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Pakistan Banning Encryption?

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Interesting story from Naked Security about Pakistan considering forcing its Internet Service Providers to restrict use of encryption technology.  The clear subtext is, “…without giving the government access to the keys.”  The article ends in a pitch for Sophos’ encryption software, but there is a semi-interesting discussion about the merits and demerits of an encryption ban.

What’s really interesting about this, from a State Department perspective, is how the ban would affect Pakistan’s diplomatic stance with regard to the war against Al Qaeda.  It seems to my uneducated eye that the dilemma could be significant; restricting the use of technology that arguably enables free speech and anonymity online vs. an advantage in the war on terror.  I also wonder how it would directly affect US Diplomatic facilities in Pakistan, as internal traffic is all encrypted and VPN’d through the internet, access which is provided by the local ISPs.

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Written by OSB

29/08/2011 at 12:30

Posted in Security

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