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Thu Jun 30, 2016, 04:05 PM

US efforts to regulate encryption have been flawed, government report finds

Source: The Guardian

US efforts to regulate encryption have been flawed, government report finds

Weighing in on the encryption debate, a new government report
says that lawmakers need to to learn more about technology before
trying to regulate it


Danny Yadron in San Francisco
Thursday 30 June 2016 02.02 BST

US Republican congressional staff trying to find a middle ground on encryption have said previous efforts to regulate privacy technology were flawed and that lawmakers need to learn more about technology before trying to regulate it, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The 25-page white paper – entitled Going Dark, Going Forward: A Primer on the Encryption Debate – does not claim any magical solution to the fight over encryption software that has roiled western capitals for more than two years. It was written by Republican staff on the House committee on homeland security, led by representative Michael McCaul, who has proposed a bipartisan top-level panel of encryption experts with senator Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat.

But the document remains notable nonetheless for its measured language and criticism of other lawmakers who have tried to legislate their way out of the encryption debate. It also sets a new starting point for Congress as it mulls whether to legislate on encryption during the Clinton or Trump administration.

Following Apple’s standoff with the FBI over access to a locked iPhone used by San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook, senators Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein offered a bill that would have required companies to provide unencrypted versions of data from their services if faced with a court order.

“Unfortunately, this proposal was riddled with unintended consequences,” the authors wrote.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jun/29/government-encryption-regulation-report-criticism

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