by Brandon Butler
US Senators Again Trying to Break Encryption, Making Everyone Less Safe 6/27/2020

Jim Salter for Ars Technical, ‘Graham, Cotton introduce yet another attempt to torpedo encryption’:

On Tuesday, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) introduced yet another bill attempting to poke holes in data encryption, called the Lawful Access To Encrypted Data Act. This bill follows previous US efforts to weaken encryption, including March’s proposed EARN IT Act and demands made by US Attorney General William Barr in his 2019 keynote address at the International Conference on Cyber Security.

A press release from the Senate Judiciary Committee — which is chaired by Graham — describes the bill as “a balanced solution that keeps in mind the constitutional rights afforded to all Americans, while providing law enforcement the tools needed to protect the public from everyday violent crime and threats to our national security.“ It goes on to emphasize — in both bold and italic text — that the bill would “only“ require service providers to grant law enforcement a back door after a court issues a warrant. […]

Unfortunately, as is typical for these resolutions, Graham’s expressed ideas don’t adhere to technological reality. In order for a service provider to “honor and assist“ law enforcement investigations in the way Graham demands, it would necessarily — and fatally — have to compromise the very encryption it offered in the first place. […]

Ars Technica, as usual, has the best coverage of this train wreck of legislation from elected officials who don’t understand how computers work and don’t want to learn. If a bill like this becomes law, encryption worldwide would be severely broken, and everyone would be less safe. Read the rest of the article, this is an important one.