Following speech from Barack Obama appealing for tech firms to help fight extremism, Dr Nithin Thomas, an expert in encryption and CEO of a cybersecurity technology firm, SQR System have the following comments on this debate.

[su_note note_color=”#ffffcc” text_color=”#00000″]Dr Nithin Thomas, Founder and CEO of Cybersecurity Firm SQR Systems :

President Obama’s plea for tech leaders to “make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice” is the latest call from a government to suggest encryption is a major barrier in the fight against terrorism. However, it is dangerous to pursue the idea of creating back doors in encryption technology or weakening the algorithms themselves, as it would provide an entry point not only for the intelligence services but also for hackers, rendering it unworkable.

“Asking vendors such as Google and Apple to surrender the encryption keys in response to a warrant would likewise grant access to communications potentially threatening national security, but could damage civil liberties by leaving the responsibility with a third party.

“A third, more logical approach lies in equipping the organisations that own the data with the ability to access the data themselves, allowing them to comply with legal needs without compromising security. Enterprises must undergo a re-think of their communications security architecture and corporate policy to enable them to deal with legal intercepts.

“Giving control of the encrypted data to the organisations that own it will allow businesses to take responsibility for their own disclosure policies and is likely to lead to more transparency between the authorities and the users than one which occurs behind closed doors or based on the judgement of tech vendors.”[/su_note][su_box title=”About Dr. Nithin Thomas” style=”noise” box_color=”#336588″]Dr. Nithin ThomasNithin Thomas is a technology entrepreneur with expertise in development and commercialisation of technology research, having developed much of the early technology at SQR Systems during his academic career at the University of Bristol. He is the CEO and Co-founder of SQR Systems, where he has grown the company from a concept to early revenues, successfully delivering R&D projects through various private and public funded research programmes focussing on cybersecurity and secure data transmission. Prior to SQR Systems, Nithin worked in sales and marketing at a global technology consultancy.[/su_box]

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