Donald Trump isn’t a stranger to controversy and in keeping with that fashion it’s been reported that senior officials in his administration would rather do away with end-to-end encryption if they had their way.
End-to-end encryption is a feature that ensures that your chats in popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram and iMessage can’t be hacked and accessed without your knowledge. The encryption method ensures that your chats stay between you and the intended recipient. It’s a pretty popular feature that has brought a lot of peace of mind to users of these applications.
Unfortunately, the feature also allows terrorists to organise and execute their terror attacks -also drug trafficking and child pornography among many other evils- without governments having access to these plans, which is an inconvenience. At least that’s what the officials who are fed up of the encryption believe.
According to GSM Arena, the FBI believes that catching criminals is a top priority, “even if watered-down encryption creates hacking risks”. The article also reports that the Department of Justice, IRS and Secret Service also share the same belief as the FBI however the Commerce and State departments are wary of any repercussions, both economic and diplomatic. that might come about as a result of these encryption backdoors.
The issue is a dicey one, especially once you consider the fact that despotic governments having access to private chats could be bad news for citizens. On the flip side, terrorism and national security threats are also a real thing and it’s not clear which is more important.