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Apr 08, 2016

Mobility News Briefing - April 8

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White House declines to support bill on cracking encrypted data...

The story? Reuter's Mark Hosenball and Dustin Voltz reported on VentureBeat this week that the White House has declined to publicly support the encryption bill that was sparked from the Apple / FBI case over the San Bernardino shootings. They explain that the draft legislation "would empower judges to require technology companies such as Apple Inc. to help law enforcement crack encrypted data." Some background: While some recent remarks from President Obama suggest that he believes law enforcement should have a way to access encrypted mobile data, the fact that they are not publicly supporting the bill hints that White House administrators remain to have conflicting views on the issue. This has long been the case but the recent attacks in San Bernardino and Paris brought it back into the spotlight. What does the bill say? According to sources, the bill does not outline what specific circumstances will require technology companies to step in or what exactly they will have to do, but rather gives federal judges the "broad authority" to order their help. Controversy: Apple and the other large tech companies, civil liberty advocates and even some intelligence officials all oppose the bill for one main reason -- the fear that opening this "back door" will put everyone's personal data at risk, inevitably causing more harm than good. Hold please... It looks like we won't hear the end of this story for quite some time as sources say any encryption bill "is unlikely to go far in a gridlocked Congress during an election year." In the meantime, tech companies are amping up their security measures and encrypting more data than ever.

Olivia Holmes

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