Apple, others pen letter opposing the anti-encryption Burr-Feinstein bill

The Reform Government Surveillance coalition — which includes Apple, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Yahoo! — have written a letter to the two Senators behind the anti-encryption Burr-Feinstein bill explaining why it’s a very bad thing.

Among its many provisions, the draft bill mandates that tech companies make all of their online data "intelligible" when presented with a court order. The bill defines intelligible as "decrypted, deciphered, decoded, demodulated, or deobfuscated" to "the Government of the United States and the government of the District of Columbia, or any commonwealth or possession of the United States, of an Indian Tribe, or of any State or political subdivision thereof.”

This bill — proposed by Sens. Richard Burr (R) of North Carolina and Dianne Feinstein (D) of California (both pictured) — would make us all less safe. t would force American companies to keep back door keys that guarantee government access to all smartphones, computers and software.

The Reform Government Surveillance group writes: “We support making sure that law enforcement has the legal authorities, resources, and training it needs to solve crime, prevent terrorism, and protect the public.  However, those things must be carefully balanced to preserve our customers’ security and digital information.  We are ready and willing to engage in dialogue about how to strike that balance, but remain concerned about efforts to prioritize one type of security over all others in a way that leads to unintended, negative consequences for the safety of our networks and our customers.”

Click here to read a copy of the letter.