Monday, February 29, 2016

Apple v. FBI ...some remarks...

Apple v FBI

“This is not a case about one isolated iPhone,” says Apple in the introduction to Apple Inc.’s Motion to Vacate Order Compelling Apple Inc. to Assist Agents in Search, and Opposition to Government’s Motion to Compel Assistance. I’ve just read and reread it. You should do the same.

It reads more like a press release than a motion attempting to vacate a specific judicial order. This may be because we simply don’t have contemporary laws designed to deal with the issue. It is also interesting that the document seems to conflate legal arguments with policy arguments. This is easy to explain, as (1) most of the law is on the government’s side and (2) passions are high:

“If Tim Cook’s kid was kidnapped, you know the data from that iPhone would be at the FBI in five minutes flat!” — Popular rhetorical statement paraphrased from numerous social media sites
“In short, the government wants to compel Apple to create a crippled and insecure product. Once the process is created, it provides an avenue for criminals and foreign agents to access millions of iPhones. And once developed for our government, it is only a matter of time before foreign governments demand the same tool.” — From Apple, Inc.’s Motion to Vacate
 Apple is surely right about one thing: “This is not a case about one isolated iPhone.” The opinion of every lawyer I’ve asked is that Apple v. FBI is headed for the Supreme Court. The problem is, I don’t want the Supreme Court (or any court) empowered to make policy – that’s a job for the Legislative branch. Regardless of what you think of Congress, this is their job and they’d better get this one right. What it means to be a digital citizen and identifying the border between security and privacy are two of the most important issues of our time.

Can This iPhone Be Hacked?

Let’s stop talking about whether or not Apple can or cannot hack the phone. It is within the capabilities of several organizations (including Apple) to retrieve the data from this specific iPhone 5c. As my good friend Col. John Fenzel (Ret.) told me, “The NSA most certainly has the expertise to decrypt Farook’s iPhone, and if they don’t, that represents not only a technical security gap, but a virtual chasm of expertise at Fort Meade that needs to be addressed now.” In other words, Apple can do it, the NSA can do it, and so can John McAfee (just ask him).

The Balance Between Security and Privacy

Taking into consideration that the entirety of our digital lives – the 150-plus times each day that we check our smartphones, the amount of information we store in the cloud (remember, there is no cloud; it’s just someone else’s computer), the fact that everything about us, our tax ID numbers, social security numbers, credit card numbers, contact information, financial data, medical history, entertainment preferences, our computer software, the content we own, everything we are – is digitally described and stored somewhere, the right question to ask is: “What is the proper balance between security and privacy?”

The Value of Information

According to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, “The Fourth Amendment originally enforced the notion that ‘each man’s home is his castle’, secure from unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government. It protects against arbitrary arrests, and is the basis of the law regarding search warrants, stop-and-frisk, safety inspections, wiretaps, and other forms of surveillance, as well as being central to many other criminal law topics and to privacy law.” So, in practice, the Constitution says that even if Apple is compelled to create a piece of software that compromises the security of iOS, it will only be used lawfully. Our Fourth Amendment rights are sacred, and there is nothing about Apple’s motion that suggests otherwise.

I asked my friend Jane Rhodes-Wolfe, FBI Section Chief of the Exploitation Threat Section/Counterterrorism Division, to tell me why the FBI is choosing this particular phone at this particular time to fight this particular battle. She could not comment on the pending litigation, but she did say, “The evidence obtained from communication (telephonic and electronic) records is key to law enforcement and intelligence matters. The evidence obtained may identify key members of an organized group or contacts of a lone actor. That information leads investigations in locating witnesses, co-conspirators, facilitators and influencers. Communication is key to understanding the crime or terrorist attack and bringing those responsible to justice or to thwart further nefarious acts.”

Eavesdropping on communication is good for catching bad guys. I get it. But why limit our thoughts to getting info about a terrorist off of an iPhone? What about all of the other data in Metamerica – the digital description of each and every one of us? What about the remarkably large digital infrastructure that is completely invisible to us but enables almost every facet of our modern, connected lives?

