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Well the main thing that prevents something like this occurring is  that If a backdoor is inserted into the software then at some point it will leak that this has happened. At that point people stop trusting any encryption software, and Internet business spirals down the tubes. The world economy doesn't need Internet sales extracting from it. And thats the most positive view. The worst case is that it leaks to hackers and scammers rather than in general, at which point crime and junk goes through the celing, with everything flagged as being properly encrypted and so legitimate.

So do  you want to bet your entire economy, (and everyone elses) on that backdoor not leaking? on a purely economic view, any possible damage that a group of terrorists and activists can do is small potatoes compared to the damage that can be done by the leak of the backdoor.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 21st, 2010 at 11:22:43 AM EST
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It's the Stazi mentality that enables the security apparatchiks to do things that morph into fundamentally irrational- even self-destructive.  The story of Phil Zimmerman and PGP is a good one to illustrate a pretty rational attempt to counter encryption that became positively insane.
I am endlessly amazed at the capacity of smart people who do and defend progressive or creative actions to assume that those who counter them have the brains of neanderthals.  

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Dec 23rd, 2010 at 12:24:04 PM EST
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Well the main thing that prevents something like this occurring is  that If a backdoor is inserted into the software then at some point it will leak that this has happened. At that point people stop trusting any encryption software, and Internet business spirals down the tubes.

Also, every major transnational corporation will spontaneously agree to join the lynch mobs, since the primary use of those backdoors will be industrial espionage. Transnats are normally opposed to making industrial espionage easy (or rather, they're normally opposed to making industrial espionage against themselves easy).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Dec 26th, 2010 at 07:07:21 PM EST
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