Members of the Steering Committee of the Global Encryption Coalition (GEC) has issued a joint statement in response to the latest push from international law enforcement group Five Eyes for backdoors in strong encryption. The members — including The Internet Society, Global Partners Digital, and the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) — are opposed to Five Eyes' demand that vendors, developers, and service providers give law enforcement ready access to encrypted communications.
The latest call for encryption backdoors comes from law enforcement officials from the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, plus unnamed officials from India and Japan. Their statement says that the governments are ready "...to develop reasonable proposals that will allow technology companies and governments to protect the public and their privacy..." — with "reasonable" defined as encryption that includes "mechanisms in the design of their encrypted products and services whereby governments, acting with appropriate legal authority, can gain access to data in a readable and usable format."
The GEC response begins by noting that the call for backdoors is not new, with such calls dating from the beginning of strong encryption. Unfortunately, the GEC statement continues, "There is no encryption backdoor that only the good guys can access, and the bad guys cannot." The statement concludes by noting that, in the CEC's opinion, governments should be pushing for stronger, more pervasive encryption rather than weaker protections.
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