The Danger of Compelling Apple to Comply

There is another side to this story, and it foretells a dark, evil place where no one – not Tim Cook, not the FBI, not the Judge, not you, not I – knows enough to snap to judgment. What would the world look like if only nation-states and bad guys had access to your most personal information? Jane pushed back and said, “How would that make the future different than today?” There’s a pretty profound difference. Today, only Apple, the NSA and a few virtuoso hackers have the ability to hack our phones. If Apple is forced to create a backdoor, the code will get out into the wild and no one knows what would happen at scale. Don’t pretend you can imagine it – you can’t!

The horror show won’t happen all at once. One scenario has nation-states and law enforcement chipping away at our digital liberties (however we will ultimately define them) until the law of unintended consequences rules. In that scenario, average citizens will be 100 percent at risk 100 percent of the time and “bad guys” (however we ultimately define them) will go so far underground, they will cease to be findable. Don’t limit your imagination to human “bad guys,” the bad actors are likely to be machine learning algorithms.

Now, bring together every nightmare scenario you can imagine from every Orwellian-style writing you’ve ever seen, and you will start to understand the remarkable number of bad things that might happen in a digital world where there are no metaphorical door locks, and not even bathrooms are private.

Your Future, You Decide

Which brings me to the most critical, time-sensitive thing about Apple v. FBI: your personal role in our collective future. This is not a hypothetical case; it is real and it is happening now. What you need to do is decide how you want Congress to act. What kind of law do you want to see passed? What does it mean to be a digital citizen of the United States of America?

If you’ve read this far, you are probably wondering how to frame the debate, with whom to have it, and what to do when you’re sure you have an answer. My suggestion is to speak to everyone you know. This is not a technical debate. Don’t worry about who can or cannot hack any particular device. Just keep discussing the real issue: “What is the proper balance between security and privacy?” It is truly one of the most important questions of our time, and we owe it to our posterity to have a civil, Socratic debate about it.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Ad Blocker, Ad Sellers Clash at Mobile World Congress

Mobile Advertising Is Broken, Panelists Agree, but Consensus Ends There

Attendees make their way through security at the main entrance to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday.
Attendees make their way through security at the main entrance to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday. 

File this under: Not surprising. Executives from ad-selling companies like Yahoo and Google and one from an ad blocking company fundamentally disagreed during a talk about how to improve the mobile ad experience.

The feisty panel, held Tuesday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, focused on ad blocking but also delved into ad engagement. Everyone agreed that there are problems with the ad ecosystem on mobile, largely centered on a poor user experience and challenges to ad effectiveness. They sharply disagreed, however, on the extent of the problem and the best way to fix it.

Talk about mobile ad blocking hit a fever pitch last year in the leadup to the roll out of Apple's iOS 9, which enabled content blockers including ad blockers. James Hilton, global CEO and founder at M&C Saatchi Mobile, acknowledged that mobile ad blocking has become more popular but said it still hasn't reached broad penetration. By the end of 2016, he estimated, only 0.3% of all mobile device owners will use an ad blocker.

"It's catching on but we got to it early," Mr. Hilton said.

Now that the industry is acutely aware of how frustrating many mobile ad formats are for consumers, and willing to admit it, one issue is how to go about fixing advertising so people won't feel compelled to download ad blockers. Another is that there are already multiple ad blockers available on mobile, so the clock is ticking. While the industry figures out the best way forward, consumer ad blocking likely will continue to grow.

Consumers also aren't the only ones moved to block ads. Shine, an ad blocker that can work across entire cellphone networks, last fall announced a deal with Caribbean carrier Digicel in which it would block all ads for the network's roughly 14 million subscribers. Carriers are struggling to deal with the bandwidth that ads use up thanks to the associated video, trackers and code. It's the operators that are paying the price, along with consumers who can incur data charges from the ads, said Mr. Hilton.

Roi Carthy, chief marketing officer at Shine, said during the panel that Shine is the "single biggest threat to online advertising" because it gives consumers the opportunity to not be "abused by ad tech." He added that Shine's sweeping blocking practice offers the ad industry an opportunity for improvement. "We are not against advertising," he said.

