Anti-privacy laws are destined to fail, says Riccardo Spagni

Key facts:

There is a draft law in the US that proposes to eliminate strong encryption.

The business sector joins the individual rejection of the law, says Spagni.

In an exclusive interview with CriptoNoticias, who was until last December the lead developer of Monero, Riccardo Spagni, stated that the legislation currently proposed before the United States Congress, which attempts to eliminate strong encryption, is doomed to failure.

As reported by CriptoNoticias, the bill EARN IT (“Elimination of abusive and unbridled neglect of interactive technologies”) has already been approved by the Judicial Committee of the US Senate. Although initially aimed at preventing serious crime on the web and preventing child abuse online, the project has set off alarms in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, especially those geared towards privacy.

The concern comes from the possibility that this project may violate the end-to-end encryption, present in the messaging services of Facebook, WhatsApp and Apple. Further, the proposed law could go against cryptocurrency privacy schemes like Monero or Zcash.

In the interview, CriptoNoticias requested Spagni’s opinion on this last point.

I feel pretty sure that if this is so, that law is going to fail. I think there are numerous companies that rely on strong encryption. There are also enough individuals within the congress who rely on strong encryption. This is why I feel that fighting strong encryption is like fighting gravity.

Riccardo Spagni. Co-founder of Tari.

Among the reasons why he believes that a law prohibiting the use of strong cryptographic mechanisms will not progress, Spagni refers to how little scope it would have. “Even if this law is embraced by a small group of law-abiding citizens, a large number of people will not even find out about the existence of such a legal rule or which encryption software is legal. Many who are not even clear on what encryption is will end up breaking the law by downloading random software. “

But there will also be a small group of people, Spagni warns, who will “actively and aggressively” refuse to use the encryption proposed by the government. “These will use the open source systems that already exist, which are extensively vetted and reviewed by the users themselves. This is like trying to return the genie to the lamp. Strong encryption systems already exist, there is no way to undo that.

From the point of view of academic research around cryptography, Spagni believes, cryptographers will continue to develop stronger and better encryption systems. And the developers will write code that will implement these improvements. “It is an unstoppable process”, Spagni says.

Privacy will inevitably come to Bitcoin

Spagni also commented that privacy will eventually reach Bitcoin as well, despite opposition from some bitcoiners. “Some of those who oppose privacy schemes in Bitcoin, argue that by adding such features, the cryptocurrency would come under increased scrutiny by regulators.”

For Spagni, regulators must take into account the point of view of companies, and they consider privacy a competitive advantage. Without it, details about new products or business strategies would be exposed to competition, says the developer. That’s why, Spagni says, the corporate world would use its influence to preserve privacy, and this encompasses the use of Bitcoin.

The developer cites the recent cases of institutional investment by MicroStrategy and Square in bitcoin, to emphasize that such companies would like additional privacy that allows them to restrict the details of their investment.

CriptoNoticias reviewed Spagni’s presentation at the Paralelni Polis hacker conference, held in Prague from October 2 to 4. In said presentation, the developer claimed that both Bitcoin and Monero are exposed to inflation attacks to maliciously increase their supply.