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<a href="/news/international-paranoia-will-it-be-the-end-of-encrypted-e-mail" title="International Paranoia: Will It Be the End of Encrypted E-Mail">International Paranoia: Will It Be the End of Encrypted E-Mail</a>
Posted on: 15 Jan 2015 

Posted By: IT Wiser

International Paranoia: Will It Be the End of Encrypted E-Mail


E-mail security is a standard offering among IT companies in a day and age when data breaches are so prevalent. Even IT Wiser offers a cloud e-mail security platform. Without e-mail security, companies cannot rely on secure network communications without the constant worry of hackers looking over their shoulders. Now they may also have the Government to worry about, at least where encrypted e-mail is concerned. 

A recent case in Spain shines the spotlight on encrypted e-mail and the problems it is presenting to government. According to news reports, 11 people were arrested following an investigation into explosives being placed in ATM machines last year. Four of the suspects were released while the remaining seven were charged with various crimes. All of it sounds pretty reasonable thus far. 

Where things begin to go awry is the reasoning offered by the judge for detaining and charging the remaining seven suspects. The decision from judge Javier Gómez Bermúdez was partially rooted in the fact that the seven suspects were using ‘extreme security measures’ to protect e-mail communications. It turns out they were using a free, volunteer-run American service that provides users with encrypted e-mail and protected IP addresses. 

Access, a global civil liberties organisation, has condemned the judge's decision as tantamount to making accusations of criminal activity based on one's desire to maintain digital privacy. Should the judge's actions be established as precedent in Spain, one wonders how long before it spreads across Europe. 

Individual Rights vs National Security 

To date there has been no official response from the Spanish government to those protesting the decision of Gómez Bermúdez. However, if Spain's official stand is similar to that expressed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, secure e-mail could eventually be a thing of the past. Cameron is on record as saying that governments need the ability to easily monitor the electronic communications of civilians in order to protect national security. 

With all due respect, this all seems a bit of unnecessary paranoia. The average global citizen is a law-abiding member of society doing nothing more than trying to support a family and enjoy a productive life. To subject all citizens to the prying eyes of government in order to protect national security is more than just an overreach, it is completely unnecessary and, more importantly, likely to be unproductive. 

Should various governments decide to outlaw e-mail encryption it will not stop terrorists from doing what they do. They will simply move on to another form of communication. Therefore, the solution to the problem is not to punish the general public for the actions of a lawless minority. The solution is swift and severe punishment of those who pose a threat to national security. 

Regardless of what happens with encrypted e-mail in the future, IT Wiser will continue to offer e-mail and other security solutions that comply with the law. We invite you to contact us for more details of the cloud security solutions currently on offer. Our number one goal is to make sure each of our clients take full advantage of every possible security solution in order to protect their businesses and customers.

The Register