Leaked NSC Memo on Encryption – Is It All Just Kabuki?

Background: The leaked NSC Draft Options Paper – at The Washington Post

News Story: Obama Faces Growing Momentum to Support Widespread Encryption – The Washington Post

Skepticism: Obama Edges Toward Full Support for Encryption – But Does He Understand What that Means? – Kieren McCarthy at The Register:

“By voluntary cooperation [in the absence of compulsion], what is the White House saying? That the encryption is secure and backdoor-free until a company cooperates with the Feds, at which point the encryption is somehow dialed back, and messages and files can be suddenly magically read? That sounds like a backdoor. Does the White House want, say, Apple to volunteer, at the sight of a warrant, to intercept key exchanges in the cloud so that intercepted iMessages can be decrypted? Won’t that undermine the whole practice of end-to-end encryption by introducing backdoors by another name? Either encryption is secure and backdoor-free, or it isn’t and is generally useless. We assume by ‘voluntary cooperation,’ the President is willing to be told to get lost by the tech giants in November – if they have the strength to do so. If not, then all of this is a sham; a political maneuver to keep privacy-loving nerds quiet. It is very possible that the decision has already been made and outreach is about to begin, leading to the leak of the NSC memo.”