The Department of Justice and FBI have wanted tech companies to remove the encryption or weaken their algorithms for a long time. Similarly in recent years bills were proposed by US states wanting to outright ban encryption on smartphones and other smart devices.
A new bill called the ENCRYPT act has been introduced to protect encryption of users with support from Ted Lieu (D-CA), Mike Bishop (R-MI), Suzan DelBone (D-WA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH). Encryption is used to secure data on phones and computers that keep user’s digital messages and communication logs safe from the third parties and eavesdroppers… ‘potentially’ even from the government agencies.
In the past, the state of California and New York has started statewide legislation that will restrict users from using the encryption in their communications. In California, the Assembly Bill 1681 would want any smartphone sold the state be capable of being decrypted by the government agencies. If the manufacturers didn’t comply with the rules they may face fines up to $2500 for every non-compliant device they have sold for the distributors.
The ENCRYPT Act will protect against the aforementioned scenarios. The bill was originally started in 2016 to fight regulations made by California and New York. The ENCRYPT Act will also prevent the US government from compelling companies to weaken the encryption algorithms or store decryption keys for use by law enforcement agencies. The bill will also prevent states from prohibiting the sale and offering of encrypted devices and services due to complex encryption algorithms.
The Secure Data Act is also a bipartisan sponsorship will act as the perfect add-on for the ENCRYPT Act which will prevent the federal agencies from asking the weakened encryption algorithms.
Will the act make a difference?, only time will tell.
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