Trump officials want to outlaw unbreakable encryption, report says

The talk was reportedly held in one of those secret government meetings no one is supposed to know about.

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The government wants access to encrypted messages.

James Martin/CNET

As tech companies double down on promises to better protect users' privacy, the US government may have other ideas. Senior Trump officials reportedly met Wednesday to discuss asking Congress to pass legislation  that would stop tech companies from using encryption that law enforcement can't break, according to a report from Politico

The National Security Council meeting to deliberate the encryption issue -- which the government reportedly calls "going dark" -- consisted of the second-in-commands from several agencies, according to Politico, but no decision was made in the meeting. 

End-to-end encryption, used in apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, only allows the sender and recipient access to the information sent. Law enforcement and tech companies butted heads multiple times over encryption on devices in recent years. Most notably in 2015 after the shooting in San Bernardino, California, Apple refused to unlock an iPhone 5C used by the shooter. Eventually, law enforcement officials gained access to the phone thanks to a third party.  

In December, Australia passed a law requiring tech companies to provide law enforcement access to encrypted messages, citing national security and terrorism as the reason for its passage. Google, Twitter, Facebook and other tech companies opposed the legislation saying it would undermine current security efforts and make an opening for hackers to abuse. 

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The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.