Five Eyes: Save encryption

Ministers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S. have gone public with their plans for a huge attack on our personal security1.

They want to force companies to crush the encryption that protects our private data and messages. But ordinary people need and use encryption every day, in everything from online banking to personal messaging in apps like WhatsApp.

Tell ministers to stop their attacks, and commit to protecting our privacy and security.

Read the full petition here

To: Attorneys General and security ministers of the Five Eyes nations

Together, we as citizens of the Five Eyes nations are urging you to protect our security by rejecting any policies or laws that would compromise or outlaw encryption.

The recent communiqué from the Five Eyes nations on encryption has deeply concerned citizens of your countries. Any action that would limit or remove our access to strong encryption would severely impact our right to online privacy and put the security of hundreds of millions of Internet users at risk.

Strong encryption is integral for our safety and security online. It protects our everyday transactions, as well as our personal communications, from hacking and abuse by malicious actors. The global digital economy depends upon the trust that strong encryption provides.

Strong encryption means unbreakable encryption. We're alarmed by suggestions from some Five Eyes leaders that technology companies be forced to build 'backdoors' into the encryption tools we rely on every day. Security experts agree that any ‘master key’ built to give access to security services would immediately become a target for hackers, and would therefore weaken the safety and security of countless innocent citizens.

As leaders of the global community, we ask you to commit to upholding the security of your citizens. In particular, we ask that you make a public commitment that you will not:

  • Seek to weaken encryption standards
  • Seek to ban encryption
  • Require or pressure tech companies to build ‘backdoors’ to encryption
  • Require or pressure service providers to design communication tools in ways that facilitate government interception
  • Thank you,

    [Your Name Will Appear Here]

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    In June 2017, the political heads of intelligence agencies from the ‘Five Eyes’ countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S.) issued a joint communiqué on encryption, saying that it can “severely undermine public safety efforts” and that they have committed to “explore shared solutions” with communications and technology companies.2

    This communiqué comes on the heels of worrying statements from several ministers on encryption: The UK Home Secretary has stated that end-to-end encryption in apps like WhatsApp is ‘completely unacceptable’3, while the Australian Prime Minister has proposed a law to give law enforcement agencies access to encrypted messages.4

    If Five Eyes countries move to ban encryption completely, it would mean an end to online commerce and communication as we know it: everything from online shopping to banking to sending private messages would no longer function securely.

    And if they seek to force companies to build ‘back doors’, any ‘master key’ built to give access to security services would immediately become a target for hackers. In fact, security experts as well as technology companies like Facebook all agree that secure ‘back doors’ are not technologically possible.5

    Ministers have not yet revealed exactly how they plan to crush encryption. Major tech companies like Facebook and Apple are already speaking out 6, and now these ministers need to hear from ordinary people around the world. Sign the global call now to protect our right to encryption.

    Encryption in the Five Eyes countries:

     

    Australia

    Turnbull plans law to force tech giants to decrypt messages: News.com.au

    Facebook rebuffs Malcolm Turnbull on laws to access encrypted messages for criminal investigations: The Sydney Morning Herald

    Australian PM Calls for End-to-End Encryption Ban, Says the Laws of Mathematics Don't Apply Down Under: EFF

     

    Canada

    Five Eyes agree to engage with industry on terrorists’ use of encryption: Globe and Mail

     

    New Zealand

    Calls for strong encryption in 'Five Eyes' countries: RNZ

    Why you'll be sorry when encryption is broken: NZ Herald

     

    United Kingdom

    UK home secretary Amber Rudd says 'real people' don't need end-to-end encryption: Business Insider

    Theresa May’s crackdown on the internet will let terror in the backdoor: The Guardian

    Theresa May’s repeated calls to ban encryption still won’t work: New Scientist

     

    United States

    US efforts to regulate encryption have been flawed, government report finds: The Guardian

     

    This action is hosted by:

    Footnotes:

    [1] Five Country Ministerial 2017: Joint Communiqué (PDF)

    [2] Five Country Ministerial 2017: Joint Communiqué (PDF)

    [3] WhatsApp end-to-end encryption "completely unacceptable" warns home secretary Amber Rudd: CityAM

    [4] Turnbull plans law to force tech giants to decrypt messages: News.com.au

    [5] Why breaking encryption is a bad idea that could never work: New Scientist

    [6] Facebook rebuffs Malcolm Turnbull on laws to access encrypted messages for criminal investigations: The Sydney Morning Herald

     

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    Press: David Christopher | Phone: +1 (888) 441-2640 | Office: 1-604-633-2744 | david@openmedia.org