Privacy may be an alien concept in a surveillance state, yet anytime it takes a further drastic step towards eliminating any figment of privacy, we are still surprised.
So which country is this? China.
China is amplifying its surveillance capabilities to unprecedented levels and it is now trying to gain access to apps that have end-to-end encryption. The country has now passed a law that will allow it to regulate cryptography in both government and private use data starting January 1, 2020.
Chinese officials have refused to comment on the matter, but have told Xinhua Net that the law is necessary for utilisation, regulation and development of cryptography. They also believe that it will be necessary in ensuring the "security of cyberspace and information."
The Chinese government will also "award" talent in the field of cryptography – which means that it will place a high value on cryptography that conceals the content of government documents from the citizens and the world.
The country will set up a system to send state secrets using "core and common" encryption. Institutions will create "management systems" that will further work on the security of cryptography.
China will also develop and encourage commercial use of encryption.
The law states that the encryption should not harm state security and public interests. It also states that developers who weaponise encryption against the state will be punished severely. They will also be hauled up for not reporting cryptography flaws they find.
It looks like all data that does not support the Communist Party of China's official stance will be obliterated and sources disseminating it reportedly targeted.
China is already conducting mass surveillance and furthering the technology for it. However, despite such efforts, the Hong Kong protests are still continuing, which seems to have furthered China's efforts to improve encryption technology. This technology will give it the power to shut down entire services or products when it needs to.