When the FBI broke into the iPhone of a terrorist linked to the San Bernardino shooting in 2016, it kicked off a global debate over encryption and privacy. Now, that debate is set to rage once more with the US and its intelligence allies issuing an ultimatum to tech companies worldwide: give us access to encrypted data and devices, and if you don’t, we’ll force you. Government representatives from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — the so-called “Five Eyes” intelligence community — met in Australia last week to discuss to the future of cybersecurity, national security and the growing threat of terrorism in digital spaces. The Five Country Ministerial meeting (FCM) issued a number of joint statements, including a Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption which came with a strong message: “privacy is not absolute.” The Statement reiterated governments and tech companies have a “mutual responsibility” to ensure access to “lawfully obtained data.” “Providers of information and communications technology and services — carriers, device manufacturers or over-the-top service providers — are subject to the law, which can include requirements to assist authorities to lawfully access data, including the content of communications,” the statement read. “Currently there are some challenges arising from the increasing use and sophistication of encryption technology in relation to which further assistance is needed.” It’s a bullish statement, and could mean that everyone from hardware manufacturers like Apple and Samsung to service providers like Facebook, Google and WhatsApp could be forced… [Read full story]
You are here: / / US and intelligence allies take aim at tech companies over encryption
CNET is an American media website that publishes reviews, news, articles, blogs, podcasts and videos on technology and consumer electronics globally.