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An open letter was recently published on Tuesday and sent to policymakers in the United States, the European Union, Canada, the United Kingdom, and India. It expressed concern over the intensified efforts of governments all across the globe to enact legislation requiring businesses to grant law enforcement access to encrypted communications embedded in their products. Supporters of encryption claim that this would amount to a dangerous backdoor, weakening privacy safeguards for activists, dissidents, the press, and other individuals throughout the globe who depend on encrypted solutions to secure their data and identities. Encrypted services are driving the battle for online security, freedom of the media, and the freedom to express opinions and thinking. The letter was signed by a large number of groups, including the Tor Project, Fight for the Future, and the Center for Democracy & Technology.
The letter specifically targets countries that are part of the Five Eyes alliance, citing proposed laws like the EARN IT Act in the United States, the Online Safety Act in the United Kingdom, and legislation currently being debated in the Canadian Parliament as examples of a worrying trend that endangers privacy and security in some of the most important democracies in the world. The Five Eyes are a collective of intelligence agencies made up of the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. The letter calls on democratic governments all across the globe to oppose attempts to thwart encryption and to back an international vision of a free and open internet. Separately on Tuesday, 132 organizations supporting LGBTQ and human rights urged members of Congress to oppose the EARN IT Act.