Deliberate Windows Backdoors?

Not that you want any more than Microsoft will no doubt leave, but I’ve just seem it reported on Slashdot that the UK Home Office is working with Microsoft about the possibility of putting in backdoors to the encryption systems in Windows Vista so that they can bypass it during criminal investigations, getting around the fact that people can conveniently “forget” the password and render any incriminating data lost.

It’s an obvious concern with all the terrorism investigations and the stuff that certain people probably have filling their hard drives but it’s incredibly pointless to encrypt the data and build in a backdoor so that it can be bypassed easily. The vast majority of people who use it will only have the innocent aim of protecting themselves from things like identity theft. It’s yet another draconian anti-terrorism measure; a thing that’s getting worryingly common. Like the news story says, they can let refusal to give the passwords count against them just life the refusal to answer a question does at the moment.

Besides, it’s not like this will solve anything. Criminals who want to keep their data safe can still encrypt individual files and OS X still has support for AES-128 encryption built-in. I doubt a serious cyberterrorist would be stupid enough to rely on nothing but the protection included with Windows anyway, and this is just a major security issue in case a hacker finds out the backdoor.

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