back to article Five Eyes nations plus Japan, India call for Big Tech to bake backdoors into everything

The nations of the Five Eyes security alliance – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA and the UK – plus Japan and India, have called on technology companies to design their products so they offer access to encrypted messages and content. A joint “International Statement” issued on Sunday frames the issue as a matter of …

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  1. 759b954e-617b-408b-a2b1-f5a42c3688d4
    Thumb Down

    Nope.

    Nope nope nope.

    Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope.

    TL;DR: Nope.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Nope.

      They will never learn. Legislating against mathematics is fruitless.

      1. Wade Burchette Silver badge

        Re: Nope.

        These are politicians and bureaucrats. The chances of them understanding anything about anything is less than my chances of walking on water.

        1. pavel.petrman

          Re: Nope.

          We, the undersigned, declare we haven't got the faintest idea what encryption is...

      2. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Nope.

        > They will never learn

        What is there to learn? Like all rulers since the dawn of civilization, they are afraid of the unruly masses, and want to keep tabs on them.

        The fact Backdoors are useless or even counterproductive against criminals is irrelevant, that's not why they're here. They allow the governments to sleep better at night, and thus are perfectly doing the job they were meant to do.

        Note the tearful "somebody please think of the children!" argument, a clear sign they have no real arguments to back up their project.

      3. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: Nope.

        Awwwww. Complete with 'but think of the children!' argument.

        They really will never learn.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Nope.

          They really will never learn.

          My point is that they HAVE learned, and the result of their "learning" is far more sinister than anyone wants to admit. They ignore facts, focus on FEEL, and the media helps them.

          And they know DAMN WELL what the truth is, and blatantly LIE about it ANYWAY.

          1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

            Re: Nope.

            No -- we are not talking about Brexit. (The cunts have already fucked that up.)

            1. idiottaxpayerhere previously ishtiaq/theghostdeejay

              Re: Nope.

              @RegGuy1

              Just what, exactly, has Brexit to do with this article?

              Are you perhaps thinking you are on that keyboard coward site H.Y.S?

              Just saying

              Cheers.. Ishy

          2. trindflo

            Re: Nope.

            Don't vote you up often Bob, but you are spot on.

            Question: who set up this game? Corporations, Marketeers, Politicians, or Political "consultants". Or have we chosen our own perdition with our contradictory demands?

      4. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Nope.

        Legislating against mathematics is fruitless.

        Not when you a) manipulate with *FEEL* in every election, b) have willing accomplices in the vast majority of the news media, and c) rely on your electorate being a bunch of "Sheeple".

        (sadly, unfortunately, with deep regret)

        icon, because, 'for the children" was mentioned early on in the article as a primary reason for justifying this, but we know what *THEY* _REALLY_ want: POWER. It's _ALWAYS_ about POWER. And to do that, they MUST "dis-empower" US.

      5. HildyJ Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Nope.

        Also, legislating exclusivity (especially on the internet) never works.

        The headline should read "Five Eyes nations plus Japan and India and Russia and China and Iran and North Korea and . . ."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @HildyJ - Re: Nope.

          That's the whole point. They're watching how China, Russia, Iran and India are doing it and they want it too. This time it is moral because we're doing it not those oppressive regimes.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @BebopWeBop - Re: Nope.

        This will not stop them from trying.

      7. John Sturdy
        WTF?

        Was King Cnut the last leader to have any contact with reality?

        At least he recognized that he couldn't hold the sea back.

    2. Gonzo wizard Bronze badge
      FAIL

      Re: Nope.

      Absolutely. There's no way on earth this can end well. What are they smoking?

      1. Spacedinvader
        Unhappy

        Re: Nope.

        and can I get some. 2020 needs some mighty smoke to deal with!

  2. DS999

    Can never work

    Even if what they wanted could work without compromising security, will they have to ban every app that promises end to end encryption? Will they ban websites that offer such encrypted communication outside of apps? How would they stop terrorists from sharing keys when they were together and encrypting ordinary emails before sending?

    The cat left the bag decades ago, what they want they cannot get even if they were able to force Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook etc. to comply.

