Digital privacy has been a growing concern for businesses and general web users ever since Edward Snowden leaked PRISM documents to the press, and for good reason.
The documents revealed a digital surveillance operation that was larger and more efficient than even the most zealous tinfoil hat wearer could have imagined.
They detailed operations that collected vast streams of data from big name companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Yahoo, that had been approved in dark, back-room, secret courts away from the eyes of privacy advocates and digital watchdogs.
Worse still, the companies involved were prevented from speaking publicly about the operations and left with woefully few means to fight the special requests being thrown at them under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
In turn, the revelations led to a backlash against the private sector parties involved. Attacks on the firms included accusations that they didn't fight hard enough or were in cahoots with the intelligence agencies.
However, a silver lining soon appeared around the PRISM cloud as the companies involved, in my mind, reacted in the best way possible.
Following PRISM, everyone from Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Yahoo to local SMBs began re-examining their data collection and protection policies and rolling out new technologies to protect data passing through their networks.
The biggest of these is the ongoing move to encrypt online services, which will help to stop spooks and cyber criminals getting hold of the data.
Snowden himself has listed encryption as one of, if not the, best way for people and businesses to protect their data, and for me the rising use of anonymising services and a focus on data protection is a huge positive that governments should be promoting.
Sadly, though, many have gone the other way, arguing that mass data collection and the ability to access businesses' customer data is a necessary evil in the fight against criminal and terrorist groups. It's a belief that has been accepted enthusiastically by the Tory government.
In turn, the US and UK governments have debated new legislation that would grant intelligence agencies yet more surveillance powers and ways to get round the encryption roadblock.
These attacks on encryption are ridiculous and foolhardy for two reasons. First, attacking or blocking encryption won't stop the bad people that the government alleges it's fighting by weakening web users' cyber security. It'll just make general web users more vulnerable.
Second, it will destroy customer trust in online businesses that handle data and have a negative impact on the global economy.
Fortunately I am far from alone in this belief. This week over 140 businesses, researchers, government advisors and white hats sent a letter to US president Barack Obama urging him to block proposed legislation that would let agencies legally collect and decrypt data from "communications devices".
The letter, which has been signed by tech firms including Apple, Google Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, Symantec and HP, expresses my concerns nicely.
"Introducing mandatory vulnerabilities into American products would further push many customers - be they domestic or international, individual or institutional - to turn away from those compromised products and services," it said.
"[Customers] and many of the bad actors whose behaviour the government is hoping to impact will simply rely on encrypted offerings from foreign providers, or avail themselves of the wide range of free and open source encryption products that are easily available online."
This isn't rocket science. If you reduce overall cyber security levels and make commonly used encryption protocols and defence tools vulnerable you won't catch the serious cyber criminals because they don't use them.
The bad people running cyber black markets dealing in arms, exploit kits, drugs, or even child pornography are smarter than that.
They know how to hide their operations and will simply move deeper underground, using even more advanced detection dodging technologies, and evolving their strategies to exploit businesses' government-made weaknesses.
It won't make any difference to me as I am not part of the one percent that our new government cares about, but I wanted to use this column to add my voice to the 140 companies on the letter and urge the US and UK governments to reconsider their war on encryption.
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