Menu
White House won't support encryption unlocking legislation

White House won't support encryption unlocking legislation

The Obama administration will stay out of debate on proposed unlocking bill, a news report says

President Barack Obama's administration won't support legislation to force device makers to help law enforcement agencies defeat encryption, according to a news report.

Two senior members of the Senate Intelligence Committee have been floating draft legislation to require device makers and other tech companies to provide workarounds for encryption and other security features, but the White House won't offer public support for the proposal, according to a report from Reuters.

FBI Director James Comey has long pushed for encryption workarounds, and just last month, Obama called for tech companies and the government to work together to allow police access to suspects' smartphones protected by encryption.

But members of the Obama administration are divided on the encryption issue, and the White House has decided to largely stay on the sidelines when Senators Richard Burr, the Republican chairman, and Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, introduce their bill, according to the report.

The White House has reviewed the draft legislation and offered suggestions, but it plans to stay out of a public debate over the proposal, the report said.

The draft proposal from Burr and Feinstein would reportedly allow federal judges to order tech companies to assist law enforcement agencies with unlocking encrypted devices.

The encryption debate has been simmering since late 2014, when Comey began complaining that the FBI was "going dark" in terrorism and criminal investigation because of the growing use of encryption on smartphones.

The issue came to a head early this year when the FBI asked a California judge to order Apple to help the agency unlock an iPhone used by a mass shooter in San Bernardino, California, in December. Last month, the FBI withdrew the request when the agency said it found another way to unlock the phone.

Representatives of the White House and Department of Justice weren't immediately available for comment.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments