On top of this were rules which only allowed products that used weak and easily-cracked encryption to be exported from the US.Remarkably there was an unwelcome reminder of those days of watered-down encryption with the appearance of the recent FREAK flaw in the SSL security standard."There's a lot of naïveté about cryptography as to thinking it's just about keeping something safe on your disk." But the rise of the internet suddenly meant that access to cryptography became an issue of privacy and economics as well as one of national security, immediately sparking the clash that came to be known as 'the crypto wars'.
by undermining the security of our communications, they enable surveillance," he warns.
He is speaking at the conference via a video link from Russia, where he has taken refuge after leaking the documents detailing some of the NSA's surveillance projects.
But that doesn't mean that the growth in the use of encryption isn't controversial.
For some, strong encryption is the cornerstone of security and privacy in any digital communications, whether that's for your selfies or for campaigners against an autocratic regime.
Others, mostly police and intelligence agencies, have become increasingly worried that the absolute secrecy that encryption provides could make it easier for criminals and terrorists to use the internet to plot without fear of discovery.