Push for encryption law falters after Apple’s stand against government overreach

“After a rampage that left 14 people dead in San Bernardino, Calif., key U.S. lawmakers pledged to seek a law requiring technology companies to give law enforcement agencies a ‘back door’ to encrypted communications and electronic devices, such as the iPhone used by one of the shooters,” Reuters reports. “Now, only months later, much of the support is gone and the push for legislation dead, according to sources in congressional offices, the administration, and the tech sector.”

“Draft legislation that Sens. Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Intelligence Committee, had circulated weeks ago likely will not be introduced this year and, even if it were, would stand no chance of advancing, the sources said,” Reuters reports. “‘They’ve dropped anchor and taken down the sail,’ former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden said.”

“A week after the San Bernardino attack, Burr told Reuters passing encryption legislation was urgent because ‘if we don’t, we will be reading about terrorist attacks on a more frequent basis.’ FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee soon after that encryption was ‘overwhelmingly affecting’ the investigation of murders, drug trafficking and child pornography,” Reuters reports. “Apple fought back, arguing, among other things, that only Congressional legislation could authorize what the court was demanding. Many saw the Justice Department’s move as a way to bring pressure on Congress to act… Obama appeared to tacitly support Comey’s court fight and the idea that there should be limits on criminal suspects’ ability to hide behind encryption. But even as the drive for legislation seemed to be gaining momentum, consensus was dissipating.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Burr and Feinstein? If those two fools are “key U.S. lawmakers,” the country is doomed.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

Dianne Feinstein’s response to Apple-FBI dispute is bad for privacy, security – April 8, 2016
White House declines to support legislation to defeat strong encryption – April 7, 2016
U.S. Senator Wyden pledges to fight limits on encryption – March 31, 2016
California Democrat Diane Feinstein backs U.S. government overreach over Apple – March 10, 2016


  1. Lost amidst the desperation: Innate US citizen’s rights!

    That’s what these people swore to protect and defend. THAT is the subject. The government is a servant to We The People. That is the process.

  2. Too close to the election. These sleazes finally do the right thing but only because they do not want to do anything controversial to upset their re-election.

  3. “Lost amidst the desperation: Innate US citizen’s rights! That’s what these people (bureaucrats) swore to protect and defend.”

    But, how can I as a bureaucrat protect and defend if I can’t know what these nefarious citizens are up to.

    And in order to do that, I must have more resources, more people, more laws, more informants, more penalties for law breakers as determined by what I say are the rules that I make …

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