Source: The Telegraph
Prime Minister’s promise to allow security services to access encrypted mobile data “compromises protection for everybody on everything” says Microsoft chief
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Davos
The world’s leading experts on cyber-security and counter-terrorism have dismissed David Cameron’s plan to tap encrypted data as unworkable in isolation and possibly a dangerous over-reaction.
The Prime Minister wants the British authorities to gain access to mobile devices through a “back-door” in order to fight terrorist threats in much the same way that they can already intercept emails or eavesdrop on telephone conversations.
“Encryption is of fundamental importance. The path to Hell starts at the back-door. It compromises protection for everybody on everything,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s executive vice-president.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia, a cyber-expert whose country was subjected to a crippling attack for 24 hours in 2007, said Mr Cameron’s plan is pointless unless it is part of a co-ordinated global push by all the main powers.
“It is not going to make any difference if Britain does it alone,” he told the Telegraph.
President Barack Obama – already stung by the political storm over NSA spying – has so far taken a gentler approach, trying to work with manufacturers and software companies to access encrypted data without breaching privacy or civil liberties.