Attacks on encrypted communicxatiopn rising in Europe

Johan Wevers johanw at
Wed Aug 24 12:51:07 CEST 2016

On 24-08-2016 4:26, Robert J. Hansen wrote:

> 	1.  Are you a privacy absolutist?


> 	2.  If yes, why should we listen to you?

The child porn excuse is used too often. The terrorism card is also
played often (not that it would help much against that as all known
exmples show). And then comes the drugs excuse (where it might work but
that's where a lot of people start to think "so what?"). And then come
the tax evaders ("you pay more because he hides his administration").

Eventually you land in the situation you have in the USA, where people
are being investigated because they have unwanted political opinions or
oppose those in power like Clinton, or the situation in Turkey where
people get jailed for supporting a competitor of the current sultan.

Point is, the government can't be trusted. And even if you trusts
today's one, tomorrows one might be another thing.

> 	3.  If no, then how should we permit privacy tools to be
> 	    circumvented?

You can try - someone might have used a weak password, wrote it down
somewhere or made another mistake. Or can be pressured into telling it
(the famous $5 wrench comes to mind here). But that's all you got. And
the child pornographers will still use decent encryption because in any
sane country the penalty for child abuse is higher than the penalty
would be for refusing to decrypt. Unless you want to change that, the
child abusers (or even those who only download other's pictures)will
still use encryption, but everyone else is at risk. Not to mention
terrorists who do use encryption: if you're going to die anyway, why
would they care?

ir. J.C.A. Wevers
PGP/GPG public keys at

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