If Cats are outlawed, only Outlaws will have cats

Well, yet again, another member of law enforcement has decided to step into the privacy/encryption wars. Today, Suffolk D.A. Dan Conley dragged out same old argument that providing encryption to the masses will only server the interests of criminals

In America, we often say that none of us is above the law,’  But when unaccountable corporate interests place crucial evidence beyond the legitimate reach of our courts, they are in fact granting those who rape, defraud, assault and even kill a profound legal advantage over victims and society.’’

Which translates, I think, that those of us who use encryption to maintain a shred of privacy in the face of unlimited data collection of all kinds of communication without benefit of a search warrant are somehow playing into the hands of these criminals who will now be able to carry on their nefarious activities behind the shield of encrypted communications.

Notice that Mr Conley, like so many of his ilk, never provide any statistics that demonstrate how law enforcement was not able to proceed because of encryption. Instead, we hear about horrific cases that wouldn’t have been solved if the perpetrator had access to encryption technology.  And we never hear about cases where the perpetrator did use encryption which law enforcement was able to circumvent.

Funny thing about this is that the same arguments were made when Phil Zimmerman published the code for Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). As far as I know, the sky hasn’t fallen yet, although it may have and knocked me unconscious. No, wait, I pinched myself … I’m awake.