Apple has joined more than 140 other tech firms in signing a letter calling on President Obama to reject any government proposal to allow government backdoor access to encrypted data on mobile devices. The Washington Post reports the letter is due to be delivered today.
The signatories urge Obama to follow the group’s unanimous recommendation that the government should “fully support and not undermine efforts to create encryption standards” and not “in any way subvert, undermine, weaken or make vulnerable” commercial software.
Apple makes use of end-to-end encryption for its iMessages system. The company has no way to access the data, even if they are ordered to by a court.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have brought increased pressure to require tech companies to provide backdoor access to the encryption systems to allow access by law enforcement agencies. The rhetoric has steadily increased from law enforcement agencies, to the point where Department of Justice officials recently claimed the encryption could lead to the death of a child.
The letter to President Obama is also signed by five members of a presidential review group appointed in 2013 to assess tech policies, following a round of leaks by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.