White House won’t support new encrypted data legislation: report

Anyone who was hoping that the Obama Administration would throw its weight behind proposed legislation aimed at giving judges the power to make tech companies help law-enforcement officials when it comes to accessing encrypted data better not hold their breath.

According to a report from Reuters, the White House is expected to provide little or no public support to proposed legislation that would give federal judges wide authority to force tech companies to help the FBI, and other law-enforcement agencies, do things like crack open the iPhone that was used by one of the San Bernardino shooters last year. Apple had been contesting a federal judge’s order to help the FBI access the data on the iPhone in question, but the FBI dropped its case against Apple after finding an outside company to help it crack the iPhone’s encryption protocols.

The draft legislation is expected to soon be introduced to Congress by Republican Sen. Richard Burr and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who are their respective parties’ top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

According to the Reuters report, the White House is said to be moving away from offering public support for the legislation because of concerns that such an effort wouldn’t get very far in Congress during a presidential election year.

Photo: The White House (AP)


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