Burr & Feinstein Officially Release Anti-Encryption Bill, As Wyden Promises To Filibuster It

from the and-off-we-go dept

Last week, we wrote about a "discussion draft" of Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein's new anti-encryption bill that would effectively require any company doing anything with encryption to make sure that encryption was flat out broken, putting everyone at risk. Feinstein and Burr's offices refused to comment on the criticism of the draft, insisting that they were still working on the bill. Well, late Wednesday Burr officially released a copy of the bill and it's basically the same insane bill we saw last week. As far as I can tell, the only real change is further defining what is meant by a "court order." It used to just say any court order, but now says only court orders for specific issues, but it's a pretty broad list: crimes involving serious bodily harm, foreign intelligence, espionage, terrorism, sexual exploitation of a minor, a "serious violent felony," or a serious drug crime. So, I guess we should feel relieved that it won't be used for cases where someone's caught trespassing or something? It's still a ridiculous bill (and it still doesn't explain what the penalties are).

Meanwhile, Senator Ron Wyden has renewed his opposition to the bill by going a step further and promising to filibuster if the bill is brought to the floor:
“The encryption debate is about having more security or having less security. This legislation would effectively outlaw Americans from protecting themselves. It would ban the strongest types of encryption and undermine the foundation of cybersecurity for millions of Americans. This flawed bill would leave Americans more vulnerable to stalkers, identity thieves, foreign hackers and criminals. And yet it will not make us safer from terrorists or other threats. Bad actors will continue to have access to encryption, from hundreds of sources overseas. Furthermore, this bill will empower repressive regimes to enact similar laws and crack down on persecuted minorities around the world,” Wyden said.

“Americans who value their security and liberty must join together to oppose this dangerous proposal. I intend to oppose this bill in committee and if it reaches the Senate floor, I will filibuster it.”
Stay tuned, because this fight is just beginning...

Filed Under: all writs act, backdoors, dianne feinstein, encryption, richard burr, ron wyden


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 4:16am

    "...Furthermore, this bill will empower repressive regimes to enact similar laws and crack down on persecuted minorities around the world,” Wyden said.

    It just did.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 5:12am

    "" .. only court orders for specific issues, but it's a pretty broad list: crimes involving serious bodily harm, foreign intelligence, espionage, terrorism, sexual exploitation of a minor, a "serious violent felony," or a serious drug crime."


    What about bank fraud? Oh yeah, I forgot - that is perfectly legal activity. It certainly appears that way.

    So, how does their list compare with other things that are a threat to our society today? Lets look at the top ten causes of death in this country .. hmmm, I do not see any of their listed items here - go figure.

    Now look at the general consensus for the top ten issues facing this country today. Again, I do not see any of their listed items here.

    Seems they are way out on a limb with their silly rationalizations, it makes them look ignorant and self serving. Many people think there are better things for their representatives to be working on. Maybe they will not be re-elected because of it, we will see - but I have little faith in those who are allowed to vote these days.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 5:46am

    This is some UK-tier legislation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 5:52am

    Once it has been leaked that Burr and feinstein both use encryption to protect their personal files that should kill this bill

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 6:02am

    It seems the only thing that can stop Feinstein is a massive lobby group like NRA. Maybe it's time to found NEA (National Encryption Association)? Bonus points for some Charlton Heston "cold, dead hands" spokesperson.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 6:29am

    Hypocrisy at it's finest.

    So what's to stop someone from downloading a program written in a foreign country and using encryption that doesn't have a backdoor? This makes absolutely no sense and will simply bankrupt companies. Want to use S3 to backup your data? Well it can't be encrypted securely so you are now in violation of HIPAA, SOX, DoD standards, et al. The government itself just last year was pushing for better encryption and security in the cloud to consolidate DCs, so I guess now they will have to pull all of that back to private servers as I'm sure they don't want Amazon to be able to access that information with a valid court order.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ed Allen, 14 Apr 2016 @ 7:54am

      Re: Hypocrisy at it's finest.

