The central role of end-to-end encryption in modern self-defense

Meanwhile, anti-encryption initiatives in the US, including proposed legislation such as the Earn It Act, continue to enforce legislation against technological safeguards. Pfefferkorn is clear about the divide. “You really can’t be pro-choice and anti-encryption at this point,” she said.

The researchers point out that encryption is often thought of in the context of enabling free speech, but it can also be viewed through a self-defense lens.

“Effective, uncensorable, secret communications are certainly more valuable to counterintelligence movements than small arms,” ​​says computer security consultant Ryan Lackey. “If you have magic, secure telepathy between everyone in your organization, and some of your allies are in opposition in a civil war or resistance scenario, you don’t need a single gun to win.”

Lackey points out that there are parallels between encryption and firearms, as enshrined in the Second Amendment. others explored At that time. However, the crucial point is the connection to the right of self-defense, which the Supreme Court is a Second Amendment absolutist. Illustrate Repeatedly The “central part” of the Act.

Beyond end-to-end encryption’s ability to protect people from their government, police, and prosecutors, it also protects them from other people who wish to do harm, whether criminal hackers or violent extremists. Equating encryption with a weapon misunderstands its function—it’s much more shield than sword—and these safeguards remain the most powerful means by which people everywhere protect their digital privacy. A clear parallel can be drawn to the enthusiasm of gun advocates to embrace their right to bear arms.

Stanford’s Pfefferkorn suggests that this is logical and necessary for abortion providers, patients, or anyone with a pro-choice to adopt and protect encryption in general, but especially in the face of manipulation. Roe v. use At this moment, she adds, as the Supreme Court simultaneously reverses decades of established precedent on a variety of issues, the most important generalizable takeaway is the benefits of access to end-to-end encryption and the need to protect that access. .

“Laws can change. Social norms can change. A completely innocuous conversation you had yesterday can haunt you years from now,” says Johns Hopkins cryptographer Matthew Green.” “That’s why we never write down every conversation we have. Encryption is a way to provide the same basic protections to digital communications as PBX.

Twenty-six states have criminalized abortion, do so, or are likely to do so. How those laws are enforced is unknown. Millions of people who had nothing to hide before the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision now face potential targeting, surveillance, and jail time over their reproductive health. And their self-defense requires comprehensive encryption. As Signal’s Marlinspike said during a panel discussion at the 2016 RSA Security Conference in San Francisco, “I think it’s really hard to enforce the law … I think it’s really possible to break the law.”

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