Bruce Schneier wrote an interesting post on his blog, about encryption, recently. This one is targeted towards the masses and so it touches upon the basics. He starts of by introducing the fundamental reasons for the use of encryption. But he also highlights some interesting facts about the concept of Encryption.
If we only use encryption when we’re working with important data, then encryption signals that data’s importance. If only dissidents use encryption in a country, that country’s authorities have an easy way of identifying them. But if everyone uses it all of the time, encryption ceases to be a signal. But if everyone uses it all of the time, encryption ceases to be a signal. No one can distinguish simple chatting from deeply private conversation. The government can’t tell the dissidents from the rest of the population. Every time you use encryption, you’re protecting someone who needs to use it to stay alive.
Encryption is the most powerful technology tool we have that can help us protect our privacy against cyber adversaries and also against the surveillance programs run by governments. And as Bruce also points out, the relevance of encryption has become the most, in today’s world, as countries like the US, UK, China and Russia are either talking about or implementing policies that limit strong encryption.
Here is a report which is the result of a collaboration between Privacy International, ARTICLE 19, and the International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) at Harvard Law School. It explores the impact of measures to restrict online encryption and anonymity in four particular countries – the United Kingdom, Morocco, Pakistan and South Korea. It is a definite read.
Title Image courtesy: carra-lucia-ltd.co.uk