Around the world, cyber attacks threaten national security and democracy. That’s why encryption is important: it’s the foundation for trust online and one of the best tools we have to keep our private communications and digital infrastructure secure. Yet in the face of these attacks — including the hacking revealed by the Pegasus Project — government authorities have persisted in arguing for encryption “backdoors” that would destabilize the internet and make everyone less safe. Meanwhile, Apple has announced a plan to circumvent end-to-end encryption — a choice that would limit people’s control of their own devices and put our privacy and security in jeopardy.
Our latest report, Policy brief: 10 facts to counter encryption myths, is a rebuttal of the most common arguments we are seeing over the last few years for weakening or bypassing encryption. It explains why encryption is important, not only for protecting privacy, free expression, and other human rights, but also for bulwarking the economy, preserving democracy, and ensuring national security. We debunk the most dangerous encryption myths — those that form the basis for deeply flawed laws and policies. We should not have to suffer more attacks, data breaches, or political scandals for decision-makers to see why encryption is important and should be protected, not undermined. A “security” policy proposal that undermines encryption is an insecurity policy — and it’s time to stop pretending otherwise.
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