Why is Encryption Under Threat?

Some organizations are pushing to weaken encryption as a means to fight crime.

This not only undermines efforts to prevent crime but creates a dangerous precedent that compromises the personal security of billions of people and the national security of countries around the world.

Some organizations argue that law enforcement should be given dangerous authority, requiring companies to create an encryption “backdoor” to fight crime.

This would permit so-called “backdoor access” to confidential, encrypted data on their systems or services. Authorizing “backdoor access” for law enforcement would have dangerous, unintended consequences that would undermine efforts to prevent crime by exposing the personal and confidential information of billions of people, and creating new, dangerous points of access for criminals and hostile actors to exploit.

Backdoor access is often misleadingly referred to as ‘exceptional access.’ There is nothing exceptional about backdoor access.

If any access mechanism exists, it will be vulnerable to exploitation by both law enforcement and bad actors. Weakening encryption by creating “backdoor access” to prevent crime is like trying to solve one problem by creating 1,000 more. It establishes a dangerous precedent that could weaken encryption globally. This is because those encryption “backdoors” can be opened by anyone who finds them, including criminals, terrorist organizations, and other hostile actors.

When the use of encryption is weakened or limited, all of us are put at greater risk.