#ITWCchats Twitter Recap: Will state-sanctioned hacks make encryption irrelevant?

Update: Thanks again to Nandini Jolly of CryptoMill Technologies Inc. and Laura Tribe of Open Media, and all other participants of our Twitter chat today. The recap with some of the most interesting points have been added to the story below.

If 2015 was the year of the hack, then 2016 is the year privacy and encryption squared off against national security.

We saw it with Apple’s dispute with the FBI over creating backdoors on its iPhone devices, then we saw it with BlackBerry’s compliance with the RCMP in giving the latter its global encryption key for its consumer devices. Now we are seeing it with U.S. Supreme court giving the FBI more hacking powers, potentially to go cross-border.

It’s hard to imagine that in the span of months, all the world’s data suddenly seems to be up for grabs.

At IT World Canada, we want to have a discussion around the future of data and privacy. When companies and governments can simply demand or hand over data on a whim, is there a purpose to encryption? What becomes of data sovereignty now that cross-border hacking is state sanctioned?

The May 31 chat included following guest experts:

Nandini Jolly Cryptomill Nandini Jolly is the founder and president of CryptoMill Technologies Inc., an enterprise data security solutions provider.

Jolly develops security solutions to tackle threats to corporate information. She’ll be taking part in the chat with the @cryptomill account.

Laura Tribe, open media Laura Tribe is a digital rights specialist for OpenMedia, a Canadian non-partisan, non-profit organization that supports net neutrality, open government, privacy and other civil liberties.

Tribe has a background in human rights and information communication technologies. Follow her on Twitter at @ltribe.

Join us on Tues. May 31, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. We’ll be using the hashtag #ITWCchats.

If this is your first time participating, check out this video on how to take part in a Twitter chat. The questions are listed below, so feel free to join in with your own answers. See you there.


Q1. What is your reaction to revelations of BlackBerry giving the RCMP the encryption key to its consumer devices? #ITWCchats


Q2. What were your thoughts on how BlackBerry responded when these revelations were made public? #ITWCchats

Q3. Is there something Canadian about how BlackBerry & Rogers complied with RCMP vs how Apple publicly refused FBI backdoor? #ITWCchats

Q4. Are we, in 2016, at a tipping point where public/businesses/regulators must directly address boundaries of security vs privacy? #ITWCchats


Q5. What, to you, is reasonable access to data by government or law enforcement? What checks & balances are needed? #ITWCchats


Q6. How could law enforcement minimize harm? I.e. target individual users of devices/servers/data centres vs. manufacturers? #ITWCchats


Q7. Should there be a distinction made between handling consumer data and corporate data, as BlackBerry has done? #ITWCchats



Q8. Are governments sending the wrong message by sanctioning hacks? I.e. that encryption is becoming irrelevant? #ITWCchats

Q9. Should our or other governments raise data sovereignty concerns over US Supreme Court enabling FBI cross-border hacking? #ITWCchats


Q10. How should businesses act in the absence of clear legal boundaries in terms of client encryption, compliance, or advocacy? #ITWCchats


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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