Senators Burr And Feinstein, Once Again, Threatening New Bill To Backdoor Encryption

from the yeah-that's-not-going-to-go-over-well dept

They've been promising it for months now, without ever actually doing anything, but Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr (the two top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee) now insist that they're finally ready to release their anti-encryption bill.
Feinstein told The Hill she passed the text along earlier this week to White House chief of staff Denis McDonough.

“My hope is since I was the one that gave it to Denis McDonough, they will take a look at it and let us know what they think,” she said.

The Obama administration’s response will determine the bill’s timing, Burr added.

The introduction “depends on how fast the White House gets back to us,” he said.
Since, to date, the administration has actually indicated that it does not support such a bill, one hopes that means the introduction will continue to be "sometime around never." Even if it is introduced, it sounds like the bill may actually have a tough time getting anywhere. As we've noted, recent hearings suggest that many in Congress are quite skeptical of the FBI/DOJ's claim that it needs backdoors into encryption. Indeed, even many in the intelligence community (which you'd think would have indicated this to Burr and Feinstein) don't seem particularly enthusiastic about this. Reliable Feinstein/Burr allies like former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden, former Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff and former NSA director Mike McConnell have spoken out strongly against such plans.

Given all that, it's bizarre and ridiculous that Feinstein and Burr are continuing to move forward with this plan. Hopefully, the White House educates them on the issue and tells them to toss this bill into the garbage where it belongs.

Filed Under: backdoors, dianne feinstein, encryption, going dark, richard burr

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  1. icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 10 Mar 2016 @ 4:12pm

    What the hell is going on with congress? Even if, by some miracle, they manage to pass such a bill and even if Obama happens to to sign it into law, there's no way the U.S. Supreme Court would allow the law to stand as it would be deemed unconstitutional.

    The way I see it, it's beyond the government's authority to force any person, entity, company or business to engage in behavior or conduct that would be contrary to their interests. Indentured servitude doesn't exist in this country and this is exactly what congress and the government is trying to do.

    Not only are they trying to force Apple into indentured servitude by forcing them to build something that they currently do not have but then they are also trying to pass laws forcing business entities to build backdoors into all of their products.

    This isn't what congress was designed for. Good grief! It feels like were back in the 1950's again, where neighbors were spying on neighbors and reporting them to the police. This smacks of communism and that isn't what this country stands for.

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