Mar 14, 2016

Encryption wars heat up as governments fight for less security

The government push against encryption will make everyone less safe -- individuals, companies, governments themselves.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The war of governments on encryption is now ramping up on both sides of the Atlantic, fueled by either profound ignorance on the part of policymakers or a genuine desire to make the internet and mobile communications less secure for all users — including governments themselves.

On the weekend, Barack Obama, attending a major tech conference, said that law enforcement agencies had to be allowed access to all encrypted communications devices. The President cited the need to stop child pornographers and terrorists — continuing the long tradition that no politician can discuss electronic privacy without accusing defenders of helping paedophiles — and called tech industry supporters of encryption “absolutists”. Data, Obama said, was just another area where the community had to accept a trade-off between privacy and security. “This notion that somehow our data is different and can be walled off from those other trade-offs we make, I believe, is incorrect,” he said.

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One thought on “Encryption wars heat up as governments fight for less security

  1. AR

    Interesting that Obama (and crikey) use the phrase “privacy & security” as a corruption of the 1755 Benjamin Franklin quote which he trashed late last year – “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.“.
    As noted in the article,though the NSA supposedl;y lost some legal right they just carry ruight on doing so – no spook or cop every refrains from doing something just coz it illegal.
    After all, they serve a Higher Cause… which is secret to protect it from scrutiny and rightly so according to Nikolic et al. We can be assured that Hastie fully concurs.

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