NSA director actually says encryption backdoors are a bad idea

nsa director actually says encryption backdoors are a bad idea michael s rogers cyber fleet commander
NSA director Admiral Michael Rogers has said that encryption is “foundational to the future” — and privacy shouldn’t be sacrificed for security.

The statement is quite a contrast to the government’s usual pro-backdoor rhetoric, which has called for some kind of access into encrypted communications and has subsequently faced fierce opposition from civil liberties groups and tech companies.

“Concerns about privacy have never been higher,” said Rogers in a speech Thursday to the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. on the balance between privacy and security. He added that officials should be “trying to get all those things right, to realize that it isn’t about one or the other.”

Rogers went so far as to say that arguing against encryption is a “waste of time” and added that large scale attacks on the government, like last year’s OPM breach, will only happen again if the government doesn’t act fast.

He stated that there has to be a balance found between preserving privacy and maintaining national security, such as monitoring terrorist threats. Just how exactly that can be accomplished is not clear and remains the bone of contention in the ongoing encryption debate.

Rogers’ remarks are the other side of the black and white cookie from those of FBI director James Comey, who has repeatedly called for backdoors into encryption technology for law enforcement. In the wake of his frequent comments on the matter, organizations like the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) have decried the idea that encryption can be broken and access allowed for law enforcement.

Rogers’ comments this week may come as a surprise considering he is the director of the NSA, but he is not the first official to make remarks against weakening encryption. Michael Hayden, a former director of the agency, said last month that building encryption backdoors is a “weak security position” for the government to take.

Nevertheless, government representatives continue to table anti-encryption laws, most notably Senator Diane Feinstein’s proposal that would make it mandatory for companies to decrypt data if a court order is in place.

Movies & TV

You should read these epic sci-fi novels before they become blockbuster films

You can get ahead of the next crop of science-fiction movies coming out of Hollywood by picking up the books that inspired them. We compiled a list of books you can add to your reading list now to get a glimpse of the future.
Smart Home

Consumer groups call out retailers in a bid for better IoT security

Consumer groups posted a "Dear retailer" letter on February 12 that called out Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and Target, shaming the companies for selling insecure smart home devices.
Emerging Tech

Own a drone? New rule means you have to change the way IDs are displayed

Registered drone owners will need to put their machine's ID number on the outside of the aircraft from February 23 in accordance with a new FAA rule. It means the ID can no longer be placed inside the drone's battery compartment.
Emerging Tech

Singapore uses its smart city tech to help citizens cut through the red tape

Like many governments, Singapore’s puts citizens through plenty of red tape. But as part of its smart-city initiatives, the government is using tech to remove layers of bureaucracy.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.