Security Researchers Trash Burr-Feinstein Encryption Bill As Both Technically Illiterate And Dangerous

It's no secret that law enforcement agencies and governments at large want to have access to our personal data whether we like it or not. Hot on the heels of the FBI managing to bypass security measures that should have protected the data on a terrorist's iPhone 5c, we see that the case is definitely not closed. As many had suspected, now that the floodgates are open, agencies like the FBI are not content to let this one win be the last.

This week, draft legislation leaked out of the U.S. Senate that to some highlights the government's ignorance about encryption. Within the bill is an overly vague proposal that would largely outright ban strong encryption, or encryption that wouldn't give agencies like the FBI a way to slip through.

Kevin Bankston, who is the director of the Open Technology Institute, claims that this draft, if it were to become approved, would be the "most ludicrous, dangerous, technically illiterate" proposal of the 21st century.

Burr Feinstein
Authors of the proposal: Senator Burr (NC) & Senator Feinstein (CA)

In effect, this proposal would force technology companies to hand over data to government agencies that want it, even if it's in an "unintelligible" state (for the agency to decrypt on its own). It could also lead to these same companies being forced to provide assistance in bypassing the very security they put in place to protect their users.

If you disagree with this proposal, you could try reaching out to its authors: Senators Richard Burr (NC) and Dianne Feinstein (CA). Reuters notes that both are actively seeking out stakeholders to finalize the bill.

One thing's for certain here: as time goes on, our security and encryption is going to continually improve. Short of banning strong encryption, government agencies are going to find it harder to access data whenever it suits them. If encryption is banned in some way, the tech world will be turned upside down.