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house Bill H.R. 4528

Should the Feds Block State and Local Governments from Making Data Encryption (and Decryption) Laws?

Argument in favor

State and local governments need to be blocked from enacting their own encryption standards that could vary widely from state to state, causing problems for businesses and consumers. A nationwide federal encryption standard should be developed to ensure that users' devices aren't in violation of state or local law when they travel the country.

Jacob's Opinion
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02/18/2016
I like how they don't give you an option to say "not at all". Government should butt out of corporate encryption. This all came about due to the FBI trying to decrypt the Apple device used by shooters. Do not give up your Liberty for security because you will lose both and deserve neither.
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Dawn's Opinion
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02/18/2016
This should not be allowed at any level, State or Federal
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02/23/2016
Keep the government; local, state, and federal, out of my devices. Period!
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Argument opposed

Some oppose this bill, saying it leaves open the door for federal encryption regulations. Others opposed say state and local governments should have the power to set encryption laws. Variations in law from state-to-state may not make compliance difficult for businesses and consumers — as long as the officials developing those policies use best practices.

Reid's Opinion
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02/18/2016
It seems that people that voted yes or no seem to both be against the implementation of the law. Please clarify which side we're voting for as the title and description contradict each other!
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Spider-Man's Opinion
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02/18/2016
I say nay because Apple is right. If they do this just once, it'll be like a domino effect in that it'll affect everyone. And it'll cause the government to have a sense of "Ok, now that we twisted apples arm we can do it to anyone else." I think the FBI should give it to Apple to decrypt and let Apple show them what the phone has. Without showing any sense of how Apple got into the phone.
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Rocko's Opinion
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02/23/2016
It's pretty clear that this will be abused
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedFebruary 10th, 2016

What is House Bill H.R. 4528?

This bill would block state and local encryption laws in order to allow a federal encryption tech policy to be developed and implemented nationwide. 

The policy would cover any computer hardware, computer software, electronic device, or online service that is available to the public and is used or travels during the course of interstate commerce. Think products (phones, computers, email servers etc.) made by companies like Apple and Google.  

Specifically, state and local governments would be barred from requiring these manufacturers, developers, sellers, and providers to allow government surveillance or searches of their products.

State and local governments would be banned from requiring businesses to have the ability to decrypt information encrypted by their products or services. State and local authorities also couldn't prohibit the sale of encrypted products in their jurisdiction.

While this bill has a lot to say about what state and local governments can and cannot do, it does not set a standard for federal regulations on encrypted products and their manufacturers.  

Impact

Anyone using computers, electronic devices, email and other online services; manufacturers, developers, sellers, and providers of those products and services; state and local governments, including law enforcement.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4528

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note: Concerns about governmentally imposed requirements surrounding encryption standards were given new life when a federal judge issued an order compelling Apple to access an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters. The iPhone is protected by a mandatory delay between each password entry, and an auto-erase function that could delete the phone’s data after a number of unsuccessful password entries.

Apple has resisted the order on the grounds that creating a backdoor through their devices’ encryption would make their users personal information more vulnerable to exploitation by hackers.

Two states, California and New York, have considered proposals requiring companies to be able to decrypt smartphones manufactured after 2017.

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced this legislation to prevent states from enacting their own encryption laws and threatening user’s privacy and the competitiveness of the U.S. technology industry:

“A patchwork of 50 different encryption standards is a recipe for disaster that would create new security vulnerabilities, threaten individual privacy and undermine the competitiveness of American innovators. It is bad for law enforcement, bad for technology users, and bad for American technology companies. National issues require national responses. The ENCRYPT Act makes sure this conversation happens in a place that does not disrupt interstate commerce.”

Currently this bill has four bipartisan cosponsors in the House, including two Democrats and two Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Youtube Screenshot)

AKA

ENCRYPT Act of 2016

Official Title

To preempt State data security vulnerability mandates and decryption requirements.

    I like how they don't give you an option to say "not at all". Government should butt out of corporate encryption. This all came about due to the FBI trying to decrypt the Apple device used by shooters. Do not give up your Liberty for security because you will lose both and deserve neither.
    Like (72)
    Follow
    Share
    It seems that people that voted yes or no seem to both be against the implementation of the law. Please clarify which side we're voting for as the title and description contradict each other!
    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
    I say nay because Apple is right. If they do this just once, it'll be like a domino effect in that it'll affect everyone. And it'll cause the government to have a sense of "Ok, now that we twisted apples arm we can do it to anyone else." I think the FBI should give it to Apple to decrypt and let Apple show them what the phone has. Without showing any sense of how Apple got into the phone.
    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
    This should not be allowed at any level, State or Federal
    Like (25)
    Follow
    Share
    Keep the government; local, state, and federal, out of my devices. Period!
    Like (13)
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    It's pretty clear that this will be abused
    Like (10)
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    This is none of the government's business and is a direct violation of the fourth amendment.
    Like (8)
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    The government can't even protect its own secrets and employees!
    Like (5)
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    After reading the bill it looks like if you are against the government making companies create encryption or decryption for their products vote yes? Hard to tell.
    Like (4)
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    I refuse to sacrifice freedom for security.
    Like (4)
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    Federal authorities should develop a policy on encryption laws, not state governments.
    Like (4)
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    they should give the iPhone to apple and let them give fbi any info that fbi could use about any more threats. without giving away any encryption.!!!
    Like (3)
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    Our government should not have any laws over the internet in any way form or fashion.
    Like (3)
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    On this one I choose privacy over security. Also, I fear the legal precedent that local legislation might set. I feel very strongly about this as do those around me at the water cooler.
    Like (3)
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    Absolutely not. Once the encryption is broken for one phone, it opens the avenue for all phones. I'm growing so weary of the government using terrorism as an excuse to suspend the Constitution.
    Like (3)
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    It's so ambiguous, I can't tell which vote will keep Big Brothers' surveillance contained.
    Like (3)
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    I think both Federal, State and Local governments to stay out of the encryption issue. It violates our right to privacy.
    Like (3)
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    I don't have anything to hide. However this is a very slippery slope. At first I thought Sure why not. But on second thought. I said when given the "keys" so to speak to the government who's to say they won't go into everyone's cell phone they would fall asleep if they would listen to my calls. Also who to say someone would not hack into the government's server and get the info. Just saying Just my opinion
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    I agree with Apple on this one
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    This position is unclear. Title needs to be more inline with the bill's actual content. To be clear, I vote against any government contracting of cyber security breach creations from big tech. I fully believe our taxes can create a backdoor in the name of National Security. The only reason this is a hot topic is the US government wants to set the precedent to mandate their reach and control of the private sector of the US big tech industry.
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