Endpoint // Privacy
2/10/2016
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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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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.