What You Should Know About Congress's Latest Attempt to Criminalize Encryption

Posted by K R on

A new draft bill in Congress will force tech companies to undermine or break their own security features and encryption anytime law enforcement asks them to. Sound terrible? It is. Here’s what the bill says, and what you can do about it. For those just catching up, Apple and the FBI had a big legal throwdown recently over an iPhone owned by Syed Rizwan Farook, the gunman in the San Bernandino mass shooting. The FBI demanded that Apple create a tool to get around the phone’s PIN lock. Apple argued this was an undue burden and would weaken the security of all iPhones. Eventually, the FBI backed down and found a third-party firm to unlock the iPhone, although there’s another phone in play right now, just across the country. In response to the whole affair, however, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) are currently working on a bill to make sure law enforcement can get what they need without having to beg. The Feinstein-Burr bill would, if passed, force tech companies to comply with court orders to turn over data, even if that data is encrypted or if the company can’t actually access it. A preliminary version of the so-called “Compliance With Court Orders Act of 2016" was released last Friday. This version isn’t necessarily final, but it’s already pretty terrible. Unless major changes are made, this bill is dangerous to anyone who values their security. Read More: Life Hacker

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