The Australian government is accusing Microsoft of protecting child abusers by including powerful encryption in Windows 7.
“If this new product gives paedophiles protection to keep harming children I would be extremely disappointed. I would expect the company to take moves to rectify this.”
They seem unaware Bitlocker was actually introduced in Windows Vista.
A “cyber-law expert” with the Queensland University of Technology explains how Microsoft is aiding wicked lolicon in vile acts of cyber-sodomy:
“Microsoft has long been criticised for inadequate security – now it has implemented a robust security system that will bring problems along with its good.
There are legitimate reasons for encryption, but there are also criminal reasons.
Ten years ago very few people had access to those encryption devices, now it is becoming extremely mainstream. With so many people using Microsoft, within years most people will have access to this technology.”
He demands laws which would allow the state to lock up evil encryption users who fail to share their keys with the state:
“They need to act quickly and legal powers to force criminals to surrender decryption keys or face a possible jail term.
These laws would help police, law enforcement agencies and anti-terrorist police.”
Australian police themselves can already obtain warrants to secretly install keyloggers, but cannot jail people for refusing to reveal encryption keys – they seek laws emulating those of the UK, where refusal to decrypt information for police is a serious crime.
Under the UK’s draconian Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, police potentially have the power to lock up people who refuse to hand over keys to data they believe to be encrypted, but just how this works when encrypted data is indistinguishable from random noise is something courts have yet to establish.
Americans too find their Constitutional rights subverted when it comes to encryption – in 2009 a judge ordered a man to turn over his encryption keys, ruling after a lengthy series of appeals that this did not constitute self-incrimination, which is protected against by the Fifth Ammendment to the US Constitution.
Thwarted snoopers will doubtless howl all the harder when steganography, where it is all but impossible to demonstrate that encrypted data is even present, becomes more accessible.
Technology also exists which allows a any number of dummy keys to be given to authorities, capable of unlocking fake files in order to thwart such laws, whilst allowing the real encrypted file to go unmolested.
Both of these technologies pose severe problems to such laws, although it seems unlikely this will discourage further attacks on civil liberties by those keen to extend their powers by appealing to child protection hysteria.
However, Microsoft has previously been caught hiding backdoors in its encryption for the benefit of government snoopers, so it appears allowing Microsoft to become the vendor of choice for such technology might actually be their best hope…