A no backdoor policy on important computer or a smart phone application should be mandatory. Every cybersecurity expert on the planet knows by one installing a backdoor one automatically opens oneself to a third party (ex. hacker) begin able to use that same doorway no matter how secure its developed.
The other day I read a couple news articles in regard to Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison who is backing a controversial anti-encryption laws that would force technology companies to give the police and spy agencies access to data from phones and other devices of suspected criminals including computers in the name of national security. Backers are stating this bill will help combat child sex offenses and terrorism. This bill if passed into law will give the Australian government broad powers that will undermine cybersecurity, human rights, including the right to privacy by forcing companies to build backdoors and hand over user data even when it’s encrypted. Also this bill will enable the Australian government if they wanted to order the makers of smart tv’s or home speakers to install persistent eavesdropping capabilities in a persons home thru their products. The tech company Apple recently sent their comments to the Australian government how dangerous it would be if this were to pass and were forced to lower their security as well as others and it would open many to various dangers specially from cyber criminals. Here is a link to their comments.
Australia is not the only one. Wikileaks in 2017 disclosed and released information on the CIA and the NSA capabilities of being able to spy on people by listening to them thru their smart televisions and other methods. You can read about it in this article from the Washington Post. This is where I see the biggest issue about all this, its the abuse of these surveillance powers on others to exploit them for profit or do harm to one for one’s benefit or just be a bully to them.
For example lets say the Australian government forced Microsoft to install a backdoor into their Office 365 software that would allow them to capture not just Skype messages, but sent automatically into the Cloud from their laptop or desktop also saved Word or Excel documents and they would also get archived in a government server. Then each person would have a profile. Lets say its just a feature to target a terrorist or someone who is under surveillance that is a threat. Maybe its not, but for all a secret capability. Imagine this being the perfect tool for the thought police like the novel of Fahrenheit 451 where a society/government censors literature and destroys knowledge. What assurances if this were created to the end users that Microsoft would not be utilizing this feature to spy on its competitors or a hacker working for a foreign power could exploit this feature as well and will be able to do a search on anyone thus abuse it.
Our government as well as others deal with all kinds of threats everyday and there is a great need for surveillance to counter and deal with things. I am for my government utilizing technology to counter threats that would could threaten me, my family, and my country’s security from a terrorist attack for protection purposes. Not in ways that would be considered abusive and could lead to others exploiting what they collected on me or a friend and it gets abused by a third party for other purposes rather than a law enforcement matter. There are applications out there that are critical to our country’s infrastructure and economy that there should not be a backdoor or be monitored.