"It may be blunt, but we believe our strategy is about helping expedite a solution," he added.
To some on the panel, a blunt strategy is nothing but blunt force. Benjamin Faes, managing director-media and platforms at Google, said he is worried by "solutions" that punish all publishers, not just the bad ones that run annoying ads on their mobile websites.

Allie Kline, CMO at AOL, said that she worries about all the time that's being spent talking about how to stop ads instead of how to invent more consumer-friendly ads.

Pete Blackshaw, VP-digital and social media at Nestle, said it's not all bad. The industry should look at this as a "galvanizing moment," he said.

"How do we figure out the right win-win model?" he added. "We can't ignore publishers, but we have to be sensitive to consumers. So how do we seize the moment?"

Mr. Carthy and Shine came under criticism during the panel. Nick Hugh, VP and general manager-advertising EMEA at Yahoo, blasted Shine for blocking at the network level, saying that if Shine blocks everything, it completely destroys the ad ecysostem. He asked Mr. Carthy why he thinks he and Shine can be the arbiters of advertising, followed by a question about how Shine makes its money.

"We don't determine what's a bad ad," said Mr. Carthy, adding that Shine exists to give consumers the option to block ads if they want. Shine doesn't allow white-listing, the practice of allowing some ads that are deemed acceptable, but for a fee. The company's goal, he said, is to work with network providers like Digicel, and more recently Three in Europe, to bring the Shine service to consumers.

In the long run, Mr. Carthy said, Shine's goal is to build trust and relationships with people by giving them a choice to block ads, and then later provide a "non-abusive" ad experience, though it's not clear what that means.

"I'm uncomfortable with the idea that an operator or ad blocking company can decide on my behalf that I'm not going to see ads," said Mr. Faes, adding that he did not feel abused by his phone. He then asked the audience how many people feel abused by their phones, and when a few people raised their hands, he quipped, "They're probably all Shine employees."

Of course, so much content is free on the internet because advertisers underwrite the publishers. If all ads were blocked, people would have to foot the bill. "There is a value exchange that has to happen between the publisher and consumer," said Mr. Hugh. "The free internet is funded by ads."

The industry clearly needs to innovate when it comes to ads, the panelists all said. What that looks like remains to be seen, but Google's Mr. Faes took the opportunity to tout Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative rolling out this week, a program he said represents the kind of innovation the industry needs. AMP pages, Google's answer to Facebook's Instant Articles, are designed to load far more quickly than standard mobile web pages. The program is helping people rediscover how the internet is supposed to work, according to Mr. Faes, and "challenges the ad to be as quick as the content" is when loading.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Revista "Mercado de Dinero"

Presidente de Ausbanc asegura que
en EE.UU. “los banqueros se llevan por la avaricia”

Presidente de Ausbanc:

En EE.UU. los banqueros se llevan por la avaricia”

Luis Pineda Salido, Presidente de la Asociación de Usuarios Bancarios (Ausbanc) durante su visita en Miami analizó cómo el sistema financiero de EE.UU. está en riesgo “banqueros se llevan por la avaricia”.


Obama modifica situación con Cuba
para reflejar cambios

Obama modifica situación con Cuba para reflejar cambios

El presidente de EE.UU., Barack Obama, modificó hoy la declaración de emergencia con Cuba aprobada en 1996 tras el derribo de dos avionetas civiles de la organización de exiliados cubanos "Hermanos al Rescate". En una proclamación enviada al Congreso, Obama suaviza las restricciones del estado de emergencia emitido por primera vez el 1 de marzo de 1996.


Trump anota un gran triunfo en Nevada

Trump anota un gran triunfo en Nevada

La carrera por la nominación republicana tiene un líder cada vez más definido. Donald Trump anotó su tercera victoria estadal consecutiva al hacerse con la mayoría de los delegados en los caucus de Nevada. Esto, a pesar de las muy bien organizadas campañas de sus más cercanos seguidores, Marco Rubio y Ted Cruz. 


¿Pruebas de estrés? 51 bancos
europeos son parte de ellas

¿Pruebas de estrés? 51 bancos europeos son parte de ellas

Un total de 51 bancos europeos, entre ellos seis españoles, se someterán este año a unos test de estrés en los que, por primera vez, no habrá aprobados ni suspensos, informó hoy en Londres la Autoridad Bancaria Europea (ABE). La ABE presentó la metodología y escenarios económicos de sus pruebas de resistencia de 2016.


