This week, the Washington Post's editorial board, in a widely circulated call for “compromise”
on encryption, proposed that while our data should be off-limits to hackers and other bad actors, “perhaps Apple and Google could invent a kind of secure golden key” so that the good guys could get to it if necessary.
A “golden key” is just another, more pleasant, word for a backdoor—something that allows people access to your data without going through you directly. This backdoor would, by design, allow Apple and Google to view your password-protected files if they received a subpoena or some other government directive.
The Post assumes that a “secure key” means hackers, foreign governments, and curious employees could never break into this system. They also assume it would be immune to bugs. They envision a magic tool that only the righteous may wield.