Five Eyes Countries Threaten Tech Industry

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs published a letter today entitled “Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption” from the governments of the countries of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, otherwise known as “The Five Eyes“. In the letter, the five countries addressed the continuous non-problem faced by governments concerning the use of encryption by their citizens.

The five named governments, best known for their use of spying programs against their own citizens, advises members of the technology industry to begin providing “lawful access solutions” to encryption technology. Known in the rest of the world as “backdoors” intentionally crippling software security may be one of the worse ideas to come out of the five eyes countries since warrant-less mass-surveillance. The United States government proved it’s on inability to manage or protect backdoors installed in software from companies Microsoft and Apple after the theft of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) “ETERNALBLUE” in 2017 that affected hundreds of thousands of computer systems.

Despite the five governments belief that they could protect and maintain such a powerful tool, the open source community, privately held companies, and the public writ large are not willing to give up the keys to the kingdom that quickly. As a result, the five countries are now threatening to require software developers and companies to provide backdoor access to encrypted data or face legal consequences.

Should governments continue to encounter impediments to lawful access to information necessary to aid the protection of the citizens of our countries, we may pursue technological, enforcement, legislative or other measures to achieve lawful access solutions.

– Five Eyes “Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption”

Regardless of their intent, however pure they may believe it to be, McAfee Media Solutions, its partners, and its peer will continue to fight both in the light and the dark to protect users right to privacy and freedom of speech. Along with this commitment, we will pursue any avenue, whether deemed legal or illegal, to maintain this level of trust amongst our users and to provide a world where freedom of thought, political expression, religious worship, and a right to privacy are maintained.


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