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ENCRYPT Act Aims to Stop States from Banning Encryption

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Feb 12, 2016, 11:01 AM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Jul 28, 2019, 5:54 PM

Lawmakers in California and New York want to ban the sale of encrypted mobile devices, but two members of Congress are fighting back. Reps. Ted Lieu of California and Blake Farenthold of Texas introduced the ENCRYPT Act this week, a federal law that would prevent states or other local governments from mandating weak handset security. Law enforcement officials want the ability to break into the phones of suspects. Devices running Android and iOS are encrypted by default, and Apple and Google refuse to decrypt them. The ENCRYPT Act is a response to bills introduced in California and New York. "Different rules in different states create a myriad of issues and will actually make it more difficult for law enforcement officials," said Rep. Farenthold. "We need a unified approach to this issue that both protects security and privacy while enabling law enforcement to keep us safe. The California and New York proposals do not solve the problem." Farenthold said backdoors could be exploited by hackers, thereby rendering the very idea of encrypting devices useless. Farenthold and Lieu hope their act will ensure the conversation regarding encryption is handled at the federal level.

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Feb 12, 2016, 4:24 PM

Not really about the encryption argument, but...

...does the good Senator not realize the United States was set up so that different states, counties, towns, etc CAN have different rules?
But how would states enforce this? Would software manufactures have to create different versions of their OS simply for these states? Also what about people who purchase their devices in a state without these lack-of-security requirements and bring ...
The idea of producers having to create 51 different devices to sell in the 50 states and DC based on each state having its own laws about encryption is ludicrous.
The United States was indeed setup so that different states could have different rules. The document that establishes that precept is known to some people as the Constitution of the United States of America (although I think most Supreme Court justice...
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