Legislators Reintroduce Pro-Encryption Bills After FBI Destroys Its Own 'Going Dark' Narrative

from the [mugato-voice]-irons-so-hot-right-now dept

The FBI may have overplayed its hand in the encryption game, but that doesn’t mean someone further down the legislative food chain won’t suffer from a sudden burst of enthusiasm for destroying encryption in the wake of a local tragedy. The same DC legislators looking to prevent federal legislation mandating encryption backdoors is taking the fight to the state level. Or, rather, looking to disqualify legislative contestants before they even enter the ring.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is renewing a push for legislation to block states from mandating that technology companies build “backdoors” into devices they produce in order to allow law enforcement access to them.

The measure is designed to preempt state and local governments from moving forward with their own laws governing encryption before the federal government acts on the issue.

The bill would prevent backdoor mandates, as well as encryption-subverting technical assistance demands or encryption bans.

A State or political subdivision of a State may not—

(1) mandate or request that a manufacturer, developer, seller, or provider of covered products or services—

(A) design or alter the security functions in its product or service to allow the surveillance of any user of such product or service, or to allow the physical search of such product, by any agency or instrumentality of a State, a political subdivision of a State, or the United States; or

(B) have the ability to decrypt or otherwise render intelligible information that is encrypted or otherwise rendered unintelligible using its product or service; or

(2) prohibit the manufacture, sale or lease, offering for sale or lease, or provision to the general public of a covered product or service because such product or service uses encryption or a similar security function.

This bill was originally introduced in 2016, back when the FBI was just getting its anti-encryption electioneering underway, but this time around appears to have a larger list of bipartisan sponsors.

Since then, things have changed considerably. The FBI’s claimed number of locked devices swelled dramatically, from a little under 800 to nearly 8,000 in less than two years. Its “going dark” rhetoric increased pace along with the increase in number of inaccessible phones.

But the biggest change in the last couple of years — a time period during which this legislation hasn’t moved forward — is the FBI’s self-own. Forced to account for its growing number of locked devices given the multiple options available to crack the phones or obtain evidence located in the cloud, the agency finally decided to take a look at all the phones it had amassed. And it found it didn’t have nearly as many as it had claimed. The 8,000 phones turned out to be somewhere between 1,000-2,000 (likely around 1,200 devices). The FBI blamed it on faulty software and has begun issuing corrections to the many, many public statements it published about the “going dark” problem.

Given the FBI’s disastrous discovery, the time would seem to be perfect to push forward with pro-encryption legislation. A new bill is on the way — likely a carbon copy the 2016 proposal. It should pair nicely with another bill introduced in May, which would prevent federal agencies or courts from demanding companies create backdoors or otherwise weaken their encryption. The only exception would be for mandates or court orders stemming from CALEA, which would limit assistance demands to the interception of communications (with wiretap warrants), not the contents of locked devices.

If both move forward, phone users will be protected on both ends from both levels of government. No backdoors, and no demands phone manufacturers kick down the front door so law enforcement can carry out their search warrants.

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Comments on “Legislators Reintroduce Pro-Encryption Bills After FBI Destroys Its Own 'Going Dark' Narrative”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

The Agency Who Cried 'Going Dark!'

I think my favorite part is picturing the hair-pulling these bills have got to be resulting in in the FBI and DOJ offices, as they come to understand just how badly they screwed up by lying so much.

To spend years trying to undermine public safety and security, only to have their own actions result in a pair of bills that will help protect both… oh that’s got to sting.

Here’s hoping both bills make it through intact and nicely shut down further attempts to undermine public security, at least for a few years before they try again.

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re:

What? Mr. Plastic Passion and the one rubbing one out to the lyrics of the Cockatoo Twins? The indomitable authoritarian furry fury twins? The feedback feeders, wit without charm, words without reasons? I don’t hear anything… the sound must be censored.

Now if we can get some mandates for XYZ to protect and THEN conquer we might get closer to a more sincere and sane society and you know, do actual patriot shit. .. .chya.

Agammamon says:

Now, I’m ‘pro-encryption’ but isn’t the point of having 50 quasi-sovereign states is so that we can experiment? And sometimes experimenting means doing really stupid things. The freedom to do those really stupid things is faaaaaaar more important than a single issue like this.

So, unless there’s a human right (not saying there isn’t – and some of you will undoubtedly be able to put forth a good case as to exactly how there is one) to not have a backdoor in your encryption products . . . then these states should be allowed to do this. Assuming their voters are stupid enough to let them.