Demanda millonaria contra Johnson & Johnson por
caso de cáncer de ovario

Demanda millonaria contra Johnson & Johnson

por caso de cáncer de ovario

La empresa de cuidados personales y productos de higiene para bebés más grande del mundo, Johnson & Johnson, fue condenada a pagar una millonaria indemnización de 72 millones de dólares. La marca internacional tendrá que dar esta cifra por el caso de una mujer que falleció en octubre de 2015 a los 62 años tras utilizar sus productos. 


El año del cerdo en los mercados financieros

El año del cerdo en los mercados financieros

En pleno declive de los mercados financieros, los futuros de materias primas no han sido una excepción y han registrado un comportamiento netamente bajista en lo que va de año, mientras los inversores huyen a valores considerados como más seguros. 

El Próximo domingo en "Comentarios Económicos" el programa oficial de TV semanal de la CAMACOL en Azteca TV a las 10:30 am vea una entrevista con Luis Pineda.

Next Sunday in "Economic Remarks", CAMACOL TV Sunday Program at 10:30 am at Azteca TV, there will be an interview with Mr.m Luis Pineda. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Odd Lots: How a Rural Irish Farmer Became a Top Expert on the Euro Crisis (BusinessWeek)

How to become an expert on central banking from the middle of nowhere.

Lorcan and his other co-workers.
Lorcan and his other co-workers

Every week, hosts Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal take you on a not-so-random walk through hot topics in markets, finance, and economics.

This week we talk to one of our own colleagues here at Bloomberg. Lorcan Roche Kelly is a cattle farmer and former explosives engineer in the mining industry who lives in the middle of nowhere in Ireland. During the early years of the euro crisis, Lorcan decided to learn more about the panic that was infecting his country's banking system, and how the banking system was staying afloat despite all the solvency fears.

In this episode, we learn about Lorcan's unusual path, from someone who was tending to cattle to someone who eventually advised hedge funds on their euro-zone sovereign debt trades. We also talk about the latest bout of stress in the European banking system.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

'Government shouldn't have to be completely blind'

Bill Gates
Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates speaks in New York on Monday. 

Microsoft Corp. cofounder Bill Gates has jumped into the debate over Apple Inc.'s fight with the FBI over unlocking an iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino attack, saying "the government shouldn't have to be completely blind."

In an interview with the Financial Times published early Tuesday, Gates disagreed with Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook's stance that creating the software requested by the federal government would build a back door that would make its products' security easier to breach.

“This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information,” he said. “They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case.”

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Later Tuesday morning, Gates tempered his remarks in an interview on Bloomberg Go, saying he was disappointed by reports that he backed the FBI.

"That doesn't state my view on this," he said. "I do believe there are sets of safeguards where the government shouldn't have to be completely blind."

Gates said there needs to be a balance between privacy and government access to information. Ultimately, he said, the courts will decide this issue.

"You don’t just want to take the minute after a terrorist event and swing that direction, nor do you, in general, want to completely swing away from government access when you get some abuse being revealed," Gates said. "You want to strike that balance."

"Clearly the government's taken information historically and used it in ways we didn't expect, going all the way back to the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover," he said.

Last week, Apple opposed a federal judge's order demanding it help unlock an iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the shooters in December's terrorist attack in San Bernardino.

The Cupertino, Calif., company said it objected to the court order because the order could set a legal precedent that could expand the government's powers and possibly lead to requests for software that would enable officials to do other things, such as record conversations or track a user's location.

Other tech leaders have also spoken out about the issue, such as Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Jack Dorsey and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai, who tweeted their support for Cook and Apple last week.

"We know that law enforcement and intelligence agencies face significant challenges in protecting the the public against crime and terrorism," Pichai said on Twitter. "We built secure products to keep your information safe, and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders."

"But that's wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data," Pichai tweeted. "Could be a troubling precedent."

