Silicon Valley’s rift with the U.S. government over access to secure e-mails and other communications spilled into public view Monday when a Yahoo! executive confronted the nation’s surveillance chief.
National Security Administration Director Michael Rogers was confronted by Alex Stamos, Yahoo’s chief information security officer, over whether he believes companies should be required to build defects or “backdoors” into their products at the request of governments.
Stamos quizzed Rogers at a cybersecurity conference in Washington after Rogers said he broadly agrees with comments made by FBI Director James Comey that the U.S. should have access to encrypted communications.
“It sounds like you agree with Director Comey that we should be building defects into the encryption in our products so that the U.S. government can decrypt communications,” Stamos said.
Rogers didn’t provide a direct answer, saying instead that he believes the U.S. and companies can reach an agreement on the matter.
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