Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Desperately Urge UK to Reconsider Encryption Backdoors

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Desperately Urge UK to Reconsider Encryption Backdoors

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Desperately Urge UK to Reconsider Encryption Backdoors

Five major US tech companies have written and filed an official letter to the UK Parliament asking it to reconsider upcoming plans to vote on a more intrusive Internet surveillance law.


The five are Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo, and they’re part of the Reform Government Surveillance (RGS) coalition that is actively fighting against the UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB), currently up for public debate.

The companies are stating that if the UK approves this law and uses its powers to force companies to break their clients’ encryption, it could damage their business.

Because there are laws around the world in contradiction to each other, laws that protect user privacy and totalitarian laws that give governments full access to user data, the five companies would be put in the undesired position of deciding in which country to break the law.

“We reject any proposals that would require companies to deliberately weaken the security of their products via backdoors, forced decryption, or any other means,” the five companies say in their letter.

Companies would like the UK government to use more precise language

Additionally, the companies are also against the possibility that the UK IPB would also force them to adapt their services for the purpose of collecting data for the government. This would produce extra costs, which each of the companies sees as unnatural for “the course of its business.”

Furthermore, companies are also decrying the fact that, according to the current form of the IPB, warrants issued in the UK would be valid everywhere on the planet, if that company has an Internet presence with UK users, even if it stores client data in other countries.

On the sensitive subject of backdoors, in the past, UK Parliament representatives have said they don’t want encryption backdoors, being more interested in the surveillance powers the bill would grant them over Internet and telephony metadata.

Despite official comments, the five companies have noticed that the bill does not specifically mention anything against the usage of backdoors, something that they would like explicitly specified in an upcoming reviewed form of the bill.

This week, Holland specifically came out and said it was against the usage of government-mandated backdoors in the products of Internet and tech companies

SOURCE