The Cyber Security Tech Accord

I recently came across an article in the news on how Government is looking to monitor social media tools like WhatsApp and skype

Kenya is considering regulating online services such as WhatsApp and Skype in a radical move that could force the internet-based service providers to share data with the government.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) is in search of a consultant to study and determine how the so-called over-the-top services (OTTS) operated by groups such as Facebook, which runs WhatsApp, and Skype owner Microsoft, could be regulated.

The regulator wants to have some measure of control, much like it does with other traditional telecom products such as calls and phone text messages.

“Given that providers of OTTS are likely to gather their subscribers’ data and may not be domiciled in Kenya,” the CA said in a statement.

Following this as much as their thinking might be with good intent but I believe there is a better approach.

Under CA regulation, owners of services such as WhatsApp and Skype will have to abide by “security and confidentiality provisions” demanded by law.

The Challenge with this approach is then that you end up opening a can of worms.

Allow me to direct you back to the FBI Apple Case where FBI wanted Apple to create a backdoor into the iPhone, my question would be how do you protect this backdoor key from not falling into the wrong hands.

Microsoft filled a breif  in support of Apple, as the company fights an FBI request to unlock an encrypted iPhone that belonged to one of the shooters in the terrible act of terrorism that took place in December in San Bernardino. While the companies that signed this brief are often fierce competitors,  the unity with Amazon.com, Box, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Mozilla, Nest Labs, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Yahoo, reflects the  deep, shared concerns about the potential ramifications of this case for technology and for civilians. At stake are fundamental questions about privacy, safety, and the rule of law.

Last year at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, in the wake of escalating cyber attacks by criminal organizations and nation-states – and just a few months before WannaCry and NotPetya crippled enterprises around the world – Microsoft called for bold new measures to defend and protect technology users around the world

Microsoft recognized that supporting an open, free and secure internet is not just the responsibility of individual companies, like ourselves, but a responsibility that must be shared across the entire tech sector and with governments.

Many others in the industry had similar ideas and wanted to come together to protect and defend civilians and collective customers. And this year’s RSA Conference begins in San Francisco, 34 global technology and security companies have done just that, signing a Cybersecurity Tech Accord to advance online security and resiliency around the world.

The Tech Accord sets forth four principles:

  • Protect all of our users and customers everywhere,
  • We will oppose cyberattacks on innocent citizens and enterprises from anywhere. 
  • Empower users, customers and developers to strengthen cybersecurity protection.
  • We will partner with each other and with like-minded groups to enhance cybersecurity.

 

 

We’ve reached a critical moment in which a new generation of mobile and cloud-based technologies have far outrun the laws that protect our safety and preserve our timeless and fundamental rights. and so I believe it is time to  understand  what technology means to us.

To ensure that we realize this future, it will be essential for governments, businesses, academics and civil society to work together in creating trustworthy systems and prepare people for a world where the skills they need to
succeed will be constantly changing

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