What We’re Not Saying by Supporting Encryption

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Scaring People into Supporting Backdoors - Schneier on Security

Let me be clear. None of us who favor strong encryption is saying that child exploitation isn't a serious crime, or a worldwide problem. We're not saying that about kidnapping, international drug cartels, money laundering, or terrorism. We are saying three things. One, that strong encryption is necessary for personal and national security. Two, that weakening encryption does more harm than good. And three, law enforcement has other avenues for criminal investigation than eavesdropping on communications and stored devices.

I feel like my entire teenage and adult life has had an undertone of people trying to scare me into giving up any semblance of privacy.

I was in high school on 9/11 and remember The Patriot Act was instituted with near unanimous support just a month after that tragic day, and patriotism was used as the justification for mass surveillance (see the Enhanced Surveillance Procedures part of the law, specifically). It was “patriotic” to support this sort of thing, and I remember as a then-registered-Republican thinking, “I have nothing to hide, so I’m not worried about this.” Older me has changed a lot from that kid…