Yeah, there’ll be some externalities hitting other states – and those states can sue to iron out who owes who what and all – but mostly it’ll be those states losing business and people inside them losing even more respect for the law as they move to their own (now illegal) encryption methods without backdoors because there’s really nothing the state can do to stop it any more than they can stop a home workshop from turning out firearms or people smuggling drugs no matter how draconian the punishment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“sometimes experimenting means doing really stupid things. The freedom to do those really stupid things is faaaaaaar more important than a single issue like this.”

We only need look as far as the late great state of Kansas to see the results of what could possibly go wrong with such experimentation. And some say experimentation upon the general public is a good thing, interestingly the general public has a somewhat differing point of view on this topic.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It would make little sense, and be a nightmare to operate, 50 different sets of rules and regulations when you could have just the one, given that the majority of internet traffic does not simply enter or leave a single jurisdiction.

They can go ahead, but it’s so obviously a far worse idea than a federal set of rules that major issues are inevitable – and needless, given that all NN rules were trying to do was protect what was already working.

ROGS (user link) says:

All of this was waged from Tel Aviv, and the Vatican, via James Comey and the deep state.

These are the vested interests who have the most to gain from invading privacy and killing free speech.

Comey~when his own, secret, pseydynymous name was outed on Twitter under his handle Rienhold Niehbur, he still wouldnt back down from these FBI lies about encryption.

Niehbur was famous for advocating “Christ in Culture,”and AA.

Then, there was the issue of the mysterious Israeli firm/s that on one hand spy on, and harras people here in America, and on the other, jump in and save the day by invading privacy AGAIN in cases such as the Iphone-a win win for this new form of domestic terrorism, aka ~privacy rape.


And who can forget Comey referencing the FBIs “love affair” with the ADL?

Or how these alleged mass shooters are actually all harassed by hidden operatives online, and in their workplaces BEFORE they go ballistic?

And, the narrative FRAMING that went on in these cases?

Have a laugh at this #ApplevFBI literally toxic headline that served only the purposes of American religious zealots:

San Bernardino DA warns that Syed Farouk’s iPhone could contain a “dormant cyber pathogen”~this appeared in Techspot.com, of all places!

Total insanity at every level, tinged with toxic sectarian religion and supremacist narratives.

ROGS (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:I WAS SPOT ON

I suggest the readers here follow along, and note how spot on my comments are, and how on-topic as well.

And, that these two are professinal derailers.

The flagged comment linked together state level lies and deceptive, due process eroding behavior of Americas religious fanatics who work in law enfarcement,and trans~national deep state religious cults and sects in policing, all of which affected the Iphone narrative of the deep police state.

Which validates many of my thesis about posters like the one above, but also how the internet word police are destroying our democracy with this sort of behavior.

And to the POS above, that flagging game is a two way street~keep that in mind.

But to the onlookers of the future,take note of the ROGS thesis, and get yourself a ROGS BINGO card….

PaulT- You provideiME a.link to anything that says you are anything but a comnent derailing, basement dwelling moron.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:I WAS SPOT ON

“I suggest the readers here follow along, and note how spot on my comments are, and how on-topic as well.”

If they do, say hi to the guys in the psych ward with you. I presume they’re the only ones who would think such a thing.

“PaulT- You provideiME a.link “

My entire comment history is linked on my profile should you wish to examine it. Unlike you, I have provided the ability for people to see my opinions without telling them to go off to another site to do my own research, as you have done. Although, nice to see that stating mere facts is increasingly causing you to lose grasp on the English language as much as you’ve lost grasp of reality.

But, I see now you’ve gone the road of the typical troll around these parts – first ranting like a lunatic, refusing to back up your claims. Then, whine about being victimised when called out on the lack of verifiable reality in your screeds. Which way will you go next, that’s always the entertaining part – personal attacks on posters, conspiracy theories about how the articles are written, making farmyard animal noises? All of your predecessors have done such things, which way will you choose?

ROGS says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:I WAS SPOT ON~moderation?


YOU are going on about posts from days ago~posts that not only provided links,and facts, and outlined a case the police and their many police state enablers~like yourself~ derail substantive discussions,EXACTLY.like you are doing now.

Your adhoms, and webwarior fullrfrontals are embarassing,and yourcomments have nothing to do with the article.

You are also way off topic, and flagging my posts which are spot on. Your a total time sucker, with nothing to contribute.

And you are going on about stuff a week ago, on an entirely different thread~you lie, andyou whattabout, and you attack ad hominem~


So I am simply not interested in your level of asshattery, and asking that you decist.

