SAN FRANCISCO—In the age of mass digital surveillance, how private should your data and communications be?
That question lies at the heart of the encryption panel that kicked off the Enigma Conference here on Monday morning, where four cryptography experts discussed the origins of the first round of Crypto Wars and the state of the current Crypto Wars, and debated what’s at stake for consumers, companies, and governments.
“It is a basic human right for two people to talk confidentially, no matter where they are. This is sacrosanct,” said Jon Callas, senior technologist at the ACLU and a veteran of the fight between the U.S. government and tech companies over the use of cryptography to protect digital communications in the 1990s.
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Human right it may be, but most countries have not enshrined confidential conversations in their legal codes. What started as a resurgent fight against government surveillance in the wake of the documents leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013 has now bloomed into a larger struggle over who gets to encrypt their communications and data. In Snowden’s wake, end-to-end encrypted messaging has become far more accessible, while Apple and Google have introduced on-device encrypted data storage by default. But access to those services could soon depend on which country you’re in and which digital services you’re using.
This story was originally commissioned by Tom’s Guide. Read the full story here.