When we use the Internet, we're not just clicking around and passively taking in information. We are often sending e-mails, messaging on social media and sharing with businesses our own personal information such as bank details, pins and passwords. To keep this information safe and private, our personal data is encrypted.
Which is all fine and dandy until a criminal (with the same protection) commits a crime. This has sparked an argument across the pond between the FBI and Apple.
FBI has taken Apple to court to demand they crack the iPhone encryption security features so the FBI can continue their investigation into the tragic San Bernardino shooting.
Whilst at first the argument may seem black and white - it definitely isn't.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that creating a so-called Master Key that bypasses security features is out of the question, as it would make all iPhone users vulnerable to attack by hackers, cybercriminals and authoritarian regimes that would also like access to people’s private iPhones.
In the UK, this is known as "Snooper's Charter” and is getting it's second reading today. Should this bill come into law, The UK government will be able to by-pass encryption software and monitor online activity, whether or not an individual is under surveillance.
Whether this is the right thing to do or not, only time will tell.
The proposed bill requires internet companies to hold records about which web pages all internet users have visited for a year, whether they are suspected of a crime or not. The law would also require technology companies to bypass users’ encryption software and explicitly gives the security services to hack and bug private citizens’ computers. Campaigners have warned the latter provision could lead to the effective outlawing of messaging services like iMessage, Snapchat, and WhatsApp, which use full end-to-end encryption.