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Massive Coalition of Privacy Activists Slam Global Attack on Encryption

© Flickr / Perspecsys PhotosA new report from the United Nations recognizes what may soon be a fundamental truth: data encryption is an essential human right.
A new report from the United Nations recognizes what may soon be a fundamental truth: data encryption is an essential human right. - Sputnik International
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Some 200 companies, activists and experts from around the globe have signed an open letter published on Monday calling on governments to counter the recent push against safe digital encryption technology by law enforcement organizations, suggesting that calling encryption a safety threat is nonsense.

Data thefts occur often, and the bigger databases are, the more harm this type of cybercrime can do. This point is what pro-encryption campaigners from over 40 countries seek to explain to the security state.

“All governments should reject laws, policies, or other mandates or practices, including secret agreements with companies, that limit access to or undermine encryption and other secure communications tools and technologies,” the petition demands.

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For the sake of economic, technological and private security it is necessary to keep information decentralized and solidly encrypted, the letter details.

This common-sense philosophy has long been aggressively opposed by security agencies, who argue that there should be no anonymity for users. But no credible evidence supporting this approach has been produced, as was admitted last fall by FBI assistant executive director of science and technology Amy Hess, according to Intercept.

Studies show that preventing the use of modern encryption technologies does more harm than good.

“The complexity of today’s Internet environment, with millions of apps and globally connected services, means that new law enforcement requirements are likely to introduce unanticipated, hard to detect security flaws,” states a recent paper by prominent IT-security scholars, published in the Journal of Cybersecurity late last year.

“Beyond these and other technical vulnerabilities, the prospect of globally-deployed exceptional access systems raises difficult problems about how such an environment would be governed and how to ensure that such systems would respect human rights and the rule of law,” the study observes.

A similar petition to the White House that was signed by over 100,000 US citizens in fall 2015, resulted in Obama administration officials meeting with petitioners in person in December to began discussing the issue.

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