Apple, Google and Microsoft publish letter against anti-encryption law

Yesterday, a legal expert described the law Burr-Feinstein anti-encryption as unconstitutional Only one day after those statements, Apple has said that the proposal is "well-intentioned, but definitely unfeasible" in a open letter signed by the Reform Government Surveillance (formed by Apple, Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter and other companies) the Computer & Communications Industry Association, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (I2C) and The Entertainment Software Association. The letter is addressed to the two senators behind the bill and explains why it would be detrimental to the interests of the inhabitants of the United States and the businesses of the United States.

The document gathers the general impression that you create rear doors it would be "to create opportunities for exploitation by bad actors" and would push users to choose companies that were not from the United States, so that the American country would lose competitiveness in the technology industry. You have a translation of the letter below.

Letter translation

Letter to President Burr and Vice President Feinstein on encryption

April 19, 2016

Dear President Burr and Vice President Feinstein:

We are writing to express our deep concern about well-intentioned but ultimately unfeasible policies on encryption that would weaken the defenses we need so much to protect ourselves from people who want to cause us economic and physical harm. We believe that it is essential for the security of the information infrastructure of the nation, and of the world, that we avoid the actions that would create the security vulnerabilities that the government requested in our encryption systems.

As a member of companies whose innovations help lead to the success and growth of the digital economy, we understand the need to protect the physical security of our users and the security of their most private information. To serve both interests, we adhere to two basic principles. First, we respond quickly to legal processes and emergency requests for data from government agencies. Second, we design our systems and devices to include a variety of network and device-based features, including, but not limited to, strong encryption. We do these things to protect the digital security of users against threats from criminals and governments.

Any mandatory decryption requirements, such as the one included in the draft discussion of the bill that you authorized, will lead to unforeseen consequences. The effect of this requirement will force companies to prioritize government access over other considerations, including digital security. As a result, when designing products or services, technology companies could be forced to make decisions that would create opportunities that bad actors seeking to harm our customers and whom we all want to stop could exploit. The bill would force those who provide digital communication and storage to ensure that digital data can be obtained "intelligible" by the government, under a court order. This mandate means that when a company or a user has decided to use some encryption technologies, these technologies will have to be built to allow some third parties to have access. This access could, in turn, be exploited by bad actors.

It is also important to remember that this technological mandate fails to take into account the global nature of current technology. For example, that there is no accessibility requirement may be limited to the application of United States law; Once required by the United States, other governments will surely follow. In addition, the United States has no monopoly over these security measures. A law passed by Congress that tries to restrict the use of data security measures will not prevent its use. It will only serve for users to move to non-US companies, which in turn would undermine the global competitiveness of the technology industry in the United States and that would result in more and more data being stored in other countries.

We support ensuring that the forces of law have legal authority, resources and the necessary training to solve crime, prevent terrorism and protect the public. However, these things must be carefully balanced to preserve the security of our customers and digital information. We are ready and eager to engage in a dialogue on how to address that balance, but we remain concerned about efforts to prioritize one type of security over all others in a way that would lead to unintended, negative consequences for the security of our networks and customers


Reform Government Surveillance

Computer & Communications Industry Association

Internet Infrastructure coalition (I2C)

The Entertainment Software Association

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