Brief: Separating the Fact from Fiction

Brief: Separating the Fact from Fiction

Attorney General Barr is Wrong About Encryption

By: Andi Wilson Thompson

*This piece is supported by Access Now, Center for Democracy & Technology, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine, Internet Society, New America's Open Technology Institute, and TechFreedom.

Attorney General William Barr's recent remarks on encryption at the International Conference on Cyber Security were full of misleading statements and misguided reasoning.1 Strong digital encryption is the bedrock infrastructure that allows everyday people, businesses, and our government to trust technology for critical needs. Barr's demand that tech companies give law enforcement special access to encrypted devices would seriously violate that trust, compromising the security of potentially billions of people by creating a vulnerability that criminals and terrorists could easily exploit. Moreover, research indicates that the targets mentioned in Barr's remarks would quickly migrate to new encrypted services, ensuring law enforcement receives no benefit from the public's concession of privacy.

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***** Moderator's Note *****

The asterisk next to the starting paragraph does not appear to have a matchin footnote in the story.

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