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Improving Technical Security 16 February 2017

Internet Society speaks out against proposed password disclosure requirements

Kathryn Brown
By Kathryn BrownFormer President / CEO

Today, the Internet Society, along with 50 organizations and trade associations and nearly 90 individual experts who care deeply about an open, trusted Internet, expressed our deep concerns that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may require individuals to disclose their social media account passwords as a condition of entry into the United States.  Last week, the new U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security indicated that the U.S. government is considering such a policy as an element of border screening.

We signed onto this statement because we believe that this policy would gravely undermine Internet security and would represent an alarming intrusion on individuals’ rights of expression, opinion and privacy.   We also worry that other nations may replicate this approach, leading to a cascading decline in Internet security for users across the globe. 

The Internet Society is a global organization that is comprised of staff, chapters, members and volunteers around the world who all share a deep commitment to the ability of individuals to communicate freely and securely via the Internet.   Coercive action by a government to demand user passwords is contrary to our values and creates unacceptable risks to our community’s ability to travel and communicate freely.

We remain committed to opposing policies such as this that would compromise global Internet security and place our community’s security and privacy in jeopardy.

Please join us in showing your support by sharing this statement across social channels. Together, we can send a strong message that this proposed policy approach is not acceptable.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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