PGP ignited the decade of the Crypto Wars, resulting in all the western democracies dropping their restrictions on the use of strong cryptography. It was a storied and thrilling decade, and a triumph of activism for the right to have a private conversation.
Yet, we now see a number of governments trying to do exactly that. Pushing back against end-to-end encryption. We see it in Australia, the UK, the US, and other liberal democracies. Twenty years after we all thought we won the Crypto Wars. Do we have to mobilize again? Veterans of the Crypto Wars may have trouble fitting into their old uniforms. Remember that scene in The Incredibles when Mr. Incredible tries to squeeze into his old costume? We are going to need fresh troops.
It’s not only personal freedom at stake. It’s national security. The reckless deployment of Huawei 5G infrastructure across Europe has created easy opportunities for Chinese SIGINT. End-to-end encryption products are essential for European national security, to counter a hostile SIGINT environment controlled by China. We must push back hard in policy space to preserve the right to end-to-end encryption.