The Internet vs Government

Round 1

I am continuously bemused and excited by actions of public figures with regards to the Internet.

On Sunday, the Panama Papers were released, they detailed wide spread corruption that implicated Russia's President Vladimir Putin, the President of Ukraine, the Primer Minister of Iceland and many others. I will not rehash the details as they've probably changed by now.

These leaks were made possible by anonymous communication over Tor, covert data transfer over the Internet, and secure encrypted communication.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists coordinated the investigation, which involved over 300 journalists, many of them from nations such as Venezuela that have been partial to Putin's demands in the past.

Given the implications of these revelations on powerful people it's clear that this kind of journalism would not be possible without a secure global communication network un-fettered by government officials worried about elections.

Herein lies the crux of the problem. For years countries have been trying to get access to encrypted information, most recently in the case of the FBI taking Apple to court to get access to an encrypted iphone. The UK's PM David Cameron (who coincidentally was caught up in the Panama Papers) has called for a ban on end-to-end encryption. Brazil cut off access to WhatsApp after they could not provide the government with messages that were requested.

So now we have reached a paradox, governments everywhere are calling for law enforcement access to encrypted information but transparent non-corrupt government is only possible with a secure global communication network.

Luckily the people of the world have math on their side. Encryption that completely cuts off government's access to sensitive information based on math is available for free.

So next time you hear from the FBI "Terrorists will roam free with secure encryption", think about the fear mongering that is being used to protect established tyrants and persecute journalists.

Freedom from corruption in government is only made possible by a secure global communication network. Join me in my crusade to make sure that the Internet serves as the elixir of truth and not the spying ground of the powerful.

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