There has been a huge debate in the US regarding encryption, in which many tech companies are fighting against requests from law enforcement agencies to provide them with backdoor access to computers and mobile devices. The argument is that if they were to weaken encryption to provide backdoors to the good guys, who’s to say the bad guys won’t find their way in as well?
That being said, a recent bill called the ENCRYPT Act wants to put an end to individual states from demanding tech companies build in backdoors to their products. The bill is sponsored by sponsored by Democratic Representative Ted Lieu and Republican Blake Farenthold, and seems to be in response to states like New York and California who have demanded that companies like Apple to create devices that can be decrypted after 2017.
Speaking to Reuters in an interview, Lieu said, “It is completely technologically unworkable for individual states to mandate different encryption standards in consumer products. Apple can’t make a different smartphone for California and New York and the rest of the country.”
Lieu also spoke to ArsTechnica in which he shared his concerns about allowing backdoor encryption access. “You cannot have a backdoor key for the FBI. Either hackers will find that key or the FBI will let it get stolen. As you saw, it the [Department of Justice] just got hacked. The [Office of Personnel Management] got hacked multiple times. If our federal government cannot keep 20 million extremely sensitive security records, I don’t see how our government can keep encryption keys safe.”