Access Now welcomes Encryption Working Group’s year-end report

Washington D.C. (December 20, 2016) — Access Now today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Congress’ Encryption Working Group’s year-end report observing that “any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest.”

“Today, ‘Star Wars’ is teaching a new generation that vulnerabilities in complex systems are impossible to keep secret. Backdoors will be found and exploited. Thankfully, the Encryption Working Group is sharing that lesson with the U.S. Congress,” said Nathan White, Senior Legislative Manager at Access Now.

Today’s report should end the “crypto wars.” After careful study and input from technical, legal, and policy experts, the Encryption Working Group has come to the appropriate conclusion that encryption is a priceless tool to protect our security. Compromising encryption would be harmful to users and the economy and undermine human rights. Encryption is math, and is here to stay. It’s time to have an honest conversation about what we’re going to do next.

The never-ending debate over encryption has wasted time and resources. Leaders of the Encryption Working Group should move forward to help law enforcement address the real issues faced in the digital era without weakening encryption. This should begin with legislation that makes clear the rights and responsibilities of law enforcement engaged in government hacking — so-called Title III for hacking. A legislative package could also include resources to help state and local law enforcement understand the rules of the road to access the abundance of digital data that already exists.

“Access Now thanks Chairmen Bob Goodlatte and Fred Upton, Ranking Members John Conyers and Frank Pallone, and members of the Encryption Working Group for their careful study and their thoughtful leadership,” added White.