April 24, 2018

Reform Government Surveillance Announces New Core Principle on the Importance of Strong Encryption

Chan Park
202-719-9999 ext. 203

Washington, D.C. — Reform Government Surveillance (RGS), a coalition of tech companies that advocates for common sense government surveillance reform, announced today that its members have agreed on a sixth core principle to guide its advocacy efforts going forward. The core principle, ‘Ensuring Security and Privacy through Strong Encryption,’ reads in full:

Ensuring Security and Privacy Through Strong Encryption

Strong encryption of devices and services protects the sensitive data of our users – including individuals, corporations, and governments. Strong encryption also promotes free expression and the free flow of information around the world. Requiring technology companies to engineer vulnerabilities into their products and services would undermine the security and privacy of our users, as well as the world’s information technology infrastructure. Governments should avoid any action that would require companies to create any security vulnerabilities in their products and services.

As more and more personal and sensitive data is transmitted over the Internet and stored in the cloud and on personal devices, RGS believes that strong encryption is vitally important. Strong encryption helps protect the privacy of our users, promotes and enables strong cybersecurity, and protects against malicious or criminal activity.

RGS acknowledges that government leaders around the world are responsible for protecting the safety and security of their citizens, and that they increasingly seek to access electronic communications and data in their investigations. However, RGS respectfully disagrees with calls for legislation or regulations that would require companies to intentionally build security vulnerabilities into their products and services. RGS will continue to work collaboratively with policymakers to seek out common sense solutions that are consistent with established norms of privacy, free expression, and the rule of law.