Conceptualising Interaction between Cryptography and Law
Pratik Prakash Dixit*
Volume 11 Issue 3 (2018)
The modern form of cryptography has pervaded nearly all levels of everyday technological use. It is used to secure online commercial transactions, ATM transactions, all modern technological devices like mobile phones and laptops, and instant messaging applications like WhatsApp. Though encryption provides a zone of privacy to users, it also presents the challenge of “going dark” before law enforcement agencies. Recently, there has been a growing debate in countries like the United States and India, to regulate the use of encryption so that the law enforcement agencies can have access to the encrypted data. However, the governments have not been able to figure out the modalities to do so. Since encryption is the most potent tool at the disposal of an individual to protect his or her privacy, any government policy which seeks to regulate its use must also take into consideration its potential impact on the privacy of citizens. This paper argues that a greater focus must be laid on adopting stronger encryption standards rather than weakening them. Empirical facts also prove that the binary of ‘privacy versus security’ is fallacious because the gains accrued from using strong cryptography easily outweigh the losses.