Save Crypto: CPJ joins call for Obama to back strong encryption

The Committee to Protect Journalists has signed a petition organized by digital rights groups Access and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, urging President Barack Obama to publicly commit the U.S. to a policy of supporting strong encryption. Since the Save Crypto petition’s launch on September 29, it has gathered nearly 18,000 signatures, including about 30 from press freedom and digital rights groups.

CPJ recommends the use of encryption as a vital tool for protecting journalists and news organizations. The FBI and U.S. Department of Justice have proposed creating insecure technical backdoors that would jeopardize journalism by making it easier for authoritarian states to hack into computer systems and devices.

Legal experts have said that technical backdoors would also likely violate international and U.S. constitutional law, a view CPJ shares. Last month, a draft memorandum allegedly prepared by National Security Council staff and leaked to The Washington Post said that supporting encryption is “the strongest option for cybersecurity, economic competitiveness and civil liberties, and human rights.”

A copy of the Save Crypto petition can be found here.