      Not to mention all the hardware and software already released without this intentional flaw.

      Will companies be held responsible for not bricking older hardware if the current possessors refuse to replace them ?

      Is that not a "taking" of property without due process ?

      How can Google keep me from encrypting a message before giving it to Gmail ?

      Court orders cannot be all powerful. What order will resurrect the dead for example ?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 8:04am

        Re: Re: Hypocrisy at it's finest.

        In the short run, yes. But mobiles phones tend to get refreshed every 2-3 years at the outside, and most laptops have a life expectancy of 3-5 years.

        Assuming this were to go forward, you could assume (I'd guess) 75-80% uptake/adoption in the next 10 years.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 7:58am

      Re: Hypocrisy at it's finest.

      "Want to use S3 to backup your data? Well it can't be encrypted securely so you are now in violation of HIPAA, SOX, DoD standards, et al."

      it's not just cloud services. On-prem/in-house crypto-solutions from any US provider would be subject to this legislation as well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 6:31am

    Somebody give a Nobel prize to this guy. He deserves much more than a certain president for sure.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 6:48am

    Give it time

    It used to just say any court order, but now says only court orders for specific issues, but it's a pretty broad list: crimes involving serious bodily harm, foreign intelligence, espionage, terrorism, sexual exploitation of a minor, a "serious violent felony," or a serious drug crime. So, I guess we should feel relieved that it won't be used for cases where someone's caught trespassing or something?

    Yet.

    How many programs or laws were sold by claiming that they would only ever be used for stopping major crimes or threats like terrorism, and are now used for trivial crimes or just because they can be used?

    You start with the big stuff, the stuff where it's hard for people to object against someone 'trying to do something', and then once you get the law on the books it's not 'if' but 'when' it will be expanded to cover the most minor stuff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 1:10pm

      Re: Give it time

      or you just have the prosecution lie about the law and hope the judge takes your word on it and does not actually know you are making it up to win your case against you're target.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 7:05am

    A recent video on the subject

    Some may wish to bookmark this video and pass the link to those who don't understand the issue behind encryption...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPBH1eW28mo

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Whatever, 14 Apr 2016 @ 7:25am

    Another ad sponsored by the Wyden4PresidentPAC. You are such a Wyden shill, Masnick.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      HegemonicDistortion (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 8:06am

      Re:

      Seriously, is this the best faux "criticism" you could muster? Oooh, Mike stands with the guy who stands against an awful and Orwellian bill!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Whatever, 14 Apr 2016 @ 8:14am

        Re: Re:

        I'm not joking. Remember this space a few years from now when Wyden is running for the big office, and Mike Masnick is part of his campaign staff. But since all of you would rather support lawbreakers you can't see past the wool over your eyes.

        Also, fuck off, PaulT.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 8:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "lawbreakers"[citation needed]

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            HegemonicDistortion (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 9:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Duh, it's against the law, so we need this new law to outlaw it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 1:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            naturally if you do not blindly support those in charge you are a lawbreaker. The dangerous thought criminals corrupting innocents with the ability to think for themselves instead of trusting everything you are told to believe.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          HegemonicDistortion (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 8:58am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Or maybe it's just that he agrees with Wyden -- you know, consistent with everything Mike's ever said or stood for.

          Some people are too stupid for even simple logic, I suppose.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          HegemonicDistortion (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 9:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ernie Anastos has some advice for you (and for Feinstein and Burr).

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sVVl2EKgUU

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 11:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm not joking.

          Sure sound like one.

          Remember this space a few years from now when Wyden is running for the big office, and Mike Masnick is part of his campaign staff.

          And? Really, why should any of us care to remember or this 'future' you seem to see?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 5:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          This shit again, fucktard?

          Why are you even here on a site you hate so much?

