Heck, even with encryption it is scary using money online! Most companies have embraced at least the minimum of encryption between here and there (SSL, TLS, etc), but still haven't grasped the need to keep their customer's data protected at rest. How many "big" websites have had to admit they were hacked and had customer data stolen?
Foiling law enforcement is just a handy side-effect.
But in all seriousness, no one ever said law enforcement was supposed to be easy. In fact, much of the process involved is to make sure that it is *not* easy. When law enforcement becomes too easy, you get what we've basically got now: a police state.
Part of the problem, of course, is that the folks that wrote the original copyright laws did not (or could not) foresee a time when things didn't have to be "real" to exist. As much as I despise most things copyright, and I totally understand Mike's point here, the fact is that if the concept of digital files had been conceived then, they would likely have included it in the way the Copyright Office describes.
However, since the Copyright Office has no problems at all with unlimited retroactive clawbacks, I say screw them and their interpretations.
All of this has already happened. The NSA developed a backdoored encryption algorithm and then pushed ANSI, ISO, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to adopt it as a formal standard. The NSA also paid off several companies to utilize it as a basis in their encryption products. The fact that the everyday American doesn't know anything about this makes me a sad panda.
You make a really good point actually. The fear of being seen to do "nothing" does seem to be a real thing for politicians. Even though nothing is what they've been accomplishing lately with all of their partisan bickering.
Top cryptologists have reasonably cautioned that “new law enforcement requirements are likely to introduce unanticipated, hard to detect security flaws,” but this is not the end of the analysis. We recognize there may be risks to requiring such access, but we know there are risks to doing nothing.
Typical BS politician statement, "there may be risks to requiring such access"... No, there are *absolutely* risks, no "may" about it, which begins with a very strong possibility, and increases over time to near certainty, that the encryption backdoor will be discovered and used by criminals and other adversaries.
Why can't they get this through their heads? What dementia affects career politicians that they don't get that OUR ENEMIES will be able to read our most closely guarded secrets if they get their way?
"... and when that happens the rebroadcast of tv shows and signals will become a norm of the internet."
Um. Every tv show in existence is uploaded as a commercial-free mkv/mp4/pickyourformat file within a day of being aired already. Their objections have nothing to do with piracy, and everything to do with losing their insanely profitable rental fee income.