Proposals for a U.S. federal law that would require tech companies to build backdoors into their end-to-end encrypted communications services sound like they are lifted from an authoritarian country's playbook, warned Dr. Andrea Little Limbago, chief social scientist at Virtru, in a podcast interview with SC Media.

Federal law enforcement authorities and the current White House administration have argued that terrorists and criminals are leveraging encryption messaging apps to subvert surveillance, and insist that investigators need to regain the upper hand by having a means to defeat encryption.for national security purposes.

But there's a flip side to this argument. "...The legislation that's starting to emerge sounds very similar to legislation in authoritarian regimes that want exceptional access to data. And why that's problematic is because if you build in a backdoor, it weakens the security..." said Limbago. "[E]ventually we'll see criminals, authoritarian regimes, the whole gamut of the bad actors, will find ways to also exploit that backdoor."

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