          Oh, have you heard? Your precious FBI found nothing on the phone they demanded access to and failed to stop the unencrypted Brussels attacks. Owned, bitch!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 7:37am

    Same as the anti-gunner crowd

    This legislation would effectively outlaw Americans from protecting themselves

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 7:45am

      Re: Same as the anti-gunner crowd

      Here is how it could read:

      “The gun debate is about having more security or having less security. This legislation would effectively outlaw Americans from protecting themselves. It would ban the strongest types of defense and undermine the foundation of our 2nd amendment right for millions of Americans. This flawed bill would leave Americans more vulnerable to stalkers, thieves, rapists and criminals. And yet it will not make us safer from terrorists or other threats such as a tyrannical government. Bad actors will continue to have access to guns, from hundreds of sources overseas and south of the border. Furthermore, this bill will empower a repressive government to enact more tyrannical laws and crack down on persecuted minorities at home,” Wyden said.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    sigalrm (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 8:08am

    All it needs is a little logo

    Similar to the "TSA Approved" logo on luggage locks, we'll need a little "Burr/Feinstein Approved" logo to go on every device sold with this feature.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    AricTheRed (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 8:19am

    Burr & Feinstein Approved!!!

    ...................../´¯/)
    ...................,/¯../
    .................../..../
    ............../´¯/'...'/´¯¯`·¸
    ........../'/.../..../......./¨¯\
    ..........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
    ...........\.................'...../
    ............\.................. _.·´
    .............\..............(
    ..............\.............\...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 8:34am

    To all American Tech Companies, Please come to Canada, we still allow the use of encryption (for now).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    trparky (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 8:43am

    Here's some content...

    I have some content that Wyden can talk about during his day-long filibuster.

    First, read the whole of the US Constitution. Then, once that's done read the whole of the Bill of Rights and while you're at it, put emphasis on the parts of the Bill of Rights that the bill he's filibustering would threaten. And then finally, the book 1984 by George Orwell for just desserts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 8:51am

      Re: Here's some content...

      While I agree with the first parts, I strongly object to the idea of him reading 1984 in front of that many politicians, as I fear far too many would take exactly the wrong idea from it, and would likely start jotting down notes on ideas from the book they might want to try.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 9:38am

    Burr & Feinstein have to earn their bribesXXXXXXcontributions

    I guess Feinstein's husband's biz would be negatively impacted unless Feinstein kowtowed to the offense establishment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 10:38am

    Can anyone make sure that Feinstein is not Hitler's granddaughter or something?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 1:15pm

      Re:

      It is worse than that. After ww2 ended the allies allowed many Nazi scientists and surviving top brass to be integrated into their governments in exchange for everything they knew.

      Essentially the Nazi's infiltrated and spent decades exposing various people to their ideas, and such ideas are coming home to roost.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 12:55pm

    Dianne Feinstein are you that stupid or do you still need bribe money for your lifestyle?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 6:23pm

    The Filibuster

    I am generally against fillibusters as they usually kill debate when actual debate needs to happen. But in this case, I will hapilly print out and send in any document, article or even book that Wyden would like to read out during this particular filibuster. I recommend this week's Techdirt Reading List book.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 10:49pm

    Wyden's threat to filibuster (not shocking that Techdirt has this news almost instantly, but I digress) mostly proves a couple of things about the concept:

    1 - Wyden is concerned that if it gets to a vote that it would easily pass

    2 - allowing real debate and real discussion on the subject would be contrary to the "message" from Wyden's internet based supporters, and

    3 - a filibuster is in many ways the ultimate anti-democratic tool, where the minority (one person or a small group) disrupt the actions of the legally elected majority for their own benefit.

    Wyden loves to grandstand, and this is a perfect example. It's right up his alley and plays well to his internet backers, including the Wyden2020PAC or whatever Mike will end up calling it! (yes, I am suggesting that Mike will work on Wyden's Presidential bid, either 2020 or 2024, mark it down!).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Apr 2016 @ 4:17pm

    ProtonMail is a Swiss company, outside of US jurisdiction. It still offers end-to-end encryption and is available to American users.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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