Officials representing the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and Japan are calling for an industry-wide effort to allow law enforcement agencies to access encrypted data.
The statement began by acknowledging the value of encryption in protecting free expression across the world. The statement quickly pivots to the ostensible problems posed by the technology.
Encryption technology’pose significant challenges to public safety,’ says statement.’we urge the industry to address our serious concerns where encryption is applied in a way that wholly precludes any legal access to content’.
In 2018, five of the seven participating countries expressed similar misgivings in an open memo to tech companies. Tech companies have insisted that any backdoor built for law enforcement would inevitably be targeted by criminals.
The FBI took Apple to court in an effort to access the contents of a phone linked to a workplace shooting. The seven countries would seek to acces encrypted data in transit, such as the end-to-end encryption used by WhatsApp.