Welcome to Codebook, the cybersecurity newsletter that, through a series of mishaps, was written on someone else's iPhone.
Today's newsletter is 1,047 words, about a 4-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Experts fear that the Department of Justice's latest argument against warrant-proof encryption, which emphasizes protecting children and focuses on the use of encrypted messaging apps, may make it harder than ever to resolve the encryption debate.
The big picture: The DOJ's new plea for extraordinary access to encrypted data, put forward at a summit last week, moves the debate toward systems that are harder to secure and uses cases that are exponentially costlier to address.
Background: For years, the DOJ has argued the key reason for tech companies to implement weaker encryption algorithms was that strong encryption helps hide evidence critical to fighting terrorists. The metric the DOJ used to make this point was how many cellphones it was unable to break into to obtain this and other evidence.
The main encryption controversy — whether tech firms should design encryption to let users control who can see their data, or allow law enforcement to access data without user permission — hasn't changed.
But, but, but: The focus on messaging apps and child exploitation adds a new wrinkle.
A recent report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace noted a variety of other reasons that the debate should focus on phones rather than messaging apps, including chat apps that continuously change encryption keys, a valuable tool that is tough to maintain while extending access to law enforcement.
And child exploitation is a more sprawling problem to address, in technical terms.
After a long week in which China made moves against American companies disapproving of its handling of pro-democracy Hong Kong protests, clever gamers are trying to fight back using European privacy laws as a cudgel.
Driving the news: On Wednesday, Apple bowed to pressure from the Chinese press to remove an app that protesters used to track the police. That followed the NBA and NBA players distancing themselves from a team general manager who expressed solidarity with the protesters and the video game maker Blizzard nixing a tournament win from a player who did the same.
Will it work? No. Handling GDPR requests isn't cheap, but it also isn't prohibitively expensive. Still, there aren't a huge number of intermediate steps short of canceling accounts to express displeasure with multinational companies' actions.
Meanwhile: China and Taiwan fight the battle of Wikipedia.
Xi Jinping on a 3-day state visit to Russia, June 5. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
The Russian internet regulator Roskomnadzor announced that Moscow and Beijing would sign an accord to cooperate on fighting illegal online content at an Oct. 20 internet conference.
Why it matters: Russia and China share more than a gigantic border. Both countries envision tremendous state controls over internet content in the name of national security. Critics wonder if this move means Russia is taking a first step toward China's world-leading level of censorship.
U.S. courts ruled the FBI overstepped using mass surveillance tools (FISA ruling): The secretive FISA court ruled that the FBI violated the Fourth Amendment and the law permitting the NSA's mass surveillance program thousands of times between 2017 and 2018.
NSO malware in Morocco? (Amnesty International): Amnesty International believes commercial spyware sold to governments was used to surveil human rights advocates in Morocco since 2017.
The White House restricted some sales to China, but is loosening the grip on others (New York Times, BBC): As trading negotiations reignite, the White House plans to issue more licenses to sell tech to the embattled telecommunications provider Huawei. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration barred sales to makers of surveillance equipment used to spy on the Uighur minority.
The browns lost. Bad.
We'll be back next week when I'll have a laptop.