Here Comes the Cavalry
In a bold move the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Justice (DoJ) under the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA). The law suit demands the DoJshed light and declassify secret court orders forcing tech giants to decrypt sensitive user data. The EFF argues that this practice undermines the safety & security of user devices, rendering encryption technology useless.
The EFF’s Struggle
The EFF has demanded that the DoJ publicly disclose if orders & warrants have been secured from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) requiring tech companies & 3rd parties to carry out surveillance on their customers in addition to giving out user data.The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s lawsuit also alleges that the Department of Justice failed to declassify surveillance tactics&ordersunder Surveillance Reformslegislatedtogether with the USA Freedom Act.
After massive pressure by US law enforcement agencies on tech companies including Apple Inc., Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter and many othersthere was no way out but to legally compelthe US Government to answer to the people.
After the FBI declared war on Apple Inc. forcing the tech giant to decrypt the iPhone of an alleged terrorist, it was obvious that this was not going to bea one-time affair. Ambiguity still lingers over just how many times the US government & surveillance agencies have demanded similar order from the FISC. The FISC is known to operate through these secret orders, entertainingevery possible request US government agencies demand.
The EFF has stood steadfast in its struggle to protect the privacy if millions of tech users across the country, filing two separate requests under the FOIA in October 2015 and then in March 2016amidst growing pressure from the US government.
The Path to Orwell’s Dystopia
The FBI’s pursuit to force Apple to decrypt the terrorist’s iPhone itself is like a roadmap leading toGeorge Orwell’s 1984 dystopia. This very sly move from the FBI has raised public concerns over just how coercivethe US Government can be to extract “high critical&confidential”data from user devices without proper oversight.
Countless News outlets have also reported the bullyingbehavior of security agencies to make tech giants to hand over their source codes, so possible vulnerabilities can be exploited and used for surveillance.
Power to the People
EFF Senior Staff Attorney Mark Rumold has furtherstrengthened the case against the Department of Justice claiming in the EFF’s lawsuit also aims toforce the US government to conform to the USA Freedom Act.Many of the transparency provision under the USA Freedom Act require that the government disclose all ambiguous FISC orders and decisions.
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