An open letter was sent to President Obama urging him to consider the threat that any effort to weaken encryption poses to civil rights and freedoms.
The letter is signed by 140 tech companies, privacy activists and renowned cryptologists in an effort to draw the attention of the administration on the adverse effects of law enforced backdoors in technology products.
Among the endorsers, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Twitter and others – stated that there is no way that governmental access to data can be done without weakening security and leaving loopholes for an entire array of attacks.
Silicon Valley tech companies and not only are raising their voice against the U.S. government that’s seeking to lawfully access encrypted phones as well as other devices in an effort to spot out possible terrorist threats.
What was now done unconstitutionally by the NSA under the provisions of the Patriot Act, is now required from tech companies.
The open letter asks President Obama to firmly reject proposals that urge companies to purposefully weaken the security of their products, leaving end-consumers viable targets for privacy breaches.
Be them in the form of theft on the street, computer crimes, identity thefts or corporate spying. The signatories added that requests to weaken encryption renders national security secrets vulnerable as well in face of foreign intelligence possible attacks.
“Strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy’s security,”
the letter notes.
Both the FBI and National Security Agency are asking tech companies to allow law enforcement and intelligence services to access encrypted devices as part of lawful investigations.
The letter’s content stands its firm ground.
“Every computer security expert that has spoken publicly on this issue agrees on this point, including the government’s own experts.”
Following a stream of attempts last year as well, Apple and Google both announced that they were offering extra secure smartphone encryption so that governmental agencies are not allowed access to data even if they present a warrant.
In response, both the FBI and the Justice Department stated their support for encryption, yet asked for a common way to be found so that officials can get the lawful access they require.
Former cyber security adviser in the Bush administration, Richard A. Clarke who also signed the open letter, reminded the President that a similar effort by back in the 1990s meant to require phone companies to leave a backdoor for encrypted voice calls was rebuffed.
Among the endorsers of the letter – the American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Internet Association and more than two dozen academics and security researchers can be found.
Image Source: Mashable