Report: Cryptography

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  Key Recovery Systems

As stated before the sense of cryptography is a properly designed cryptosystem making it essentially impossible to recover encrypted data without any knowledge of the used key. The issue of lost keys and the being-locked-out from one's own data as a consequence favors key recovery systems. On the other hand the counter argument is confidentiality: as soon as a possibility to recover a key is provided, the chances for abuses grow.
Finally it is the state that does not want to provide too much secrecy. On the contrary. During the last 20 years endless discussions about the state's necessity and right to restrict private cryptography have taken place, as the governments rarely care for the benefit of private users if they believe in catching essential informations about any kind of enemy, hence looking for unrestricted access to all keys.

The list of "key recovery," "key escrow," and "trusted third-party" as encryption requirements, suggested by governmental agencies, covers all the latest developments and inventions in digital technology.
At the same time the NSA, one of the world's most advanced and most secret enterprises for cryptography, worked hard in getting laws through to forbid the private use of strong encryption in one way or the other. Still, it is also organizations like this one that have to admit that key recovery systems are not without any weaknesses, as the U.S. Escrowed Encryption Standard, the basis for the famous and controversially discussed Clipper Chip, showed. The reason for those weaknesses is the high complexity of those systems.

Another aspect is that key recovery systems are more expensive and certainly much less secure than other systems. So, why should anyone use them?

In that context, one has to understand the legal framework for the use of cryptography, a strict framework in fact, being in high contradiction to the globalised flow of communication.

browse Report:
-3   Digital Signatures, Timestamps etc
-2   Another Question of Security
-1   Another Question of Security
0   Key Recovery Systems
+1   Governmental Influence
+2   Governmental Regulations
+3   Security Measures?