Industry News

Governments commit to fighting encryption, and tech companies will have to cooperate

Government officials from “Five Eyes” countries have declared war on encryption, seeing it as a threat instead of a shield. The US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand are pressuring tech companies to forget about user data privacy and give them access to encrypted data, writes ZDNet.

To get more visibility into the digital space, the “Five Eyes” are now coming up with a law to back their demands. This initiative is one of the three statements the governments issued in a meeting on homeland security, immigration and safety.

According to the Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption, “privacy is not absolute” as it could protect “serious crimes and threats to national and global security.” Such a law would be vital to protect their citizens and national security, they argue.

“Many of the same means of encryption that are being used to protect personal, commercial and government information are also being used by criminals, including child sex offenders, terrorists and organized crime groups to frustrate investigations and avoid detection and prosecution,” further states the document.

The ministers feel that, based on the principle that homes and cars can be searched, governments should gain access to private data. They expect tech companies to cooperate, or they will legally compel them to release data that is legally necessary.

In less official terms, they want tech companies to loosen up encryption and create a backdoor for government agencies to use as they please, even though this could jeopardize overall infrastructure security and expose the data to cybercriminals.

About the author

Luana PASCU

From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.

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  • I wonder if "the ministers" are willing to give out their public online account passwords, including their mobile device logins for every service, and access to their texts, and their online bank account passwords. After all, they've got nothing to hide, right?

  • Government types do not understand that if tech companies give them their precious back doors, the bad guys will just write their own encryption tools. It literally is not rocket science. Then we'll all have the backdoored tools and they still won't be able to read the bad guys' files or traffic. It's a lose-lose scenario.