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Author National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (U.S.). Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, author.

Title Decrypting the encryption debate : a framework for decision makers / Committee on Law Enforcement and Intelligence Access to Plaintext Information, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Published Washington, DC : The National Academies Press, [2018]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xiv, 104 pages)
Series A consensus study report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine
Consensus study report.
Contents Summary. -- 1. Introduction. 1.1 Government options. 1.2 Scope and context for access. 1.3 Evaluation framework. -- 2. Encryption and its applications. 2.1 What is encryption? 2.2 Designing encryption. 2.3 Applications of encryption. 2.4 Encryption and the expanding cyber threat. -- 3. The role of encryption in protecting privacy and civil liberties. -- 5. Information needs of law enforcement and the intelligence community. 4.1 Goals of law enforcement officials and intelligence analysts. 4.2 The volume and diversity of information relevant to law enforcement and the intelligence community. 4.3 Encryption as an impediment to investigations. 4.4 The pracical utility of alternatives to exceptional access. 5. Opetions for accessing plaintext. 5.1 Options for accessing plaintext. 5.2 Legal tools for obtaining plaintext within the current legislative framework. 5.3 Technological approaches for accessing plaintext, limitations, and alternatives. 5.4 Enhanced financial and technical support. 5.5 Legislation mandating access. -- 6. International dimensions. 6.1 Effects of U.S. actions on other countries and the international market for U.S. goods and services. 6.2 Global norms. 7. A framework for evaluating approaches to access plaintext. -- Appendixes. -- Biographies of committee and staff. -- Briefers to the committee
Summary "Encryption protects information stored on smartphones, laptops, and other devices - in some cases by default. Encrypted communications are provided by widely used computing devices and services - such as smartphones, laptops, and messaging applications - that are used by hundreds of millions of users. Individuals, organizations, and governments rely on encryption to counter threats from a wide range of actors, including unsophisticated and sophisticated criminals, foreign intelligence agencies, and repressive governments. Encryption on its own does not solve the challenge of providing effective security for data and systems, but it is an important tool. At the same time, encryption is relied on by criminals to avoid investigation and prosecution, including criminals who may unknowingly benefit from default settings as well as those who deliberately use encryption. Thus, encryption complicates law enforcement and intelligence investigations. When communications are encrypted "end-to-end," intercepted messages cannot be understood. When a smartphone is locked and encrypted, the contents cannot be read if the phone is seized by investigators. Decrypting the Encryption Debate reviews how encryption is used, including its applications to cybersecurity; its role in protecting privacy and civil liberties; the needs of law enforcement and the intelligence community for information; technical and policy options for accessing plaintext; and the international landscape. This book describes the context in which decisions about providing authorized government agencies access to the plaintext version of encrypted information would be made and identifies and characterizes possible mechanisms and alternative means of obtaining information"--Publisher's description
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references
Notes Online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on June 19, 2018)
Subject Civil rights -- United States.
Computer networks -- Security measures -- Social aspects
Data encryption (Computer science)
Privacy, Right of -- United States.
Civil rights.
Data encryption (Computer science)
Privacy, Right of.
United States.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0309471540