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One word: steganography.

Even if back doors were to be "required" for encrypted systems, you can still send encrypted messages. For example, suppose the real message I want to send you is "tonight." So I send you an email with the text "The Old Neighbor Is Getting Horribly Terrified" (or something more suitably poetic), but since I'm forced to encrypt my mail, you get a string of digits. You can decrypt it using our mutually agreed encryption-decryption system, and the back door enables somebody else to decrypt back to the text message--but the real message is still hidden in the text.

This is a crude example, but sending secret messages is pretty easy nowadays. That's not the problem...

by asdf on Sun Dec 26th, 2010 at 06:37:04 PM EST
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