Some horrible things have been happening in the world. From terrorist attacks, to mass shootings, the world seems like a much smaller and scarier place to live. How do we as a society prevent tragedies like this from occurring? How should we balance privacy and security going forward? Let's talk about encryption, the role it is playing in the political arena, and what it means to you.
What Is Encryption?
Let’s first cover what encryption actually is. I’ve done a full episode on what exactly encryption is which you can find here. But for a quick refresher, encryption is a way of scrambling data, so that the only way to unscramble it is if you know the password. Let's say you are passing notes in class (kids, before texting this is how your parents communicated in the classroom). If the teacher were to catch you passing notes in class, she could easily read the note. However, if you would have encrypted it, she would just see random letters unless she knew the code.
Encryption is used to keep communication private. Typically encryption is used to protect all sorts of communication, but it’s used very heavily across the Internet for several reasons.