50+ Security & Cryptography Academics Write Open Letter to Government

Over fifty academic cryptography and network/computer security experts from such institutions as UC Berkeley, Stanford, Brown University, Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell and many others today implored the Obama administration in an open letter to rein in the practices and capabilities of the NSA, arguing that weakening cryptographic standards and inserting backdoors makes everyone less safe by making it easier for bad actors to exploit existing, designed-in weaknesses. A taste:

The value of society-wide surveillance in preventing terrorism is unclear, but the threat that such surveillance poses to privacy, democracy, and the US technology sector is readily apparent…The choice is not whether to allow the NSA to spy. The choice is between a communications infrastructure that is vulnerable to attack at its core and one that, by default, is intrinsically secure for its users.

Full text of letter plus list of signatories here.

One more set of influential voices added to the chorus of alarm over the surveillance state’s overreach.