Setting The Apple/FBI showdown aside just to clarify something about the end to end encryption debate. Yes, it protects drug-trafficking, kidnapping, and child-pornography. It also protects your banking, credit, medical records, conversations you might have during sensitive, yet aggressive events like divorce, or family disputes over inheritances, etc.
If you think, like I do, “sure I’ll let you look through my phone, I have nothing to hide.” Then you are forgetting a bit about context. I feel that way because I haven’t done anything illegal and have no plans to.
Let’s play out a scenario. Pretend I had a child and was in a crazy custody battle. In a world without end to end encryption, private detectives would have little trouble purchasing malware or cracks that could sniff the data on your wifi network. In that world, nothing is private. That coffee with a friend on your calendar could be misconstrued as a date. That innocent photo of your child in the tub could be misconstrued as child porn.
If you do not think that a prosecutor can weave together circumstantial evidence into a story that puts you in jail, you’ve been sleeping through your life.
With no private keys to keep your data and traffic viewable only by you, we end up in an interesting place. Criminals will further retreat to dark networks that do use end to end encryption, as we will be left with no privacy for no reason.
For what it’s worth, at work, I spend a dramatic portion of my day thinking about authorization, authentication and encryption. I know enough to be worried.
The conversation with Apple is already being twisted from one phone, to end to end encryption giving safe harbor to terrorists.
Every American should be concerned that this outlandish reinterpretation over a law that is over 200 years old is the first step to trying to undo end to end encryption as a whole. If you don’t believe it, maybe you should research. California State government has already proposed regulations to ban smartphone encryption entirely.
If you are ok with that, you should go ahead and get ready for houses with glass walls too.