Is that hard for you to understand, lil Pauly?

Otherwise, refer to the links I provided, at those posts, ok?

And, I am asking for a moderator, because you are violating the comment policy.

And,I dont want to step in a pile of Paul again,ok?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:I WAS SPOT ON~moderation?

So, you went for a combination conspiracy theory / personal attack angle? Interesting.

“posts that not only provided links”

When I first noticed you posting here, you provided no such thing. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I found you so comical – you were ranting about secret societies, then asking people to go to the worlds’ largest corporations – surely hotbeds of said people – for the evidence.

You have slowly started to provide links, but only after I noted how ridiculous you looked. Thankfully, your demand that people go to search engines and blogs hoisted with major corporations are not the only source of hilarity.

“flagging my posts”

I have done no such thing. But, it is amusing when people make bare assertions they cannot prove, it means the rest of their claims can rightly be rejected outright.

“And, I am asking for a moderator”

This site is only moderated by the community flagging and hiding your posts, so your request has been granted.

“you are violating the comment policy”

Evidence, please?

It is fun to play with nutjobs like you, you actually think your ranting is an attempt at rational discourse, don’t you?

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:I WAS SPOT ON~moderation?

Moderation? What the..?? This ain’t CNN or whatever. Nobody is going to save you from yourself here. You’re going to have to put on your big boy pants. Moderation is feedback and feedback is moderation. The community provides feedback and by the looks of it you’ve been moderately moderated. You’re … welcome?

ROGS says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:I WAS SPOT ON~moderation?

Thanks,I get it.

The community here is one POS who haz butthurtz,and Masnicks admin (thatguyWalkout or whatever his name is).

And still, no one has addresed the substance of my initial post here:https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180608/13175339994/fbi-hoovered-up-two-years-journalists-phone-email-records-to-hunt-down-leaker.shtml

Or anything else.

I am not really surprised though, that such excellent and fearless writing as Techdirt attracts JTRIG/DITU/Fusion Center/InfraGard types.AndPaul in Gibraltar of course.

I mean~speech policing is a top priority for a surveillance state.

Ahhhh….tomorrow I wakeup in a communist country, with fewer of those types on the web forums, and a 40 dollar”footrub.”

Yeah…like Stalin said, America will fall without a shot.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:I WAS SPOT ON~moderation?

“And still, no one has addresed the substance of my initial post here”

Because there was no substance, just the ranting of a lunatic who is becoming less and less coherent as he posts.

Try writing in a manner that makes you appear sane, and outline some actual substance, preferably combined with verifiable evidence. Then, we can have the adult discussion you claim to desire.

Again, you seem to be thinking you’re attempting a polite library debate, whereas in fact you’re the guy standing on a street corner, shouting loud nonsense that most people rightly ignore and walk right past.

Rugland says:


The San Bernardino case was itself bizzare, because the shooter, like all of them, was under close and chronic surveillance before the event. So close, that those watching/stalking him reported him a week before the shooting.

And not surprising, that county had a judge who was ALSO rubberstamping wiretaps.


Less surprising-and more telling, is that vthey could have cracked the phone for free:

“John McAfee offered to decrypt the device for free with his team of super hackers, and now, San Bernardino County District Attorney, Michael Ramos, has theorized that the iPhone 5c may house a “dormant cyber pathogen” that threatens the US.”

Nothing to see here folks, move along now….

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: #ApplevFBI

Hey, look at that, an actual link rather than telling everyone to ask his favourite corporation for filtered answers. It might be evolving..

“John McAfee offered”

He’s offered to do a lot of random shit recently. Doesn’t mean he can actually do them. Plus, if you actually followed the facts of the case, the issue wasn’t that law enforcement were trying to crack the phone, it was they were trying to get Apple to break all encryption for all their phones. Even if McAfee did what he offered, they still wouldn’t get them what they actually wanted.

“Michael Ramos, has theorized that the iPhone 5c may house a “dormant cyber pathogen” that threatens the US.””

Yeah, some people will claim some wild shit when they want to bypass your legal rights en masse. Don’t tell me you’re dumb enough to believe that?

ROGS says:

Re: Re: #ApplevFBI

Paul_youareright,fromyour.pist two weeks ago, ok? The world IS flat, ok? Heres the link you asked for two weeks or so ago:


I refused to provide YOU, just asshat,insulting, passive aggresive, ad hom spamming YOU with links,because you dont argue on substance~you argue on ad hom after ad hom,going back WEEKS ago, and you derail posts, and topics.

