This has been quite a year for encryption. Encryption has won a few victories. It has taken a few hits. The largest victory of the year, though, came as an early Christmas present. The House Encryption Working Group released a report (the “EWG Report”) this week reaffirming the importance of encryption, arguing in favor of maintaining the status quo.
The EWG Report offered four observations. The observations should “provide the foundation for further examination of this issue” in the next Congress. The four observations were:
- Any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest;
- Encryption technology is a global technology that is widely and increasingly available around the world;
- The variety of stakeholders, technologies, and other factors create different and divergent challenges with respect to encryption and the “going dark” phenomenon, and therefore there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the encryption challenge; and
- Congress should foster cooperation between the law enforcement community and technology companies.
The report should at least pause the debate as to whether Congress should provide law enforcement with encryption backdoors.