National security agencies and law enforcement are worried that universal use of encrypted communication will reduce their capability to fight against crime of prevent criminal and terrorist activities. Consequently, cryptography regulation proposals such as banning public use of powerful cryptography software have been presented causing substantial controversy. The outcome of this is the potential for infringement of personal privacy on an unparalleled scale, a phenomenon that should not be handled with complacency in a free society. The implications of a loss of communications privacy are major concerns for human rights. Furthermore, a government attempt to limit effective use of the Internet by restricting access to cryptographic techniques may risk collectively upsetting Internet users on the grounds of the loss of individual privacy. As well, Internet users will perceive government regulation of cryptography as a major control on their personal freedoms and privacy.
The U.S. government push for key forfeiture systems where the cryptographic users are required to surrender their private keys to an external, national agency has raised a central issue. This regulation of encryption by a government has been comprehensive and successful. This regulation has manifested in the form of “patent secrecy orders on cryptographic patents, the cutting off funding for research into promising areas of encryption technology, the discouragement of standardization attempts for encryption systems, and documented harassment of providers of encryption technology aimed at ensuring they stay in lien with government thinking.” With this phenomenon, Americans have to determine a balance between the rights of the citizens to privacy and the control of interests and the control of terrorists, drug dealers, and so on. This kind of regulation has been seriously considered in legislatures in Australia and Europe as well.