor is not secure. It is by design created to circumvent existing security protocols. Most notably software can’t distinguish people. If you log in with the correct credentials you have free reign. Regardless of ‘who’ you are.
  • People aren’t secure
    A backdoor is going to be known about by certain people. Large scale projects such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft produce are going to have at least ten (very conservative) people who know about the backdoor. Then government officials need to be cleared and know how to implement it. People by nature are inherently lazy so they’ll do anything to avoid complicated methods of accessing the data. At some point enough people will know about the backdoor that it will get leaked somehow, or someone even gets extorted.
  • Mandating it makes it known
    Now obviously backdoors are a bad idea to start with. But mandating it means everyone knows said backdoor exists. There are enough malevolent people around with time to spare to find this backdoor. Heck even well intentioned people will try to find it for the kick of being able to find it.
  • It won’t catch criminals, except the really stupid ones
    If I were a criminal mastermind, I’d shun the use of the internet for my communications to begin with. Regardless of what sort of crazy encryption I can throw around. I’d use a sneakernet for any and all communications that might be sensitive. And if I ‘had’ to use the internet, I’d go the old fashioned codephrase route. While I might not be a criminal mastermind, it’s not that hard to think of these things and if I can do it, so can they.

This has been another long winded post on why governments are terrible at anything computer related.

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