Cyber activists from 42 separate countries have issued an open letter demanding an end to the global government efforts for software developers to deliberately insert software flaws into their programs and create so called ‘backdoors.’
Nearly 200 members of advocacy groups, experts, and tech companies have voiced their concerns in an effort to defend encryption against what they see as multiple world governments attempts to continually attempt to undermine secure encryption protocols by inserting software backdoors and thus weakening individual’s rights to secure encryption and privacy.
The letter was released into the public domain this week, only 3 days after President Obama’s officials publicly strived to forge a stronger relationship with industry giants in Silicon Valley.
“Users should have the option to use – and companies the option to provide – the strongest encryption available, including end-to-end encryption, without fear that governments will compel access to the content, metadata, or encryption keys without due process and respect for human rights.”
The open letter is an initiative Access Now, an affiliate of the digital rights group SecureTheInternet.org, is urging world governments to consider the implications of creating backdoors, encouraging them to instead ‘support the safety and security of users, companies, and governments by strengthening the integrity of communications and systems.’
The letter starts by asking governments to reject new laws and policies pursuing clandestine mandates and practices, especially the creation of secretive agreements with companies, that in turn will limit access to or undermine current and future encryption and other secure communications technologies, by creating backdoors that government can access at will.
‘Strong encryption and the secure tools and systems that rely on it are critical to improving cybersecurity, fostering the digital economy, and protecting users. Our continued ability to leverage the internet for global growth and prosperity and as a tool for organizers and activists requires the ability and the right to communicate privately and securely through trustworthy networks.’
The full letter can be read here, and is still accepting signatures on behalf of both individuals and/or companies and interested organisations.