Politicians of all stripes agree: We The People shouldn't be allowed to have strong encryption. I'm generally pleased with Bill Barr as Attorney General, but his (and Trump's) demand for "backdoors" into encryption is morally wrong and politically foolish.

The US Department of Justice, in conjunction with the "Five Eyes" nations, has issued a statement asking Apple and other tech companies to effectively create backdoors that will weaken encryption strength overall to provide law enforcement access to data.

In a statement released on Sunday by the US Department of Justice, the "International Statement: End-to-End Encryption and Public Safety" is a continuation of the long-running encryption debate. In the latest salvo in the ongoing war, representatives of governments from multiple countries are demanding access to encrypted data for the sake of sexually exploited children.

The lengthy statement demands tech companies "embed the safety of the public in system designs" relating to encryption, to enable companies to "act against illegal content and activity effectively with no reduction to safety," while enabling law enforcement to do its job. This includes enabling law enforcement officials "access to content in a readable and usable format where an authorization is lawfully issued, is necessary and proportionate, and is subject to strong safeguards and oversight."

This demand is built on two falsehoods.

First, there's no such thing as a "safe" backdoor. Once encryption is weakened, it's weakened for all attackers, not just "good guys". Backdoors can be found. Additionally, the government has been generally terrible and protecting sensitive data, and it would only take one breach, leak, or whistle-blower to release all the backdoor keys.

Second, everyone hates the sexual exploitation of children and wants it prosecuted, but the government already has plenty of tools available. By the time law enforcement has caught a perpetrator and are in possession of his phone, they're sure to have plenty of evidence for a conviction even without decrypting the phone.

Finally, it doesn't seem to me that the government has demonstrated that it is worthy of our trust. We The People should keep our guns and our encryption.

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