It was basically a “do not weaken encryption letter which reads in part, “As you strive to tackle global inequalities at the G7 Leaders Summit and beyond, we ask you to recognize the particular importance of digital security for our digital economies and societies. To be World Leaders in digital innovation and development, there is no room for weakening digital security.”
The letter on encryption asks world leaders to do some specific things and to not do others. Here’s an excerpt:
“We ask you to prioritise digital security and express your commitment not to require, coerce or persuade device manufacturers, application and service providers to:
- modify their products or services or delay patching a bug or security vulnerability to provide exceptional access to encrypted content;
- turn off ‘encryption-on-by-default’;
- cease offering end-to-end encrypted services; or
- otherwise undermine the security of encrypted services.”
This issue gained steam after a spring 2019 G7 meeting at which leaders expressed support for law enforcement to have back door access to encrypted data—if approved—on a case by case basis.
Cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier supports strong encryption, the kind that provides data privacy for everyone with no backdoors for anyone. He says governments are essentially talking out of both sides of their mouths on the issue:
“They have this weird definition of security, which means security from everyone except them. Which we as technologists can’t actually build. And they are pushing for insecure protocols at the same time they’re complaining about lack of security.”
Hat tip to Dave Ries.
Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., President, Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology