Wyden pushes Supreme Court to adopt email encryption standards that it currently doesn't use

Supreme Court. Photo: Richard Gillin/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)


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Warning that the U.S. Supreme Court’s emails “remain needlessly exposed to surveillance and potentially compromised by third parties,” Sen. Ron Wyden urged change Monday within the judicial branch and continued his office’s public campaign to bolster information security within the federal government.

Wyden, D-Ore., published a letter to the U.S. Supreme Court urging their director of information technology to adopt STARTTLS encryption “to better protect the privacy and security of the Court’s email communications.”

Pointing to wide adoption of STARTTLS in private industry and across government, Wyden pushed the Supreme Court to use the technology because without it “email messages sent to and from the Supreme Court remain needlessly exposed to surveillance and potentially compromised by third parties.”

The letter echoes another sent by Wyden earlier this year urging the Defense Information Systems Agency to implement STARTTLS in their email systems.

“Major technology companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple use STARTTLS, as do both the Senate and House of Representatives,” Wyden wrote. “Many agencies within the U.S. government also use STARTTLS, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

In April, Wyden also pushed for the use of multifactor authentication in the Senate.

The letter urged the Supreme Court to reach out to Wyden’s office and, specifically, Christopher Soghoian. Previously a technologist at the ACLU, Soghoian has been a driving force behind Wyden’s office-wide push to improve federal cybersecurity.

You can read Wyden’s letter below:

[documentcloud url=”http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4064952-3253-001.html” responsive=true]


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Chris Soghoian, email, encryption, Ron Wyden, STARTTLS, Supreme Court