Key recovery system is full of holes

The U.S. government's plan for allowing companies to export powerful encryption software on the condition that they establish a third-party key escrow system could actually increase security risks and raise the costs of online commerce, says a study coordinated by the Center for Democracy and Technology. One of the 11 scientists who participated in the study says that having a key recovery system is similar to having a skeleton key to your house in addition to the real key -- the skeleton key is easy to copy. "So the existence of skeleton keys or trap doors, as the government is proposing, is inherently risky." "A key-recovery system is going to be extraordinarily hard to design and build economically, safely and reliably," says another.

New York Times 22 May 97

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