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Cybersecurity & Standards, Government Surveillance

Proposed National Encryption Commission: There’s No Room for Compromise on Government Backdoors

Today, Representative Mike McCaul and Senator Mark Warner introduced a bill that would create the National Commission on Security and Technology, aimed at addressing issues around digital security technologies such as encryption. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) welcomed the efforts of the bill’s sponsors to create an evenhanded commission that consists of diverse stakeholders, but expressed concerns about potential areas of focus for the commission.

“The charge and composition of the proposed commission are positive signs that the bill’s authors are truly looking for solutions that protect strong cryptography and digital security. In a world of increasingly complex technologies, we are concerned that the commission may focus on shortsighted solutions involving mandated or compelled backdoors. Make no mistake, there can be no compromise on backdoors. Strong encryption makes anyone who has a cell phone or who uses the Internet far more secure,” said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, CDT’s Chief Technologist.

“The commission should certainly explore ideas on ways to improve existing investigatory practices – especially when it comes to the handling of international requests and government-sanctioned hacking. When it comes to encryption, civil society, academics, the tech industry, and technologists are unanimous that strong encryption makes our nation more secure,” Hall added.