Daisy Luther at the Organic Prepper has written an article summarizing some of the recent press and government meetings discussing the government’s desire to be able to reverse encryption on communication devices, web pages, etc. – The Govt. Wants to OUTLAW Encrypted Messaging in iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, Wickr, Telegram, Etc. If you’re tuned into the modern fight over privacy, they probably isn’t news to you. The government always wants more control over your data, communication and information. They say they need it to keep you safe. Luckily there are still entities with some pull who are arguing that putting in encryption backdoors will harm the United States, but they’re fighting on the basis of economic harm. No one cares about your privacy. No one in government, anyway.
If you ever use the encrypted messaging options on programs like iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, Wickr, Telegram, or any other service, your time to discuss things privately over the phone may be running out. The US government doesn’t like for anything to get in the way of their ability to
spy oninvestigate even the most mundane of conversations.
Instead of seeing privacy as a right, they see it as suspicious. Your devices are already being searched at quadruple the previous rate in airports. And the attack on free speech is now going as far as our private messages to our friends and family.
Because the only reason we’d want privacy is that we’re criminals
This was the topic of a National Security meeting last week.
The encryption challenge, which the government calls “going dark,” was the focus of a National Security Council meeting Wednesday morning that included the No. 2 officials from several key agencies, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Senior officials debated whether to ask Congress to effectively outlaw end-to-end encryption, which scrambles data so that only its sender and recipient can read it, these people told POLITICO. Tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook have increasingly built end-to-end encryption into their products and software in recent years — billing it as a privacy and security feature but frustrating authorities investigating terrorism, drug trafficking and child pornography. (source)
So, which government agencies are hot to make encrypted messages illegal?
The DOJ and the FBI argue that catching criminals and terrorists should be the top priority, even if watered-down encryption creates hacking risks. The Commerce and State Departments disagree, pointing to the economic, security and diplomatic consequences of mandating encryption “backdoors.”
DHS is internally divided. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency knows the importance of encrypting sensitive data, especially in critical infrastructure operations, but ICE and the Secret Service regularly run into encryption roadblocks during their investigations. (source)
It looks like the simpler answer is the few who understand there are reasonable, non-criminal uses.
There are plenty of legitimate reasons we might want to encrypt our conversations.
Of course, we know there are dozens of reasons we might want to use the encryption function on our favorite messaging apps. For example, when I was recently traveling in Europe, I needed to give my daughter credit card information to pay a bill for me. I used the encryption function on Telegram to send it because who wants that out there floating around?
Indeed, there are many legitimate reasons to use end-to-end encryption…