Congress won't consider mandatory encryption bill after Apple battle - report

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Draft legislation that could've forced U.S. corporations like Apple to decrypt data on-demand following a court order won't be formally introduced this year, and has lost the support needed to advance anyway, sources said on Friday.




The bill -- backed by Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein -- didn't have the support of the Obama administation, the sources told Reuters. Former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden in fact claimed that the White House has "dropped anchor and taken down the sail."

Although Burr and Feinstein are the Republican and Democratic heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee, respectively, Committee members from both political aisles have reportedly backed away from the legislation, particularly Democrats. No one in the House ever offered support.

Even the CIA and the NSA have been "ambivalent" about the draft legislation, known as the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016, according to Reuters. Although backdoors are a common spying tool, officials with the agencies are said to have been worried that the law would interfere with their own encryption needs.

The Burr-Feinstein bill emerged in the wake of Apple's fight with the Department of Justice and the FBI over unlocking the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. Although the DoJ ultimately withdrew a court order asking Apple to build a workaround for iOS' passcode retry limits, encryption issues had gained more prominence, and indeed many in U.S. law enforcement -- such as FBI director James Comey -- are still asking for backdoors, worried that encryption is putting some communications beyond their reach.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,682member
    Finally, sanity returns in Washington DC, well almost. Maybe it's time President Obama had a little sit down with Comey and enlightened him on a little reality. Same with Burr and Feinstein. I said all along that our government requires encryption without any backdoors on their systems and the CIA and NSA finally came forward and said this. Time for mandatory enrollment in Computer Systems 101 for all members of Congress and all government agencies.
    ibillicoco3calilatifbpmagman1979baconstangjbdragoncornchipiosenthusiast
  • Reply 2 of 22
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    If backdoors were mandated, and the FBI could use them, perhaps the CIA and NSA aren't too keen on the idea of the FBI and DOJ being able to have a poke around in the contents of their phones.
    fotoformatcalimagman1979jbdragonjony0
  • Reply 3 of 22
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,298member
    Now the rest of you spineless companies can all thank Apple for standing their ground.
    JinTechfotoformatmike1calilatifbpmagman1979baconstangjbdragonwaverboycornchip
  • Reply 4 of 22
    meteorameteora Posts: 15member
    Now the rest of you spineless companies can all thank Apple for standing their ground.
    Exactly what I was thinking. Apple just fought their fight and took all the heat for it.
    calilatifbpmagman1979badmonkjony0
  • Reply 5 of 22
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,682member
    Now the rest of you spineless companies can all thank Apple for standing their ground.
    Android doesn't come with any built-in encryption so it didn't really hurt them. Windows phone is gone so who is left?

  • Reply 6 of 22
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,780member
    rob53 said:
    Now the rest of you spineless companies can all thank Apple for standing their ground.
    Android doesn't come with any built-in encryption so it didn't really hurt them. Windows phone is gone so who is left?

    Think outside of phones.
    calibaconstangwaverboybadmonkjony0
  • Reply 7 of 22
    cwingravcwingrav Posts: 83member
    mike1 said:
    rob53 said:
    Android doesn't come with any built-in encryption so it didn't really hurt them. Windows phone is gone so who is left?

    Think outside of phones.
    Agreed. This wasn't so much about phones in the long run, it was about communication. If the bill had gone through as written, and Apple and others were forced to create backdoors to be exploited, then a host of Apps and websites would spring up, "claiming" to have no backdoor but with no real way to verify. All those Apps and websites would just be based outside the US and all US companies would be at an unfair advantage since the world's companies and people don't want the US government reading their transmissions. Basically, this would be bad for security AND business. I think the later part played more of a role in killing this legislation than any of the privacy arguments.
    calibaconstangcornchipbadmonk
  • Reply 8 of 22
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Now the rest of you spineless companies can all thank Apple for standing their ground.
    Did Apple thank Microsoft for fighting the Dublin email case so hard they were ruled in contempt of court?  I commend both Apple and Microsoft for their efforts.
    singularity
  • Reply 9 of 22
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    rob53 said:
    Now the rest of you spineless companies can all thank Apple for standing their ground.
    Android doesn't come with any built-in encryption so it didn't really hurt them. Windows phone is gone so who is left?

    Well some actually are encrypted by default.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,468member
    rob53 said:
    Finally, sanity returns in Washington DC, well almost. Maybe it's time President Obama had a little sit down with Comey and enlightened him on a little reality. Same with Burr and Feinstein. I said all along that our government requires encryption without any backdoors on their systems and the CIA and NSA finally came forward and said this. Time for mandatory enrollment in Computer Systems 101 for all members of Congress and all government agencies.
    Sanity and a hot button issue during an election year.  This was never going to go anywhere this year and that may have forced the sanity to the fore.
    cornchipiosenthusiast
  • Reply 11 of 22
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    rob53 said:
    Finally, sanity returns in Washington DC, well almost. Maybe it's time President Obama had a little sit down with Comey and enlightened him on a little reality. Same with Burr and Feinstein. I said all along that our government requires encryption without any backdoors on their systems and the CIA and NSA finally came forward and said this. Time for mandatory enrollment in Computer Systems 101 for all members of Congress and all government agencies.

    It isn't sanity, it is just deflecting interest while they try to burry the same legislation in some massive bill that nobody reads fully.

    Obama, Feinstein and the others are just ignorant liberals promoting their point of view because it is feel good. They literally have no idea what they are involved in so they take the knee jerk reaction of limiting freedom even more.
    icoco3cornchip
  • Reply 12 of 22
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 4,298member
    cnocbui said:
    rob53 said:
    Android doesn't come with any built-in encryption so it didn't really hurt them. Windows phone is gone so who is left?

