A comparative analysis of international encryption policies en route to a domestic solution
Donahue, James L.
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This thesis examines the encryption policies of Israel and China in an effort to determine whether their respective approaches effectively and reasonably address the issue of law enforcement access to encrypted devices in the United States. The proliferation of encrypted devices poses a growing challenge to law enforcement agencies in their efforts to gather evidence. Meanwhile, an ongoing debate, decades in the making, persists between those arguing for and against easing the means by which the government accesses these encrypted devices. Using qualitative analysis, the thesis assesses the encryption policies of Israel and China in terms of legality, cost, political acceptance, and potential for success in their application within the United States. Based on this analysis, this thesis recommends policymakers give consideration to a solution that resembles Israel’s approach. The characteristics of this model include creating, under existing laws, a centralized forensic laboratory supported by a network of examiners located across the country working to gain access to encrypted devices through vulnerabilities. These efforts would be bolstered by relationships with the private sector and academia. Tailoring the U.S. device encryption approach to be more consistent in structure with that of Israel has the potential to bring the United States closer to a viable domestic solution.
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