Could our final wishes be stymied by the secrets that protect our increasingly digital lives?
Fatherhood has changed Cory Doctorow. But in pondering how fantastically successful he has been at keeping his data private, he wonders if the people closest to him might be equally as successful in unlocking it. Granted some of us have much more at stake in the orderly unwinding of our affairs, but his problem in devising a way to keep his private data secure, now and then, struck a thoroughly modern chord. As it turns out, we're really, really accomplished at locking data down. Still,
What I found surprising all through this process was the lack of any kind of standard process for managing key escrow as part of estate planning. Military-grade crypto has been in civilian hands for decades now, and yet every lawyer I spoke to about this was baffled (and the cypherpunks I spoke to were baffling – given to insanely complex schemes that suggested to me that their executors were going to be spending months unwinding their keys before they could get on with the business of their estates, and woe betide their survivors, who'd be left in the cold while all this was taking place).
Give the whole Guardian piece a read.