    Well some actually are encrypted by default.


    Only flagship devices with enough processing power. That's what you get when you use inferior software encryption. One day Android might catch up to the iPhone 3GS from 2009 and get real hardware encryption.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 797member
    cwingrav said:
    mike1 said:
    Think outside of phones.
    Agreed. This wasn't so much about phones in the long run, it was about communication. If the bill had gone through as written, and Apple and others were forced to create backdoors to be exploited, then a host of Apps and websites would spring up, "claiming" to have no backdoor but with no real way to verify. All those Apps and websites would just be based outside the US and all US companies would be at an unfair advantage since the world's companies and people don't want the US government reading their transmissions. Basically, this would be bad for security AND business. I think the later part played more of a role in killing this legislation than any of the privacy arguments.
    The last thing we want is the Govt reading our communications.   That's Google's job.
    cwingrav
  • Reply 14 of 22
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    rob53 said:
    Now the rest of you spineless companies can all thank Apple for standing their ground.
    Android doesn't come with any built-in encryption so it didn't really hurt them. Windows phone is gone so who is left?

    Sure it does, but it's turned off in most cases because it's software encryption in low end to mid range phones which kills performance by almost 50%.  Those are the majority of Android phones sold.  The high end Android phones have hardware encryption like the iPhone.  How good it is in comparison?. There's no secure enclave in the processors Android phones use.


    badmonk
  • Reply 15 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,252member
    jbdragon said:
    rob53 said:
    Now the rest of you spineless companies can all thank Apple for standing their ground.
    Android doesn't come with any built-in encryption so it didn't really hurt them. Windows phone is gone so who is left?

    Sure it does, but it's turned off in most cases because it's software encryption in low end to mid range phones which kills performance by almost 50%.  Those are the majority of Android phones sold.  The high end Android phones have hardware encryption like the iPhone.  How good it is in comparison?. There's no secure enclave in the processors Android phones use.


    https://itsecuritything.com/google-nexus-6p-security-teardown/
  • Reply 16 of 22
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    wizard69 said:
    rob53 said:
    Finally, sanity returns in Washington DC, well almost. Maybe it's time President Obama had a little sit down with Comey and enlightened him on a little reality. Same with Burr and Feinstein. I said all along that our government requires encryption without any backdoors on their systems and the CIA and NSA finally came forward and said this. Time for mandatory enrollment in Computer Systems 101 for all members of Congress and all government agencies.

    It isn't sanity, it is just deflecting interest while they try to burry the same legislation in some massive bill that nobody reads fully.

    Obama, Feinstein and the others are just ignorant liberals promoting their point of view because it is feel good. They literally have no idea what they are involved in so they take the knee jerk reaction of limiting freedom even more.
    As compared to what? Ignorant "conservatives" like Trump or whatever who all say the same thing.

    Comey wasn't an Obama appointee and the FBI is pretty independent from the Gov since Watergate.

    Everybody in Washington is a dumbass when it comes to encryption, left, right and center.
    edited May 2016 cornchipbaconstang
  • Reply 17 of 22
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    jbdragon said:
    rob53 said:
    Android doesn't come with any built-in encryption so it didn't really hurt them. Windows phone is gone so who is left?

    Sure it does, but it's turned off in most cases because it's software encryption in low end to mid range phones which kills performance by almost 50%.  Those are the majority of Android phones sold.  The high end Android phones have hardware encryption like the iPhone.  How good it is in comparison?. There's no secure enclave in the processors Android phones use.


    They only realy had it (that actually works), for about a year even in high end phone.
    Implementation is also dodgy because of how it is implemented. Even in high end Androids, it's not better than it was in pre 5s phones with IOS 7 (and probably substantially worse).
    edited May 2016 badmonk
  • Reply 18 of 22
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    rob53 said:
    Finally, sanity returns in Washington DC, well almost. Maybe it's time President Obama had a little sit down with Comey and enlightened him on a little reality. Same with Burr and Feinstein. I said all along that our government requires encryption without any backdoors on their systems and the CIA and NSA finally came forward and said this. Time for mandatory enrollment in Computer Systems 101 for all members of Congress and all government agencies.
    Ask JFK if he thinks the president has any authority over the permanent shadow government of the security state.

    Better you should think about what they have on Feinstein to make her such an advocate for them.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member

    wizard69 said:
    rob53 said:
    Finally, sanity returns in Washington DC, well almost. Maybe it's time President Obama had a little sit down with Comey and enlightened him on a little reality. Same with Burr and Feinstein. I said all along that our government requires encryption without any backdoors on their systems and the CIA and NSA finally came forward and said this. Time for mandatory enrollment in Computer Systems 101 for all members of Congress and all government agencies.

    It isn't sanity, it is just deflecting interest while they try to burry the same legislation in some massive bill that nobody reads fully.

    Obama, Feinstein and the others are just ignorant liberals promoting their point of view because it is feel good. They literally have no idea what they are involved in so they take the knee jerk reaction of limiting freedom even more.
     How naive can you get?

    So you think the FBI suddenly becomes all liberal and ignorant when a Democrat gets elected? You think Comey is a liberal Democrat following Obama's policy? Did all the Cheney-Bush people quit and go home? 
    baconstang
  • Reply 20 of 22
    Chipsy4Chipsy4 Posts: 10member
    There's no secure enclave in the processors Android phones use.


    Yes there is. Apple's secure enclave is just Apple's implementation of ARM's Trustzone. Something high end Android phones have been using for a while now.

    singularity
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