The revelations from Edward Snowden's documents have exposed massive eavesdropping by U.S. intelligence agencies (and others around the world). Faced with a confidence crisis of their customers in sensitive markets like China, large US high-tech companies have started to strengthen defenses of their platforms through the dissemination of data encryption protocols.
On mobile platforms, the data encryption has become widespread and is systematically offered, making the task of visible or more discreet authorities more difficult. The pendulum movement was such that several heads of US intelligence agencies (FBI, NSA) argued for the institution of legal backdoors in cell phones.
A movement came in particular from the fact that certain companies like Apple propose an encryption such that they are not able to unlock it, even in the event of legal request.
Since then, the massive data collection program from NSA cell phones has been viewed as illegal, giving fresh arguments to opponents of the systematic wiretapping of millions of people.
The Washington Post notes that US high-tech companies have sent a open letter to President Barack Obama to urge him to reject any proposal to weaken cell phone security.
Over a hundred companies, including Apple and Google, as well as encryption specialists, say that "strong encryption is essential to the security of a modern information economy". They point out the danger represented by the introduction of a weakness in the breastplate and the risk of exploitation for criminal purposes by hackers or foreign intelligence services.
They also emphasize that the US government should work to contribute to encryption efforts and not to try to slow them down or weaken them. The battle of arguments therefore continues, pending a position by the American president.