A congressional bill may decide how the US will approach encrypted smartphones

As long as the United States’s federal government is keeping the internet duty-free, it might as well try and see how it actually feels about this whole encryption thing.

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom have been mulling over a bill that would open up backdoors to encryption provided by tech companies from Apple to Facebook to Google. Stateside, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been drumming up the case for accessible decryption tools. The governments of New York and California also have bills tilting against impenetrable encryption.

Now, Democratic Representative Ted Lieu of California has introduced the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016 (ENCRYPT) that would nullify any state legislation that would alter encryption practices of electronic goods and service producers, developers, retailers and end users.

Lieu cites the Interstate Commerce clause in the Article One of the Constitution that prevents individual states from regulating products used in all 50 states. He also says the bill has sponsors from four congressmen, two each from the Democratic and Republican sides.

Mind you, the bill only discounts state encryption bills. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, also of California, is drafting a bill mandating decryption by court order.

Source: ENCRYPT Act of 2016
Via: Newsweek

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.