Feinstein, Burr circulating proposed changes to encryption bill - report

House subcommittee hears testimony on data breach law
House subcommittee hears testimony on data breach law

To borrow from Mark Twain, reports of the death of the widely-maligned Feinstein-Burr bill may have been greatly exaggerated, according to New York University School of Law's Just Security blog.

Julian Sanchez, an editor for the website and a fellow at the Cato Institute wrote on Friday that that he has seen proposed changes to the earlier draft legislation that Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) have been circulating to colleagues.

The previous draft of the “Compliance with Court Orders Act,” better known as the Burr-Feinstein encryption bill, was widely ridiculed by the industry, as some pros said the bill was a “lose-lose proposal” and a “legally mandated” backdoor. A coalition of industry groups said the proposed legislation was “well-intentioned but ultimately unworkable”.

The revised draft limited language to refer to a person or company that “controls” the encryption process; removed requirements that mandated entities to decrypt information for “foreign intelligence, espionage, and terrorism” investigations; excluded the critical infrastructure sector from “covered entities”; and limited the extent of “technical assistance” required to make “reasonable efforts” in assisting law enforcement, wrote Sanchez.
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