ZDNET’s take on moves by western governments to insert themselves into your private conversations. Just to be clear, this is a BAD idea…:
[…] Until recently there was, for most people in most countries, an effective right to privacy.
The state just couldn’t spy on every conversation or listen in to what was happening in every home in real time, and nor did they (in most cases) especially want to.
Now the technology exists to do exactly that (and in many cases we cheerfully carry that technology around in our pockets and install it in our homes). We are creating vast amounts of data every day and law enforcement inevitably and understandably wants access to that data when necessary to fight crime. Many people, just as understandably, want to keep that private.
The rise of encrypted services came in part as a response to this tension, to try and recreate that private world of the past. Encryption is one of the best ways that we can keep that information private, which is why the crypto debate matters so much.
Police and intelligence agencies will always want greater access to data, in order to reduce the risk of crime or terrorism. But those are not the only risks we face. It’s already clear that allowing governments too much information quickly leads to the creation of a surveillance state from which it is impossible to escape. Few in the West would want to travel very far down that road.