Almost 200 organizations, companies and individuals signed an open letter that calls on governments around the world to stop trying to pass laws and policies that undermine encryption and security on the Internet.
The signers argue that encryption and strong security in general are the cornerstone of today’s global economy. Digital businesses around the world use encryption to ensure that their customers' data, including credit card information, is not stolen, or if it is, that the attackers can’t do anything with it. As such, encryption is paramount for the trust that customers can put in companies. Without it, they may never hand over their money.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression said that, “Encryption and anonymity, and the security concepts behind them, provide the privacy and security necessary for the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age.”
The people who signed that open letter also argued that encryption and other anonymizing tools are necessary to enable lawyers, journalists, whistleblowers, and organizers to communicate freely across borders. Users as well as companies should be able to use end-to-end encryption if they want to further enhance the security of their tools, without fear of reprisal from their own governments.
The group has the following five main requests:
Governments should not ban or limit any type of encryption Governments should not mandate the implementation of backdoors or other vulnerabilities in tools and servicesGovernments should not require that services are designed to allow third-party access to unencrypted data Governments should not try to undermine encryption standards or mandate insecure encryption algorithms or standardsGovernments should not compel or pressure any company to engage in activity that is inconsistent with the above requests, whether in public or in private
A more secure Internet benefits all economies and countries, and governments should take that into account before promoting the weakening of security tools to further some other goals.
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. You can follow him at @lucian_armasu.
it's the right wing conservatives that are pushing these agendas. they pushed through the patriot act post 9/11 and they just pushed through the digital version of it in the new budget here in the US. i don't think there are any liberal governments trying to pass this stuff through.
but hey feel free to play the blame game. it's what they want you to do, so you forget to actually vote out the people calling for this loss of freedom regularly. they are good at the smoke and mirror games to keep folks from seeing what is really going on and we just love to look right where they tell us to and not peak behind the curtain.....
Also, there's no possible way for a government to stop encryption. It all comes down to how the server and client communicate, which are out of the government's grasps. The people who own the server run it how they want, and the client's web browser, if it knows how to utilize encryption, can work with the server. The government doesn't know what they're talking about. It's just like Donald Trump who thinks he can "shut down parts of the Internet" - obviously has no idea how the Internet works, that the Internet is not run by a single company.
Even if the government passes laws banning encryption, it won't be enforced, and there will be no way to enforce it except blowing up the millions of servers in the U.S. Encryption can never be stopped, even by laws.
He said serious candidate
In the US we need a Real 3rd party. One of the people, by the people, for the people. Now where have I heard that before???