Lawmakers are using the recent terrorist attacks in Paris as an excuse to attack methods of encryption. They are saying that if the terrorists hadn’t been able to communicate on encrypted devices, they would have been able to stop the terrorist attacks. Now, lawmakers want to ban encryption so that terrorists cannot secretly communicate.
Encryption is used in many of the world’s most popular technology products. It offers key security measures that ensure our privacy is protected. Without it, we are all very vulnerable of being watched. Having no encryption would essentially destroy the internet.
Recently, British Prime Minister David Cameron proposed an act that would ban encryption in the United Kingdom. And it probably isn’t far off before the leaders of other countries make similar proposals. Without encryption, both the government and everyday hackers would be able to spy on phone conversations, text messages and emails. Indeed, privacy and civil liberties as we know it could very well be lost.
Even politicians in the United States are using the Paris situation to attack important security measures. Senator Dianne Feinstein has stated that she has asked major technology companies to assist law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access encrypted devices. She says that it would be for the purposes of preventing communication between suspected terrorists.
Feinstein said, “I have asked for help. And I haven’t gotten any help. If you create a product that allows evil monsters to communicate in this way, to behead children, to strike innocents, whether it’s at a game in a stadium, in a small restaurant in Paris, take down an airliner, that’s a big problem.”
Director of the CIA John Brennan has stated that he hopes the attacks will serve as a wake-up call. Brennan has long been an opponent of encryption, and he will reportedly do whatever it takes to eliminate the critical privacy measures.
According to United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch, terrorists even use gaming systems to securely communicate. Some experts have said that a particularly secure communication device is the PlayStation 4. Some terrorists have been said to play shooting games, and they will spell out entire messages on the video game’s walls, one bullet at a time. This is a very secure, albeit tedious, communication method that would virtually impossible to trace.
The thing is, terrorists will go to whatever lengths necessary to communicate. Outlawing encryption would only harm the innocent people who have legitimate privacy concerns. It’s no surprise that politicians would take a very tragic incident and use it for their own political agenda. Such campaigns destroy our rights and make the world a worse place to live.