Encryption as a Security Technology. Notes on the German Debate on encryption, Uncertainty and Risk

Linda Monsees

Abstract


This article contributes to the emerging literature on digital encryption as a political issue by focusing on the way in which debates about encryption are embedded in a broader security discourse. Drawing on empirical material from Germany, this article shows how debates on encryption bring its ambiguous nature to the fore. Encryption is seen as both a threat and a source of protection, it thus becomes clear that technology only acquires its political meaning in discourse. Furthermore, I show that security is discussed in terms of uncertainty, risks and complexity. The article concludes by arguing that this prevailing idea of security as risk leads to security measures that attempt to deal with complexity by involving a variety of actors, making multi-stakeholder approaches as a solution more plausible.


Keywords


Encryption, Germany, Security, Surveillance,

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/ms.2018.2.125-139
Data publikacji: 2019-06-26 08:58:27
Data złożenia artykułu: 2018-10-09 14:15:47

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