Right to Privacy has been an integral part of almost all constitutions around the world for a long time. In the internet age, this has taken on new dimensions as online privacy and security continue to evolve. Back in 2011, the United Nations declared internet access as a human right. While this is certainly a major step forward, the right to use encryption should also be made part of the list of rights. Encryption allows internet users to keep their online activities private.
Some governments have been pondering the idea of eliminating end-to-end encryption from messaging apps for instance. The Australian government went as far as demanding developers to build encryption back-doors into their applications.
What is the Importance of Encryption for Maintaining the Right to Privacy?
We all like feeling safe and secure. This is the fundamental basis for the birth of civilizations. In the present era, online security and privacy have become a major concern because compromising individual privacy is easy. In fact, every time you go online and visit a webpage, you leave digital footprints which provide information about you. Government agencies, major organizations and even private individuals can track you down to your home.
Obviously, this is a major privacy and security concern and needs to be dealt with at all levels. There are already efforts at the world wide web level being made by organizations like the EFF to make the websites more secure. The new HTTPS secure protocol is a direct result of their online privacy and security activism. However, any sane person knows that merely relying on organizations is not enough. Each individual needs to be able to take charge of their own safety.
The reason why encryption can be an effective measure against online tracking is that it is made mathematically safe. Any modern encryption algorithm will have its basis in factoring. So, it can use, for example, to prime numbers to devise a long chain of numeric codes. Now, once this code is created, it is virtually impossible to decrypt it without the decryption key. So, any party which intercepts any data packet with this encryption will not know how to gain access. As a result, their data interception is meaningless.
At the moment, there are multiple VPN protocols in the market and are being used by a growing audience. Both businesses and individuals stand to benefit from encryption and it goes beyond mere privacy. Here is another reason why online encryption is important for any free society.
What Makes Privacy Essential for Freedom?
Our world is increasingly beginning to resemble an Orwellian nightmare. If the recent streak of online surveillance exposes and data collections scandals have told us anything, it is that everyone is watched. Social media like Facebook are especially at the center of this online surveillance nightmare.
While the internet has given a voice to every citizen in most democratic nations, it has also extracted a price. Now, more than ever before, people think they are being watched. And since they feel they are being watched, voicing opinions freely is becomes less common. Nowadays, people may be afraid of speaking their minds on any platform and even in person.
Observation has been shown to reduce productivity, reduce disagreements and destroy trust. In a free society, surveillance is a quick road to faux authoritarianism. So, the lack of privacy, whether online or offline leads directly to a dissolution of democratic values. As a free society, it is our imperative to preserve these values and encryption is a strong tool to forward this objective.
In addition to the above, encryption also offers other advantages to national governments and their citizens. Some of the most important ones are:
Law Enforcement and Counter-Terrorism Activities
The threat of international as well as domestic terrorism is always looming on everyday citizens. By using encryption, law-abiding citizens can maintain their privacy and prevent criminals from exploiting them. Also, government agencies can track potential public threats and criminals using encryption technologies. This will allow them to better serve local communities and regions.
Data security is now a field unto itself and the growing need for encryption is fostering rapid innovation in this field. With the rising sophistication of encryption protocols, both government and civilian purposes can be met easily. Criminal elements would find it increasingly harder to breach emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), which are considered vulnerable at present. Also, consumers will be able to prevent surveillance on their online activities for more economical prices.
The growing needs of the online space demand the establishment of more robust online infrastructure. Of course, this infrastructure needs to be insulated against security breaches at various levels. Further, it will need to be upgraded to meet newer technological advancements and damage from emergent threats. The growing demand for superior and sophisticated encryption also results in technological advancements with integrated security solutions.
At present, the privacy policies of major online companies can be murky. This can leave user privacy in limbo with regard to their data. As encryption sophistication grows and privacy policies evolve, major businesses, as well as smaller ones, will be forced to evolve. Their policies will become more transparent and result in more overall safety and privacy of users.
The online space is vast and most users barely use a fraction of it. Still, while staying on a safe certified website and trusted business portals are recommended, dangers are ever present. Using a VPN and other online encryption protocols can provide you with critical safety and your data out of others’ hands. We all have the right to privacy and exercising that right in today’s world demands using encryption. Choosing a paid VPN with a no-log policy and strong VPN protocol is the smartest way to prevent data theft. It will ensure you can use the internet safely and exercise your right to privacy without worrying about being compromised.