Condemning and Defeating Surveillance Through Open Security Standards

Date Published: January, 01, 2015

In recent months, disturbing news has emerged about widespread surveillance by government agencies. The privacy and confidentiality of citizens around the world has apparently been violated on a daily basis as information about their emails and phone calls was gathered and scrutinized. Such intrusions are unacceptable and detrimental to human rights and open commerce.

The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) has a long-standing commitment to privacy and security, as expressed through our Design, Implementation and Usage (Best Practices and Principles). These principles, which guide all of our activities, say that TCG standards must provide Security, Privacy, Interoperability, Portability of Data, Controllability, and Ease of Use. Meeting all of these requirements is a tough task but through our open, international standards-making process we have had a lot of success in the last decade. Technical experts from industry, government, and academia have come together to create open standards and architectures for secure computing.

While policy-makers discuss norms for surveillance, TCG would like to remind users (including individuals and corporations) that technical solutions to such problems are available. In fact, TCG recently published a Cybersecurity Architect’s Guide that focuses especially on countermeasures against sophisticated attacks. We encourage users to deploy the countermeasures in this guide such as encryption, strong authentication, and layered defenses. These countermeasures provide considerable protection against both routine surveillance and targeted attacks.

The world of modern computing is a dangerous one with many threats to security and privacy: surveillance, organized crime, and malicious hackers. We must not become complacent, assuming that our defenses are adequate or that nothing can prevent attacks. Instead, we must constantly improve our defenses. The attackers are always improving. We must keep pace with them or even be ahead of them.

TCG and our members are committed to making continuous, substantial progress in defending security and privacy for all users by creating and promoting open standards for information security. We invite all parties committed to these goals to join with us by implementing the TCG standards and helping us to improve them. Working together, we can create a world where information flows securely while privacy is respected.


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