This is yet another example of why backdoors are generally a bad idea.
Bruce Schneier has provided a succinct and compelling argument against the FBI’s attempts to force Apple (and by extension others) to build backdoors and weaken encryption. This is well worth a read.
In my mind, this article generates one simple question in reply. “Where do you draw the line?” No one can argue that the act of terror in San Bernardino was horrific and its perpetrators and anyone associated with them should be hunted down and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But in that very specific and well justified pursuit, should we also toss aside certain liberties and securities afforded to all Americans. To a great extent, Tim Cook is right in his statement. You cannot unmake the software hack / iOS version the FBI is requesting. It can and will fall into the wrong hands at some point. Furthermore, though we all believe that its first use in the San Bernardino case makes good sense, what about the second use…or the third? Will those uses be as just and honorable?
This is a difficult conversation that needs to be had and it needs to be had in a very public forum. This should not be the work of backroom committees and uninformed politicians. Logic and common sense need to be used, not fear, uncertainty and doubt. In an election year, one can hope this becomes a topic. If not, we as a community of IT professionals should strive to make it a topic.
This is a disturbing issue and brings into question the security controls and oversight processes in place (or the lack thereof) at Juniper.