Apple-backed coalition opposes Burr-Feinstein encryption bill in open letter

Posted:
in General Discussion
A group of four tech industry associations -- representing businesses like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google -- have published an open letter opposing a draft bill by U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, which would make it possible for courts to order help bypassing encryption.




The letter expresses "deep concerns about well-intentioned but ultimately unworkable policies" mentioned in the bill, and opposes "actions that will create government-mandated security vulnerabilities." It's signed by Reform Government Surveillance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition, and the Entertainment Software Association.

The groups claim that they "respond expeditiously" to legal and emergency data requests from governments, but that they also design strong encryption to protect from threats by both criminals and governments. Mandatory decryption support would allegedly "force companies to prioritize government access over other considerations," i.e. weaken encryption, which could in turn be exploited by hackers.

The letter also cautions that mandatory decryption could be adopted by other governments, and/or that Americans might simply turn to their foreign company of choice if they feel that U.S. corporations like Apple and Google can no longer provide secure data.

The Burr-Feinstein bill, the "Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016," was introduced last week and would require businesses served with a court order to provide "intelligible information or data, or appropriate technical assistance to obtain such information or data" in cases involving a range of serious crimes. Since many encryption systems can't normally be cracked by their own creators, however, that would essentially force the creation of backdoors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member
    How quickly congress forgets it doesn't set policy for the world. Their is basically no way to enforce this law globally, and because of that, all it does is weaken US based companies. Dumb and Dumber are in the HOUSE.. heh.
    edited April 2016 ration alstevehmanfred zornbaconstangJanNLradarthekattdknoxicoco3jony0badmonk
  • Reply 2 of 10
    satch99satch99 Posts: 16member
    Love this line… "but that they also design strong encryption to protect from threats by both criminals and governments." …that's one and the same!
    SpamSandwichtdknoxicoco3badmonk
  • Reply 3 of 10
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,664member
    Foolish politicians. It's pretty much analogous for forcing lock companies to retain master keys for all locks. 
    radarthekatbadmonk
  • Reply 4 of 10
    creek0512creek0512 Posts: 100member
    I maintain that this bill was deliberately written as extreme as plausible so they can later claim some sort of "compromise" when the bill is changed, while not really compromising on anything and still attempting to ban public encryption.
    lostkiwistompySpamSandwichtdknoxbadmonk
  • Reply 5 of 10
    bbhbbh Posts: 66member
    The thought of these morons that represent us throwing out their typical "knee-jerk" reactions is depressing as can be. I guarantee you, neither of the authors of this bill could pass a 10 question primer test on encryption.
    radarthekattdknoxbadmonk
  • Reply 6 of 10
    NemWanNemWan Posts: 114member
    Feinstein's thumbing her nose at the two biggest companies in her state, Apple and Google. She's so brave to stand up to big business! No, wait, that's not it, it's really just that she's just become unaccountable to anyone.
    SpamSandwichbaconstangtdknoxbadmonk
  • Reply 7 of 10
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,862member
    Apple would be wise to massively increase their lobbying efforts and hire a wide swath of powerful people to influence the garbage that comes out of Washington representatives. Feinstein is NOT representing her constituents, she's representing the interests of herself and Washingtonians!
    baconstangicoco3badmonk
  • Reply 8 of 10
    curt12curt12 Posts: 41member
    Apple would be wise to massively increase their lobbying efforts and hire a wide swath of powerful people to influence the garbage that comes out of Washington representatives. Feinstein is NOT representing her constituents, she's representing the interests of herself and Washingtonians!
    Let's not pretend that Burr is any more innocent here.
    edited April 2016 baconstangicoco3badmonk
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Recall Feinstein.   I think this petition is still active.

    http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/recall-diane-feinstein
    badmonk
  • Reply 10 of 10
    CMA102DLCMA102DL Posts: 121member
    This bill is at the pinnacle of Congressional ignorance and arrogance.
    badmonk
Sign In or Register to comment.