Internet technology and encryption is placed at the forefront of the debate about how to process, store, secure, report, you get the picture, of communication that are otherwise deemed private. The discussion embraces the ideas of using back-door means for law enforcement to peruse and search for possible suspects of the terror and their plots before a catastrophe engulfs us all.
The critical issue is the absence of a discernible policy on the idea of enhancing detection of terrorist intents. On the long-term is the question how to administer the gathered information, if not differently from information in ‘transit’ that is detectably suspect. In all points of concern, privacy relaxed for the greater is conceptually prevailing in intelligence and law enforcement discourse. The crux of the concern with internet technology and encryption is the application of encryption of a device as opposed to the encryption used in communications between the use of devices.
By using the means of encryption an encoded message is created where only the reader with the key so-to-speak will understand the message. A process of key specific means without backdoors is the problem that is being discussed. Depending on the encryption system created backdoors are inept to discern the context of a communication.
While some argue for standardized encryption systems as we utilize in the financial and medical industries that are devoid of back doors, the broad use of encryption poses security vulnerabilities and creates a dark world or ‘dark web.’ The debate is about striking a balance between policy (law) and technology where there is the growing need to either know the contents of a device (cell, computer, tablet, etc.) or to know the context of an ongoing communication (wiretap). The former is a process involving law enforcement and the latter is a process of intelligence and information gathering.
Major software companies provide a mobile operating system that allows the user to be the only one possessing the key. Law enforcement is stumped after the operating systems were changed from the provider housing the key to the user possessing the key. The terrorist events are reigniting the debate toward seeking to have the software companies to possess the keys and rely on user. But the debate is trumped by the existence of community-developed operating systems devoid of a company that can be forced to design a suitable operating system allowing for backdoors and numerous available software that provides encryption in a varied operating environments.