    1. LDS Silver badge
      Devil

      "How would they stop terrorists from sharing keys"

      Simple: every encrypted communication or storage they can't access will be a crime itself....

      1. Gonzo wizard Bronze badge

        Re: "How would they stop terrorists from sharing keys"

        That's of little import given the level of expertise available to hire. It would simply cause new comms tools to be developed that are simply off the radar. Assuming there aren't any already (I bet there are).

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: "How would they stop terrorists from sharing keys"

          It would simply cause new comms tools to be developed that are simply off the radar.

          Easily done. Remember how PGP emerged? IDEA? OpenSSL? And the STUPID attempts by gummints to limit "strong encryption" exports. The defense: it went OPEN SOURCE.

          Too many other examples of outright REBELLION against government control over encryption happened back in the 90's, and some bad fallout (Korean government requiring an ActiveX component fror online banking as one example). Just remember PGP, IDEA, OpenSSL, and those PGP T shirts... (when shipping the binary compiled code was "illegal", but putting the math behind it on a T shirt was NOT)

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: "How would they stop terrorists from sharing keys"

          "It would simply cause new comms tools to be developed that are simply off the radar."

          There could be some small island nations that couldn't give a rat's backside about what other nations legislate and apps can be available from "there". It might be big business or at least a steady income.

      2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: "How would they stop terrorists from sharing keys"

        @LDS - Only if they know about it. Never heard of steganography?

        Mine's the one with 200 hours of cat videos in the pocket.

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: "How would they stop terrorists from sharing keys"

          Never heard of steganography?

          See also: Chaffing and winnowing.

      3. skeptical i
        Angel

        Re: "How would they stop terrorists from sharing keys"

        re: "every encrypted communication or storage they can't access will be a crime itself", may I quote the King of Hearts: "He must have meant some mischief, or he would have signed his name like an honest man."

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Can never work

      what they want they cannot get

      What they want is mass surveillance: they have no interest in "terrorists sharing keys", except as a pretext for getting it.

    3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Can never work

      That worked really well when they tried to ban PGP as being 'weapons grade' software. I believe he published the entire source code of PGP in a hardback book

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Can never work

        That worked because of the US 1st Amendment. Most other countries would simply have labelled the subject as classified and prosecuted under their equivalent of the Official Secrets Act.

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Can never work

        Yes the source code was printed (or may have been photocopied from a book, I can't recall). Which was legal to export. It was then OCR'd and I was one of the many volunteers who proofread the OCR'd files against the printout and corrected where necessary. Let me just point out that back in the day OCR was awful.. Anyway, the end result was a legal copy of PGP.

    4. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Can never work

      Sure, it will never work but there is an easy fix - simply drop the national and international Internet access speed to 1200 baud. Remember those days? There was virtually zero hacking attacks, spam, QAnon, and pornography was just something that you bought at the newsagents.

      I'm sure I'll get downvoted for this idea, but most people are OK with speed limits on the road so why not the Internet too? Or should we just raise the motorway speed limit to 700mph?

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Can never work

        So, no telepresence, no remote medical diagnostics or treatment, no contacting isolated relatives during lock down. no TV/film over the net, no livestreaming authoritarian suppression of free speech, …

        Which side are you on?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can never work

        "[...] and pornography was just something [...]"

        ...that took longer to download in more compact files. Remember various messaging boards that preceded the web? They also facilitated the use of the postal services to distribute hard copy.

        Spam, trolls, and "flooding" attacks were also known in those days. That's why usenet type groups eventually became no longer viable as discussion fora.

        1. terrythetech
          Coat

          Re: Can never work

          ASCII porn - ah, those were the days.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Can never work

          "That's why usenet type groups eventually became no longer viable as discussion fora."

          Wait, what? I missed that memo.

      3. DS999
        FAIL

        Re: Can never work

        Well geez if you're going to postulate that they'd drop the speed of connections so low that you couldn't use encryption, why allow internet access across international borders at all? Just cut all those submarine cables and tell people they can only use the sites inside the country.

    5. Yes Me Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Can never work

      Yes. This could just be the boost that true peer-to-peer encrypted messaging has been wasiting for.

