Five Eyes nations plus India and Japan call for encryption backdoor once again

Pierluigi Paganini October 13, 2020

Members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance once again call for tech firms to engineer backdoors into end-to-end and device encryption.

States of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance (US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand), plus Japan and India, once again call for tech firms to implement backdoors into end-to-end and device encryption.

“We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security,” reads the joint “International Statement.” “Encryption is an existential anchor of trust in the digital world and we do not support counter-productive and dangerous approaches that would materially weaken or limit security systems.”

The statements reinforce the importance of the encryption in protecting data, privacy, and IP, but highlights the risks of abusing it for criminal and terrorist purposes. The Five Eyes argued that encryption could interfere with the ability of the same tech firms to identify and respond to violations of their terms of service or respond to the most serious illegal content and activity on their platform.

“Particular implementations of encryption technology … pose significant challenges to public safety, including to highly vulnerable members of our societies like sexually exploited children.” continues the statement.

Last year, Five Eyes states called on tech firms to implement a mechanism to bypass encryption in their solutions to support law enforcement requests for access to encrypted data on suspects.

On the other end, tech firms always refused to introduce backdoors in their systems because they violate terms of service.

The Statement ends with the call to protect public safety, even sacrificing privacy or cyber security.

“We reiterate that data protection, respect for privacy and the importance of encryption as technology changes and global internet standards are developed remain at the forefront of each state’s legal framework,” concluded the statement. 

“However, we challenge the assertion that public safety cannot be protected without compromising privacy or cybersecurity. We strongly believe that approaches protecting each of these important values are possible and strive to work with industry to collaborate on mutually agreeable solutions.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, encryption)

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