Is encryption the Second Amendment for the Internet?

“Last week, FBI Director James Comey once again campaigned for ‘backdoors’ into the encryption programs of tech companies,” writes Sunday Yokubaitis at the Daily Dot.

“Tech execs say privacy should be the paramount virtue,” he told the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. “When I hear that, I close my eyes and try to imagine what the world looks like where pedophiles can’t be seen, kidnappers can’t be seen, [and] drug dealers can’t be seen.”

The United States government is playing to fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The reality is the government already collects a tremendous amount of personal data about its citizens through the location data our phones give away, National Security Agency metadata programs and online shopping habits without our consent.

Encryption is how privacy-conscious Internet users fight back against the unblinking eye of government mass surveillance and protect themselves online. Even if the NSA can break some encryption technologies, we’re at least making it harder and more expensive for them to track law-abiding citizens en masse. When Comey asks for backdoors, he is really just asking to make his job easier—with dubious benefits and very serious risks.

We must protect encryption because backdoors are inherently insecure.

Today’s Question: Is encryption the Second Amendment for the Internet?