Edward Snowden warns of the consequences of weakening encryption

to caution Edward Snowden argued that undermining encryption systems to give governments access to people’s personal messages is a fatal mistake with dire consequences.

“Privacy is strength,” Edward Snowden, speaking from Russia, said via video link at a press conference marking the first World Crypto Day.

It comes as governments around the world are pressing tech giants to give them access to encrypted messages.

Many countries are demanding so-called “backdoors” that would allow them to bypass encryption.

Snowden claimed that the United States, the European Union, Australia, Russia and China are among the jurisdictions trying to develop means and methods that require weak encryption systems.

Tech companies argue that end-to-end encryption, which protects messages during delivery so that they can only be viewed by the intended recipient, is important to ensuring users’ privacy.

But governments are concerned about technology that prevents law enforcement from investigating serious crimes such as terrorism and child sexual abuse.

The use of end-to-end encryption has long been a point of contention between governments and big tech companies.

“Privacy was supposed to be the power of individuals,” Snowden said. It was supposed to protect us from institutional behemoths, whether it was in the modern era or the previous time.

He added, “It was a buffer layer that allowed us who have little power in society, because we are individuals, to think, work and participate freely.”

In 2013, the former intelligence contractor leaked classified documents to journalists describing the surveillance programmes. Operated by the National Security Agency to take advantage of cell phones and Internet connections.

Snowden is seen by some as a hero. While he is a traitor to his country in the eyes of others.

Read also: Edward Snowden sells NFT for $5.4 million

Edward Snowden attacks tech companies

Addressing Facebook and other tech giants, Snowden said: The same companies that have worked so hard to spread crypto over the years are now beginning to fear the next step.

“Companies like Facebook want to get as much information as possible,” he added. So it now limits the places you use end-to-end encryption. And it says we do end-to-end encryption for things you don’t want to take commercial responsibility for.

His comments appear to contradict Facebook’s pro-encryption messages. The company faced a backlash from officials in the United States and Britain over plans to bring end-to-end encryption to all of its messaging apps.

Last year, the United States and its allies issued a statement calling on tech companies to develop a solution that would allow law enforcement to access encrypted messages.

The European Union is pushing the tech industry to find ways to provide law enforcement agencies with access to digital evidence. This is done without blocking or weakening encryption.

Apple recently postponed plans to scan users’ devices for child sexual exploitation images after criticism from privacy advocates.

Read also: UK Violates Human Rights Through Mass Surveillance

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