Skip To Content
Breaking News

This Son of Holocaust Survivors Is Battling To Protect Your Privacy

The son of Holocaust survivors is leading the resistance against a move to water down the encryption technology that protects Americans’ digital privacy.

“I believe weakening strong encryption puts at risk millions of Americans, families and communities from one end of the country to another,” U.S. Sen Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)said this week at the RightsCon gatherng in San Francisco.

The battle over what data the government can gain access to from consumer digital devices has taken on new urgency.

Apple held its ground in recent months as the feds sought to hack into the iPhone of Syed Farook, the dead San Bernardino terrorist gunman.

The Forward recently reported that the FBI went around Apple and hired an Israeli company to beat the iPhone’s encryption — and it did, officials said Monday.

The government argued the device could hold precious secrets that may help stop future terror attacks. And now, two of Wyden’s colleagues — fellow Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California, and Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina —are about to unveil new laws to dictate what encrypted information tech firms must hand over when investigators come knocking.

“I’m not setting up a dead terrorist caucus.”

Wyden hinted he would filibuster any such legislation.

“I would do anything within my power as a United States senator to block any plan that weakens strong encryption,” said Wyden, who is Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivors.

“I’m not setting up a dead terrorist caucus,” Wyden insists in the face of criticism that his leadership on the privacy debate plays right into the hands of those who would blow up and gun down Americans.

“This is about more security versus less security,” he declared. “This issue is as important as any that I’ve been involved in in my 15 years in the intelligence committee.” — With Reuters

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.