In this op-ed published in the Globe and Mail today, Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert argues that telecommunications companies must not be compelled to build secret vulnerabilities into their systems, known as back doors:

“Recently leaked Edward Snowden documents reveal the U.S. National Security Agency, in its quest to vacuum as much digital data as possible, has been compelling communications companies to build secret vulnerabilities into their systems, otherwise known as “back doors.” These special methods of bypassing normal authentication procedures to secretly access encrypted communications are known only to the companies that build them and the NSA agents that have access to them. Not surprisingly they prefer to keep such dalliances hidden in the dark.”

Professor Deibert continues by stating that the back door approach is a particular approach to securing cyberspace prominent today that privileges intelligence and security agencies over other stakeholders such as netizens and civil society, and fundamentally undermines checks and balances around government.

Read the full article.