Senate bill draft would prohibit unbreakable encryption

Senate bill draft would prohibit unbreakable encryption
In this Feb. 9, 2016 file photo, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks with committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. on Capitol Hill in Washington. A draft version of a Senate bill would effectively prohibit unbreakable encryption and require companies to help the government get access to readable data on a device if there's a lawful search warrant. The draft is being finalized by Burr and Feinstein. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

A draft version of a Senate bill would effectively prohibit unbreakable encryption and require companies to help the government access data on a computer or mobile device with a warrant.

The draft is being finalized by the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and the top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.

Their goal, they said in a statement, is to ensure adherence to any court order that requires helping law enforcement or providing decrypted information. "No individual or company is above the law."

It was not immediately clear when they would introduce the bill.

The draft language ran into opposition from another committee member, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who said the proposal would require "American companies to build a backdoor" into devices.

"They would be required by federal law per this statute to decide how to weaken their products to make Americans less safe," he said. Wyden pledged to do "everything in my power" to prevent the plan from passing.

The emerging measure follows the Justice Department's battle with Apple Inc. over access to an encrypted and locked iPhone—a fight pitting digital privacy rights against national security concerns.

Senate bill draft would prohibit unbreakable encryption
In this Feb. 17, 2016 file photos an iPhone is seen in Washington. A draft version of a Senate bill would effectively prohibit unbreakable encryption and require companies to help the government get access to readable data on a device if there's a lawful search warrant. The draft is being finalized by Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who chairs the Senate's Intelligence Committee, and his vice chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster,File)

The Justice Department dropped its legal effort to compel Apple to provide it with specialized software that would allow the FBI to hack into an iPhone that was issued to San Bernardino County, California, health inspector Syed Farook. Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people in December. The couple died in a shootout with authorities.

The iPhone was found in a vehicle the day after the shooting. Two personal phones were found destroyed so completely the FBI could not recover information from them.

U.S. Magistrate Sheri Pym had ordered Apple to provide the FBI with software to help it hack into Farook's work-issued iPhone after the government said only Apple could help authorities access the encrypted and locked iPhone. But days before a hearing in the case an outside party showed the FBI an ultimately workable situation to hack the phone.

The government ultimately purchased that solution—which FBI Director James Comey said only works on an iPhone 5C running version 9 of the Apple operating system—and is keeping it secret for now.

Comey and Apple CEO Tim Cook have said that Congress, not the courts, should address issues raised in the case.

But the senators' draft bill was roundly criticized by technology groups and civil libertarians, many of who also backed Apple against the government.

Kevin Bankston, director of the Washington-based New America's Open Technology Institute, said in a statement that the bill would undermine American cybersecurity and technology products, give foreign competitors an economic edge and allow adversaries to obtain encrypted communications.

ACLU legislative counsel Neema Singh Guliani said the draft plan amounted to a "clear threat to everyone's privacy and security" and senators should "abandon their efforts to create a government backdoor."


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Apr 08, 2016
Who decided that a national government should have the ability to know all that is knowable? At the behest of the barrel of a gun, if necessary.

Apr 08, 2016
ROFFLMFAO

These people have not the slightest idea how encryption works, nor how easy it is to make an unbreakable cypher from open-source tools that exist on the Internet. What are they gonna do, ban OpenSSL? They'd tank the economy. 30 million computers have OpenSSL on them. They gonna try to arrest 30 million people? Good luck with that.

You can't legislate reality. You might as well make a law banning tires, or trees.

Dumb da dumb dumb, dumb da dumb dumb daaaaaaaaaa.

Apr 08, 2016
I have written the Senator and made my thoughts clear. I suspect she's going to be getting a lot of similar emails right about now.

Apr 08, 2016
Feinstein has no choice: On the Intelligence Committee, she has been personally spied on by the "Intelligence Agencies". They have the goods on her.

They run us now.

Apr 08, 2016
And just what is to stop people that still want their info encrypted past Government snoops capability from downloading software from some other country and using it?

Apr 08, 2016
And just what is to stop people that still want their info encrypted past Government snoops capability from downloading software from some other country and using it?


Like Schneib-Skippy says, lock up millions and millions of people, eh?

You can't make a law against how people write stuffs on their computer, no more than they could if I made up my own special code words out of gibberish with Mrs-Ira-Skippette. It's just more of the politicians posturing and making noise to get some air time.

Apr 08, 2016
No, it is a campaign to make it normal for Big Brother to do what he wants with and to us.

