Skip to comments.Encryption gets its Gang of Eight
Posted on 03/21/2016 3:35:41 PM PDT by markomalley
A pair of House committees is forming a bipartisan working group of eight lawmakers to prepare for possible legislation addressing how the widespread use of encryption affects law enforcement investigations.
"The bipartisan encryption working group will examine the issues surrounding this ongoing national debate," House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Energy and Commerce Committee Fred Upton. R-Mich., said Monday. As chairman of the two committees that have jurisdiction over encryption issues, Goodlatte and Upton are ex officio chairs of the working group. They released that statement jointly along with Michigan Rep. John Conyers and New Jersey Rep. Steve Pallone, the top Democrats on each committee.
The working group will attempt to develop bipartisan consensus in the House on an issue that has scrambled traditional party lines, especially since Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged to fight a court order that his company break into a cellphone owned by one of the San Bernardino terrorists.
FBI director James Comey had been negotiating behind-the-scenes for Apple's cooperation while subtly lobbying lawmakers for assistance, but the issue broke out into the open when a judge ordered Apple to help. "The only way we know would be to write a piece of software that we view as sort of the software equivalent of cancer," Cook said on Sunday. "We think it's bad news to write, we would never write it, we have never written it and that is what is at stake."
Comey regards unbreakable encryption as a product that tech companies have developed to boost their "business model," one that now empowers terrorists such as the Garland, Texas, shooter to communicate in ways that law enforcement can't find.
"That morning, before one of those terrorists left and tried to commit mass murder, he exchanged 109 messages with an overseas terrorist," Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee in February. "We have no idea what he said, because those messages were encrypted."
The working group promised to keep both sides' concerns in mind. "Members will work toward finding solutions that allow law enforcement agencies to fulfill their responsibility without harming the competitiveness of the U.S. technology sector or the privacy and security that encryption provides for U.S. citizens," the leaders said Monday.
Four Republicans and four Democrats will participate in the group. They are Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, R.-Wis., one of the lead authors of the Patriot Act, Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Yvette Clark, D-N.Y., and Joe Kennedy, D-Mass.
Here’s a shocking idea, how about cutting terrorist nations off from the Internet. If innocents don’t like this concept, they could put a stop to the terrorists themselves, rather than simply buying their snuff videos on the corner.
Heck, honestly, it would probably knock out most terrorism within hours just from the revolt that comes from not being able to view gay porn there.
Since under the ITAR law the US Government has seen fit to define encryption as a munition subject to export restrictions then I assert that I have a Second Amendment right to keep and bear encrypted iPhones.
So, what are Congress people from Sanctuary areas doing demanding that Apple turn off their encryption?
With that techno-privacy brain trust, this will work out well.
The fact that we’re having this conversation goes a long way to show how far we’ve fallen as a society. Encryption is the very definition of the fourth amendment. Building back doors into encryption is no different than leaving a spare house key under the mat in front of your door.
Cut off internet connections to any country that supports terrorism. Not internet = no encryption needed.
I guess congress is going to kick the can until the courts rule (and the donations accumulate).
If you look at your cell phone bill online, you should be able to every text that you sent and received. If those texts went to and from an overseas number that was known to belong to a terrorist, then they could make that conclusion.
Pretty well a stretch as far as I can see, as terrorists use burner phones almost exclusively.
Actually the problem is how to save the Fourth Amendment from the effects of widespread encryption.
Without enforceable warrants the Fourth Amendment means nothing, no one can get justice from the courts.
I didn’t think of that...it does make sense. Thank you!
No discernible intelligence to encrypt there.
Government offices, big businesses and smart individuals already use strong encryption.
Couldn’t have happened. It is well known that was a lone wolf, sorry, lone wolves attack. /s
Bull. Encryption is a digital lock. No more. If someone wanted to bar their doors, install reinforced frames, etc., the cops couldn’t just barge in. They could pull a Waco and bulldoze the property down, but that’s not practical.
Everyone’s focused on this single instance of a single phone from a dead terrorist. Any leads are likely long gone cold, and the FBI is looking for a bailout because they were the ones who screwed up the lock on the phone in the first place!
This is a red herring operation. Encryption serves far more good than bad, and the idea that we need “justice” from unbreakable encryption is like saying we shouldn’t ever have locked doors.
It’s not about government spying or about terrorism. It’s about the courts being able to function at all.
If everyone has a lock that cannot be opened except by themselves, which is where we’re heading, then warrants and courts are no use at all.
Evidence of assaults, thefts, kidnapping, embezzlement, what-have-you will not be available.
Strong encryption is needed more and more.
It needs to be integrated in a way that allows the Fourth Amendment to continue to be effective.
Will Trump send money to this gang of eight?
“We have no idea what he said, because those messages were encrypted.”
We Have NO idea whats in those 56 pages of the 911 report, they are being with held from WE THE PEOPLE. Just like they were Encrypted
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