Pædophiles * Terrorists * Drug Dealers * Organised Crime

11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called drug dealer, and in alleys he doth lurk and sell weed.

12His eyes were as glass, and in his pocket were many deals; and he had a phone number, that all men knew, except the filth.

The four horsemen of the apocalypse is the name given to the four villains that government use to convince people that something is evil. Allow me to demonstrate:

Encryption should not be available to the general public, if it was then pædophiles would be able to store images of themselves abusing children securely. Terrorists could communicate their plans without government being able to find out. Organised crime would be able to keep their dealings secret and drug dealers would be able to talk to clients without risk of being intercepted.

All because of encryption, it shouldn't be legal. It worked surprisingly well, until 1997 it was illegal to use encryption in France without the express permission of the head of state.

Terrorists are the flavour of the day, of course. Take the Regulation of investigatory powers act 2003 in the UK. Regulation, you say? The full name of the act is:

An Act to make provision for and about the interception of communications, the acquisition and disclosure of data relating to communications, the carrying out of surveillance, the use of covert human intelligence sources and the acquisition of the means by which electronic data protected by encryption or passwords may be decrypted or accessed; to provide for the establishment of a tribunal with jurisdiction in relation to those matters, to entries on and interferences with property or with wireless telegraphy and to the carrying out of their functions by the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Headquarters; and for connected purposes.

See, terrorists can't rely on encryption now, because they legally have to give up the keys on demand. Hm. Flaws anyone?

The nice upshot of this is that you can encrypt a message and (untraceably) give it to an enemy, then dob him in for terrorism. He can't decrypt the message and bingo.

Just think if al-Qa'ida had access to 3DES, they might be able to plan large scale terrorist attacks without us finding out.

The horsemen are the embodiment of states restricting the freedom of those they represent by fear. What was terrorism again?

* http://www.gilc.org/crypto/crypto-results.html
* http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/en2000/2000en23.htm