US joins six countries in new call for backdoor encryption access

US joins six countries in new call for backdoor encryption access
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US joins six countries in new call for backdoor encryption access

US joins six international locations in new name for backdoor encryption entry

On Monday, the US Division of Justice signed on to a brand new worldwide assertion warning of the hazards of encryption and calling for an industry-wide effort to allow legislation enforcement companies to entry encrypted information as soon as a warrant has been obtained. The US was joined within the effort by officers representing the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and Japan.

The assertion begins by acknowledging the worth of encryption in defending free expression internationally, citing a 2017 report from the UN Human Rights Fee. However the assertion rapidly pivots to the ostensible issues posed by the expertise.

“Explicit implementations of encryption expertise, nevertheless, pose vital challenges to public security,” the assertion reads. “We urge the {industry} to handle our severe considerations the place encryption is utilized in a means that wholly precludes any authorized entry to content material.”

The Justice Division has an extended historical past of anti-encryption advocacy. In 2018, 5 of the seven taking part international locations expressed comparable misgivings in an open memo to tech firms, though the memo resulted in little to no progress on the problem from the {industry}. At every flip, tech firms have insisted that any backdoor constructed for legislation enforcement would inevitably be focused by criminals, and finally depart customers much less secure.

Crucially, the seven international locations wouldn’t solely search to acces encrypted information in transit — such because the end-to-end encryption utilized by WhatsApp — but in addition domestically saved information just like the contents of a telephone. That native encryption was on the middle of the 2016 San Bernardino encryption struggle, which noticed the FBI taking Apple to courtroom in an effort to entry the contents of a telephone linked to a office capturing.

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“Whereas this assertion focuses on the challenges posed by end-to-end encryption, that dedication applies throughout the vary of encrypted companies obtainable, together with system encryption, customized encrypted functions and encryption throughout built-in platforms,” the doc continues. “We problem the assertion that public security can’t be protected with out compromising privateness or cybersecurity.”

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