Impact on Law Enforcement
With the advent of the latest encryption techniques, internet communication and e-commerce has never looked safer. It broadly assures 3 aspects - Integrity (maintaining information as it is, free from intrusion and corruption), authentication (certification of a genuine sender and receiver) and confidentiality (ensuring the data reaches only the intended recipients and no others). The authentication aspect, not only ensures that the correct message reaches the correct destination, but also identifies the source, and prevents him/her from wrongfully claiming not having sent the information. These services are crucial in this modern age, to instill the user's faith in electronic transactions. But here comes the challenge- where do we draw a line?
The use of these robust encryption techniques far and wide has had an effect on deciphering data retrieved by standard legal procedures from suspected parties as well performing legally ordered electronic surveillance. This poses a serious threat to national as well as global security as convicts and terrorists are able to flawlessly conceal their interactions and game plans. Evidences from the discovery of Ramzi Yousefs plan to blow up 11 US airplanes to the arrests of a Northern Irish terrorist group in 1996 along with the seizure of their encrypted information about officers and politicians to cases of child pornography spread via e-mail stand testament to how cryptography has made its way into the wrong hands.
This made it mandatory to create an encryption policy which satisfied the individuals need for safe online transactions, and at the same time, the states need for security. This led to the devising of commercial encryption products, which allowed leeway for immediate lawful access. The policy should help prevent against disclosure for illegal hacking purposes and the legally intercepted messages should only reach the designated task force. Domestic policies have been taken up by the various countries, but this has been more of an international problem. Therefore, a collaboration between the various countries and standardization of polices would provide better results.
- Encryption and Law enforcement
- Encryption, Impact on law enforcement
- Chapter 5. A survey of cryptography laws and regulations