Fourth Amendment protections come into play as tech firms warn Obama off encryption back doors.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Washington weighs new cybersecurity steps amid a public backlash over mass surveillance, U.S. tech companies warned President Barack Obama not to weaken increasingly sophisticated
As Washington weighs new cybersecurity steps amid a public backlash over mass surveillance, U.S. tech companies warned President Barack Obama not to weaken increasingly sophisticated encryption systems designed to protect consumers’ privacy.
In a strongly worded letter to Obama on Monday, two industry associations for major software and hardware companies said, “We are opposed to any policy actions or measures that would undermine encryption as an available and effective tool.”
The Information Technology Industry Council and the Software and Information Industry Association, representing tech giants, including Apple Inc, Google Inc, Facebook Inc, IBM and Microsoft Corp, fired the latest salvo in what is shaping up to be a long fight over government access into smart phones and other digital devices.
Obama administration officials, led by the FBI, have pushed the companies to find ways to let law enforcement bypass encryption to investigate illegal activities, including terrorism threats, but not weaken it so that criminals and computer hackers could penetrate the defenses.
So far, however, the White House has not spelled out specific regulatory or legislative steps it might seek.