Apr 08, 2016
No, it is a campaign to make it normal for Big Brother to do what he wants with and to us.


Who the heck is this "Big Brother" you keep going on about? And why does he care what I do?

Apr 08, 2016
"Who the heck is this "Big Brother" you keep going on about? And why does he care what I do? "
-----------------------------------

Are you serious?

Apr 08, 2016
"Who the heck is this "Big Brother" you keep going on about? And why does he care what I do? "
-----------------------------------

Are you serious?


Yeah I am. Sometimes you blurt out stuffs that are probably meant to deep and profound. Like what you wrote up there about Feinstein-Skippette. And like the "Big Brother" thing. What is the point of what they mean?

It reminds me of the disheveled and shabby Skippy with the tattered sign down by the Parish Courthouse. He knows what he is going on about, but nobody else can get inside his head,,,,, everybody just goes by and thinks "hooyeei, that is one odd couyon there".

Apr 08, 2016
"Senate bill draft would prohibit unbreakable encryption"
If this passes, watch any company with an interest in protecting their customers security exit the US. Honestly, I read stuff like this and shake my head in disbelief :(

[cntd]

Apr 08, 2016
It's just more of the politicians posturing and making noise to get some air time.
It's like making a law to make pi equal to three. Looks great on paper, but you don't get circles.

Apr 08, 2016
[cntd]
Worth reading this about the early years of the crypto wars;

https://en.wikipe..._Privacy

"Zimmermann challenged these regulations in an imaginative way. He published the entire source code of PGP in a hardback book,[14] via MIT Press, which was distributed and sold widely. Anybody wishing to build their own copy of PGP could cut off the covers, separate the pages, and scan them using an OCR program (or conceivably enter it as a type-in program if OCR software was not available), creating a set of source code text files. One could then build the application using the freely available GNU Compiler Collection."

I particularly liked this tidbit, "Cryptosystems using keys larger than 40 bits were then considered munitions within the definition of the US export regulations; ..."

Apr 08, 2016
Basic problem with the bill: There are no "unbreakable" crypto programs currently. There ARE difficult crypto programs. PGP is an example. What makes cryptography useful is how difficult the crypto code is to break.

"Applied Cryptography" by Bruce Schneider, 1996 Wiley Press discusses the subject in detail.

I have concerns about government secrecy when the personnel records of millions of federal employees was cracked by intruders. THEY should have been secured with encryption.

How well would the computers holding the "keys to the kingdom" stand up to saboteurs and spies?

If my personnel information is kept on numerous business computers holding access to this information (credit agencies, banks, hospitals, etc.) and these systems are weakly encrypted (or have Federally Mandated Back Doors) one can only imagine a short time passing before all the "bad guys" knowing everything, while the government believes everything is tidy and safe.

Why play "Whack-a-Mole"?

Apr 08, 2016
edit: Bruce Schneider is Bruce Schneier

Apr 09, 2016
"Who the heck is this "Big Brother" you keep going on about? And why does he care what I do? "
Are you serious?

Yeah I am. Sometimes you blurt out stuffs that are probably meant to deep and profound. Like what you wrote up there about Feinstein-Skippette. And like the "Big Brother" thing. What is the point of what they mean?
george kamburoff the psychopath is naturally a genius in his own mind. He thinks that aping tired catch phrases from the 70s is as clever as it was the first time he read it.

Physorg is no country for old men.

Hey george - I copy/pasted the text from ira's post and added brackets and q'S to make it look right. Pretty clever eh?

How come you haven't figured out the quote button after all these months?

You afraid of the quote button george?

You think it sets off alarms in big Brothers vast underground surveillance complex or something?

Apr 09, 2016
The 1970's, otto? Wow, ignorance spans the oceans.

The novel 1984 was written in the late 1940's.

It is clear you folk are unaware of big government and who it serves. But it ain't you.

Apr 09, 2016
The 1970's, otto? Wow, ignorance spans the oceans.

The novel 1984 was written in the late 1940's.

It is clear you folk are unaware of big government and who it serves. But it ain't you.


You keep talking like the "Big Brother" is some person or group of peoples. Is that right? If that is right, then tell WHO they are, WHERE they are and how often do they get together to plan their next evil act against mankind? How do you get into the "Big Bother Club"? And most important,,, how do YOU know all these details? I might be wrong, but to me it sounds like that Illuminati or Knights Templar stuffs that the Aluminum Wrap Cap Brigade are so fond of talking about.

