This Slashdot item made me wonder "Why is this news?"
:Two Years After Snowden Leaks, Encryption Tools Are Gaining Users
Patrick O'Neill writes:
It's not just DuckDuckGo — since the first Snowden articles were published in June 2013, the global public has increasingly adopted privacy tools that use technology like strong encryption to protect themselves from eavesdroppers as they surf the Web and use their phones. The Tor network has doubled in size, Tails has tripled in users, PGP has double the daily adoption rate, Off The Record messaging is more popular than ever before, and SecureDrop is used in some of the world's top newsrooms.
...and then today, I read this rather interesting post from Lauren Weinstein's Blog
:Lauren Weinstein's Blog: Falling Into the Encryption Trap
(Extracts below copied below sans
...But in some of the attitudes I see being expressed now about "forced" encryption regimes -- even browsers blocking out fully-informed users who would choose to forgo secure connections in critical situations -- there's a sense of what I might call "crypto-fascism" of a kind. ...
...Yes, we want to encourage encryption -- strong encryption -- on the Net whenever possible and practicable. Yes, we want to pressure sites to fix misconfigured servers and not purposely use weak crypto.
But NO, we must not permit technologists (including me) to deploy Web browsers (that together represent a primary means of accessing the Internet), that on a "security policy" basis alone prevent users from accessing legal sites that are not specifically configured to always require strongly encrypted connections, when those users are informed of the risks and have specifically chosen to proceed.
Anything less is arrogantly treating all users like children incapable of taking the responsibility for their own decisions.
And that would be a terrible precedent indeed for the future of the Internet.
This thought had struck me a few months back, in the form of: "If everybody is obliged
to have, or is persuaded that it is a "Good Thing" and that they need
to have highly secure and encrypted communications, then this could effectively be a de facto
way of censoring sites deemed officially as being "undesirable" or "risky", and before we knew it we would have embraced the Corporate State's control of our Internet freedoms.
I had dismissed this idea as being too paranoid and unlikely, but now I'm not so sure.
So, the first supposed "news" quote - Two Years After Snowden Leaks, Encryption Tools Are Gaining Users
- could just be part of a steady drip, drip of propaganda that may become a torrent...
This could mean that we're likely to be forcefully and fully censored and
have our communications spied upon by the proprietary gatekeepers - by an "iron fist in a velvet glove" approach - whether we want it or not.
I'm sure it'll all be in our best interests.