by ERIC RICE
The United States government and an alliance of Silicon Valley and civil libertarians have been engaged in a struggle over the control of cryptography since the beginning of t he information age. The debate has involved various constitutional arguments but has ignored the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms. This article argues that in a digital world cryptography qualifies as a weapon, as t he U.S. government has (correctly) asserted for decades, and so deserves consideration for Second Amendment protection.
In that analysis, we see t hat cryptography serves al l of the Second Amendment values well. It enables revolution, the defense of minorities, the protection of the sanctity of the home, and the private individual’s contribution to the collective defense of the republic. Indeed, it is already the most commonly used weapon in America for self-defense of property and family.
The Second Amendment should be construed to protect cryptography and limit the government’s authority to regulate it.