[Briefing #0001]: End-to-End (E2E) Encryption
Basics, headlines, controversies, & examples
“End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is a system of communication where only the communicating users can read the messages.” [Source: Wikipedia]
Signal—a non-profit private messaging app started by a former WhatsApp founder—experienced an outage as millions of new users rushed to join. (Thanks, Elon Musk.)
Barring the occasional exhibitionist, we all want privacy. But some of us are criminals. And some of those criminals need to be caught by authorities. Encryption can make it harder to catch them.
This dilemma is not unique to encryption. The tradeoff between freedom and security is a primordial feature of any civilization—dependent, as they are, on the establishment and enforcement of rules.
So why not weaken encryption to account for the bad-guy factor? Because the encryption also helps to protect us upstanding citizens from the ne’er-do-wells. Not only that—sometimes the authorities are the ne’er-do-wells.
More on that here: Encryption is under threat - this is how it affects you (World Economic Forum)