Adam Henschke writes:
Ex-National Security Agency (NSA) employee Edward Snowden’s various leaks – the most recent being a slide showing that the NSA infected 50,000 of computer networks with remote-controlled spyware – confirm that state intelligence agencies around the world have been collecting and analysing people’s behaviour online for years.
Many people now feel that their online privacy and anonymity have been undermined – particularly as major service providers like Google, Facebook and Apple have been compromised. In response, some email service providers (such as Yahoo! last week) are now offering full encryption of users’ data.
While privacy is generally seen as morally desirable, the ethical issues surrounding encryption technologies require some closer investigation. In order to properly assess such things, we need to assess not just the claims but the moral foundations upon which they are based.
What, then, are the main moral justifications for encryption? What are the arguments against it? And finally, what responsibilities do encryption service providers owe their clients and the public at large?
Read more on Business Spectator.
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