If it is just some "mental idea catch-all" that means "anything glam-Skippy don't like", then I was right the first time,,, it's a stupid thing to write on a science site, it should stay on the bumper sticker.

I was not around in the 40's, 60's or borned until the the 70's, this is the 2016's.

Apr 09, 2016
" I might be wrong, but to me it sounds like that Illuminati or Knights Templar stuffs that the Aluminum Wrap Cap Brigade are so fond of talking about"
------------------------

Yeah, being stuck on a river does that to you.

This science site and encryption for privacy is exactly the issue here, Toots. And when guvmunt does not like what you are doing or talking about, when some bureaucrat gets it into his little head that you may be a threat, then your life is his.

They already get everything we send to each other in almost any form. You can poo-poo it all you want, but folk much more astute than both of us say it is extremely important we do not let guvmunt become all-powerful.

As a former tech in electronic eavesdropping, I can assure you that you do not want those folk making decisions regarding you and your intentions.

This forum is your playground for making comments about others, but this is damn serious.

Apr 09, 2016
but this is damn serious.


So why you hanging around here wasting time with ol Ira-Skippy? Why you do not get out and do something about it besides pasting up slogans on the physorg?

And then that also begs the question Cher, what kind of idiot who thinks about the "Big Bother" being "damn serious" would post up all his personal information on the interweb to try to make his slogans mean more than they do?

They coming for you Skippy, and you just like a couyon told them who you are, where you are, and what you are thinking about them.

Apr 09, 2016
Basic problem with the bill: There are no "unbreakable" crypto programs currently.
Sure there are:

http://www.red-be...onetime/

One-time pad cyphers are unbreakable without the pad.

Apr 09, 2016
As a former tech in electronic eavesdropping
How come a former spook tech can't figure out the quote button? Ya can't trust a thing those former spook techs say, you know? Especially when they lie in like every other post.

Apr 09, 2016
"They coming for you Skippy, "
------------------------------

They coming? Are you SCARED?

Is that why you hide who you really are? Out of fear?

Well, I will just sit here and wait for "they". I hope it is you.

Apr 09, 2016
So, how come a former spook tech can't figure out the quote button? Is it because it's not a real button?

Apr 09, 2016
I figure you have trouble with it because, you know, there aren't any wires back there. Real stuff has wires for soldering and splicing and pulling.

I understand.

Apr 09, 2016
"They coming for you Skippy, "
------------------------------

They coming? Are you SCARED?
Who me? Non, I never knew about this "Big Brother" until you bring him up. I still never know about him yet even after I asked you about him and you can't tell me just who he is except he is serious.

Is that why you hide who you really are? Out of fear?
What I got to be afraid of? Some "Big Brother" that the glam-Skippy told me about? If he is that big of a brother, I probably don't have anything he wants anyway.

Well, I will just sit here and wait for "they".
Well why you don't just do that, he is your "Big Brother" anyway.

I hope it is you.
It's a pretty good bet that you won't be getting a visit from me. Why you think I would come visit you for? Skippy, you sure do say some really stupid things that just don't make any sense.

Apr 09, 2016
So what this would do is just drive people to buy non U.S. encryption products. Way to go jack asses.

Apr 09, 2016
So what this would do is just drive people to buy non U.S. encryption products. Way to go jack asses.
You don't have to buy anything at all. You can roll your own with OpenSSL, PGP, or the one-time pad program I linked above.

The law cannot compel an impossibility, though a lot of optimists have tried to get it to for most of human history.

Apr 09, 2016
@Da Schneib:
I specifically said "programs" to isolate software pseudo-random algorithms from "one time pads" based on two identical pads created using true random numbers derived from natural phenomena such as radio active decay.

Apr 09, 2016
I was just quibbling. ;)

Apr 09, 2016
Who decided that a national government should have the ability to know all that is knowable? At the behest of the barrel of a gun, if necessary.


A lot of people come to mind...Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, and Dianne Feinstein to name a few.

Apr 10, 2016
There are worse things than law enforcement not being able to decrypt a message or a file. Much worse.

The answer to my senators is not only no, but HELL NO! Wasn't the clipper chip fiasco enough of a lesson?

Apr 10, 2016
Government is here to serve us, NOT the other way around.

It is time we replaced all the intelligence agencies and the DOJ and started over. Meanwhile, those who pushed too far must serve hard time.

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