The US is the latest country to join a group of countries who argue that encryption comes with certain risks, arguing that encryption backdoors should be available for law enforcement agencies who obtained a warrant.
Other countries that promote the petition are Australia, The UK, Canada, India, and Japan. While the statements note that encryption has played an important role in free speech, it warns that there are several issues that can be associated with the technology, including the use of encryption to cover illegal activities.
Not the first attempt
A similar initiative took place a few years ago when five of the countries who signed the new petition argued that rogue organizations or individuals could use encryption to keep illegal activities secret and evade potential consequences if the electronic equipment is seized.
However, tech companies haven’t been impressed by their efforts, arguing that any backdoor that is created for law enforcement agencies could be harnessed by interested third-party groups and converted into an attack vector that would allow them to collect sensitive information about their customers.
Increased access to data
Besides access to encrypted data that travels in real-time, with WhatsApp messages being a perfect example, in this case, the countries would also enjoy access to encrypted data stored on electronic devices, including computers and smartphones. This would be a major downside for many customers who rely on encryption to keep their files safe.
End-to-end encryption, encrypted services, and the use of encrypted applications and programs have become quite popular in recent years, and it is unlikely that the general public will support the statement, especially it seems it would grant potential access to a large amount of sensitive information.
The US Justice Department has faced many roadblocks while investigating cases because of encryption, with the 2016 San Bernardino shooting being a prime example.