Civil Society Groups and Companies Call on Obama to Defend Strong Encryption

Washington, D.C. (September 30, 2015) — Today nonprofit organizations teamed up with internet companies to urge President Obama to take a stand on behalf of digital safety and security. Access, EFF, and civil society and business groups filed a “We the People” petition asking President Obama to publicly affirm support for strong encryption, and to reject any law, policy, or mandate that would undermine our security. The petition is hosted at

Partners include: Access, American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association, Computers and Communication Industry Association, Demand Progress, Dropbox, DuckDuckGo, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Free Press, Human Rights Watch, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition), New America’s Open Technology Institute, Niskanen Center, Sonic, Taskforce, TechFreedom, and Twitter.

“We must be able to trust in security and privacy in order to maintain our increasingly digital lives. You simply cannot weaken encryption or create secret backdoors for law enforcement without making those same vulnerabilities available to bad actors,” said Nathan White, senior legislative manager at Access. “In the interest of public safety, human rights, and corporate innovation, President Obama must defend strong encryption.”

Safety and privacy depend on secure communications tools and technologies like encryption. Encryption protects our conversations and our transactions. According to the National Security Council, supporting encryption will “[ensure] the greatest technical security,” “benefit global cybersecurity,” and “limit repressive regimes’ willingness to demand access to encrypted information.” It will also ensure that companies are able to offer new and innovative products and services.

“Undermining basic security standards could leave countless security systems vulnerable,”says EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman. “This isn’t just a campaign for stronger security, it’s a campaign for an Internet we can all trust.”

“We the People” is a website built by the Obama Administration to allow people to voice their opinions on issues of public policy. The White House has committed to responding to any petition that obtains 100,000 signatures within 30 days.

“In countries as diverse as France, India, and China, we are seeing proposals that would undermine global digital security and undermine the rights of individual users. We call upon President Obama to reject this race to the bottom and take a strong position in defense of encryption,” added White.


Media contacts
Nathan White
Senior Legislative Manager, Access
[email protected]
tel: +1-269-267-0580