Four major technology coalitions, representing just about every major tech company at least once, have come together to write an open letter regarding encryption to Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr, Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence. The letter is quite firm in its opposition to the current plans in Congress to ban strong encryption, and raises a number of key points about the needs for strong encryption, and how keeping a digital skeleton key secure to the US government would be fantasy.
The coalitions represented in the letter are Reform Government Surveillance, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (I2C), and The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), all big names, and between them representing Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Netflix and many, many more. The Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016, which is what the letter directly addresses, would require tech companies in the US to store data in a form that could be retrieved by the US government with a court order, in wake of the showdown with Apple over the decryption of an iPhone.
The letter goes on to indicate that this would be both terrible for US security and business, both domestically and abroad, but would also create conditions that would allow all countries where US tech companies do business to demand equal access to the same back doors, leaving the US technology sector at a disadvantage competitively.
The letter itself is worth a read, and it is beginning to look as if the Burr-Feinstein bill will be a major showdown over the legality of strong encryption in the United States.