Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Pinterest

Hi, Welcome to Internet Safety and Privacy where you will find information, guides and resources to help keep you safe, and protect your privacy online. Many people purchase security software to protect their computer systems and while this is an essential part of a responsible protection strategy; software does not even cover half the potential threats that are out there. Software alone cannot block some of the most dangerous online threats. Only by being aware of the threat and understanding how to avoid it can we begin to approach complete protection.

Chris Bennetts - The Virtual Webmaster

Secret Court Orders force technology companies to provide back doors to allow the government to spy on us!

September 11, 2016

Electronic Frontier Foundation has lodged a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information act to confirm if there are secret orders forcing the creation of back doors to spy on us.

secretcourtorders-pA Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit has been filed by The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) against the U.S. Department of Justice to obtain information on secret court orders requiring technology companies to decrypt their customers’ communications.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a digital rights group that wants to know if the government obtained orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to force companies like Apple and Google to assist in surveillance efforts. The EFF want the DoJ to declassify this and other significant FISC opinions as part of the surveillance reforms enacted by Congress with the Freedom Act.

FBI want to be able to look at your phone

The FBI recently tried to make Apple build a backdoor to the iPhone to allow the agency to bypass the security on the phone belonging to the man alleged to be behind the San Bernardino terrorist attack. The FBI retracted the demand when a third-party helped it hack the phone but they are still trying to get apple to provide a back door and way to decrypt data stored on devices.

The EFF are demanding to know if the government has attempted to obtain similar orders from the FISC, which the EFF says operates mostly in secret and approves a majority of surveillance requests. They referred to news reports stating that the government has sought FISC orders to force companies to hand over source code, which would allow them to find and exploit software vulnerabilities for surveillance purposes.

“If the government is obtaining FISC orders to force a company to build backdoors or decrypt their users’ communications, the public has a right to know about those secret demands to compromise people’s phones and computers,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Nate Cardozo. “The government should not be able to conscript private companies into weakening the security of these devices, particularly via secret court orders.”

Proposed law to force companies to decypt user data

Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein of the Senate Intelligence Committee proposed a law that would force companies to decrypt user data when presented with a court order. The senators said the proposed law was a discussion draft that would be formally introduced only after they get feedback from the public and key stakeholders.

About the Author:

Christopher is an IT specialist with 30 years of experience in developing technology working with corporates and SME’s. Chris is a Microsoft Certified System Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, as well as numerous certificate based qualifications in technology and application development.

Join the discussion on our social media channels.