Here's the question: Would you rather have perfect encryption capable of ensuring that you (and everyone else who uses the Internet) can keep your movements online hidden from the government or would you prefer that the government be able to hack into the Internet accounts of traffickers and terrorists (even if that means innocent people also lose their privacy online, at least some of the time)? Put another way, to what extent are you willing to trade privacy rights for some additional increment of security? Or is that even the right way to think about the encryption issue?
BBC News security correspondent Gordon Corera provides an informative history of data encryption in a story that asks who's winning the crypto-war?
Meanwhile, Google is playing its part in the crypto-war by routinely encrypting Google searches in China, thus complicating the Chinese government's efforts to monitor or censor certain sites. The Google search engine, however, has only a small share of China's market, which is dominated by Baidu.