The White House on Monday pushed back on President Donald Trump’s call for companies to adopt encryption for government data, arguing that such measures will have no effect on the tech industry.
“The president has said repeatedly that encryption is the answer to our security and to the threat of terrorism,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a briefing with reporters.
“And he’s absolutely right, that the government needs to get serious about the security of our data,” Sanders added.
“I think there are companies who are already taking steps to implement this technology, like Apple and Microsoft, and we’re going to continue to work with them to make sure that they do it right.”
Trump, in a tweet on Monday, called on companies to “implement encryption for your personal data,” and urged tech companies to create encryption tools.
“Apple is creating an encryption tool that will be used by terrorists and criminals, while at the same time making the government much more difficult to trace,” Trump wrote.
“If a company can’t get this right, the government can’t access it.
They’re trying to get away with it.
This is unprecedented.”
Sanders said that the White House is still “reviewing” Trump’s tweet and is “not taking a position on whether that should be a government mandate.”
She noted that “the president’s tweet did not include any specific recommendations on what type of encryption we should use, and that was the White Reporters Office’s position as well.”
Sanders also said the White Houses Office of Management and Budget is “still working with industry on the implementation of encryption for private communications.”
She also said that there is a “continuing discussion” on how to “increase transparency and accountability” in the intelligence community.