Today, 83 organizations and individuals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States sent a letter to their respective governments insisting that government officials defend strong encryption. The letter comes on the heels of a meeting of the “Five Eyes” ministerial meeting in Ottawa, Canada earlier this week.
The “Five Eyes” is a surveillance partnership of intelligence agencies consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. According to a joint communique issued after the meeting, officials discussed encryption and access to data. The communique states that “encryption can severely undermine public safety efforts by impeding lawful access to the content of communications during investigations into serious crimes, including terrorism.”
In the letter, 83 groups and security experts wrote, “we call on you to respect the right to use and develop strong encryption.” Signatories also urged the members of the ministerial meeting to commit to allowing public participation in any future discussions.