If you’ve ever used an online messaging platform, chances are end-to-end encryption has been present and taken advantage of – the use of this is to protect data being sent so it can’t be read or modified by a third party. It is an essential tool in everyday life from catching up with a friend to digital nomad jobs sending data around the world – but it seems not everyone is happy with the tech, as the UK may be looking to step up its own efforts to block end-to-end encryption in the future.
The ban had first been proposed a number of years ago back in 2015 along with a number of different legislation actions that could give governments the ability to access messages remotely if the need was deemed dire, but the space had been relatively quiet since then until early 2022 where news around a potential ban on the encryption technique was brought up once more with the UK government partnering with some digital ad agencies to change public opinion on the safety feature. With a snappy hashtag meant to get users on board, it seems once again information that may not be entirely accurate regarding the protection of children is being used to spearhead this change but has already been met with a lot of criticism.
There’s already been research to suggest that blocking or banning end to end encryption could be potentially impossible, and with a £534,000 budget assigned to the campaign it has been labeled quite an egregious waste of money too where focus could be put elsewhere – not to mention how unrealistic it is to remove any encryption at all as the vast majority of websites rely on it, it has become a staple in e-commerce to succeed, and vital for modern messaging platforms to remain safe and secure too.
The campaign is just getting started so will certainly be a feature in news stories for some time to come and will likely lead to some divide in audiences, it may also raise interest for other countries that may also look to follow and suggest the same, but with the amount of technology that relies on these very same encryption methods being vital, it seems strange to suggest for any change to happen.
There’s already been a lot of backlashes, and the public support certainly isn’t siding with the rule makers on this one but may alert users to just how important these techniques are as online safety has become a prominent topic and data protection is becoming more important to end-users too.