The Encryption Kerfuffle

nsa

Anyone paying even slight attention to the news in recent years will have noted that our government specifically the NSA has been reading our mail and the mail of many folks overseas with what amounts to complete impunity. Regardless of any 4th amendment rights in the name of stopping terrorism and catching predators our privacy rights have been routinely and massively violated.

In a logical response to these actions Apple and Google have both released operating systems which encrypt content and communication to and from our smart phones. Without access to the passcode on the devices neither The feds, Apple or Google would be able to routinely decrypt the data.  These changes have led to calls from various off our data overlord to make these operating system changes essentially criminal.

Encryption isn’t new, if you could be bothered to do it, it’s been available from a wide variety of sources for a long time and none of those suppliers have been prosecuted for doing that so far. All Apple and Google are doing is making that the default rather than the exception.  If bad actors could get tough encryption before and they weren’t already using it, presumably this change will only protect the dumb and lazy bad actors. What it does do is it makes it harder for the NSA to conduct massive unwarranted collection programs against US citizens.