REP LIEU ANNOUNCES ENCRYPT ACT REINTRODUCTION AT DEFCON

August 9, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON  - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County), speaking at DEFCON, announced the reintroduction of the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act. The bill, which was reintroduced with Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), would preempt state and local government encryption laws to ensure a uniform, national policy for the interstate issue of encryption technology. Congressman Lieu is attending DEFCON to discuss critical cyber legislation and learn from attendees at one of the world’s largest hacker conventions.

Of the introduction, Mr. Lieu said:

“A federal encryption standard is vital to our nation’s security. We can’t expect to protect everyone’s sensitive information while every state has  different encryption standards with different degrees of stringency. 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 law enforcement. We need strong encryption standards to ensure Americans’ privacy is guaranteed. I am proud to lead this bipartisan group of Members who understand this is an issue of interstate commerce and economic security as well as cybersecurity. The ENCRYPT Act ensures we can have a national discussion about encryption without compromising consumers’ security in the process.”

Of the introduction, Ms. DelBene said:

“Keeping people’s information secure must be a priority for Congress. Without a national encryption policy, we cannot effectively protect personal data, leaving individuals susceptible to attacks from bad actors. This legislation unifies our encryption methods to provide security to the American people while ensuring that advances in technology can continue to grow”

The ENCRYPT Act is supported by:

Internet Association President & CEO Michael Beckerman

“The internet industry supports the ENCRYPT Act and appreciates the continued bipartisan effort by Reps. Ted Lieu, Jim Jordan, and Suzan DelBene to make this bill law. Americans deserve strong security for their most personal information, and companies shouldn’t be required to engineer vulnerabilities into their products and services. Protecting encryption technology from backdoors makes Americans safer and more secure.” 

New America’s Open Technology Institute Senior Policy Analyst Andi Wilson Thompson:

“Attorney General Barr’s recent claims show how critical it is that we stand strong against threats to require encryption back doors. As Congress, technologists, and advocates have known for decades, encryption is crucial to safeguarding cybersecurity, privacy, and the U.S. economy. OTI welcomes the reintroduction of the ENCRYPT Act as an important step toward securing strong encryption for all Americans, and preventing misguided government attempts to force companies to weaken the products we all use every day.”

 

EFF Senior Staff Attorney Andrew Crocker:

"No government should weaken the encryption that we all rely on to secure our most sensitive communications and data. It would be especially misguided for individual states to limit access to encryption within their borders, which is why EFF enthusiastically supports the ENCRYPT Act."

CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Robust encryption is increasingly crucial for economic prosperity, national security, and the safety of individuals, both online and offline. The ENCRYPT Act will protect these vital interests by ensuring that this important component of information security will not be eroded on a state-by-state basis.”

ACT | The App Association President Morgan Reed:

“On behalf of app developers and tech innovators across the country and around the world, we can attest to the value of encryption technologies to protect data and prevent crimes. The App Association is proud to support the ENCRYPT Act, and we commend Representatives Lieu, DelBene, and Jordan for their leadership in reintroducing this timely bill.

"The ENCRYPT Act is a necessary step to ensure Americans can use encrypted technologies to protect themselves and their data, regardless of where they live. Encryption protects our most valuable information from nefarious cyber criminals – securing everything from private healthcare data to financial transactions, proprietary business information to the countless interactions that occur throughout the $1.3 trillion global app ecosystem. Weakening encryption through a patchwork of conflicting state policies would jeopardize this protection and create known vulnerabilities that hackers seek to exploit. This legislation establishes national guidelines for the interstate use of encrypted technology and protects the data that drives our local economies and the app economy at large, and we urge Congress to advance these important measures through swift consideration of this important bill."

Engine Executive Director Evan Engstrom:

“We applaud the authors of the ENCRYPT Act for working to prevent state and local governments from forcing companies to intentionally weaken the security of their products and services. Undermining encryption would be especially devastating for startups and their users, since they typically lack the resources necessary to protect unencrypted user information. Internet users rely on encryption-enabled startups every day to do things like communicate with loved ones, protect connected devices, and store and share sensitive health, banking, and business information. Weakening encryption will harm those startups and put their users’ sensitive information at risk.”

This bill is also supported by the i2Coalition

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