Grundgesetz Ja Grundgesetz

London Docklands (before the thunderstorm)
This is about strong encryption technology, the law, and about a rare reason to be proud to be German.

Encryption technology is available to more or less everyone these days that lets you encrypt a single email message, or a single document, or the entire hard disk content, in a way that is virtually unbreakable. Modern technologies are considered unbreakable even if the technology advances to much much more powerful computers. So far to the technological part.

Current American legislation views strong encryption technology as a defence weapon, prohibits export, and (presumably) flags any bearded user of such technology a potential terrorist. Legislation is behind in the U.K., producing a grey zone in which law enforcement agencies already complain about the unbreakable data on suspects’ computers. The British public shows little interest, and there is a real chance that encryption technologies will be governed by American-style legislation some time soon.

Conversely, some of the leading software developments in strong encryption technology, however, are founded, supported, and endorsed by the German government. How come?

It’s because the German constitution (the Grundgesetz) guarantees in article 10 that the privacy of mail or telephone communication is guaranteed and inviolable. The government funds these projects to provide a free and readily available way for every German citizen to attend to this civil right.

Makes me proud to be German, and should alert every Briton to watch out for the forthcoming advances in the great British surveillance state.