padlocks with backdoors - TSA approved

Hadmut Danisch hadmut at
Mon Feb 26 15:20:29 EST 2007


has this been mentioned here before?

I just had my crypto mightmare experience. 

I was in a (german!) outdoor shop to complete my equipment 
for my next trip, when I came to the rack with luggage padlocks 
(used to lock the zippers). 

While the german brand locks were as usual, all the US brand locks 
had a sticker 

   "Can be opened and re-locked by US luggage inspectors". 

Each of these (three digit code) locks had a small keyhole for the 
master key to open. Obviously there are different key types 
(different size, shape, brand) as the locks had numbers like "TSA005" 
tell the officer which key to use to open that lock.

Never seen anything in real world which is such a precise analogon of 
a crypto backdoor for governmental access.

Ironically, they advertise it as a big advantage and important feature, 
since it allows to arrive with the lock intact and in place instead of 
cut off. 

This is the point where I decided to have nightmares from now on.


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