Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Obama is upset that China wants tech companies to undermine their own security

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This is very weird: Obama goes on record as saying that the Chinese government is out of line in requiring tech companies to provide back doors to encrypted data—but doesn’t say a word about the same push from the US government. Andrea Peterson reports in the Washington Post:

President Obama came out against back doors in encrypted communications — if the Chinese government can access them. But the president has avoided taking a position on whether tech companies should build in ways for U.S. law enforcement to access secure communications, a policy endorsed by some high-ranking administration figures.

Obama criticized a far-reaching Chinese counterterrorism proposal during an interview with Reuters released Monday. The Chinese plan would require technology companies to build back doors into their products and hand over encryption keys that secure customer data for use in Chinese surveillance programs.

The laws, the president said, “would essentially force all foreign companies, including U.S. companies, to turn over to the Chinese government mechanisms where they can snoop and keep track of all the users of those services.” Obama told Reuters he had directly raised his concerns with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “We have made it very clear to them that this is something they are going to have to change if they are to do business with the United States.”

The debate over foreign access to secure online communications mirrors a standoff happening in the United States. The White House did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the president’s comments. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told The Washington Post that the government’s concerns were more about intellectual property rights and trade concerns than protecting communications. . .

Continue reading. It’s a good article and summarizes well the positions—and clearly points out the fallacy in requiring “strong encryption” that’s been weakened by a back door that can be exploited by anyone who finds it—and those who discover the weakness will be tempted to sell that information, so the encryption becomes a trap: those using it think they are protected and they are not.

Written by Leisureguy

4 March 2015 at 10:03 am

One Response

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  1. Reblogged this on Brian By Experience.


    Brian Dead Rift Webb

    4 March 2015 at 10:25 am

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