The NSA is not the only government agency asking tech companies for help in cracking technology to access user data. Sources say the FBI has a history of requesting digital backdoors, which are generally understood as a hidden vulnerability in a program that would, in theory, let the agency peek into suspects’ computers and communications. In 2005, when Microsoft was about to launch BitLocker , its Windows software to encrypt and lock hard drives, the company approached the NSA, its British counterpart the GCHQ and the FBI, among other government and law-enforcement agencies. Microsoft’s goal was twofold: get feedback from the agencies, and sell BitLocker to them. See also: Is It the Dawn of the Encryption App? But the FBI, concerned about its ability to fight crime — specifically, child pornography — apparently repeatedly asked Microsoft to put a backdoor in the software. A backdoor — or trapdoor — is a secret vulnerability that can be exploited to break or circumvent supposedly secure systems. For its part, the FBI categorically denies asking for such access, telling Mashable that the Bureau doesn’t ask for backdoors, and that it only serves companies lawful court orders when it needs to access users’ data…. Read full this story
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