Open Technology For An Open Society: Encryption
Sven presents his ideas on encryption policy as part of the "Open Technology For An Open Society" lecture series at the Freie Universität of Berlin.
Since the 1990s, governments tried to restrict encryption and aimed to achieve backdoor access to encrypted communications so that no one can “go dark”, escape the all-seeing eye of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. It is said that “we” won this first crypto war and are now fighting its successor. However, it seems more likely that we have merely won the first battle in an ongoing crypto war. Whereas there are still some government voices out there that want to regulate encryption strength, others demand a skeleton key to encrypted communications and even others talk about secure ways of doing so by implementing for example a “n out k system”. Some governments, such as the German, moved the battlefield entirely to focus on government hacking. If you have full access to a smartphone or laptop, most of the time you do not need to decrypt communications or data. Encryption as an open technology is inherently difficult to regulate and therefore led to free access to encryption tools. To a certain degree this enables us to escape domestic and foreign surveillance – but this fight is far from over.