Like a JTRIG troll,or a hasbara parrot, a creationist, or any other shitbag mouthful cyber warrior at a Fusion Center/.miltrollbattalion,you are a total TIME waster.

Again~please go away,ok?

In case you missed the article above, it is about how the Alohabets and Apple have concocted a false, and provably Bernaysian bunch ofpoppycock to undermine due process of law.

And you are just a troll, one of the many sociopaths that, I think, were designed into the overall narrative.

And you are not worth arguing with.

You have nothing of substance here anywhere~no. links of your own, and little awareness of the various case facts; and ZERO knowledge of propaganda as reates to Apple Iphone.l
Zdiarski/Graham/theGrucq~you probably think these are bar snacks, or foreign invaders.

People like you are descibed in propaganda operations as “useful idiots.”

But here, your just dead weight,like a barnacle I slid my ass overtwo weeks ago, and cannot seem to shake.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: #ApplevFBI

“because you dont argue on substance”

Yeah, it’s hard to do that when there’s no substance to any of your posts, which seem increasingly detached from reality at every turn. You might believe you’re sensibly trying to discuss an actual issue, but if so you’re doing an extraordinarily poor job of doing it.

“Again~please go away,ok?”

Nah, I’ve been here for years, you’ve only just coming in and stinking the place up. I suspect you’d be asked to leave first if there was a banning policy in place, but since we don’t have that here I’ll just mock the newcomer who seems to be playacting some kind of mental patient.

“no. links of your own:”

I’ve made zero claims, only asked you to back up your own. Which, you still refuse to do. You started acting like a slightly unhinged person who deserved to be mocked, and you’re yet to provide anything other than the ravings of a madman to discuss. So, mockery it is.

“ZERO knowledge of propaganda as reates to Apple Iphone”

I have knowledge of a lot of anti-Apple propaganda, and a lot of knowledge of baseless conspiracy theories, and a few things that may or may not be true. You could, of course, provide the education the I can others could read, but instead you’re intent on ranting like a lunatic, leaving others no option other than to point and laugh.

You claim to know more than everybody else, but refuse to educate them. Trolling for links to your own corporate-hosted blog won’t work with me, so I’m not sure what else to say.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 #ApplevFBI

I repeat: “This site is only moderated by the community flagging and hiding your posts, so your request has been granted.”

Is this your usual tactic – act the fool then demand that anyone who dares respond to your posts get their responses pulled? It won’t happen here, sorry.

I will, however, be happy to discuss anything of substance you dare to present. This has not happened as yet.

ROGS (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 #ApplevFBI

A whole bag of nuts, but without the meat……

To anyone looking in, this nutjob shutin started this here, asking me to do its homework for it, then, lots of adhom,trying to put words in my mouth, mischaracterizing arguments,etc.


Keep in mind the kernel of truth that feeds psychopaths and Aspies….ok, just kidding~there isnt any kernel~theyre just fucking nuts.

But this guy is making the case for me.

And, always asking others to do their homework, re, the nutter above,from some trollfarm

It says: You could, of course, provide the education the I can others could read….

IN CASE YOU MISSED THE MEMO,the big kids do their own homework.

And there is no conspiracy~who needs one when tarballs like you work for free?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 #ApplevFBI

“asking me to do its homework for it”

Homework? You make the claim, you provide the evidence. I’m sorry that the idea of backing up your own rants is difficult to comprehend. But, then, so are your rants.

“It says”

Yes. You claim to have knowledge that others lack, yet you refuse to provide it. That’s how honest, adult debate works. You’ve chosen the screaming at people from a street corner method, which isn’t very informative.

“IN CASE YOU MISSED THE MEMO,the big kids do their own homework.”

Actually, the big kids request clarification, validate and question sources and don’t believe a person who either will not or can not provide these things. They don’t blindly go on wild goose chases and jumping into the fiction section of the internet when the person claiming something can just provide a link of their own.

Oh, and by the way you can link to comments directly if you wish. Asking others to search that thread for what you’re claiming, again refusing to provide your own citations properly. Tut tut.

ROGS says:

Re: Re: Re:5 #ApplevFBI

You are a coward and a liar, and likely a sociopathic zionist.

Sentient beings will figure it out. And best of all,you make my point repeatedly.

And, re:~Actually, the big kids request clarification, validate and question sources and don’t believe a person who either will not or can not provide these things~

Paul, I will say it again: you tipped your hand as a time sucker quite early on. You dont even want the information you seem to be requesting.

Just more time.

Re-read it all-you blather on about links and proof texts ike MeyerKahane.

