Unformatted text preview: s without having software non-escrowed encryption devices in my possession; will I need a special license? And there are legal questions. How do escrowed keys affect users’ liability, should some encrypted data get out? If the U.S. government is trying to protect the escrow agencies, will there be the implicit assumption that if the secret was compromised by either the user or the escrow agency, then it must have been the user? What if a major key-escrow service, either government or commercial, had its entire escrowed key database stolen? What if the U.S. government tried to keep this quiet for a while? Clearly, this would have an impact on users’ willingness to use key escrow. If it’s not voluntary, a couple of scandals like this would increase political pressure to either make it voluntary, or to add complex new regulations to the industry. Even more dangerous is a scandal where it becomes public that political opponent of the current administration, or some outspoken critic of some intelligence or police agencies has been under surveillance for years. This could raise public sentiment strongly against escrowed encryption. If signature keys are escrowed as well as encryption keys, there are additional issues. Is it acceptable for the authorities to use signature keys to run operations against suspected criminals? Will the authenticity of signatures based on escrowed keys be accepted in courts? What recourse do users have if the authorities actually do use their signature keys to sign some unfavorable contract, to help out a state-supported industry, or just to steal money? The globalization of cryptography raises an additional set of questions. Will key-escrow policies be compatible across national borders? Will multi-national corporations have to keep separate escrowed keys in every country to stay in compliance with the various local laws? Without some kind of compatibility, one of the supposed advantages of key-escrow schemes (international use of strong encryption) falls...
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- Fall '10
- Cryptography, Bruce Schneier, Applied Cryptography, EarthWeb, Search Search Tips