Today, tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Google are facing questions about whether they’re more open than before to encryption.
The tech industry has been criticized in the past by lawmakers and civil liberties groups for its reluctance to enforce laws that are designed to make it harder for criminals to access sensitive information.
Tech companies, however, have been in a rush to get on board with the new encryption rules that have been issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, and other agencies.
And that pushback has been met with a barrage of criticism from civil liberties and privacy advocates, who say that the companies are doing too little to protect users’ data.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest tech companies that are more open about their stance on encryption than ever:Apple, which has long resisted making it easier for law enforcement to access encrypted data, announced last month that it would begin allowing FBI agents access to encrypted data in the coming months.
Microsoft said last week that it was also considering the idea of making encryption easier for investigators.
Microsoft said it would allow the FBI access to any encrypted data stored in the company’s cloud, including the personal data of millions of users, the Verge reported.
The company said that the company would be open to sharing data in a way that complies with the FBI’s demands for data.
Google said it will make it easier to obtain encrypted data from companies such the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies, including in a separate letter to Congress.
Google will make a “number of changes,” including “providing access to a new, secure, and encrypted cloud for law-enforcement use,” Google said in a statement.
Apple also said it was “open to working with law enforcement on how to improve our products to allow law enforcement access to our data and help protect against terrorist attacks.”
Apple, Microsoft, and Google have been criticized for their stance, especially in the wake of the FBI investigation into former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn.
Last year, the companies signed a $10 million settlement with the Justice Department over their refusal to make encryption mandatory.
Apple said in the settlement that the FBI and other government agencies could ask for data from Apple servers and other cloud services.
Apple, in a letter to lawmakers, also said that “data held on Apple servers is secured by a strong password and is encrypted by a passphrase that is unique to each user.”
Microsoft and Google said they would support the FBI request to help the government access encrypted information from the companies.
“We support the efforts of law enforcement in their investigation of this matter,” the companies said.
In addition to offering to cooperate, the tech companies said that they would also be open about how they’re able to help law enforcement, and that they will work with “government agencies to provide additional transparency on this issue.”
Apple said in its letter to legislators that the government “can’t ask us for our data unless it gets a warrant or court order.”
Microsoft also said the companies “will work with law-abiding companies to protect our users’ personal information and secure our cloud.”
Google said it has made “over 100,000 requests” for data under the agreement, but said that only “a few” of those have resulted in the FBI being able to access customer data.
Microsoft is the largest cloud computing provider by revenue, and has said it is open to working together with the government.
Google has said that it “will continue to cooperate with the authorities and ensure that companies and organizations can use their technology to keep Americans safe.”
Apple has been more aggressive in its public support of the new FBI demands.
Last week, the company announced that it had already given FBI agents up to 100 gigabytes of encryption data on its servers.
The letter also said Apple would work with the agency “to ensure that we provide a variety of tools, tools that will allow law-enforceable investigations and prosecutions, as well as help law-breaking criminals evade detection.”