My fellow readers might have noticed my occupation with British attempts to introduce legislation to allow law enforcement ‘exceptional access‘ to encrypted communication and data on British territory. Turns out that this debate is older than expected. John Eger wrote in 1983:“Some also see a potential major threat in Britain where existing law requires the British post office be able to read any transmitted message – a rule which, if applied to electronic data, would force firms to share their confidential cryptographic codes and data compression of formulas with a government body.”Interestingly Eger uses the term information war to describe the economic hindrances and laws that prohibit the free flow and trade of information. He primarily has exports of books, movies and entertainment in mind when he argues, that information has economic value. For him, an information war basically is a trade war which is about preventing the US information industry access to over-sea business opportunities. A quite unique perspective on the issue.
(Eger, J. M. (1983). The Coming ‘Information War‘. In M. R. Rubin (Ed.), Information Economics and Policy in the United States. Libraries Unlimited Inc.