Congressional committee defines encryption backdoors as against national interests


❝ In a rebuke to the anti-encryption campaign waged by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation — with Apple as a target — the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Encryption Working Group issued a report today stating “any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest.”

❝ In a bipartisan report, the group observed that “any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest,” citing representatives of the national security community who noted that “strong encryption is vital to the national defense and to securing vital assets, such as critical infrastructure.”

A second finding of the report was that “encryption technology is a global technology that is widely and increasingly available around the world.” That echoed an earlier study for Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society…

❝ The HJC report further suggested that “Congress should foster cooperation between the law enforcement community and technology companies,” the same suggestion Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook made in asking that the elected representatives of the U.S. Congress work on the issue rather than having it be pushed through under court orders facilitated by the state police, invoking fears of terrorism as a emotional ploy…

❝ FBI director James Comey pursued a charm campaign using FBI press releases to insist that “the San Bernardino litigation isn’t about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message,” and subsequently repeated those comments in testimony to the U.S. House Intelligence Committee…

However, Comey has a vast public record of desperately seeking to break encryption. In 2015, Comey unsuccessfully lobbied the Obama administration to press for laws empowering the police to force private companies to break their own encryption products.

Bipartisan reports are rare enough in the crapper called Congress. To have something like this roll out of a committee controlled by the latest degeneration of Republicans is amazing. The clarity and simplicity of the convincing testimony must be outstanding.

Of course, all we now need is for this to be transformed into legislation, agreed upon by both houses of Congress, and arrive on the desk of a president bright enough to understand progress, privacy rights and the gumption to sign the bill over objections from a prick like James Comey.

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