In a motion filed Friday seeking to compel Apple to comply with the judge's order, federal prosecutors said they were not asking for a master key for all Apple phones, but rather software to unlock this particular phone. It said the company could keep the software and destroy it after it was used.

Apple has said that if it creates that software, it would be "relentlessly attacked by hackers and cybercriminals" looking to steal the software and that the best way to ensure it does not end up in the wrong hands is to never create it.

Monday, February 22, 2016

"Transformación II 5 Países ... sigue el enigma" de Oscar A. Echevarría e Inés Fernández


Invitan a Ud(s) a la presentación del libro: 
 "Transformación II
5 Países ... sigue el enigma"
Crecimiento Anual del Ingreso Percápita
1999 - 2013

Oscar A. Echevarría y María Inés Fernández
265 Aragon Ave
 Coral Gables, FL 33134
Tel: 305-442-4408

1) Maestra de Ceremonia Beatrice Rangel
2) Presentación del libro por Carlos Alberto Montaner
3) Palabras de Russ Dallen, experto en temas de la economía venezolana
3) Palabras del autor Oscar A. Echevarría
4) Firma de libros.   

Interamerican Institute for Democracy
4141 N. Miami Ave. Ste. 211, Miami, FL 33127 
T: 786 507 5214  F: 786-507-5218 

Friday, February 19, 2016

In legal showdown, FBI vs. Apple could make or break Silicon Valley

The FBI scores a game-changing win in the battle between tech firms and law enforcement over device access, setting legal precedent that may never be undone.


It was the apocalyptic ruling that many in security circles thought was possible, but would never happen.

A California magistrate judge handed down an order Tuesday, invoking a 230-year-old law, ordering Apple to punch a hole in the security of its own product, a ruling the company said it will oppose.

Judge Sheri Pym said Apple must assist the FBI in its efforts to unlock an iPhone belonging to Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the San Bernardino attack in December.

The attacker's device, like more than nine-out-of-ten modern iPhones, is encrypted with a passcode. Apple introduced the encryption in response to the Edward Snowden disclosures so that even it has no way to unlock the device without the passcode. After a number of failed unlock attempts, the phone will erase all of the user's data.

The judge, knowing Apple can't beat the encryption, instead ordered the company to write new software that would allow federal agents to beat the security feature that erases the phone's data.

Apple's bid to shut itself out of the encryption loop was precisely to avoid the kind of ethical dilemma that would force it into handing over customer data to the authorities.

The order was unexpected, landing late in the day in California. Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in an open letter hours later that the order was "unprecedented... which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand." Federal prosecutors noted in a memo alongside the order that the software would only affect Farook's iPhone. but Cook disagreed. Referencing comments he has previously made, Cook said the move would "undeniably create a backdoor" to its software, widely seen as an effort by the FBI to unravel more than two years of the tech giant's counter-surveillance efforts.

It was a de facto declaration of war against not just the tech titan, worth more than half-a-trillion dollars in market size, but the US tech industry.

Where once the government sought a civil, reasonable solution to its issues with encryption, Tuesday's legal showdown is a rapid escalation from publicly traded barbs between tech firms and law enforcement -- one that the government will struggle to back down from.

The 40-page court order said Apple must provide "reasonable technical assistance" to the FBI.

After Snowden documents showed how the law allowed a massive scope of bulk surveillance, everyone forgot about a little-known law from the 18th century that courts still had at their disposal.

The All Writs Act is designed to gives a court the "authority to issue [orders] that are not otherwise covered by statute," so long as the request is not impossible. A court forcing Apple to reverse its encryption would be "substantially burdensome," but asking it to remove the feature that prevents the phone from erasing after ten failed passcode attempts is not.

Dan Guido, a respected security researcher, said on his blog that he believes all of the FBI's requests are "technically feasible."

Cook didn't say in his letter whether the court order was possible, but hit back with a hard truth. "The government is asking Apple to hack our own users," he said in an open letter on Apple's website. (We have more on the specifics of how Apple must comply.)

Guido said that the FBI wants Apple to create a "special version of iOS" that only works on the iPhone 5c that belongs to the terrorist. Apple has to sign the custom version with its own secret keys, which "is why the FBI cannot load new software onto an iPhone on their own."

