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Privacy is becoming harder to find in the world. Today everyone, everywhere is monitored all the time, by everything from the close circuit recording system at the local store, to digital imaging systems at banks, the subway, and street corners.

Governments issue social security numbers, national insurance numbers, medicare numbers, ID numbers, passport numbers, tax numbers, and so on. Some governments even go as far as fingerprinting citizens, as part of the numbering regime.

Combine the two and governments have access to large pools of information about you and your lifestyle. The battle for privacy has long since been lost in the real world.

As more and more human activity becomes computerised, governments are scrambling to preserve and extend their powers in the era of the information age and beyond.

No one is saying that national security unimportant, that child pornographers should not be stopped, or that crimes should not be punished. It's just that the same tired catch phrases are used time and time again to diminish everyone’s rights. You might be thinking that your government will not abuse it's powers, and that your legal system guarantees your rights! WRONG, Project ECHELON[1] shows the extent to which major world governments have gone to invade everyone’s privacy. The UKUSA agreement between the U.S, U.K, Canada, Australia & New Zealand facilitated project ECHELON, which intercepts global phone calls, faxes, and email messages transmitted via satellites, if certain "key words" are detected the communication is recorded for later analysis by the intelligence agencies of the respective governments.

Theoretically global spying such as ECHELON is to combat "rouge nations" and "terrorists". However there is proof that the U.S government has used the system to spy on European and Japanese companies[3], and passed that sensitive information back to those companies U.S competitors, clearly winning a particular deal in the automobile or software industry cannot possibly have "National security implications". Multinational agreements such as Wassenaar[2] simply preserve and extend government surveillance and interception capabilities to the detriment of all the worlds citizens.

Strong Encryption is the mechanism with which to combat these intrusions, preserve your rights, and guarantee your freedoms into the information age and beyond.

Paul Le Roux, Author Encryption for the Masses.

References

[1] http://fly.hiwaay.net/~pspoole/echelon.html
[2] http://cwis.kub.nl/~frw/people/koops/lawsurvy.htm
[3] http://www.mojones.com/mother_jones/MJ94/dreyfuss.html