Governments Should Avoid Mandates to Weaken Digital Security

BY Heather Greenfield
February 17, 2016

Washington — A federal magistrate judge sided today with the U.S. government in its request to require Apple to weaken the underlying security of a user’s smartphone to facilitate FBI access. The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) is concerned that this would set a tremendously bad precedent for digital and economic security, and the rights and security of Internet users around the world.

The U.S. technology industry has consistently collaborated with law enforcement to deter and investigate crimes and terrorism. Companies comply with lawful and appropriately scoped legal orders, but it’s imperative that law enforcement’s demands not come at the expense of the overall security of the digital ecosystem. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“The issues at stake are important to the Internet and the safety of users worldwide. It is a mischaracterization to frame the ongoing discussion on weakening digital security as a tradeoff between privacy and security. This is a question of security versus security. If governments compel tech companies to weaken the security that users demand, they are also creating the vulnerabilities that hackers, terrorists, or other nefarious actors need.”

 

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