What is Encryption?

Encryption is a technique for obfuscation or hiding of information so that only those authorised to see it are capable of actually seeing it.

Encryption is NOT hiding the actual object; say a file, that holds the information or perhaps a message in which the information is contained.

From credit card transactions to mobile phone calls and website logins; Encryption is essential to the running of our daily lives, it is used in many forms almost everywhere we interact with one another.

Any threat to the integrity of these systems to use this technology is a potential for disaster for the modern world economy. Yet this is precisely what David Cameron and others are presently advocating.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron proposed, during a recent speech in Davos, that some forms of encryption should be criminalised and that ISPs should be made to “hand over the keys” to the authorities so that they [the authorities] could intercept and monitor messages to prevent terrorism.

Several Harvard Professors and probably other luminaries have argued against such draconian measures, suggesting they would undermine the digital economy.

But for me; that such measures are technically wholly impractical and completely ineffective and the fact that Cameron and his advisers don’t seem to understand this speaks volumes.