In the 1970’s, and to this day, the National Security Agency, or NSA, has been the strongest force in encryption and decryption in America. They put the most resources into cryptography intercept the most messages, and have the most codebreaking power of any organization in America. However, the NSA spends a lot of time and resources trying to maintain its status as the most powerful in the world of encryption. This means it can often run into problems when civilians create cryptographic methods that the NSA can’t handle. This is exactly what happened with Horst Feistel and the Lucifer system. Feistel, a German who had recently immigration to the United States had developed an encryption system, which he called Lucifer, which was extremely strong because it converted messages into binary and then methodically scrambled them 16 times. The NSA could see that businesses would be using this technology, but the problem was that the system required a key. There were too many potential keys that not even the NSA could crack lucifer. So, they officially adopted the Lucifer system as the DES (Data Encryption Standard). However, the DHS explicitly limited the amount of possible keys, so that businesses would still use the technology, but the NSA could crack it. In this action, the NSA was justified. Though it is a slight violation of privacy, they had no other choice.
The DES is a violation of the purest form of privacy. With the DES implemented, businesses and civilians don’t have complete control over their data. They cannot decide what they wouldn’t like to share with the government because they DES is engineered so that the NSA can see all.
Still, the DES doesn’t mean the government is spying on everything. Just because the DES gives the government the capability to read everyone’s data doesn’t mean that the government actually is. The DES is justified because there inevitably will be a case where the government must read a businesses data. Without the DES that is impossible, and it needs to be possible.