Blacknight signs open letter opposing US encryption law

Data key
(Source: Stockfresh)

Bill is designed to undermine end-to-end user encryption, thus violating the privacy and security of internet users

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31 July 2020 | 0

Blacknight has joined the Global Encryption Coalition and signed an open letter objecting to the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act.

The bill, which is currently under consideration by the US Senate, is designed to weaken and undermine end-to-end user encryption, thus violating the privacy and security of internet users.

If passed, the bill would give the US government and its law enforcement agencies the ability to demand access into any software or service that uses encryption. This access makes end-to-end user encryption pointless and abuses user’s rights to privacy on the internet. It would also require companies and other organisations to provide ‘technical assistance’ to law enforcement and governments in accessing their encrypted user-data.

 

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“Encryption helps make the internet a more secure place,” said Michele Neylon, CEO of Blacknight. “Without strong encryption, internet users will be placed in greater danger from bad actors. Encryption protects all internet users.  This bill will completely destroy encryption as we know it. The bill paints encryption as something that is dangerous and facilitates criminal activity, when, in fact, billions of consumers rely on it to be safe on the internet from criminals.

“If someone has the keys to your house, even if they’re law enforcement, your house is effectively no longer locked,” continued Neylon. “Giving any corporation or governmental organisation, the keys to encrypted data is a fundamental violation of freedom and privacy that as Europeans, we cherish.”

While the law will only affect those in US jurisdictions, most tech companies are based in the US and will generally roll out changes to comply with these laws on a global scale. This puts internet users globally at greater risk of having their privacy and security violated under this sweeping act, without an option to opt-out of this legislation.

“It’s the job of tech companies all over the world to stand up to overreach by governmental bodies that fundamentally misunderstand how the internet works and can work,” said Neylon. “I urge the key US senators to read this letter and take the views of this global group of international organisations into consideration as it deliberates this far-reaching bill.”

Web host and domain registrar Blacknight has joined the Global Encryption Coalition and signed the letter with over 90 other tech companies and civil society organisations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Internet Society, Wikimedia Foundation, The World Wide Web Consortium, and Afilias, to let their objections be known.  

“We are excited to welcome Blacknight to the Global Encryption Coalition,” said Ryan Polk, senior policy advisor at the Internet Society and a member of the Global Encryption Coalition steering committee. “With their services across the internet ecosystem, Blacknight showcases the importance of strong encryption for the entire internet – not just encrypted messaging applications.”

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