There always comes a time when an obscure, yet important concept, leaves the technical world and enters the main stream. Recovering deleted files was one of those where we pretty much knew all along not only that it can be done, but that we have been doing it all along. The Snowden releases were another aspect of ‘yeah, we knew this all along, but the GFP (general f’ing public) was oblivious.
Encryption is just the most current ‘old’ thing to make the limelight. Whenever something like this happens, there are ton of people ringing the end-of-the-world bells, clamoring that national security will be lost, and personal freedoms take a back seat to everything. It happens all the time and when it happens, there is a fire to make new laws on top of thousands of other laws, in which the promise of better safety and security is as strong as a wet paper bag holding your groceries on a windy and rainy day.
Legally, it is super easy to ban, control, and/or regulate encryption. A stroke of the pen with or without citizen oversight can make it happen quickly and painlessly. One signature on the last page of a law that is a ream in size is all it takes.
Practically, it is impossible to completely eliminate or control or regulate encryption. The only thing laws will do is restrict the sale of encryption products by corporations. Encryption exists in the minds of mathematical practitioners and can be recreated over and over again. You can't blank out someone’s brain (I hope not…). Encryption is available everywhere on the Internet, from software programs that are FREE and OPEN SOURCE to download and even in TOYS that can be bought off Amazon.com. These 'toys' work by the way....