In a strongly worded letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, two industry associations representing 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 could be a long fight over government access into smart phones and other digital devices.
Obama administration officials have pushed the companies to find ways to let law enforcement bypass encryption to investigate illegal activities including terrorism threats, but not weaken it in a way that would let criminals and computer hackers penetrate the security wall.
So far, however, the White House has not spelled out specific regulatory or legislative steps that it might seek to achieve that objective.
Last week White House press secretary Josh Earnest called this a “thorny policy challenge” that has Obama’s attention.
While he recognized tech companies’ efforts to protect Americans’ civil liberties, Earnest, responding to a reporter’s question, added that the companies “would not want to be in a position in which their technology is being deployed to aid and abet somebody who’s planning to carry out an act of violence.”
The last bit there is just absolute and utter jackassery designed to pander to emotion rather than intellect.
I wonder if White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has spoken to automobile manufacturers about the use of their vehicles to help violent bank robbers escape police, or their use in transporting terrorists across the globe on their way to carry out harmful acts of violence?
I’ll give you three guesses, but chances are you will only need one.