A total of 72 countries have criminal laws against sexual activity by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) people. In the U.S. alone, in 30 states you can be fired for being LGBTQ. As a result, LGBT people increasingly rely on encryption to lead their lives free of fear from discrimination and prosecution. Efforts to force providers to build in “back doors” that allow unfettered access to data create a chilling effect on LGBT people in the US and around the world. Law enforcement agencies have legitimate need for obtaining data but there needs to be limits on how such data is collected. We discuss current efforts to weaken encryption protections in the US and present a balanced analysis of the need for access to data versus the privacy cost such efforts entail.
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