The Year Encryption Won (not)

At the end of 2016 Wired declared it to be the year that we won the battle for encryption. Unfortunately, as we increasingly move towards an authoritarian State, it becomes obvious that was a very short-lived victory.

This quote in particular is disturbing, because it shows a complete lack of understanding of how systems are compromised.

The risk, he said, was acceptable because “we are talking about consumer products and services such as messaging, smart phones, e-mail, and voice and data applications,” and “not talking about protecting the nation’s nuclear launch codes.”Attourney General William Barr

The way into secure systems is in fact through the individuals that have access to them. It’s that less-secure, personal communication path that hackers often use to compromise systems. Never mind the callous determination that your individual privacy, security, and financial well-being is secondary to the government’s ability to eavesdrop.

Originally shared by Ward Plunet

The Year Encryption Won

End-to-end encryption, which ensures that the only people who can see your communications are you and the person on the receiving end, certainly isn’t new. But in 2016, encryption went mainstream, reaching billions of people all over the world. Even more significantly, it overcame its most aggressive legal challenge yet, in a prolonged standoff between Apple and the FBI. And just this week, a Congressional committee affirmed the importance of encryption, giving hope that future laws around the topic will include at least a modicum of sanity. There’s still a long way to go, and any gains that were made could potentially be rolled back, but for now it’s worth taking a step back to appreciate just how far encryption came this year. As far as silver linings go, you could do a lot worse.