Definition Edit

Key recovery (also called key escrow) refers to a system whereby a party external to the user holds a copy of the decryption key.

Overview Edit

Having access to such a "spare key" through a key recovery agent could be desirable for a user if a key is lost, stolen, or corrupted.

Law enforcement usage Edit

"The requirements put forward to meet law enforcement demands for such global key recovery systems include:

Criticism Edit

"The deployment of key-recovery-based encryption infrastructures to meet law enforcement's stated specifications will result in substantial sacrifices in security and greatly increased costs to the end user. Building the secure computer-communication infrastructures necessary to provide adequate technological underpinnings demanded by these requirements would be enormously complex and is far beyond the experience and current competency of the field. Even if such infrastructures could be built, the risks and costs of such an operating environment may ultimately prove unacceptable. In addition, these infrastructures would generally require extraordinary levels of human trustworthiness."[2]

References Edit

  1. The Risks of Key Recovery, Key Escrow, and Trusted Third-party Encryption, at 7.
  2. Id. at 3.

See also Edit