Encryption has been a pretty big deal over the past few years and messaging services that launch without it, might as well forget making a global push. Unfortunately, encryption has also meant multiple government’s counter-terrorism efforts are stifled and therein lies the problem.
Recently, government officials from the UK, US, New Zealand, Canada and Australia met regarding the encryption catch-22. According to the Guardian the meeting was hosted by “…new home secretary, Priti Patel, in an effort to coordinate efforts to combat terrorism and child abuse”.
This is not the first time this issue is popping up with reports earlier this month claiming officials in US President Donald Trump’s administration want to do away with end-to-end encryption.
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The meeting held by the English speaking countries sought to address the issue of over-effective encryption methods being used by tech companies but the meeting’s agenda was not made public making it difficult to know to what exactly was discussed.
The issue of backdoors is a touchy subject in an age where users have become more concerned with their security on internet platforms, the feeling for most users is that they would prefer to keep encryption. Particularly in countries in which politicians could inspect messages in order to stifle free speech or interfere with the plans of opposition parties.
Police said they had not been able to see or crack open hundreds of WhatsApp messages sent by at least one of those involved in the London Bridge attacks because an acquaintance of theirs had refused to hand over his phone.The Guardian – Calls for backdoor access to WhatsApp as Five Eyes nations meet
It’s a double-edged sword as terrorism is also adversely affecting many countries who are simply left with no options to trace or prevent future attacks. Which is the better devil? Terrorists freely planning and executing plans with no interference or protection of citizens from malicious politicians who may abuse the backdoors?