US could force firms to help break encryption, under new bill

The bill released by Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein of the Senate Intelligence Committee came in the wake of a heated legal battle pitt...



The bill released by Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein of the Senate Intelligence Committee came in the wake of a heated legal battle pitting the FBI against Apple as part of an investigation into last year’s San Bernardino attacks.

“No entity or individual is above the law,” has Feinstein, the top Democrat on the committee chaired by Republican Burr.

“Today, terrorists and criminals are increasingly using encryption to foil law enforcement efforts, even in the face of a court order. We need strong encryption to protect personal information, but we also need to know when terrorist plot to kill Americans. “

lawmakers in a joint statement the proposal was a” discussion draft “and that she would” ask the input of the public and stakeholders before formally launching the bill. ”

“I am hopeful that this concept will begin a meaningful and inclusive debate on the role of encryption and its place within the law,” has Burr. “Based on the initial feedback, I am convinced that the debate has begun.”

The use of strong encryption in applications and smartphones, with their keys only available to users, has concerns raised in law enforcement that criminals and can operate others in secret, with researchers to access data even by obtaining a court order.

Legislation similar to the Senate proposal are also being considered in other countries, especially Britain and France, amid concerns that attackers are using encryption to avoid detection.

But the concept Senate, which leaked media earlier this week, has led to intense criticism from both the IT industry and digital rights activities, claims that it will effectively create a “back by” law enforcement which can be exploited by hackers and other governments.

Kevin Bankston of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute said that the bill will require that “any technology provider in America either backdoored encryption or no encryption smooth, even though virtually every security expert the country will tell you that means kept our arms in the constant struggle to make or data from thieves, hackers and spies “

Daniel Castro of the Information Technology & amp.; amp; Innovation Foundation, a Washington think tank, said the bill “represents a legal paradox that would further muddy water over how and when the government to help the private sector to be able to force access to private information.”

Gary Shapiro Consumer Technology Association, an industry group that hundreds of technology companies, known as the measure a “oorreaksie” to fears about encryption.

“There is no consensus in the intelligence required to oblige manufacturers to the appropriate encryption policy is open,” Shapiro said in a statement.

The US government last month withdrew its request to force Apple to help unlock an iPhone is being used by the San Bernardino shooters, the FBI says has a different way to access references to the data. But a number of cases pending against Apple and other companies.

Last week, Facebook owns WhatsApp said it was end-to-end encryption implemented for its billion users, so that no other party can read the messages.

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