A backdoor is a vulnerability in a form of encryption that would allow anyone who found it to undermine the protections that the encryption offers. "Backdoor" is a pejorative term used by people who oppose government efforts to require tech companies to design their encryption so that they can break it. These critics argue that the only way to do this is for the companies to deliberately insert vulnerabilities—the "backdoors"—into their encryption. Backdoors can take many forms; one example is a random-number generator algorithm whose number-generation is not truly random, but rather, predictable to anyone who knows how it was designed. By predicting the number generation, it is possible to foil the encryption built on top of it.

Top E.U. network-security official slams proposals for encryption backdoors
It's unclear how his comments will shape the brewing debate.
U.S. withdraws demand for Apple’s help after FBI accesses San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone
The FBI has finally accessed the device that sparked a legal and political firestorm.
Security expert undermines FBI director’s claim that iPhone unlock method ‘doesn’t work’
The government might not need Apple's help in the San Bernardino case after all.
ISIS urges fighters in Belgium to use encryption in wake of Brussels attacks
Are they trying to turn politicians against secure communications?
U.S. says ‘outside party’ can crack terrorist’s iPhone, asks to cancel Apple–FBI hearing
'If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc.'
Flaw in Apple’s iMessage encryption puts your photos, videos at risk
Encryption researchers at Johns Hopkins say they found a flaw in Apple's iMessage encryption.
With U.S. crypto war raging, Swiss company opens secure email service to the public
ProtonMail's public launch is a shot across the bow at the American tech sector.
Meet Rep. Will Hurd, the most interesting man in Congress
'Encryption is good for out national security. ... We should be trying to strengthen encryption.'
Obama takes on Apple vs. FBI and online voting at SXSW
'The reason I'm here, really, is to recruit all of you.'
Former CIA director says DOJ isn’t being honest in San Bernardino iPhone case
'They are asking for a restructuring ... of Apple's operating system.'
Justice Department tells court to uphold San Bernardino iPhone unlocking order
Apple wants a new judge to throw out a court order that it calls dangerous.
More Americans support Apple than FBI in iPhone battle, poll shows
People have serious concerns about the government's position.
U.S. attorney general defends fight against Apple over terrorist’s iPhone
'I support strong encryption. ... The issue here is warrant-proof encryption.'
Hillary Clinton botches details in discussing Apple-FBI fight
The FBI knows more than Clinton thinks they do.
Ex-NSA chief explains why he backs Apple over FBI in iPhone fight
'Apple is right on just raw security grounds.'
Top NYPD official says Apple’s encryption helps murderers and kidnappers
Miller said Apple was 'providing aid' to wrongdoers.