Data with an open lock

Who Needs Encryption? You May Be Surprised

There are two things we know, for certain, when it comes to the encryption debate.

1. Law enforcement doesn’t like it, and wants a way to break it.

2. Any “backdoor” built in to encryption will, eventually, get misused.

Now, the typical response to point number 2 is that “people with nothing to hide” shouldn’t care about whether encryption has a backdoor or doesn’t, after all only criminals would hide behind it.

But that’s not true. There are a lot of legitimate reasons for end-to-end encrypted communications. It’s difficult to live up to your requirements for handling health care data, for example, if there’s a huge backdoor in your encryption. Same thing with trade secrets and confidential business and legal information. All of that communication becomes a very juicy target when hackers can take advantage of the weakness in the encryption.

But, there is another story I want to tell about this, about a completely different group of people.

To tell you the story, I want to quote an article I found:

“It’s an end-to-end, encrypted platform, and what that means is that no information is stored on a server,” said Black.

“None of that information is saved, and the conversations are deleted automatically afterwards.”

Wow, that must be some serious criminal group, huh?

Or, it is a service for people to seek help and escape from domestic violence in Canada.

Yes, because vulnerable people need to be able to communicate securely, and they also are “hiding” from people who would think nothing of eavesdropping on their communication. The kind of people who will be more than happy to take advantage of any weakness in encryption to continue to control their victims.

So, maybe instead of looking at anyone who is against a backdoor as a supporter of terrorists and child abusers, we should also consider the possibility that people who want to break encryption are encouraging domestic violence and mistreatment of vulnerable people?

Or, we could have an adult conversation about encryption and secure messaging and why it’s something that we should not break.

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