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The limits of encryption

Evan Schuman | Oct. 31, 2016
The latest WikiLeaks revelations included a reminder that there are revealing things that just can’t be encrypted

Sure, you’re not a meth dealer, so it’s not a problem, right? But let’s say that you plan to take a trip to secretly meet with a major competitor about a job. Do you really want to take along your company-issued smartphone and let it collect unencryptable geolocation datapoints as you go? Or use that phone to email the competitor? You can’t encrypt the email’s destination, so by the time you send four or five emails to the rival’s domain, you may find yourself in an awkward conversation with your boss.

Yes, strong encryption, enterprise-grade VPNs and dark web-friendly browsers such as Tor can enhance privacy, but they don’t even come close to shielding all sensitive data from prying eyes.

If you’ll excuse me now, I have some Dixie Cups and string to assemble.


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