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Privacy is dead, long live privacy

Encryption is a must-have in today’s digital communications, IT pros agree, adding that what the government is (trying to) achieve with surveillance could mean the death of privacy altogether.

Those are the results of a new survey conducted by security firm AlienVault. It surveyed the attitudes of more than 1,500 IT and security professionals about today’s privacy, and came up with interesting results – 34 per cent believe the government should be able to eavesdrop on communications for the purposes of national security.

Among the general population, that number sits at 60 per cent – almost twice as much.

AlienVault suggests this might be the case because IT pros have more knowledge and can see the bigger picture of what government surveillance at this level might bring. They believe the government could start prosecuting people for crimes they admitted to in private conversations. People could also stop doing business with US firms, as they’ll stop trusting them.

“Those in the IT & security industries are uniquely positioned to comment on privacy, because they understand the tools and processes that are frequently used to circumnavigate security protocols,” says Javvad Malik, security advocate for AlienVault.

“We often find that the same vulnerabilities used by intelligence agencies to spy on global citizens can also be exploited by criminals to steal your passwords. This gives them a unique perspective on privacy debates and explains why they often have quite different views when compared to the general public.”

Stronger encryption was the best way to protect online privacy, they said, with just 34 per cent thought tougher legislation was the way to go. Some even suggested you shouldn’t mention sensitive information in digital communications at all.

Looking at the FBI / Apple debate, some IT pros believe FBI is using the opportunity to set a new legal precedent, with the majority (63 per cent) supporting the tech company.

The full report can be found on this link.