But Cook said the US government has "asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create."

It's a nicer way of saying that the FBI is asking Apple to blow up its own backyard, or clean 
up the splatter from its own assassination -- a move that now that it's public may harm Apple's public image of privacy-mindedness.


This case will snowball. There's a broad consensus that if this can happen to Apple, what's stopping it from happening to any other company?

The government invoking All Writs Act could set, in Cook's words, a "dangerous precedent" down the line. That's because "coding is not burdensome," the government says, according to Andrew Crocker, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Kevin Bankston, director of the Open Tech Institute, said in a tweet: "This isn't about one iPhone. If this precedent gets set it will spell digital disaster for the trustworthiness of any and every device." He added that, "potentially any software vendor could be forced to update any device with malware."

That echoed similar comments by Apple's external counsel Marc Zwillinger, a national security attorney, who wrote in an electronic filing days earlier regarding a similar case, that Apple has been advised that "the government intends to continue to invoke the All Writs Act in this and other districts in an attempt to require Apple to assist in bypassing the security of other Apple devices in the government's possession."

Kevin Bankston, director of the Open Tech Institute, said in a tweet: "This isn't about one iPhone. If this precedent gets set it will spell digital disaster for the trustworthiness of any and every device." He added that, "potentially any software vendor could be forced to update any device with malware."

That echoed similar comments by Apple's external counsel Marc Zwillinger, a national security attorney, who wrote in an electronic filing days earlier regarding a similar case, that Apple has been advised that "the government intends to continue to invoke the All Writs Act in this and other districts in an attempt to require Apple to assist in bypassing the security of other Apple devices in the government's possession."

Kicking down the door to one tech giant is going to leave other companies at risk. An attack on one is an attack on all is a sentiment shared by many in security circles. After all, Apple wasn't the only company named on the leaked PRISM documents. AOL (now owned by Verizon), Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo were also implicated.

Yet none of those thrown under the PRISM bus gave explicit or direct support for Cook's message by the end of Wednesday.

Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google, which began to add device encryption by default to newer versions of its Android operating system, in a series of tweets on Wednesday called for "a thoughtful and open discussion on this important issue." Pichai fell short of demanding an end to the FBI's offensive, but did say that hacking of devices could set a "troubling precedent."

That's where Pichai was right -- it's the "precedent" that makes the case going forward so striking.

Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, said the government is "desperate to establish" the legal case, rather than just hack the iPhone on its own.

The government isn't just assaulting encryption and security; it's fundamentally chipping away at the trust that many of these companies have needed to rebuild in the wake of the Snowden leaks. Billions have already been lost in foreign investment because of the NSA revelations.

Undermining that trust further will only alienate one of the world's economic powerhouses.


Despite the damage already caused to confidence in the tech sector, the government is unlikely to back down without a fight.

Congress has already waded into the encryption battle at a state level, and may have to expand its scope to a national level. But any legislative fix that would override the courts may not come this side of the election. And any proposed law could be as decisive and as partisan as the very real-world encryption battle it's trying to fix.

Rep. Ted Lieu, the author of a new draft bill that would prevent states from enacting anti-encryption legislation, and one of just four computer science majors in Congress, commented that tech companies "are not, and should not be, an arm of government or law enforcement," in an emailed statement. "This precedent-setting action will both weaken the privacy of Americans and hurt American businesses," said Lieu.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA, 19th), a congresswoman whose district covers much of Silicon Valley and privacy advocate, said in a statement that Congress could wade in to legislate.

Even that would be hotly contested. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the former chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and vocal proponent of the intelligence agencies, said live on CNN that she would draft a bill forcing Apple's hand.

Lofgren noted that tech companies would have "no choice" but to further lock down systems that were exploited by the FBI, a trend that could continue until members of Congress draft and pass laws that bar tech companies from adding backdoors -- willingly or otherwise.

That could lead tech companies down a game of security one-upmanship.

"If you make the system more secure, what you may be doing as a company is increasing the burden on yourself down the road if the government is going to order you to break it later," said Julian Sanchez, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, speaking to the Washington Post.

Read more: As the first Snowden file leake