When the US of A has high profile, mass shootings, there are immediately those who will use that time to capitalize on the tragedy to push a pro- or anti-gun agenda. Immediately. Not a few weeks later when the survivors and families of the victims have had some time to grieve and make sense of things. Immediately.
What happens when it’s a legitimate terrorist action in a country that already has very strict gun laws? Encryption is what comes to the forefront. As someone who appreciates his privacy and enjoys the protections that current laws give to my privacy, I’m astounded that anyone would attack something that I find to be of fundamental importance in this country.
So, if I’m the leader of a anti-government, extremist right wing, nationalist, militia, and I mail a letter to one of my allies, law enforcement needs a warrant to open it up and read it. If I use a cypher of some sort to write my letter so that it has to be decoded when it arrives, that’s not illegal. However, there are those that would make it so that if I do that electronically, it’ll be much easier for someone to open that letter and mandate that whoever made that cypher has to give a copy of the decoder ring to law enforcement. To that, I say- no.
And it’s coming.
The good people at Simply Secure have a good article on this very issue. Aljazeera America also covers the knee-jerk reactions about encryption’s role in this. And a shorter read over a Boing Boing as well.