What App Developers Need to Know about the DOJ’s Formal Request for Encryption Backdoors
When we text via Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, or a host of other messaging services, those messages are protected in ways communications across most other platforms are not. The reason is these select app developers use “end-to-end encryption” (or “E2EE”), which encrypts all messages before leaving the sender’s device and can only be decrypted by the recipient’s device. The only way to access and view these messages is by having the sender’s or recipient’s phone unlocked and the apps open. Importantly, neither the app developer themselves nor the Internet service providers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) can see the encrypted communications, even if they are stored on one of their servers. What’s more, the government can’t see those messages either, even when it gets a warrant.
The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), and several foreign governments, want to change this latter proposition.
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“What App Developers Need to Know about the DOJ’s Formal Request for Encryption Backdoors,” by Paul H. Tzur, Jeffrey N. Rosenthal, and David J. Oberly was published on November 17, 2020 in Developer. Reprinted in part with permission.