As far as government surveillance is concerned, service providers are caught between a rock and a hard place, he said. "Not helping the authorities means you are violating the law. Helping them means you may be violating someone's rights."
There is no reason to believe that the NSA, or anyone else, can crack strong encryption algorithms that have been studied and vetted by scientists, Wilcox-O'Hearn said. "On the other hand, it is easy for a programmer or service provider to implement them incorrectly or for a user to use them incorrectly, in which case it would be possible for anyone who had access to the network traffic to read the data," he said.
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