By appointing Matthew Whitaker acting head of the Department of Justice the White House has drawn a convenient roadmap for circumventing a constitutional safeguard that seems ripe for further exploitation.
NSA's recent collection of "Call Detail Records" seems like a genuine mistake, but it should make us skeptical of the wisdom of relying on intelligence tools that require this kind of large scale data collection.
Any master key, any centralized mechanism for compromising millions of individual devices, is too valuable to reliably secure against the sort of adversaries likely to be most interested in acquiring it.
Police departments that want to demonstrate they're serious about the principle of equality under the law shouldn't be debating how "get out of jail free" cards an average cop gets to hand out; they should be scrapping them entirely.
If the government is going to be compelling companies to scan everyone's communications in its hunt for terrorists, the public is entitled to understand the legal framework within which it plans to do so.
If even the NSA's most closely guarded hacking tools cannot be secured, why would any reasonable person believe that keys to cryptographic backdoors could be adequately protected by far less sophisticated law enforcement agencies?