And in the end, you wont break a fingernail to read anything

Your an act in one part play called Time Sucking Vampire.

The internet is full of your type. You ARE the diseease that has latched onto pure speech and made it ugly, and cancerous.

I sincerely hope you catch bullets in your face sometime, but I wont holdout any hopes. As far as I know, even SWAT doesnt have anything that can get past that huge pile of dirty laundry there in front of this messy conversation.

And, they are all schtupping your mother anyway,so I am certain she would be pissed if they did get in somehow

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 #ApplevFBI

Well, apart from the fact that you’ve given up even pretending to want an adult conversation, you’ve continued a new thread of contradictory thought that’s particularly entertaining. That is, your main complaint about me, other than childish name calling, is that I’m wasting your time.

Yet, not only do you choose to spend the time responding to me, you do so with many paragraphs of text at a time! Because you’re so annoyed at me wasting your time asking you provide citations and clarifications, you waste several times more of it ranting nonsense against me!

Hilarious stuff! Keep it up.

ROGS says:

Re: Re: Re:8 #ApplevFBI


Interesting fact: many/most mass shooters have extensive contact with rabid zionists/dominonist before mass shootings

1 Omar Mateen, thePulse shooters mosque was fire bombed by one of them

2Syed Farook, the San Berdoo shooter was harassed inhis workplace forYEARS byNicholad Thallasinos, a Jewright wing, gun toting Messianic jew.

3 William Atchisson, the New Mexico shooter was harassed by British intel andtheir word police during #Gamergate, and suspected of having right wing neonazi sentiments.

4 Devin Kelley shot up a Baptistchurch, ina state that literally(literally) namesthings afterlZion, lo…..

….I.mean, the list of connections between Western relugious fanatics and mass shootings is ENDLESS.

And,.little irony in the fact that American police train in Gaza,.or that the current whisper campaigns mirror the EXACT British/Israeli terror camaign known as the Palestinian Exodus of 1948.

Try not to see any.patterns in manufactured terrorism though…..the zionazis might call you crazy, and flag/censor you posts!

Oh nooooes!

But you can keep makungmypiint for me if you wish~ I appreciate the help you Kahanists can tossin~I LOVE having you do MY work for free!

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 #ApplevFBI

“Interesting fact: many/most mass shooters have extensive contact with rabid zionists/dominonist before mass shootings”

Probably a lesser number than the ones who didn’t.

As for that list…. that’s a huge stretch even for your crazed mind. If that’s the best you have, then your ranting nonsense is still in no danger of being taken seriously by intelligent folk.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I consider what is commonly referred to as “Identity Theft” to be fraud. They do not steal your identity, they defraud others by pretending to be someone they are not. When a business is defrauded and suffers a loss it is not my problem that they were the victim and certainly it is not my responsibility to make them whole. The whole identity theft myth is an umbrella under which irresponsible people seek shelter while demanding special treatment.

ROGS (user link) says:


National security is one thing, corporate neocon pirates dressed up as the security state is another, and the latter group wears high heels with the outfit starting in 1993.

One might have noticed that Trump is only the other side. The presidency it seems, is officially a sales job now, but instead of carrying the required contracts and sales forms briefcase,they now carry dossieres.

Gotta love Trumps paper shredding habit, lol.

TheZTE deal was brilliant~andnomore orlessbackdoored than any other product.

Im guessing, of course….

Anonymous Coward says:

It doesn't prohibit, it only aggregates.

The wording suggests that this is the statute they pass first, and the statute they pass second will be the one that presumes to give the fed the right to violate the 4th sans a constitutional congress. And of course SCOTUS will uphold them both, since they are just a rubber stamp at this point.

Hell, it would save everybody time if SCOTUS just sold corporate endulgences. Why bother with the Congressional kabuki theater?

ROGS says:


Free software cannot be trusted, but it can be exploited.

Often it is often backdoored by design and exploiting that can be interesting, especially the Tor spinoffs (one of whose exit nodes dumps curiously close to NSA/MIT).

Open source is entirely different~they are not the same thing.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: www.researchorganizedgangstalking.wordpress.com

Yes, it depends on the version of the term “free software” you’re using, but if it’s not open source and is only free as in pricing, then you need to be wary. I do wonder what kind of person would be using Tor but then selects a piece of software that can’t be verified, but I suppose those kinds of honeypots are aimed at the low hanging fruit anyway.

But, hey, you finally wrote something that can be discussed, and you managed to get it across concisely without ranting for paragraphs, even though the subject is only vaguely related to the thread in progress. Keep it up!

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