It is indeed a double-edged sword and till a decision comes through, the debate on whether backdoor access should be given to the government and law enforcing agencies will continue. We are talking here about data encryption and the stand that tech companies are taking in this.
For the uninitiated, this debate has been going on between the two parties for quite some time now with both the parties believing strongly in why the backdoor access should be given or not given to government agencies. While the government believes that backdoor to the sensitive user data can help them nab criminals (wanted terrorists, etc.) easily, tech companies argue that any access into user data can jeopardize the user, particularly the ones who do not belong to the ‘criminal’ category.
Smartphones and all other gadgets that can be used to communicate or transfer sensitive communication have the ability to easily pass on encrypted data between members of an organization. Unless the government is granted the ‘backdoor access’, which is the possibility of decrypting that data to be able to decode what lies therein, law enforcing agencies can do little about the data on the devices that they may have seized from criminals. With this perspective in view, tech companies should actually give the government the right to access data with court’s order. However, this also gives rise to the risk that such information can be intercepted by other criminals, in addition to the agencies, who can use that data for other malicious purposes. With this argument in place, tech companies are mostly against creating a backdoor access.
As you can see, different people have different perspectives on this and it still remains to be seen whether the government will manage to convince the tech companies into giving them the access that they want. However, till that happens, here’s an update on what the different tech companies feel about the data-access proposal.