LAED in the USA, a step back in online privacy

Paul Nemitz, Principal Advisor on Justice Policy, EU Commission, said on Wednesday 22nd of July in a tweet that the US is considering a law that will destroy privacy online. We are talking about the Law Access to Encrypted Data (LAED) and it worries defenders of data privacy and online security, a concern that we share here at FySelf.

You can read an interview with Nemitz that we posted in our blog.

Against encrypting or… against privacy?

Senior officials of Trump’s administration gathered on the 26th of June. The reason was the discussion of the creation of a legislation that forbade tech companies to use encryption that law-enforcement couldn’t break. So stated Forbes a few weeks ago.

Data privacy is a very delicate issue today, and laws are changing all the time

According to the source, the National Security Council argued the “frustration of authorities that investigate terrorism, drug traffic and child pornography “. Nevertheless, there’s not only one point of view in the American government.

But the fact is that there’s already a law that is known as the Law Acces to Encrypted Data (LAED). This law could lead to the prohibition of end-to-end encryption for big companies. A project that would definitely attempt against the more secure technological American products.

What do we know about the Law Access to Encrypted Data?

The ProtonMail blog issued on Tuesday a detailed statement about the LAED. In it the explain how this law project reopens the door to the type of government surveillance that lead them to create Proton in 2014.

The explicit goal of this legislation is to provide police authorities and intelligence agencies a way to quickly access the information available in a suspect’s device.

“Not only would a tech company be forced to help the FBI break into a smartphone seized from a suspect, but it would also have to build a way to let officials monitor end-to-end encrypted communications, including whoever the suspect is talking to. This law would require any American company with more than 1 million users in the US to be able to decrypt its users’ data and present it to law enforcement”.

ProtonMail blog.

Where would the Law Access to Encrypted Data (LAED) be used in?

  • Messaging apps
  • Operative Systems
  • Videoconferences apps
  • Email providers
  • Cloud storage apps
  • Any device with at least 1GB of memory
  • Encryption system that keeps the whole internet safe

This law would be a complement to how law enforcement can access private information. Currently, this access can happen when there’s a search warrant or any other type of legal permission. The new law would require a redesign of the American technology products. Its main goal will be allowing to decrypt those products if needed.

We can only wait and see if this project actually becomes law. This would be a step-back in online security for USA. Those who consider that the protection of data is a right, can find more content for a more secure Internet by joining FySelf’s community in social media.

Is the online privacy of the supposed criminals the only one at risk? Or does this law put everyone’s privacy at risk? The topic is quite complex: feel free to share your opinion!

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John Lea

Master of Business Administration and Professor of Digital Marketing. I really agree with Albert Einstein on this one: "If you can't explain it to a 6-year-old, it means you don't know it. "

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