As revealed over the past year or so we know that the NSA has access to most users data, but that does not stop them from wanting more. NSA’s chief Michael Rogers has now called for a “front door” encryption key that would provide the NSA with access to your data, but the key would be broken into multiple parts so that no one agency or person could easily get in.
This method in theory would stop thieves from getting in and taking your data, but at the same time would let government officials access your data anytime they want, if they have ‘permission’. This whole idea is part of a broader set of suggestions that the White House is considering, such as letting courts order the creation of mirror accounts (to let investigators see every message as it arrives) or backing up data as soon as it’s unencrypted. President Obama is set to get a report on these options soon so we could see a change in policy soon.
Many privacy advocates and fellow institutions like the National Institute of Standards and Technology are actually against the idea. It is noted that any door that is introduced would have security holes, even if a split key is created. Both the FBI and NSA do not like widespread encryption because it works so well. And of course it only works as long as the key holders won’t simply roll over when there is a request.