Encryption and the Government

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance wants Congress to enable government agencies—the police in Vance’s case—to penetrate private citizens’ encrypted cell phone communications. His justification?

Just for iPhones alone we have 111 cases that we are not able to access…due to new encryption protocols[.]

Out of a population of 320 million Americans possessing some 200 million smartphones—the targets of Vance’s desire—Vance has a problem with 111. That’s roughly akin to five people out of the entire city of New York. Five problems, and so all of New York City must lose their ability to protect their privacy against government snooping. One hundred and eleven problems, and so all Americans must lost.

Trust us. We government men would never abuse this power.

This is exactly the arrogance of officials of intrusive government that drove our Founders to write the 4th Amendment. Can’t crack the encryption, even with a warrant? Do actual police work. You have brains. It only takes one failure? Reread Ben Franklin’s remark about security and liberty.

We’ve been over this.


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