      1. DS999

        Re: Can never work

        That's what they're talking about here. If you're waiting for peer to peer encrypted messaging to get a "boost" you're about a decade late, or whenever it was that iMessage was introduced which has been peer to peer encrypted from day one.

        I believe Whatsapp and Skype are as well, and while nobody can keep up with how quickly Google launches and then kills messaging platforms, I assume whatever their messaging platform of the month is that it is peer to peer encrypted as well.

        1. KarMann Bronze badge
          Boffin

          Re: Can never work

          And you know what happens when you assume….

          Considering that in both Google's Hangouts & Skype, you can see the messages on multiple devices, and even in alternative clients such as Purple/Pidgin, there's almost no way it could be E2E/P2P encrypted. The only way that might be feasible is if the key is based on your password or other personal information shared amongst the clients, and never renegotiated, and while I'm no expert in this area, that seems like it would be pretty weak already.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DB7E1DD27CE1AD9B90C2F568B8F92C597A72080B

    We produce encrypted products at 3072 bit RSA. Articles like this make us wonder if we should bump it to 4096... :o)

    1. seven of five Silver badge

      Re: DB7E1DD27CE1AD9B90C2F568B8F92C597A72080B

      Yes. And then double it, just to be sure.

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: DB7E1DD27CE1AD9B90C2F568B8F92C597A72080B

        Do know how long it takes to connect to a website and open the home page when you use a 16k client certificate?

        1. cbars Silver badge

          Re: DB7E1DD27CE1AD9B90C2F568B8F92C597A72080B

          How much of it is javascript?

        2. vapourEyz

          Re: DB7E1DD27CE1AD9B90C2F568B8F92C597A72080B

          We are not connecting web client parties with this tech.

          Its C/C++.

          You are right in that it can take many seconds to gen a key.

  4. Dr AntiSol, astrophysicist

    A thought

    So, while we're backdooring encryption in accordance with these "concerns", we should also be backdooring all your military encryption products, right?

    After all, military officers are perfectly capable of breaking the law and accessing child exploitation material too (not to mention the whole "war crimes" category of bad-person-actions that don't tend to be available to civilians). It would be awful to create a situation where the best thing for a pedo to do is join the military so that he can access un-backdoored-encryption, because please, won't somebody think of the children...right?

    So the obvious solution is to also backdoor all five-eyes military encryption, right?

    You say it can be done without compromising cyber security, so you should have no problem with that...

    ...right?

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: A thought

      Well, the US doesn't commit war crimes, remember?

      1. jpo234

        Re: A thought

        That was never claimed. The US just refuses to give up jurisdiction.

        1. Aitor 1

          Re: A thought

          The us troops only attack enemy combatants, as they define anyone shot by the us military as such...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A thought

      Betcha Ghislaine Maxwell gets a pardon from Trump. Kyle Rittenhouse too. Those 13 terrorists that tried to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer and kill police, blow up bridges etc.? Pardon x 13.

      The usual excuses for surveillance, "think of the children" and "protect against terrorists" are mighty weak right now where the man in charge kidnaps kids from their parents at the border in open defiance of a court ruling, and the domestic terrorists are just following his tweets and his rants on Fox News.

      Who said this? a) A potential domestic terrorist, or b) a Trump appointee, or c) a Putin henchman?

      "And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin...The drills that you've seen are nothing. "If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it's going to be hard to get."

      a) b) AND c), the guy is all three.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Caputo

      " Caputo moved to Russia in 1994, ...He worked for Gazprom Media in 2000 where he worked on improving the image of Vladimir Putin in the U.S."

      Would Barr allow this guys encrypted comms to be intercepted as a potential domestic terrorist? Even if his comms is to Barr's boss Trump? What if its encrypted comms to his old boss Putin?

      1. fishman

        Re: A thought

        Trump can only pardon someone for federal crimes - they can still be prosecuted for breaking state and local laws.

      2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: A thought

        Trump can't refuse to stand down at the end of his term. The president's term ends at the end of the president's term regardless of what the president wants or does. A US president does not stand down at the end of his term, his term ends and he ceases to be president with no interaction on his part at all.

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