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Australian Encryption Debate – Closer to Home Than You Might Think

Last week, a global alliance of 76 organizations, companies, and individuals urged Australian officials to refrain from requiring technology companies to weaken the security of their products and services by building in backdoors to facilitate law enforcement access. The Center for Democracy & Technology signed onto the letter in response to the Turnbull administration’s announcements about its intentions to legislate on the issue in the interests of national security.

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Inspector General: FBI Chomping at the Bit for Backdoors to Encryption

For years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been lobbying for backdoor access to the communications of every American. The Bureau has long argued it is “going dark” and can’t access communications protected by encryption. This concern was the basis of the famous Apple v. FBI case, where the FBI attempted to force Apple to break the encryption protecting the iPhone of San Bernardino, CA terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Now, a damning report released by the Department of Justice Inspector General casts significant doubt on that argument and the FBI’s honesty in making it.

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Opposing the Mandating of Kill Switches to Address Contraband Cell Phones

Citing the potential threat to law enforcement and the general public, correctional facility officials have pushed for the FCC to address the issue of contraband phone use in prisons. Now, the FCC is considering a mandate for hard kill switches on all wireless devices. This proposal would provide correctional facility officers with the ability to permanently disable (or “brick”) a phone upon request. CDT has joined our colleagues at the EFF in opposing this proposal and expressing our concerns in an ex parte filing to the FCC.

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Vault 7: The CIA’s cyber capabilities escape from the lab

Reviewing the collection of documents from this week’s Wikileaks release, at times it feels as though one is reading through chat logs taken from a start-up. There are push-up competitions, exploits named after Pokemon, internet memes and supposedly “all the dankest trojans and collection tools for all your windows asset assist and QRC needs.” This is not what one might, at least initially, expect to see when reviewing internal documents from a department within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tasked to develop tools with such damaging capabilities.

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Sessions vs. Crypto: AG Nominee Supports Backdoors

This week, Senators will vote on the nomination of Jeff Sessions to lead the Department of Justice as Attorney General. But Senator Sessions’s response to a written question about encryption should give his colleagues great pause: Senator Leahy: Do you agree with NSA Director Rogers, Secretary Defense Carter, and other national security experts that strong encryption helps…

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European Commission Strategy on Criminal Justice in Cyberspace Can Move the Debate Forward

As part of the European Agenda on Security, the European Commission committed to addressing, among many other things, the challenges law enforcement authorities face when obtaining digital evidence for cross-border criminal investigations. The Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Convention Committee’s progress report provides new and very relevant data that can help inform the efforts towards workable solutions

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