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Reuters: White House refuses to openly back encryption law

Engadget Engadget 7/04/2016 Daniel Cooper
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The White House is apparently refusing to publicly back a law that would force tech companies to comply with decryption requests. Reuters has spoken to anonymous sources inside the administration that claim there are deep divisions on the issue of violating individual privacy. The new bill has been pushed by senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein in the wake of the San Bernardino iPhone case. The legislation is designed to give judges the power to compel firms like Apple and WhatsApp to comply with requests to decrypt secure software.

The sources claim that the White House has read the document and offered feedback but won't throw its weight around in public. Reuters believe that the move is largely political since a looming election and intransigent leadership means the bill is likely to remain on ice. A report from The Hill in January points out that Feinstein and Burr rejected calls to ignore a proposed national commission to research better solutions. Presumably they thought that trying to look for coherent solutions was too much effort when a jerk of the knee is so much easier.


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