Google, Microsoft, Apple and more urge Obama to protect smartphone security and privacy in open letter



It’s that time again, folks — a cause so important has resulted in the country’s top tech firms joining hands to stand up and fight. This time, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Adobe and many more companies, technology experts and security experts (including some within his own cabinet) have all signed a 6 page letter to President Obama (which was recently published by The Washington Post).


The letter urges Mr. President to reconsider supporting legislature that would require device makers to give police and law enforcement backdoor access to users of their products:

We urge you to reject any proposal that U.S. companies deliberately weaken the security of their products.
We request that the White House instead focus on developing policies that will promote rather than undermine the wide adoption
of strong encryption technology.
Such policies will in turn help to promote and protect cybersecurity, economic growth, and human rights, both here and abroad.

This comes at a time where all three companies responsible for the world’s top mobile operating systems are doing more than ever to strengthen the security of their users’ devices as they become more popular not only with common consumers, but also with businesses and government agencies that handle sensitive data.

For Google’s part, Android 5.0 Lollipop introduced full device encryption, though the company has yet to implement or activate policies that would force manufacturers to enable the encryption by default.

No one wants more for it to be easier to catch baddies than the American public, but giving up basic civil liberties and privacy is where most will draw a hard line. And it’s not just about taking the government’s word that the access would be used in a responsible manner, but you also have to consider the matter of exposing millions of devices to potential cyber security threats and possibly exposing sensitive data to any ill-mannered black hat hackers.

The full letter isn’t very long at all (in fact, the list of signees takes up 66% of the document’s pages), so give it a read and see if you agree. Our bet is that you will, and that you’ll send your thoughts to POTUS himself on his shiny, brand new Twitter account right here.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. LMAO at Adobe championing software security, considering their Flash app has more holes than swiss cheese. Would be like Wayne LaPierre petitioning the government for more gun control :P

    1. Who?

        1. Every time I try to click your link my app force closes

          1. It’s because there isn’t a space between the start of the link he posted and the text preceding it.

          2. Thank you

        2. You say that like I should know who this nutball is. There are so many famous fanatics/scumbags in regards to religion, politics, races, companies etc. in the U.S. that it’s genuinely hard to know who they all are. Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney, the family that owns Wal-Mart. The list goes on and on.

    2. I had to look up who LaPierre was. You should have stuck to an analogy people would easily get like, “Would be like president Obama trying to do something good for America”.

  2. I would think that a former senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law school (like Obama) would have heard of a warrant.

  3. “No one wants more for it to be easier to catch baddies than the American public”
    Yeah because the rest of the world are just plebs..

    1. Not sure what you mean by the “yeah, because…” part.

    2. I was speaking in the context of America because, you know, this focuses strictly on American legislature. When I said “no one wants more than the American public,” I wasn’t suggesting other countries didn’t value those same beliefs, but rather the internal “citizens vs government” tug of war WITHIN this particular country. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

  4. Government has been spying on our phones and emails without the need for a warrant since the Patriot Act first was passed back in 2002 or 2003. I’m torn on the issue.
    1) I’m not doing anything illegal so I’m not worried but

    2) I don’t like the idea that some analyst has the ability to stock his/her ex or just go through peoples personal files for their own amusement.

    1. I am not torn on the issue.

      If the NSA and other agencies had been spying on terrorists, and ONLY terrorists, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

    2. The problem with #1 is, yes you may not be doing anything illegal today, but what about tomorrow? The US government has changed it’s opinion about rights and freedoms in the past. One example is during WWII they arrested all US citizens with Japanese ancestry (they called it internment camps). US citizens, not immigrants!
      Who knows what the future holds, but having that much power with no oversight only gives the government control, but doesn’t provide any actual benefits to people.

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