The Threat Of A Weakened Encryption System Essay

The Threat Of A Weakened Encryption System Essay

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We fear what we cannot control. According to Ashley Welch, from CBSNews, among the top five things that we Americans fear are government corruption, cyber-terrorism, and corporate & government tracking of personal data. Forcing Apple to create a backdoor for the FBI means that these fears are coming true right before our eyes. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” Encryption protects our data, it protects our anonymity, and in some cases it even protects lives. Encryption is not only important to journalists, human rights defenders, or political authorities. We don’t give encryption much thought but it is fundamental to all of our lives. Today we store everything from—financial information, health records, to personal locations on our phones. All this information is protected with a code. Because encryption can protect the things most important to us, we must understand the consequences of a weakened encryption system. Any weakening, even in the name of legitimate law enforcement, puts us all at risk. The ramifications that the people of this world will face if a backdoor is created is the very thing we fear. When it comes to our personal devices and having to choose between privacy or security, we should protect the security of our privacy.
One may argue, why won’t Apple just open this one phone? The truth is, this is immensely bigger than just letting the government access a single phone. Like everything else, encryption also has a downside. It protects the good as well as the bad.
As James Connolly, the Director of the FBI put it:
Technology has become a way of choice for some very dangerous people, and unfortunately, the la...

... middle of paper ...

...want encryption will always find a way. Apps like WhatsApp and Kik, to name a few, are making it easier than ever. There are over 800 encrypted communicational products at a swipe of a finger, and more than 500 of them are outside of the United States. Anyone could download an app and get around all of it.
I am for all for keeping us protected but we also may want to look at both sides. Farook and his wife killed 14 and injured 22, such a horrifying crime should not be taken lightly. We do need to find another way. Encryption enables freedom of expression and opinion and the right to privacy. Strong encryption has its costs; it protects terrorists, drug dealers, and child pornographers but the risks of weakening it are even worse. If Apple is forced to do so, we are undermining decades of security and putting hundreds of millions of people around the world at risk.

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