Recently, as part of an EFF push to “save” encryption, I wrote to my Senators and Congressman to encourage the government to ensure security is not weakened with backdoors to encryption.
My Congressman has a difference of opinion with me regarding most things Internet related– so I don’t expect a response.
Here below is the response from Senator Marco Rubio:
Dear Mr. Posner,
Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts regarding digital encryption. Your views help me represent Florida in the United States Senate, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond on this matter.
As you may know, digital encryption is a process used to secure information through the art of cryptography. The act of encrypting digital communication is generally good in helping protect digital information and personal privacy. However, when criminals or terrorists utilize encrypted technology to evade law enforcement, it can put innocent Americans at risk. The issue of “going dark” has proven to be a new and difficult challenge for law enforcement and for those whose job it is to ensure the national security of our country. I strongly believe that, as more and more of our personal data such as banking records and medical history move onto the web, we must continue to develop new ways to protect this personal information. However, we must also ensure our law enforcement and intelligence community are able to protect Americans using legal measures to identify criminal and terrorist activity in the digital sphere.
As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I take this matter seriously and have watched the ebb and flow of international data traffic slowly evolve to incorporate various forms of encryption, such as easy to acquire software programs or mobile applications, which provide the common end user with this powerful capability. While this provides an extra layer of data protection for any individual, a militant associated with one of the various terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda or the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) could use encryption to hide communication with others as they plan, coordinate and execute efforts to kill innocent men, women and children, as they have in the past.
My office will continue to engage with the commercial sector and our law enforcement community on this difficult matter. The current threat environment continues to evolve and grow as our adversaries develop technology capable of shielding their malicious intentions. The United States must evolve with these threats and stay ahead of the curve. For this reason, I believe digital encryption is key to the future of innovation and data security, but a solution must be found to prevent it from becoming an impediment to ensuring American national security and protection of the homeland from foreign threats.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve you as your United States Senator. Thank you for sharing your views and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can provide further assistance.
United States Senator