January 25, 2018

Wyden to FBI Director Wray: Stop Misleading Americans About Encryption

Washington, D.C. –Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to explain his recent comments calling for government backdoors into Americans’ encrypted personal phones, computers and other electronic devices, in a letter sent today.

While Wray said he was “not looking for a ‘back door’”, while speaking at Fordham University earlier this month, he advocated for weakening encryption to allow special government access to personal devices – the definition of a back door.

“Your stated position parrots the same debunked arguments espoused by your predecessors, all of whom ignored the widespread and vocal consensus of cryptographers. For years, these experts have repeatedly stated that what you are asking for is not, in fact, possible,” Wyden wrote to Wray.

“I would like to learn more about how you arrived at and justify this ill-informed policy proposal. Please provide me with a list of the cryptographers with whom you’ve personally discussed this topic since our July 2017 meeting and specifically identify those experts who advised you that companies can feasibly design government access features into their products without weakening cybersecurity,” Wyden continued.

Wyden has been the Senate’s foremost defender of Americans’ rights and smart policies on technology and security. He has long defended strong encryption as critical to Americans’ security in the digital age.