Apple and Google are working together with top cryptologists to convince President Barack Obama and his administration to not take on smartphone surveillance measures.
Apple and Google send a letter
They all wrote and sent a letter to the President. The letter added a reminder that enabling backdoor access to encrypted data makes it easy for hackers and foreign governments to access personal data. The letter also pointed out that strong encryption technologies is key to economic security.
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In all, 140 tech companies, civil society organizations and technology experts signed the letter. That group also includes three presidential review group members. These members were selected by Obama two years ago to determine the best technology policies.
In the past few months, Obama has been under pressure to change the way data is secured. Some people want law enforcement officials to have access to encrypted data, but others complain that it could threaten public safety. Apple and Google previously developed strong encryption for their smartphones, and the encryption is so strong even law enforcement can’t access the information without a warrant.
The battle over privacy concerns
James B. Comey (director for the FBI) 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 also claimed that he could not understand why some companies would openly market a service that allows them to escape the law.
Data protection is a top concern among government officials and security experts. On one hand, it is necessary to protect the privacy rights of the public, but on the other hand, having access to private data could help law enforcement officials in halting criminal activities. The battle is far from over, and it doesn’t look like Apple and Google will back down on their stance anytime soon.
According to Vinton Cerf, Google’s co-creator of TCP/IP, somebody will find the back door, and that somebody may not have the best intentions.