Could we prevent NSA spying if every user was able to create their own encryption key? The NSA has been retrieving data from some of the largest companies for years, and that is because they were able to gain access to their servers (with or without permission details are still not known), and that means that they could in theory bypass encrypted information. What If we allowed every user to create their own encryption key.
When you encrypt something on lets say Google they have a set algorithm that will scramble those letters into nonsense data. Except to a programmer, who could in theory reverse engineer the algorithm. While this is very unlikely it is technically possible which would mean that if they did not know about the snooping a programmer managed to reverse engineer the algorithm and therefore know every encrypted piece of data. Now this is common with poorly built algorithms which are open to many flaws, but is it possible that every tech company made the same mistake or that there was some sort of work around.
Therefore if anyone had the ability to create their own encryption key would it be possible to block all of that snooping? For instance if everyone could write and disguise their own password could they get past it? The answer to this is yes and no, and it can be both. The reason is they cant discover every ones password UNLESS they all started to use the same formula. For instance a password of 123 is encrypted as abc, and this other guy is 456 with a password of def, then it would be possible. The best way for this to work is if everyone had their own unique system or tied it to something random. Famous equations can be reversed engineered easily.
For us to do this, we would literally have to rewrite most of our current security solutions, because the idea would take so much time, and resources but would it pay off.
The idea sounds amazing on pen and paper, however most users are lazy. Most people refuse to use 2-step verification why would they write their own encryption key? Security? Privacy? The fact is both of these would improve, but how do you convince the consumer to do something like this, and that is why the idea has not been explored. The average users do not care enough to actually work on something like this.
Comodo an internet security firm has started to use this in their cloud back-up service. They give 5 gigabytes free, so this might be something to look into if you wish to secure your documents under your own lock and key.
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