At the end of June, the US National Security Council met to discuss whether legislation is needed that limits the use of encryption for consumers and businesses. DOJ, FBI, DHS, Commerce, and the State Department all attended this meeting to provide their feedback and decide next steps. There was argument and discussion on both sides as to whether this legislation is necessary and whether it would lessen security measures that are needed to protect data.
Data encryption is nothing new. Cryptography has been around since ancient times, but now we utilize electronics to create algorithms to scramble data. Data scrambling is used in everything from banking apps and online payments to health care, communication, and even Facebook.
Limiting encryption could cause major issues in storing, protecting, and sharing data by making it easier to steal or hold data for ransom due to the lessened security. Encryption makes intercepted data unreadable and unusable unless you can decode the correct algorithm or cipher. While encryption can be broken, it would take such a large amount of computing power and luck, that it is a major deterrent to malicious parties.
While it would give DOJ and government policing agencies much more ready access to personal data to find suspects and prosecute them, it would come at great cost to our national security and personal privacy. Companies around the world utilize end-to-end encryption on products and software to protect data and calm the users worry over data leaks and surveillance.
This could be a very slippery slope that could have major consequences in data protection, privacy and the way businesses store and build their products for millions of consumers.
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Read more about the data encryption crackdown here.