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Is It Time to Ban End-To-End Encryption?

December 08, 2019 / Roslyn Layton

Recently some of my AEI colleagues argued that “strong encryption is crucial to both Americans’ personal security and US national security.” They critiqued the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) renewed push for lawful access to encrypted products and services. But a closer look shows that so-called 256-bit “strong” encryption, while valuable and important in certain cases, plays a minor role in cybersecurity. Encryption’s downside, however, is that it makes the communications of gang murderers, drug traffickers, terrorists, and child sexual abusers inaccessible to law enforcement.