Apple and Google push Obama to prevent encryption backdoors

US-FBI-PRACTICE

Apple, Google and other major tech companies have urged President Obama not to give the FBI backdoor access to smartphone data, according to the Washington Post. The publication obtained a letter signed by no less than 140 major tech players, security specialists and privacy groups stating that “strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy’s security.” All of the players feel that it’s impossible to build a backdoor for governments in email, cellphone encryption and other communications without creating vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers or hostile nations. Obama previously said that while he’s in favor of stronger encryption, “the only concern is our law enforcement is expected to stop every (terrorist) plot.”

The letter is a direct response to FBI Director James B. Comey, who demanded access to user data after Google and Apple said they were going to create unbreakable encryption. He said, “there’s no doubt that all of us should care passionately about privacy, but we should also care passionately about protecting innocent people.” He added that the FBI and DoJ support encryption, as long as officials also get access to communications. However, the letter is also signed by three out of five members of an Obama-appointed review group, one of whom declared “if they couldn’t pull it (backdoor access) off at the end of the Cold War, they sure as hell aren’t going to pull it off now.”

If they couldn’t pull (backdoor access) off at the end of the Cold War, they sure as hell aren’t going to pull it off now.

Paul Rosenzweig is another letter signatory and normally a national security stalwart, according to the Post. But he said “if I actually thought there was a way to build a US-government-only backdoor, then I might be persuaded. But that’s just not reality.” Ronald L. Rivest, the ‘R’ in RSA encryption, feels that while standards can be tweaked for law enforcement, “you’ve done great damage to our security infrastructure if you do that.” Instead, the privacy activist who organized the letter, Kevin Bankston, said “it’s time for America to lead the world toward a more secure future rather than a digital ecosystem riddled with vulnerabilities of our own making.”

Filed under: ,

Comments

Source: Washington Post

Source: Engadget - Read the full article here

Author: Daily Tech Whip

This article is part of our 'News Tiles' service. The site is currently in Beta. When it is fully operational you will be able to search through and arrange the 'Tiles' to display a keyword, product or technology over your chosen time period. For example you would be able to display all of the leading tech articles on the new Kindle Fire, in one spot in real time. You will also have access to our own original reporting and analysis as well as a polished place to post your own thoughts & reviews here, amongst the Daily Tech Whip Community. Please let us know if you have any feedback via the contact form or via Twitter. Don't forget to come back next week and see our full site and claim your name and your own free tech blog.

Share This Post On