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2/10/2016
01:20 PM
Sara Peters
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Bipartisan House Bill Will Seek To Prevent States From Mandating Encryption Backdoors

ENCRYPT Act aims to stave off efforts being made in California and New York legislatures.

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives will introduce a bipartisan bill today to stave off some state legislatures' burgeoning efforts to require technology companies to weaken encryption in their products, Reuters reports.

The ENCRYPT Act is being sponsored by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), and would "prevent any state or locality from mandating that a 'manufacturer, developer, seller, or provider' design or alter the security of a product so it can be decrypted or surveilled by authorities."

From Reuters:

"The legislation is in response to proposals in recent months in New York and California that would require companies to be able to decrypt their smartphones manufactured after 2017, Lieu said."

Lieu, who holds a degree in computer science, has fought against efforts to install encryption backdoors before. During a Congressional hearing on the topic in May, Lieu said that the efforts of cloud providers and smartphone companies to provide end-to-end encryption are a "private sector response to government overreach" and violations of citizens' 4th Amendment rights. He also said that "creating a pathway for decryption only for good guys is technologically stupid."

See more on the ENCRYPT Act bill at Reuters.

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Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad ... View Full Bio

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