Today marks the one year anniversary of the “Save Crypto” campaign garnering 100,000 signatures—enough support within the 30 day time limit to mandate a response from the White House. One year later, we still have not received a response.
The coalition that emerged to support encryption included industry and trade groups, security researchers, former intelligence officials, and civil society organizations from across the political and ideological spectrum. The message was clear: the White House should, without reservation, release a statement of strong support for encryption. There was no response other than an acknowledgement of our submission and a promise to respond in due course. That reply never came. However, the attacks in Paris, followed by the legal battle between the Apple and FBI, kept encryption in the public limelight. The public, law enforcement officials, and policy experts and security researchers were all talking; the White House remained silent.
As the current Administration prepares to pass the torch, it will also be passing the baggage of the encryption debate. Now is the time for the White House to finally respond to the request we made this time last year. To that end, the Niskanen Center has joined with other “Save Crypto” campaign signatories to pen a letter that urges clarification on this issue. We argue, in part, that “[t]he United States should once and for all repudiate any type of mandate requiring third-party access to encrypted data, both stored and in transit.”
Read the full letter here.
For a chronological recap of last year’s discussion of these issues, check out these Niskanen Center blog posts:
- “The Crypto Wars are Here Again”
- “Press Release: Niskanen Center and Allies Call on President Obama to Support Strong Encryption”
- “Press Release: New Niskanen Center Report Looks at the Economic Benefits of Encryption”
- “Encryption Was Not Responsible for the Paris Terrorist Attacks”
- “Joint Press Release: Niskanen Center and TechFreedom Cautiously Optimistic on McCaul’s Encryption Commission”
- “The NSA and NIST: A Toxic Relationship”
- “Press Release: Niskanen Center Applauds Apple’s Commitment to Strong Encryption”
- “Apple Takes a Defiant Stand Against Government Overreach”
- “Missing the Forest for the Apple Tree”
- “Press Release: Chairman McCaul’s Commission Legislation Formally Released”
- “Politics as the Art of the Possible: The McCaul Commission”
- “4 Reasons to be Optimistic About Encryption’s Future”
- “Encryption at Home and Abroad”
- “Measuring the ‘Darkness’ of ‘Going Dark’”