Should Your Government Have The Right To Be Able To Break Your Encryption Codes?

We all like to be able to keep our secrets. When you were a kid, depending on the type of household you grew up in, you would do your best to keep your parents out of your business. You would close your bedroom doors or go playing in the backyard somewhere far in the corner so no one could see you. Whatever you could do to be alone and in your own world you would. And that is what we do as adults as well. While some people may claim that they are open as a book that is not the case. There are some things that we do not want the rest of the general public to know about us. The only time we do not care and we are open about everything in our life is when everything has been revealed already. If you feel like the darkest parts of your soul are already an open book to everyone who cares what else they find out about you. This happens to a lot of celebrities who are in the public eye since youth.


But for most people out there, they are able to keep their secrets under wraps. At least they are able to keep them from the general public. Sometimes your spouse, friends or other family members may find out about your dark secrets but overall we are able to keep them safe. And we expect that same safety when we use our computers. We expect to be able to go online and not have our secrets revealed. And it is not always about being online. We expect to be able to use our computers and store what we want on there. As long as what we want to store on the computer is legal. But there are laws that are being passed everyday that is trying to prevent that from happening. There are law makers out there who want to know everything about everyone. And they want to know all of this in the guise of keeping the general public safe.

When you want to keep your data safe both online and on your computer you usually do it by a method called encryption. Encryption is a mathematical formula that makes it hard to crack into software unless you have a key to get by. If you do not have a key to get by then you have to use computers with a lot of horsepower to be able to brute force the key from the encryption. If the encryption that you use is good enough even that may be impossible.

Encryption is bad?

There are some governments out there that try to scare the population into thinking that all types of encryption is bad. They want the public on their side while they pass draconian laws to try and bypass the technology. They try to make people think that the only people who use encryption on their computers are child molesters and black hat hackers that are trying to steal their money. But that is not true. There all sorts of legal uses of encryption technology. A lot of these legal uses are being used by you right now. Take a program like Dropbox for example. Without the encryption technology that they use, people would be able to see all of the files that you store on the Dropbox servers. Or take some of the different types of programs out there that let you fill out tax forms. And we are talking about both online and offline tax programs. To protect the information that you give them, they use encryption based software. Do you really want people to be able to see what you filled out on your tax forms? These are only two of the many ways that encryption can be used for noble purposes. I would guess the encryption is used more for good reasons than it is for bad.

But yet the many different world governments out there would like you to think that the only use for encryption is bad. Or that you should be able to use encryption but they are obligated to have a key to your encrypted files. That is not right. If they want to be able to get into the files that you have encrypted they can by getting a court order. They should not have the right to just hop in there and take a look just because they feel like it.

Encrypting the files that you want to be kept private is a good thing. Everyone deserves to have their privacy and the only way that you can truly get it on a computer these days is by the use of encryption. If you do not encrypt your files then you leave them open for anyone to be able to take a look at. And yes that is true even if they are simply password protected and nothing else.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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