AT&T thinks governments, not companies, should decide the future of smartphone encryption


Much will be made about smartphone encryption this year, with two major states in the US looking to ban the practice outright. Should companies be able to encrypt smartphones in a way that can’t be decrypted?

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Well, AT&T doesn’t think so. Their CEO — Randall Stephenson — recently went on record to say that the issue of smartphone encryption shouldn’t be up to companies to decide, and that politicians should be the ones steering the ship. Stephenson specifically mentioned Apple and their CEO Tim Cook who popularized the trend of smartphone encryption and feel that backdoors are no good for anyone:

“I don’t think it is Silicon Valley’s decision to make about whether encryption is the right thing to do. I understand Tim Cook’s decision, but I don’t think it’s his decision to make.”

That’s a plausible argument considering the basis of the issue comes down to ensuring the security of the American public. We want protection, but we often don’t want to give up basic civil liberties to get it. Should Apple and Google’s belief of privacy get in the way of the US government’s responsibility to fight crime and terrorism?

Blackberry has taken a completely different stance compared to their contemporaries. They feel there’s a need for a delicate balancing act to make smartphones both secure enough for businesses and accessible enough for law enforcement at the same time.

What side do yo find yourself on? Do you value privacy more than security? Should it be up to the companies or the politicians? Let us know how you feel about all of it straight ahead.

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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