Mandating Insecurity by Requiring Government Access to All Data and Communications
Authors: Abelson, Harold and Anderson, Ross and Bellovin, Steven M and Benaloh, Josh and Blaze, Matt and Diﬃe, Whitﬁeld and Gilmore, John and Green, Matthew and Landau, Susan and Neumann, Peter G and Rivest, Ronald L and Schiller, Jeﬀrey I and Schneier, Bruce and Specter, Michael and Weitzner, Daniel J
Published: July 2015
Abstract: Twenty years ago, law enforcement organizations lobbied to require data and communication services to engineer their products to guarantee law enforcement access to all data. After lengthy debate and vigorous predictions of enforcement channels “going dark,” these attempts to regulate the emerging Internet were abandoned. In the intervening years, innovation on the Internet ﬂourished, and law enforcement agencies found new and more eﬀective means of accessing vastly larger quantities of data. Today we are again hearing calls for regulation to mandate the provision of exceptional access mechanisms. In this report, a group of computer scientists and security experts, many of whom participated in a 1997 study of these same topics, has convened to explore the likely eﬀects of imposing extraordinary access mandates.