REP LIEU INTRODUCES BIPARTISAN BILL TO STANDARDIZE NATIONAL ENCRYPTION POLICY
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County), Congressman Mike Bishop (R-MI), Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) reintroduced the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act. The legislation would preempt state and local government encryption laws to ensure a uniform, national policy for the interstate issue of encryption technology.
Upon introduction, Mr. Lieu writes:
“Any discussion of encryption and law enforcement access to data needs to happen at the federal level. 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. Encryption exists to protect us from bad actors, and can’t be weakened without also putting every American in harm’s way. 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.”
Upon introduction, Mr. Bishop writes:
“The safety of our nation is the number one priority for this Congress, and establishing a pathway for decryption would create new vulnerabilities to be exploited by bad actors. To better protect our information from cyber threats, whether it deals with our nation’s security, commerce or personal data, we need a unified policy. 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.”
Upon introduction, Ms. DelBene writes:
“Our goal needs to be keeping people’s personal information secure. When 50 states have different laws on encryption, it undermines our efforts to protect innocent Americans from bad actors who are looking to snatch personal data for their own nefarious uses. This legislation strengthens our national security, while ensuring that people’s privacy is protected and advances in technology can continue to flourish.”
Upon introduction, Mr. Jordan writes:
“We know federal agencies have abused warrantless surveillance in the past. The current patchwork system for encryption makes it easier for further abuses of the system and increases the problem by creating potential opportunities for abuse by 3rd party actors. By creating a unified approach to encryption, we can protect security and privacy while allowing law enforcement to continue keeping us safe. Today’s introduction of the ENCYPT Act is an important step in the right direction.”
Support for the ENCRYPT 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, Bishop, 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 $950 billion 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."
“Encryption is vital to securing consumers’ private information and protecting them from Cybercriminals. With that said, the level of protection consumers experience should not be determined by the state in which they live. State mandates that either ban strong encryption technology, or require the design of intentional vulnerabilities, are untenable from both a security and policy standpoint. ITI commends Reps. Ted Lieu, Suzan DelBene, Mike Bishop, and Jim Jordan for their leadership on the ENCRYPT Act.”
Developers Alliance President/CEO Bruce Gustafson:
“The ENCRYPT Act was a great idea in 2016 and it’s an even better one now. Earning the trust and confidence of users is the Software Developer community’s highest priority, and strong encryption is the best way to ensure the privacy and security of user data. There is no such thing as a secure back door; the worst possible future is a patchwork of rules and prohibitions and a ring full of skeleton keys held by every agency and official across 50 states and an untold number of foreign governments. The ENCRYPT Act unambiguously places the Federal Government as the front-line defender of U.S. data security and we strongly support Congressmen Lieu (D-CA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), and all co-sponsors for their vision in bringing this legislation forward. Establishing the United States as the global champion of strong encryption is a critical step in securing the nation's ongoing leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship"
New America’s Open Technology Institute Policy Counsel and Government Affairs Lead Robyn Greene:
“Despite a wave of news stories and an Inspector General report showing that encryption is not the insurmountable obstacle that the FBI, prosecutors, and state and local police claim, the second Crypto War is unrelenting. Law enforcement has lost credibility in this debate, and Congress should reject their continuing calls for legislation to help them break encryption. We welcome the introduction of the ENCRYPT Act as a step toward putting this endless debate over encryption backdoors to bed once and for all.”
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.”
IA President & CEO Michael Beckerman:
"The internet industry applauds Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. Susan DelBene, and Rep. Mike Bishop for reintroducing the ENCRYPT Act. Weakening encryption by requiring companies to engineer vulnerabilities into their devices and services makes us all less safe and less secure. Encryption protects our country from countless threats to the financial system, sensitive infrastructure, and individual privacy. The ENCRYPT Act recognizes the importance of encryption to our national security and daily lives."
This bill is also supported by the i2Coalition and Niskanen Center