Security experts are debating the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act, proposed legislation to create a uniform national encryption policy. Introduced June 7, 2018, by Reps. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Mike Bishop, R-Mich., Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the bill would enable federal agents to access “back doors” into encrypted data. It would also prevent individual states from enacting separate data access policies. ENCRYPT Act supporters call it a necessary protection against counterterrorism; opponents argue it gives too much power to federal law enforcement.
Rep. Lieu believes the bill has received bipartisan support because it addresses conflicting encryption standards for interstate commerce, economic security and cybersecurity. “I can tell you that having 50 different mandatory state-level encryption standards is bad for security, consumers, innovation, and ultimately law enforcement,” he stated. “Encryption exists to protect us from bad actors and can’t be weakened without also putting every American in harm’s way.”