Cybersecurity – The Threat of Encryption

by Natsuya Uesugi

Strong encryption can be a foil for law enforcement and security of governments because its increasing use and sophistication of certain types of encryption methods present challenges. The same means encryption uses to protect personal, commercial and government information is also used by criminals, terrorists and organized crime to steal data and infiltrate systems. It can slow down investigations and cause wrongdoers to avoid detection.

Governments in such places as Australia are looking into encryption as a means to access data.

Law enforcement has complained about encryption and the technology has failed to prevent the unwanted side effects of criminals using it to hide. Often law enforcement has asked for backdoors that can give access. These backdoors make law enforcement’s job easier at the cost of security for all.

Exposing data to law enforcement also makes it accessible to hackers. Backdoors can enable bulk data collection which is a threat. Backdoors can be added to communication protocols to gain access and circumvent the protection of data. Listening devices, key loggers and malware can all effectively defeat end-to-end encryption adding risk to the public.

Do you want the government protection your data? Many people in the United States and the United Kingdom believe that encrypted data protected by the government would lower the threat of terrorism. Giving the government access to encryption will not just make us safer, but also the opposite will be true, the terrorists will then themselves have access potentially. Most people don’t trust the government to protect data and don’t think the government will protect against cybercrime. Just what the government wants to use to make people safe would be turned and used against everyone. Privacy and security are realms that should be free and not controlled by the government enterprise. Having the government come in and take control adding regulations and backdoors is a threat to free speech and potentially freedom of information online.

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