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Welcome shift in U.S. government's stance on encryption

The following is a CPJ blog post by Geoffrey King, Technology Program Coordinator:

Yesterday, during a panel on encryption policy hosted by Just Security, an online forum covering national security law and policy, top U.S. intelligence lawyer Robert S. Litt pressed the case for engineering backdoors in encryption without undermining computer security as a whole. As CPJ has documented, leading security and policy experts consider this impossible.

These skeptical experts received a boost last week when The Washington Post disclosed a draft memorandum, allegedly penned by U.S. National Security Council staff members this summer, indicating quiet but widespread agreement among senior Obama Administration officials that the president should either publicly reject, or at least defer, weakening encryption through compelled technical backdoors. The White House declined to comment to CPJ on the veracity or substance of the internal document obtained by the Post, which quoted several anonymous government officials as confirming that the memo accurately reflects debates being had by the administration.

Read the full post on CPJ's site.

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