Is End to End Encryption Good or Bad? There was the recent event where the new synchronisation feature to Google Authenticator was criticised by security researchers as not secure for use due to its lack of end to end encryption. Google responded the very next day saying that they have heard users’ concerns and will add end-to-end encryption in a future release. This has got me thinking about end to end encryption, and whether it is good or bad and I found that the ABC Big Ideas had recently investigated this dilemma. They say that it depends on what is more important to you, that authorities can monitor online messages for crime and child abuse, or that your messages are always completely private. It provides both privacy and secrecy and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing very much depends on your perspective. Any parent of a child in a democratic country or rule of law may understandably want their child’s safety to be prioritised above all else. But a journalist who risk their life to report the truth under a repressive regime may depend on the privacy and security of their application to survive. And because end-to-end encryption is either on for everyone or off for everyone, its not possible for companies to decide that they way to turn it on for journalist but off for criminals.  You can’t have it both ways, and that’s the problem with end-to-end encryption.

This segment was created for the It’s 5:05 podcast