After Brussels Attacks Politicians Blame Encryption - Again. For the Sake of Our Freedom, Please Stop!

After the tragic attacks on Tuesday in Brussels, Politicians again rush to blame encryption - even though there is no evidence that the terrorists even used encryption.

In fact, the discussion about terrorism and encryption is becoming ridiculous. Politicians - without knowing any facts, already blame encryption, thus, justifying their fight against a secure form of communication for their citizens. Adam Schiff, an American politician even says he doesn't know if the terrorists used encryption, but...

“But we can be sure that terrorists will continue to use what they perceive to be the most secure means to plot their attacks,” Schiff said directly after the attacks.

This shows a frightening development in the current discussion on banning encryption: It is not even necessary anymore that terrorists actually do use encryption. Their attacks are already reason enough to ban encryption.

Total Surveillance Does Not Lead to Total Security

However, many smart people have already pointed out that banning encryption will not result in an increased security for the public - again and again and again and again. Instead it will allow a general surveillance of everybody online that the Stasi or Gestapo back in German history could only have dreamt of. In East Germany mass surveillance ended in 1990 with the German Unity Day.

In fact, let's take a look back into history: In Hitler Germany being a jew, a communist or gay was reason enough for the officials to send you to a concentration camp. A decade before Hitler rose to power no one knew that you could get yourself killed just for your belief, your political or sexual orientation.

There are occasions - and unfortunately these occasions aren't so rare even today - were it is better that your government does not know everything about you. That's why the thought of all-round surveillance is so scary and should be prevented by all means.

Protect Our Freedom Instead of Destroying It!

That's why we ask of politicians to stay true to their responsibility: Protect the freedoms we have gained over the last decades that are the foundation of our modern democracies and that make our countries so secure to live in - no matter what race, belief, political or sexual orientation. We need to keep it this way and not give in to intangible terrorist threats.

Our freedoms - fortunately - include our right to whisper, to have a private conversation, also online. If we give up these freedoms, the terrorists have already won. Why? Because our democracies, our values and our liberty will be lost. What comes next can only be devastating.

That's why we ask politicians, even and because of the terrorist threat, to stay strong. To fight for our values and our freedom. Protect the values of our democracies instead of destroying them!

Black and white picture of Matthias thinking and looking to the right side.
Matthias is co-founder and developer of Tuta, focusing on backend development, architecture and email processing. He writes code and political comments to fight for our human right to privacy. He wants to create an encrypted cloud collaboration platform which is so easy to use and so secure that it locks out all the spies. We all deserve a better internet - one where privacy is the default.
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