Recap of Control of Cryptography

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In this chapter, we discussed a dilemma presented by cryptography. We presented different arguments relating to the extent to which cryptography should and can be controlled. We have also reviewed several strategies and techniques relating to the control of cryptography.

We observed that the cryptography dilemma has always been there (and indeed will always be present) since this conflict arises from the fundamental purpose of encryption. It’s not likely that we’ll abandon cyberspace anytime soon with current trends pointing toward even more technology entering our lives through smart homes and intelligent transportation. All evidence suggests we will be using more cryptography in the future. The cryptography dilemma will surely persist.

There’s no universally agreeable solution to the cryptography dilemma. Attempts to address the dilemma are always unsatisfactory to some stakeholders. Tensions that arise over cryptography are manifestations of the wider tensions between liberty and control in a civilized society. Indeed, one could argue that governance itself is all about finding compromises between these two ideas. These compromises may need to be adjusted as society evolves.

Whatever personal views you might hold about the ethical behavior of Edward Snowden, he has argued that his actions were first and foremost to raise awareness of the capabilities some governments had been developing concerning data collection and analysis. As we have seen, one significant aspect of this concerns how governments are addressing the cryptography dilemma. It is hoped the discussion in this chapter will help you develop your own opinions on how society should address the cryptography dilemma, both now and in the future.

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