On Monday, the US Department of Justice signed on to a new international statement warning of the dangers of encryption and calling for an industry-wide effort to enable law enforcement agencies to access encrypted data once a warrant has been obtained. The US was joined in the effort by officials representing the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and Japan.
The statement begins by acknowledging the value of encryption in protecting free expression across the world, citing a 2017 report from the UN Human Rights Commission. But the statement quickly pivots to the ostensible problems posed by the technology.
“Particular implementations of encryption technology, however, pose significant challenges to public safety,” the statement reads. “We urge the industry to address our serious concerns where encryption is applied in a way that wholly precludes any legal access to content.”
The Justice Department has a long history of anti-encryption advocacy. In 2018,