Washington, D.C. — TechNet, the bipartisan network
of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today wrote to the Chairman
and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee to express its opposition
to efforts to weaken security in iPhones and other devices and to urge a
national dialogue on the issues raised at this afternoon’s hearing. The following is the text of the letter:

the bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, thanks
you for holding today’s hearing: “The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing
Americans’ Privacy and Security.”

hearing has been driven in no small part by the U.S. government’s decision to
take the unprecedented step of trying to force a leading American technology
company – Apple – to provide access to the encrypted contents of an
iPhone. Expanding the 227-year-old All
Writs Act, to date used exclusively to require administrative support to the
government, into a tool to require a private technology company to create new
software and in effect undermine its existing security systems sets a
disturbing precedent for obtaining access to iPhones and other American
devices. It would also open the door to
governments from around the world seeking the very same type of access. This would be a major step in the wrong
direction, and given the ubiquity of available encrypted mobile applications,
would provide limited useful data to government investigators.

smartphones, and the other devices that we depend on, are essential parts of
our lives. They hold our most personal
information, including our health and financial data. This information needs to be protected from
those who would seek to compromise our privacy and security.

TechNet, we have great respect for the job that the FBI and other law enforcement
agencies do. We fully understand that
our nation faces grave threats, and that we must be vigilant in protecting our

challenge in this case is that creating a precedent that could force companies
to eliminate security features from their products is counterproductive for
both our nation’s security and economic leadership. From a security perspective, once a
vulnerability is established, it could be exploited by others who do not share
the FBI’s good intentions. The result:
common transactions will become easy prey for bad actors, and customers around
the world could lose faith in the trustworthiness of American products and
choose alternatives that don’t have the same vulnerabilities.

the attention this particular case has drawn can have a positive outcome if we
use it to begin a national dialogue to chart a way forward on the complicated
set of legal and technical issues now before this esteemed committee. At TechNet, we hope that today’s hearing will
serve as a catalyst for such a dialogue.”

of the letter are available upon request.

About TechNet
TechNet is the national,
bipartisan network of CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of
the technology industry by building long-term relationships between technology
leaders and policymakers and by advocating a targeted policy agenda at the
federal and 50-state level. TechNet has
offices in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston, and