Compliance Management, Data Security, Encryption, Privacy

ENCRYPT Act reintroduced in Congress

A bipartisan group of representatives has put forth a bill to create a national standard encryption that would supersede any similar standards created on the state or local levels.

Representatives Ted W. Lieu D-Calif., Mike Bishop R-Mich., Suzan DelBene D-Wash. and Jim Jordan R-Ohio reintroduced the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act. If enacted the bill would ensure a uniform, national policy for the interstate issue of encryption technology.

“As a computer science major, I can tell you that having 50 different mandatory state-level encryption standards is bad for security, consumers, innovation, and ultimately law enforcement,” Lieu said.

Bishop agreed saying the concept of having a central repository is key to defending the nation against cyberattacks.

“The ENCRPYT Act is a critical first step in adopting a national approach – instead of the patchwork of encryption standards that our tech industry and law enforcement face today,” he said.

The act was originally introduced in February 2016 and has the additional goal of ensuring that state and local government do not pass any legislation that would require manufacturers to put backdoors or other technology in place that would allow access to a device.

Willy Leichter, Virsec's VP of marketing, noted that while the bill is a step forward it does nothing to stifle the argument raging between law enforcement, which wants a way to bypass a devices encryption, and privacy advocates who believe weakening encryption's effectiveness will have disastrous results.

“The re-introduction of legislation to not force technologies to implement security backdoors is an unfortunate necessity. Undoubtedly any backdoor that is introduced will be available to both law enforcement and bad actors alike, collectively making us less secure,” added Gabriel Gumbs, STEALTHBITS VP of product strategy.

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