Nearly 200 experts, companies, and activists in 42 countries have signed a letter demanding that world leaders take a stand in support of encryption technology, which protects nearly every internet transaction from banking and health records to e-mails and web browsing.
The letter, organized by Access Now, comes in response to the challenges being mounted against strong encryption by administrations — in the U.S. and worldwide — concerned that the technology gives criminals and terrorists a “safe space” to communicate and commit crimes with impunity.
“We’re seeing threats come up all over the world,” says Amie Stepanovich, U.S. policy manager for Access Now, to The Intercept. “This is a response to that—to draw clear lines in the sand between what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to the government acting on encryption.”
“We urge you to protect the security of your citizens, your economy, and your government by supporting the development and use of secure communications tools and technologies, rejecting policies that would prevent or undermine the use of strong encryption, and urging other leaders to do the same,” reads the letter.