back to article Tech giants gang up on Obama over encryption key demands

A pair of technology industry pressure groups have sent a letter to President Obama asking his administration to back off demands that companies give government agencies the ability to decrypt all user data. In the letter [PDF], the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC) and the Software and Information Industry …

  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


    Please ban proper encryption by all technology companies in your nation.


    The entire rest of the world's IT industries.

    1. Thorne

      All the US tech companies would move out of the US. It is that or die a slow death. No company can afford to hand over the keys to the government.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        "All the US tech companies would move out of the US"

        They would also have to stop using US banks and all the US citizens will have to renounce their citizenship* to avoid the World Police.

        *I'm not sure if they still think they own you at this point, but I assume yes.

  2. Eddy Ito

    Seems like this government is dead set on killing off any sort of American competition in the technology industry and driving us back to the days of encryption as munitions. We know Barry, it's down right un-american to use strong encryption it's just that I'm not sure ROT-13 actually counts as encryption any more. In a way this administration is a perfect parallel to ISIS, they both want to shift society back a few hundred years.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge

    This is the same Obama or a twin?

    One of them just directed all the federal sysadmins to implement HTTPS because encryption and security are "good"....??????? Oh wait.. good for government, not for the people. Got it.. nevermind.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

      Re: This is the same Obama or a twin?

      I can see two possible explanations. The first is that policy makers don't get the simple technical bit about HTTPS involving encryption and of course would never simultaneously advocate for mutually exclusive outcomes. The second is that both Barack and his evil twin Barry live at the White House, but are careful to never allow anyone to see both at the same time. My money is on the "Twin" hypothesis.

    2. Brent Beach

      Re: This is the same Obama or a twin?

      Using HTTPS is not a problem for NSA is only they have all the keys.

      It keeps all the bad guys out but lets the good guys in.

      Of course, only a total flake thinks that anyone will buy this.

      But, Obama did make up the entire killing of bin Laden thing (yes bin Laden is dead, no it did not happen the way Obama claims), so perhaps he thinks people will accept this tortured reality as well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is the same Obama or a twin?

        Last I heard Bin Laden was living (in a manner of speaking) in a fully equipped purpose built suite in Rumsfeld's basement.

        Wasn't it the whole "Buried at sea in a hurry.. oops.. you weren't expecting to see evidence where you? Whoda thunk. My bad." line that was fabricated?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    C'mon, Barry. Quit trying to kick down our front doors

    But how else are they to pretend that all their shit isn't completely riddled with goatse style backdoors?


    Yet more of this endless campaign of inane pantomime, presumably aimed at two year old troglodytes with learning difficulties. Must we?



    1. Eddy Ito

      Oh come on AC; don't hold back; tell us how you really feel.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I'd just wondered into this article after reading the immediately preceding one* so was already feeling a trifle jaded and irked - BEFORE I got whacked in the face with yet another round of this disingenuous political slime... the obvious irony/hypocrisy might have inspired somewhat... er... flowery? language but yep, think the point is still in there somewhere.


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward



          Starting to think I should apply to work for HP

          dan, all the stuff typed in oblique shouty was me shouting back at the pantomime... as is how they work

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Oooooooooh noooo it isn't!


      2. dan1980


        "Oh come on AC; don't hold back; tell us how you really feel."

        Actually, I'd like him/her to because I can't make heads or tails out of that post.

  5. David Kelly 2

    Next Week Obama Sues God

    Be sure to tune in next week when the Obama administration sues God for designing the human brain with encryption beyond the administration's access with a court order.

  6. Howard Hanek

    Unintended Consequences

    The wealthy Chinese Party Officials and other oligarchs don't like to have their user data made available to US (un)Intelligence.

  7. Medixstiff

    I'm fine with it...

    Just as long as they have keys for the US sold phones and none for international versions, Then just watch how many phones are bought online and shipped into the US.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Re: I'm fine with it...

      All of the fucking encryption hardware comes from Gemalto, and they hacked them already.

    2. Thorne

      Re: I'm fine with it...

      "Just as long as they have keys for the US sold phones and none for international versions, Then just watch how many phones are bought online and shipped into the US."

      But with the Australia Tax we buy US phones and ship them here............

  8. PassiveSmoking

    The Daily Mail crowd

    Unfortunately, it seems there's an awful lot of people in the "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" camp, at least if the comments section of papers like the Daily Mail are any indication. They don't realise that there are plenty of things you want to hide (Your credit card details, home address, medical history, etc), or that the same infrastructure that's used for encryption is also used for authentication and that without strong encryption trust on the internet would basically become impossible.

    If those people can't be convinced otherwise there won't be enough pressure brought to bear to prevent politicians undermining encryption and ruining our security, in the name of security.

  9. nijam

    Weak (or no) encryption only helps criminals, we all know that.

    If anyone (e.g. NSA, or GCHQ, or the Daily Mail, or ...) asks for encryption to be weakend or banned, you can immediately deduce that they are indeed amongst that class who will be helped by weak (or no) encryption.


  10. R Callan
    Black Helicopters

    Encryption for criminal or terror purposes is so easy to produce that it is childs play. Public communications are too easily intercepted and read by the real nasties, those who are "protecting us". Secure encryption easy? I hear you say. Too right mate.

    Write out an alphabet and underneath it write the numbers 1-0. Repeat the numbers until the alphabet is used up. On the 3rd time through with Roman letters there will be some numbers left over, so add some useful punctuation [space] [comma] [full stop] perhaps ["]. Depending on how you start and the placement of the punctuation we abtain about 100 distinct cyphers which are difficult for simple frequency analysis to break. By itself suitable for casual protection but easily broken by the experts. To make it very hard to break take a book, any book any language and even another alphabet. Use the system outlined above to number the characters in the book starting at a random or carefully defined place. A defined place could be given by date and/or time as prearanged with the recipient. Add these numbers to your initial encryted message rolling the numbers over so that 18 becomes 8 etc. Either send your now secure message as is or repeat using another book. Write the message onto the back of a letter or postcard using invisible ink (lemon juice or milk work very well). Possibly use the outside of the envelope to write your message on.

    As long as the startng place in the book is varied for each message it becomes very difficult to decrypt without the key, and even then needs to be done manually because each code number can have 3 different answers or even 4 if digits were included in the original coding format.

    Oooops, I've just described a secure coding system for small cells of crims. or t'rists. Do I hear a black chopper?

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