Trump administration officials allegedly met to discuss banning end-to-end encryption
Online privacy is one of the essential rights that has arisen in the era of the internet. Things like end-to-end encryption play a big role in ensuring you stay safe during your time on the internet, yet we often take for granted as they’re baked right into some of the apps we use daily. WhatsApp conversations, for one, are end-to-end encrypted in order to ensure your private, important conversations stay private and just for you, without third-party agents or hackers snooping into your stuff. But as this has become a basic right, it has also become something governments constantly try to crack down in order to control their people.
According to some reports, the United States government might be among those looking into cracking down on citizen online privacy rights, as it seems that some Trump administration officials have reportedly met to discuss banning end-to-end encryption. The United States is no stranger to snooping into people’s private lives—just look at Edward Snowden’s NSA controversy for an example of this—but Donald Trump’s government has specifically targeted online rights for a while now. In late 2017, a controversial bill repealing net neutrality was passed. Banning end-to-end encryption would, however, have a much, much bigger impact in the US’ online landscape, as messaging apps like iMessage and WhatsApp use end-to-end encryption protocols.
Even if it would be something that most users won’t immediately notice, it still greatly compromises their privacy online. Not only that, but it may also have a devastating effect in the global market, as it is very much unlikely that Apple or Facebook—being US-based companies—would just strip end-to-end encryption out of their apps for the US market.
But we should also remind you that, as of right now, this is still a rumor, and you should take this with a grain of salt. The US government has not announced anything yet. But if it were to become true, it would be interesting to see how things would unfold from here.