By now, we’ve all heard of the Twitter hack, and I’m not the first to say that it was terrible; however, it could’ve been much much worse.
Let’s break down some of the targets of this hack, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Barrack Obama, Apple, and others of a similar social and economic level. Earlier this year, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, said, “Tesla stock price is too high imo” and dropped as much as 12% after the tweet (Source: CNBC). Let’s say these hackers invested in Tesla or Apple and drafted an elaborate hoax on a new Apple product or a new Tesla model; they most likely could’ve made more money. Let’s take the conversation in a political direction, and let’s say these hackers made a tweet from a politician declaring war on another nation? Surely this would have devastating effects on the countries involved or even the globe. With that in mind, people still fell for the doubling bitcoin scam because the posts were branded from people in power. Let’s find out how that can relate to the EARN IT Act the United States Government is attempting to sign into law.
The EARN IT Act
The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020 (EARN IT Act) aims to undermine encryption to inhibit the easier prosecution of child predators online. The United States (US) government aims to do this not by backdooring into encryption algorithms, but by scanning files to be encrypted before and after they’re encrypted. Being able to backdoor into any encryption algorithm nulls the entire point of encryption. But, is being able to scan files before and after any better?
The US government would have to get access to a person’s computer to run a program or a service for machines already in production. But what’s stopping the government from harassing or even forcing Microsoft to put this scanning tool into the latest version of Windows 10? Which brings up the point, what happens if this scanning tool gets in the hands of the wrong group or individual? Effectively creating the same problem Twitter had this past week. Of course, there are questions like what privileges the tool has and whether it could even download files? But even if you’re able to read Bitcoin Wallet address, banking information, or passwords, hackers will have access to many avenues of your life. This sort of access brings us back to the encryption backdoor issue, nullifying the point of encryption.
This article is my personal speculation and outlook on the Twitter hack and EARN IT Act. There is no way, as of today, to know the outcome of the EARN IT Act and its impact on encryption, if any.