This is ridiculous — New York wants to ban iPhones and the latest Androids because they’re too hard to break into.
Phones get stolen all the time. Buying a new one is expensive enough. But your data falling into the wrong hands can cost much, much more.
Think about it. Whoever stole your phone has a copy of your digital life. They could empty your savings, ruin your credit, or steal workplace files and cost you your job. Just one risque photo could become a life-altering nightmare… especially for teachers, young people or public figures. This happens, and it’s awful.
Thankfully, engineers have a solution to this problem: “full disk encryption”. It gives strong protection and it’s easy. You pick a good password, and your phone uses some epic math to protect your data every day. That’s it.
Full disk encryption is so great, we even ran a campaign for it: Reset the Net. And it’s winning! The iPhone–and the latest version of Android–make full phone encryption standard for everyone. Data will be safe, even when phones get stolen.
But the same encryption that keeps you safe makes the FBI furious. When they seize a phone, encryption makes it much harder for them to break in. In some rare cases, it’s impossible, but most of the time it’s just more work.
The FBI is pushing states to make “full disk encryption” illegal because they want to make it easier to break into someone’s phone.
The problem is that making it easier for the FBI to access the data on a phone means it’s WAY easier for anyone with malicious intent to access your data, too. Their “solution” to keeping you safe and cracking down on crime actually puts you at risk.
The FBI is losing this battle at the federal level, because experts agree that banning encryption would be terrible for public safety, since it would make phones easier for anyone to hack into. So the FBI is being sneaky. They know that just one big state could possibly tip the scales.
If New York bans encryption, Apple, Google, and other companies will have to decide to either make a special phone to sell just in New York and swallow that logistical nightmare, or they’ll lower their encryption standards on the devices they sell everywhere to match New York’s standard. We can’t let that happen — especially because if the FBI wins this case, there’s no reason they won’t come for our computers next.
We need to stop this now, before it goes any further.
Full disk encryption is one of the security steps we use at Fight for the Future to keep our data safe–and yours too. I’m using it right now. We see it as our responsibility to you, and really it’s common sense. Many companies and organizations have this policy, and if they don’t yet, they should!
This New York bill would make us, and millions of other organizations much more vulnerable to attacks.
We have some great follow-up planned for this petition, and will be working to stop similar legislation that’s already being proposed in California. So please, let’s kick this off right, and bury the politicians behind this law in petition signatures, from people who understand just how important encryption is to privacy and public safety.
If you want to do more, share the page (or this email) with as many people as possible, or support our work by becoming a member. We can win this, but only if we really try.