The battle over backdoor government data access isn't over

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Jon Fingas
October 12th, 2015
The battle over backdoor government data access isn't over
Police officers breaking down doors

Tech companies are more than a little happy that the US won't require backdoor data access, but you might not want to join the celebrations just yet. Firms talking to Bloomberg say it's a "big win" that could help privacy, but it might not stop a cycle where tech firms like Apple and Google push for tougher data safeguards in response to stronger calls for access. Remember, the US was making similar requests with the short-lived Clipper chip 20 years ago -- it may be just a matter of time before another administration decides that its security concerns override personal privacy.

Not that those same companies expect a backdoor law to take effect. Executives reportedly believe that the government is afraid of ruining exports by demanding the power to break publicly available encryption. After all, Edward Snowden's NSA leaks have already lead to American firms losing foreign contracts over surveillance fears. There may not be much point to pressing for greater control if more countries refuse to adopt US-made software.

[Image credit: Getty Images/Brand X]

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