This means that if law enforcement agencies were to go to Google or Apple and ask for access to a device or information of one of their customers, it would be (mostly) entirely out of their hands. Now three Republican Senators, Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Tom Cotton from Arkansas, and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, are proposing a bill that would end what they are calling “warrant-proof” encryption.
The term “warrant-proof” is used because like we said, even if law enforcement had a warrant, because the keys to encryption are now in the hands of customers and not these tech companies, it wouldn’t really matter. Also, due to the Fifth Amendment in the US Constitution, it gives people the right from being forced to incriminate themselves, such as by unlocking their devices and giving access to law enforcement agencies.
According to Senator Graham, “In recent history, we have experienced numerous terrorism cases and serious criminal activity where vital information could not be accessed, even after a court order was issued. Unfortunately, tech companies have refused to honor these court orders and assist law enforcement in their investigations.”
Whether or not this bill will be passed remains to be seen, but we imagine that there will be a lot of pushback on that.