New Bill Prohibits Prohibiting Strong Cryptography

    The FBI continues to lobby for the introduction of a universal backdoor, which will allow special services to unlock any mobile phone. The main problem is considered the iPhone.

    Apple, although it is an American company, stubbornly refuses to introduce such a “key” in iOS and, on the contrary, only strengthens its defense mechanisms. According to FBI Director James Comey, she inadvertently helps terrorists and criminals: encrypted iPhone messages “are a problem in our investigations, he said at a Senate intelligence committee hearing on February 9.

    For more than a year now, the FBI, the NSA and their colleagues from other special services have been fighting against the introduction of end-to-end encryption by different companies, which they cannot crack. Lobbying is also going on at the state level: recently, legislative attempts to weaken cryptography have been made by California and New York. Both states are trying to push laws that prohibit the use of “communication modes that prevent law enforcement from accessing content when there is a warrant”: New York bill , California bill .

    To stop this flow, two U.S. congressmen - Ted Lieu of the Democratic Party and Blake Farenthold of the Republican Party - proposed a billThe Ensuring National Constitutional Rights of Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act of 2016 , which prohibits individual states from abolishing strong state cryptography. The rules should be uniform for the whole country.

    In one of his speeches, James Komi said that cryptographic data protection undermines the work of the FBI. Komi believes that for Apple and Google, encryption is a "marketing device", but it has very serious consequences in real life, as it allows you to hide important information from the law and avoid punishment for criminals. “Our private sector partners [Apple and Google] need to take a step back, take a break and consider changing course.”

    Komi formally spoke “against backdoors”, proposing instead to introduce a “transparent, understandable procedure”, which he called “front door”.

    The White House is also considering the idea of ​​“duplicate accounts” with key sharing or multiple keys (a copy of the key will be kept by the state), but so far lobbyists have not put forward such a bill.

    Proponents of strong cryptography constantly repeat that the emergence of a universal key or duplicate accounts means the deliberate introduction of vulnerabilities in all devices using cryptography: consumer, corporate and government. This is contrary to information security standards.

    It’s equally dangerous if each state begins to adopt its own encryption standards: “We are deeply concerned that the mix of different encryption requirements in each state will not only undermine national security - it also poses a threat to the competitiveness of US companies and suppresses innovation,” said Ted Lew , one of the authors of the bill.

    Lew is one of the few American congressmen to have a degree in computer science. He is one of the main defenders of strong cryptography in parliament.

    If the bill is not passed, and the above laws are passed in New York and California, then Apple and others will have to make special “weakened” versions of their smartphones for sale in these territories.

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