Law enforcement agencies, aided by the respective nations that they represent, have always been an enemy of privacy. Whether it is installing backdoors in supposedly secure applications, or mass-collecting phone and SMS discussions in their nerve centers, organizations around the world such as the NSA, GCHQ, and countless others have never respected this basic human right. Interpol can be included in this list as well, as an exclusive report by Reuters details the organization’s soon-to-be official hard stance on encryption.
The Reuters report states that Interpol plans to join the ranks of law enforcement agencies in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom in opposing strong encryption. Interpol intends to introduce a resolution (created by the FBI, no less) that will seek to cut strong encryption off at the knees, using the justification that they are trying to catch child predators. The official statement from Interpol has not been released yet, however, the news service published excerpts from a draft of the resolution. This draft was unveiled to representatives of 60 countries that Interpol operates in.
Such excerpts include the following:
Service providers, application developers, and device manufacturers are developing and deploying products and services with encryption which effectively conceals sexual exploitation of children occurring on their platforms… Tech companies should include mechanisms in the design of their encrypted products and services whereby governments, acting with appropriate legal authority, can obtain access to data in a readable and useable format.
Interpol is not doing this only to make catching child predators easier. They catch predators all the time, and this is without interfering with encryption protocols. Much like the passage of the Patriot Act after 9/11, Interpol is leveraging the evil actions of specific individuals to make spying on civilians that much easier. The only thing that will truly result from this is world governments getting free reign to control their respective populations and infringe on their basic civil liberties. The Patriot Act did little to stop terrorism, but it did much to allow the U.S. government to racially profile specific populations, spy on activists, and wiretap any individual without a warrant. What makes anyone think this will be different?
Activists are pushing back against this Interpol development, however, as Reuters also reported reactions from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Andrew Cocker, a lawyer for EFF, was quoted as follows:
The idea that the U.S. is so concerned about having lawful exceptional access to end-to-end encryption that they are willing to spread that to nearly every jurisdiction in the world, including authoritarian states with which we would otherwise not share information, is unthinkable to me.
Make no mistake, what Interpol and the FBI are doing is making it possible for Big Brother to fulfill his mission of total and complete control of civilians globally. Do not be swayed otherwise.
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