Linked: Facebook Denies That it Plans to Backdoor WhatsApp
If Sharon, and others, are right about this, on the other hand, they won’t have to:
“There are many cybersecurity experts who believe it is only be a matter of time before device manufacturers and mobile operating system developers embed similar tools directly into devices themselves, making them impossible to escape. Embedding content scanning tools directly into phones would make it possible to scan all apps, including ones like Signal, effectively ending the era of encrypted communications.
Governments would, it is thought, use lawful court orders to require companies to build in custom filters of content they are concerned about and automatically notify them of violations, including sending a copy of the offending content.
Rather than having an ongoing battle to defeat encryption, governments will have social media companies to perform their mass surveillance for them, sending them real-time alerts and copies of the decrypted content.”
As I’ve said before, we are headed toward a path where before anything is posted online, it’s going to be scanned, and need to somehow be approved, and that approval will ultimately lie with each government. In the US, the government may find itself with the power, by using third parties, to limit free speech in ways it doesn’t actually have the Constitutional right to. Using a combination of copyright laws, anti-terrorism laws, limits on political speech, etc. it will have every app you have installed on any device, simply doing the monitoring for them.
And forget about posting anything remotely anti-government in places like China, or Russia, or likely even the EU, where there is no free speech right.
We will have an absolutely watered-down version of the internet, where only “approved” viewpoints will be tolerated.
We will also have a vast treasure trove of data about ourselves and everything we’ve ever typed or spoken into, tracked, read, etc. on our devices, in the hands of companies who have a horrendous track record of keeping data safe and private. They will know where we are, what we read, what we “like”, what we search for, who we communicate with, and the content of that communication.
Good luck designing secure business communication tools in that environment. Data will leak all over the place. Even more than it does now.
There will no longer be any privacy in any kind of online communication. The only privacy left will be in our own heads.