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Microsoft, Apple, and Google urge President Obama to throw support behind smartphone encryption

Several technology companies, including Microsoft, Apple, and Google, have signed a letter to President Obama calling for him to reject measure that would weaken encryption and security in smartphones and other devices. Companies like Facebook and Dropbox have also joined in. The letter urges the President to instead encourage the wide adoption of encryption on consumer devices.

From the letter:

We urge you to reject any proposal that U.S. companies deliberately weaken the security of their products. We request that the White House instead focus on developing policies that will promote rather than undermine the wide adoption of strong encryption technology. Such policies will in turn help to promote and protect cybersecurity, economic growth, and human rights, both here and abroad.

This letter, also signed by numerous security experts, follows several calls by law enforcement officials for companies to make it easier for agencies to access data on consumer devices. Recent security measures make it more difficult for outside parties to gain access to your data, including law enforcement.

Despite professional rivalries, smartphone encryption and security is an issue that often unites these companies. Apple, Google, and others have often banded together, such as their attempts to curb wide-scale NSA phone surveillance.

Read the entire letter right here

Source: The Washington Post

64 Comments
  • Yes we can!
  • ...get along temporarily for a joint PR move.
  • As long as we getter device security, I don't care about the motives.
  • Agreed. Bitlocker should be for all devices, not just Enterprise. I assume this is a feature coming soon for windows mobile 10.
  • I found it odd that a "pro" version of Windows was required for BitLocker. Large corporations use other encryption software and not rely on Windows. I guess for small businesses? That would be nice if all version of Windows had BitLocker, be it Home, Pro or for phones.
  • Obama would be dammed.
  • Obama should start using surface
  • He still has a BlackBerry.
  • The three musketeers
  • Lol
  • LOL the 3 tech musketeers
  • Or Mus-tech-eers
  • The only U.S only that I don't care about haha! But yeah, tech giants shoot you Obama!
  • Yea that's a clever move!
  • With strong encryption, nsa only can access our personal info ;)
  • They are said to have a backdoor to every encryption, cause many a times they are the ones making the antiviruses.
  • If they are making antivirus software for us, let 'em. Its good.
  • Ya, and only their viruses are overlooked by their antiviruses.
  • Did you mean they are making the viruses? It doesn't make any sense for them to make the antivirus. Antivirus has nothing to do with the encryption.
  • Encryptions are used everywhere.
  • I don't know if anything he said is true, but it would make sense. He said they make the antivirus so they can purposely overlook their measures to get your data.
  • Well both us/Canadian government do manage stuff like sha-1 among other hash standards
  • All depends on much much resources they want to waste ie. Quantum computing
  • There is a device encryption option in the win 10 tp
  • It should be an option in WP8, not only usable when connected via EAS.
  • Would be great if they brought back their live wifi center connection manager
  • Absolutely! I dont even like handing my phone to someone to make a call. I certainly dont like the idea of anyone being able to look into every nook and corner. I understand the need to fight terrorism but not at the expense of my right to be a private person.
  • Amen to that.
  • Fighting what terrorism?
    The same ones CIA created?
    The US is fast becoming a giant police state, this isn't about protection it's more about having control over people's lives
  • So true. +928
  • The one time Google and Microsoft work together.
  • Haha
  • Yeah, they only partner up in a time of urgency and importance.
  • Like YouTube on Xbox ;)
  • Yep.
  • Friends because of a common enemy.
  • TypeScript and Angular?
  • America, the land of the free... :)
  • How about giving less rights to career criminals and letting the normals have their freedoms. Thanks.
  • Because when a system like that is implemented, America actually becomes less free.
  • Remember that when some honest citizen kidnaps and tortures your child. He won't tell the police where he locked your child up but the location could be gleened from his phone. Good thing he has his privacy
  • While I sympathize with that situation how do we know the information could be gleaned from his phone? What if they didnt have a phone? It seems to be just a scare-situation.  The importance of encryption is more than privacy... It really does "promote and protect cybersecurity, economic growth, and human rights, both here and abroad."  Is your bank account, the economy, and your rights important to you? Or are you willing to sacrifice those because a bad person might do something and have a harder time getting away with it? 
  • You dont need acces to the phone to glean that information. Cell phone tower records can be tapped to retrieve location data.
  • That's why I have my guns./s
  • The Verge completely stripped Microsoft out of the story.
  • It's The Verge. Buzzfeed-level journalism.
  • So did Engadget and Business Insider.  Haters.
  • And the OTHER companies supporting it as well. There are more than just those.
  • Thanks for pointing it out, this is true. However, at first glance, it would seem as if Microsoft wasn't bothered at all because one would expect them to be mentioned too as a big player. I guess it's a case of mindshare, even among bloggers.
  • The Washington Post wrote the original story, and they don't mention Microsoft either.
  • Lol
  • Sources on that? Or even explaining how it is more private? Or should we just believe you because its the iPhone?
  • I don't think security-wise nothing can beat WP
  • LOL!!! Did you know there is a built-in function for police to disable all phones in a certain area since iOS 6? Might want to reconsider you foolish statement.
  • LOL!!!That's why iOS records all your location data where have you been and how long you've been there, "privacy!". Poor WP ;)
  • File manager? Bluetooth ftp? Are these in ios? I don't think so. Just shut up, will ya?
  • WHAT A JOKE
  • Morons are fooling us, aren't they?
  • Thank you Obama!
  • I think it's funny how all the other sites' omit Microsoft from their version of this story.
  • Encryption is going to become exponentially important over the next decade. If you are good at math or puzzles please consider a job in encryption or security, the rest of us will be very grateful.
  • Wow, this is the first blog where I see this post with Microsoft in it's title, others(the verge, BS...) is just ignoring it
  • Obama: But that's going to make spying on everyone's personal info more difficult... Nah I'll pass
  • At least in the stone age. Nobody would/could track your shit.