Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Encrypted Warrants

In the debate over recording the phone conversations of American citizens, there are two, quite valid points: one, that the system of warrants is outdated, and that rapidly shifting technology and highly mobile enemy forces make warrants unwieldy. The other is that the warrant is an essential protection of American civil liberties.

I propose that we create encrypted warrants. In effect, the National Security Administration (or any such law-enforcement agency), would be allowed to digitally record any electronic transmission--any target of opportunity--but the recording would have to be encrypted. The encryption keys would be held by the warrant judge. The NSA could then take the recording, present their case for needing the warrant to the judge, who, if he agrees, could grant the warrant and release the key. Without the warrant, the transmission would remain unreadable, and the judge could order it destroyed.


Blogger Noumenon said...

This seems like a pretty good solution to me. Like the X-ray machine, if technology gives the government the ability to frisk you for weapons without inconveniencing you at all, why not use it? I've heard people talk about a "hash table" that would actually allow the government to data mine conversations without being able to connect any individual's data to their identity. Again, unless the judge releases the encryption key.

They should inform people at some point that their wires were tapped, so that we can know if the system is being abused.

7:11 AM  

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